Learn to campaign like UNHCR

UNHCR Campaign Poster

One of the posters UNHCR is using for this year’s World Refugee Day (Copyright: UNHCR)

June 20 is “World Refugee Day” and, as you might expect, UNHCR is rolling out a big campaign. This year you have a chance to look behind the scenes and learn from how they are doing it.

The theme of this year’s campaign is “Refugees have no choice. You do.” UNHCR’s approach to communicating this is showing the dilemmas that refugees face when being forced to choose between multiple evils: Do you stay in your country and risk getting killed in a war? Or do you flee and risk being kidnapped, raped or murdered?

There is even an iPhone and Android app that asks you to make choices based on the real experiences of refugees. The campaign seems to be comparatively light on social media elements, but given that photos are the most shared and most viral items on social networks, concentrating primarily on strong images and Facebook covers was probably a smart decision.

Background material

Irrespective of what you think of the campaign itself, I always find it interesting to see what was involved in getting a campaign off the ground. Sadly, most of the time you don’t get to see these materials. UNHCR however has decided to put the complete “Dilemma” campaign including all key documents and toolkits on their website.

If you need some inspiration for your next campaign or want to lobby for extra funds, you could do worse than using it as a model.