Screenshot 2015-09-06 12.08.06According to the “Child Welfare in Rural Areas” study conducted by World Vision Romania, our country is still the home of the poorest children in the European Union, half of whom live in rural areas. The children there come from single-income poor families who often live only on children’s state allowance or state aid. For example, one of eight children in rural areas always or sometimes goes to bed hungry, a 2% rise over 2012.

In light of the above, together with World Vision and Jazz Communication, and with World Vision ambassadors Pavel Bartos, Cabral, Oana Cuzino, Daniela Nane, Adrian Nour, and the Zamfirescu Trio, we launched the “Caroling for the Future” campaign to support the “Donor of a Future” community development program. The ambassadors sang a carol specifically adapted for the campaign, thus showing everyone that each child, from the country or the city, needs equal opportunities in life, and that with appropriate support any child can have the future they want.

The campaign aimed at increasing the awareness of social issues faced by children in rural areas, increasing the public awareness of the “Donor of a Future” program, and indirectly bringing in 400 new donors for World Vision. The campaign concept started from the idea that caroling is the most popular custom of Christmastide, a custom that most often raises spirits and encourages people do to good. And so it was that the campaign ambassadors went caroling on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of poor children who live in rural areas, and encouraged people to become “donors of a future” for our little ones. Together with World Vision we challenged bloggers and public figures to follow the  ambassadors’ example and go caroling on behalf of children or, if they did not agree to this, to become donors for World Vision. As part of the campaign we used the #colindatorpentruviitor (“#carolerforthefuture”) hashtag to gather social media testimonies and reactions, and we maintained a permanent dialogue with the online media to present cases and stories of children in need of help from each and every one of us.

We managed to generate over 20 articles in the online media, including in some of the most influential websites: cancan.ro, ziare.com, eva.ro, csid.ro, dcnews.ro, 121.ro. Six bloggers declared their support for the campaign, and among them Victor Kapra, Simona Tache, and Andreea Ursu-Listeveanu mobilized their social pages fan communities. We also managed to involve Corina Caragea in the campaign – a sports news anchorwoman at Pro TV, one of the best known and most liked stars of the MediaPro media trust. According to traffic data and official audience figures, about 2 million people were exposed to the campaign’s messages, and at the end of December 2003 nearly 200 people had become donors for World Vision.

Christmas is an extremely crowded season for public communication and public events. Against this background, the involvement of stars and public figures is crucial for effectively conveying messages. Moreover, attracting supporters in the blogosphere is a key tactic that can garner increased visibility in the online media.