#IWD2018: PR Campaigns That Empower

#Hereweare, 104 years on from women winning the right to vote and we are celebrating another International Women’s Day in 2018. Thanks to developments in technology since the fight for women’s suffrage, we are able to promote, encourage and submerge ourselves into the movement of female equality just by using a simple hashtag on social media. Over the past year or so the hashtags #MeToo and #TimesUp have highlighted the current struggles many women face, with many female celebrities standing up and making noise against sexual harassment. Although a distressing subject, the amazing movement has taken the world by storm and this is in no small part because of the social media platform and these women and men voicing their stories and uniting as one.

It’s not just social. Advancements in advertising and broadcast media since 1918 have meant that women’s rights have been able to gain more publicity. Over the last few years, there have been copious amounts of PR campaigns which have helped shed light on the daily struggles women still face, whether it be sexual harassment, equal pay, equal rights, shattering the glass ceiling that has been held over us for many years or simply women being seen as something more than a pretty face. Without these campaigns, important conversations may not have been started and they wouldn’t have had the attention they needed to create the movement we have today. Here at 4media group, we asked our team which campaigns have had an impact on their lives, their thoughts and their actions, and this is what they had to say…

Anandi Vara, Social Content Producer
Campaign: #LikeAGirl, Always

For so long, to do something ‘like a girl’ meant to do it badly, but the Always #LikeAGirl campaign is a powerful reminder that that doing things ‘like a girl’ is actually badass and fierce. Always addressed a very important and very real issue that affects so many girls, and they did it in a simple and impactful way.

Phillipa Amer, Senior Account Manager
Campaign: #WomenShould, UN

Women should, is a phrase that was used a lot in my childhood, I came from a background where I was told how a woman should act, how I should look and how I should come across to other people. In 2013, UN Women created a mind blowing campaign by typing into google, ‘women should’ which was then followed by people’s previous searches such as, ‘shouldn’t have rights’, ‘shouldn’t work’. It was thought provoking, strong, and emotional campaign and still correctly deserves the publicity it still gets today. Women should do anything they want.

Tammy Riley, Director of Public Relations / Production
Campaign: #WeSeeEqual, P&G

The P&G #WeSeeEqual campaign launched in March 2017, with the aspiration of building a better world for everyone, a world free from gender bias, with equal voice and equal representation for men and women, a world where everyone sees equal. I first saw the video that launched the campaign, during a panel discussion featuring P&G Marketing Executives at the Bentonville Film Festival in Bentonville, Arkansas. The Bentonville Film Festival champions inclusion in all forms of media, so the #WeSeeEqual message definitely resonated with the audience. For me personally, a working mother, trying to raise my daughters to believe they have equal voice and opportunity in the world, this campaign evoked great emotion and a sense of hope. Seeing a brand such as P&G take a stand to bring about equality inspired me to do more to help spread the message, and to think about how we can help the brands that we serve to engage in the conversation and be part of the solution that will bring about equality for everyone.

Georgia Laudat, Account Executive
Campaign: International Day of the Girl, #FreedomForGirls, Project Everywhere

International Day of the Girl (11 October 2017) marked the launch of the latest campaign by Project Everyone, #FreedomForGirls – backing the UN’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development, aiming to raise awareness of the biggest challenges facing young girls across the world.

The short film which aptly features Beyonce’s protest song Freedom, sees girls from around the world singing, dancing and calling for greater gender equality. #FreedomForGirls ends with powerful statistics about issues facing girls from all corners of the world such as access to education, child marriage, trafficking and female genital mutilation.

It follows on from the 2016 #WhatIReallyWant campaign, which focused on female empowerment. This year’s campaign tone interestingly saw a shift from joyful optimism to an impatient call to action. The messaging and tone of this year’s campaign was what made this not only my favourite campaign to mark International Women’s Day, but my favourite campaign of the year. This campaign falls into a period of time were times are uncertain – where a warm celebration of female solidarity is no longer enough, giving a voice to young girls across the globe with the view that Global Goals MUST be met by 2030.

Viewers were asked to share the film with what #FreedomForGirls means to them and were asked to take action by championing Global Goals’ supporting organisations, such as Unicef, Girls Not Brides and Equality Now – with an estimated 2.5bn people now on social media, this campaign was thought-provoking and delivered an impactful and defiant message.

Ruth Davison, Marketing Manager
Campaign: Fearless Girl, State Street.

My favourite female focused campaign of recent years is the fearless girl statue placed in front of the bull in New York’s Wall Street. Despite the following ironic, anti-female allegations against its organizers the girl focused campaign was strong and championed a positive image of the female gender.

Commissioned by State Street the little girl represented everything that young women should be taught: to be strong, defiant and fearless ready to face whatever comes their way and not to be intimidated by things or people because of their size or ferocity. This was amplified by its simplicity and its profound placement in an areas traditionally associated with a male dominated industry.

This campaign, through its exposure, did what many campaigns fail to do and left its interpretation open to those who saw it. Whilst many campaigns have a tag line and clear image of what they want their audiences to think, this campaign let women everywhere, regardless of age, take whatever interpretations they wanted. Whether it was that little girls are capable of anything; that women are strong and fearless anything they want, the statue’s profound messaging was powerful and unforgettable.

Francesca Wheeler, Senior Account Manager
Campaign: MORE WOMEN #ELLEFeminism, ELLE

In an incredibly low budget but effective campaign, ELLE UK removed men from various different industries and in doing so highlighted the dazzling lack of women at the top.

I really like this campaign because of how simple it is and how noticeable the difference is once men are removed from the equation in virtually every industry. It’s not a case of championing women by “men bashing” but really makes you question why there are so few women in these roles and how on earth a gender which makes up a virtually equal percentile of the global population can be so underrepresented in these forums.

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