By Claire Thompson, freelance PR Consultant, Waves PR
The Greenpeace v. Volkswagen ‘Dark Side’ storm trooper campaign is a hugely well executed integrated PR/social media/advertising campaign.
As a big Greenpeace fan on a personal level, I had emails this morning with a very easy sign up to protest message. Videos, photos, Facebook… great social stuff, all in the mix. The tactics are fantastic, brilliantly attention grabbing, brilliantly orchestrated. ‘Old Street’, where the storm troopers assembled, has been trending on Twitter.
But even as a Greenpeace fan, I’m somehow a little reticent about rubber stamping it from a PR perspective. Because at least Volkswagen does have some more ecologically friendly cars, albeit marginalised, within it’s fleet, whilst there are other car manufacturers that don’t. The green movement is strong in Germany, so maybe that filtered into their thinking as part of their strategy. Only time will tell whether they’ve made a difference, but my big fear for Greenpeace is that their tactics, rather than their message, are what’s grabbing the attention.
Their social media activity around palm oil only really gathered pace and got people’s backs up when Nestle got the hump and removed and tweet and objected to a picture using their logo. Yes, some extra attention reached the ears of a general public which might not otherwise have engaged with the campaign, but Greenpeace is running the risk of becoming the ‘Fathers for Justice’ of the eco-World: the tactics attracting more attention for themselves than for their message/cause.
The Government has recently launched a consultation on what it can do to make it easier and more rewarding for people and companies to give their time and money to charities. CAF has been championing effective ways of giving for over 80 years, so we welcome the Government’s interest in this area.
The consultation includes a broad range of suggestions and ideas. Some of these are:
Harnessing online social media to make people’s giving more visible to others
Allowing people to “round to the pound” when using debit or credit cards and give their “electronic change” to charity
Recognition for donors for example through the Honours system
My colleague, the bright and bubbly Lara McIvor will be sleeping rough for Byte Night on October 8, 2010. It’s an annual event where people sleep rough for just one night to raise cash and awareness for Action for Children, which aims to tackle the root causes of youth homelessness. Money raised by Byte Night will help keep thousands of young people off the streets, building better lives with secure accommodation, education and training opportunities.
Lara will be leaving behind her high powered day job as a sales manager for value added distributor of smartphone accessories, Z-Three, to sleep rough in London and raise awareness and cash .
She needs to raise the charity’s minimum £2k by spending the night sleeping on the streets of London .
Lara was picked by colleagues to represent the company at the event, which will see 700 people sleeping rough, and despite only having been with the company for two months has taken the challenge in really good part.