Ethicalprgirl's Blog

Musings from ethical PR girl about the world around us and making the most of PR/marketing to promote what you do (in an ethical way of course).


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The Most Dangerous Marathon in the World

Chris Jackson runs to raise awareness of the crisis in the Congo
On the 10th August, 26 year old Chris Jackson,  http://runforcongo.wordpress.com, will be setting off on what will be his toughest challenge in a year long campaign to run 12 marathons in 12 months.  

He has decided to take on this awe-inspiring challenge in 2010 to raise awareness of the scale of the humanitarian crisis and brutality of the conflict, in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where millions have died, lost their homes and children and women from 2 years to 80 plus have been subject to horrendous sexual violence.

 On the 18th August, Chris will be running ‘The Most Dangerous Marathon in the World’, deep in the heart of the area of conflict, in the eastern provinces.

 Chris is running to help women in the DRC through Women for Women International  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbPaVQUHDIg&feature=related

The conflict in the eastern provinces of the Congo has been described as the deadliest in the world since WWII; with an estimated 5.4 million dead (2.7 million of them children), over 9000 people were raped in the Kivu province alone last year (It’s estimated that a woman is raped every two hours) and in the first three months of 2010 115,000 lost their homes. www.congonow.org

Chris says “Despite the scale of the humanitarian conflict, the DRC receives very little coverage in the UK and awareness of this deadly conflict remains low. I want to change this.

“Throughout 2010 I have embarked on a mission to try and make people in the UK aware of the conflict in the Congo and I’m raising funds for Women for Women International www.womenforwomen.org a UK based charity supporting women in areas of conflict around the world, including DRC.

Women for Women International has helped over 30,000 women in DRC rebuild their lives after they have often been violated, sexually abused, have lost their homes and tragically sometimes their children and husbands.

“Some might say it’s a silly idea, but hopefully by pushing my body to its limits I’ll be able to make a few more people aware of the conflict in the DRC.

Chris continues “It felt somewhat contradictory to be attempting to run 12 marathons in 12 months to raise awareness of the conflict in the DRC, but not actually visiting the region myself during the course of this challenge.

 “My plan is to head to the DRC and not only run a marathon there, but embark on a harder challenge of communicating to the people in the UK about the day to day struggle that people face in the Congo.

“To do this I am going to document my trip through short video clips and interviews of the people of the Congo so they can tell their story – 26 miles and 26 stories. I will use my blog to keep people informed and have a tracking system, so people can go online and see where I am along my route”.

They do this through a one year programme where women get the help that they need. This could be counseling and support, a safe space to talk about their experiences, help with understanding their rights, help to develop vocational skills or business skills, and micro loans to help them set up their own business, so they can become economically independent and send their children to school. http://www.womenforwomen.org/news-women-for-women/congo-women-living-in-fear.php


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Helping smaller businesses stand out from the crowd

 

I’m a bit of a forum junkie. PR, charities, businesses, travel, food….but to name but a few.

And I’m always suprised on business forums to come across so many businesses who have invested lots of their time, money and resources, as well as of course passion,  into setting up their business, only to find that the one key thing they haven’t thought about, or set aside a budget for, is how they are going to promote their service or product.

Maybe that’s because the PR and marketing landscape is such a fast changing one with the advent of social media and the web that it can be confusing to know what to spend your marketing budget on. Maybe it’s because us PR and marketing types have made such a hype about our own profession, that businesses are scared to dip their toes in the water, or maybe it’s because too many businesses think if they have a great product or services, then customers will find them.

Whatever the truth of the matter, many great businesses are struggling, and others that perhaps should never have started, find they’ve invested their life savings on something that was never going to get off the ground.

Top  PR/Marketing Sites

1. Business Link – love them or loathe them – they have some fantastic free guides to sales, marketing and PR that you can download and free courses you can go on to help with your marketing, PR and online marketing http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/layer?site=210&r.s=m&r.lc=en&topicId=1073861169

2. Marketing Donut – lots of great advice on marketing and discussion forums you can join in. http://www.marketingdonut.co.uk/

3 (Chartered Institute of Public Relations). Better plug my professional body. But the main reason they’re included here is that they have a great guide  for anyone trying to understand what PR is and for anyone interested in commissioning PR support. http://www.cipr.co.uk/looking/index.htm

4. Campaign. This is actually a ‘trade magazine/website’ but it does highlight some really good campaigns and also worth looking at its website to watch its top ten funniest ads (bottom left on the home page). http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/

 


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British Youth Council’s General Election Manifesto

The British Youth Council is the UK’s leading charity run by young people for young people. For the past sixty years it’s been helping young people engage with democracy, have their say and be listened to.

It’s been interesting to see the General Election campaign unfold and how the live leaders debates and use of social media are being heralded as a more inclusive way of reaching the masses.

BYC’s Manifesto; Our Parliament, Our Vision calls on the next Parliament to make a difference in five core areas that affect young people’s lives; introducing a vote at 16, an equitable Minimum Wage regardless of age, better mental health care for the under 25’s, to end child poverty by 2020 and introduce affordable public transport for under 25’s.

The Manifesto was developed and voted on by young people through youth councils around the country.

If we want young people to take an interest in what is happening locally and nationally and play their part in our society, then we need to give them a voice and show them they are being listened to.

While much is being made in the media about the youth vote and which mainstream party may be most popular with them, much less is being made about which issues are important to them and what a future government will do about them.

You can read BYC’s Manifesto at http://www.byc.org.uk/gec and if you like what you see, please pledge your support.