UNICEF is one of the world’s best-recognized charities and has one main goal: to save children’s lives. In order to achieve this important mission, UNICEF Canada recognizes the huge opportunity that social media presents and the role it can play in helping children.
“In order to save children’s lives we really need to be engaging with all sorts of different people. Whether or not that is with individuals, corporations, private sector, or governments, one of the critical ways of [engaging] is by telling the story of UNICEF, of our work, and of the lives of children. In order to tell those stories increasingly means telling those stories through online channels, through digital media, through social media,” explains Meg French, Director of International Policy and Programs. French leads UNICEF Canada’s media relations efforts along with assisting in government and corporate affairs.
Shaping Social Conversations Around Children and Telling the Right Stories Helps Foster Social Media Engagement and Increase Donations
The need to tell stories and engage with the public through digital media is what led UNICEF Canada to choose Meltwater’s social media marketing suite to help them with their goals.
“We partnered with Meltwater because we recognized that we had a need to better understand where UNICEF fits in the social media world, how our story was being told and where the opportunities were to better engage with our supporters and with potential influencers in order to help save children’s lives around the world,” describes Meg French.
Strategically listening to the conversations already out there surrounding UNICEF Canada and finding the right opportunities to engage is an integral part of their social media strategy.
“We are looking at what we put out into the digital world and how it is being picked up and engaged with, but we’re also looking at how other people are talking about us and what they have to say, is it good, is it bad, what piques people’s interest. We’re looking for hooks to engage with people,” explains Meg French.
In addition to strategically listening to the social conversations surrounding UNICEF, Meg French and the UNICEF Canada team also listen to the broader conversations surrounding children in general to help share their stories with more people and to grow a more vibrant and engaged community.
“I’d also say what we’re looking for more generally is not just references of UNICEF for instance, but conversations in a more thematic way about the work we do, whether that be about child survival or about a particular emergency that is happening.”
UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donors, and using social media to increase donations is an important part of this social strategy. By leveraging Meltwater’s social media marketing suite, Meg French and UNICEF Canada have been able to turn social conversations into new donors, and new donors into potential life-long advocates.
“Working with Meltwater…allows us to look at what we are communicating to donors and how that is being received, what kinds of messages work the best in terms of both expressing our need, and also communicating our successes and the results that we are achieving.”
Top 10 Underreported Stories Report of 2012 Brings Important Child Saving Issues to Light and Catches Attention of National Media
Given how inundated the public is with media messages, UNICEF Canada is always looking for new ways to interact with their supporters to stand out from the crowd. By listening to conversations in traditional and social media, they noticed that there seemed to be a media trend of issuing top 10 lists at the end of the year and they decided to join the trend with their own spin.
“One of the things that we had found was that at the end of the year…we were cognizant of all of these top 10 lists…the 10 colors worn that year, the 10 top celebrity weddings of the year, and we thought that this is an opportunity for us to jump in with a bit of a different story, a bit of a different twist on the top 10.”
Using Meltwater, UNICEF Canada was able to analyze how much the Canadian media published news surrounding the afflictions that contribute most to child deaths in children under 5 years old. After compiling the analysis UNCEF Canada issued a report showing the top 10 causes of death that went underreported in the media in 2012.
“With that critical information that we got from Meltwater, we were able to determine what were those top underreported stories for children on child survival, and we took that information and then used it to produce a report that we put back out to the media, both the traditional media and through social media to say, these are the stories you didn’t hear about this year, but these are the stories that you should have heard about this year.”
UNICEF Canada used Meltwater’s solutions to analyze the media exposure surrounding the report, and given its success, have decided to make it a yearly tradition.
“As a result of the report that we put out and the support from Meltwater, what we found was that…they did pick up the story we were telling, we had 24 mentions of it, reaching 2.5 million media impressions as well. We were very happy with the outcomes of this first report so we’ve decided to make it annual report and we think we can do even better next year.”
About UNICEF Canada
UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) has saved more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization. The organization works tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. They provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief, and more.
UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children, regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, they are active in over 190 countries – more than any other organization. Their determination and reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive.