3 Critical PR Fundamentals for When Campaigns Cover Unusual Subjects

Image: Jayel Aheram
Image: Jayel Aheram

“World Toilet Day.” At first, it seems like an awkward cause, or even a joke. That is, until you learn that it was launched in 2001 by the World Toilet Organization (WTO) to “raise global awareness of the struggle 2.6 billion people face every day without access to proper, clean sanitation.” Indira Abidin, managing director of PT Fortune Pramana Rancang, has experience executing on PR campaigns rooted in causes or topics that are not usually discussed in everyday conversation. She worked on Unilever’s campaign to support World Toilet Day.

In this excerpt from the PR News guidebook, “CSR & Green PR, Vol. 6,” Abidin shares three takeaways from her work on “World Toilet Day.”

> Select a cause that your target audience can relate to—or one that touches their sympathies. The global toilet crisis causes one death every 20 seconds and disproportionately affects the wellbeing of women and girls—a cause that is close to the heart of millions of mothers who regularly buy Unilever products.

> Be very specific in addressing the issue. Producing a white paper that can provide new insights is an effective way to significantly establish thought leadership in your field.

> Do it in a sustainable manner. Unilever was the first major contributor for World Toilet Day. The contribution is a part of Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan, so its contribution is tracked, evaluated and benchmarked to strategic objectives that are in line with the corporation’s business goals and brand strategy.

Follow Lucia Davis: @LKCDavis.