Winner: UN Foundation Public Affairs Team, United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation, which builds public-private partnerships to address world problems and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach, has a public affairs team made up of 35 communicators focusing on telling the UN’s story and sharing its message with potential supporters. To put the spotlight on the key role the public affairs team plays for the nonprofit—and amplify the important work done by the various UN agencies—the UN Foundation in 2012 shifted its media outreach into high gear. It started to make Foundation and UN experts available to international press, while continuing to build on its base of supporters online.
The UN Foundation wanted to both expand the pool of reporters covering the UN and start new relationships with journalists, bloggers and other key influencers. The effort featured two global social media summits in conjunction with global meetings, in Rio de Janeiro Brazil for the Rio+20 Summit and in New York City for the opening of the UN General Assembly and UN Week. The public affairs crew also helped create and launch #GivingTuesday, which officially marked the beginning of the holiday giving season and brought together 2,500 partners across the country.
The UN deemed the outreach effort a huge success: In 2012 there was a 26% boost in media impressions, compared with 2011. What’s more, the Foundation saw a 209% increase in its Facebook, Twitter and YouTube followers, along with a 53% increase in email subscribers. —Matthew Schwartz
• Clapp Communications/Volunteers of America Chesapeake