#actioncounts campaign

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012 and subsequent MDG events in 2013 and 2014 present a unique opportunity to position UNV as the UN organization that can bring a people-centred and more inclusive approach to peace and sustainable development.

Multi-media communications campaign for Rio +20

The desired outcome is that through this successful multi-media campaign to support the incorporation into policies and outcome documents of community voluntary action as a key component of sustainable development that embodies inclusive development, poverty reduction, and a people-centred approach. The 10 weeks campaign included 8 consultants and delivered:

  • A dedicated and interactive website. Here people and groups had their volunteer action counted in relation to the key issues on the table at Rio+20. Site visitors had the opportunity to express their messages about their actions posted directly onto the website in instant time, calculate their contribution to sustainability through online calculators and share/read impact stories on volunteerism and sustainability for all Rio +20 issue areas. Each registered action as well as the statement contributed towards a growing counter that was an interactive part of the website.
  • Twitter-based messaging and conversations, featuring and capturing the importance of volunteering, notable actions and sustainability of it. Every unique tweet about someone’s volunteer activity was counted and also contributed toward the interactive visual concept of the website.
  • “Campaign participants” responses were packaged into a compelling mix of audio- visual display and presentation material.The final animation communicates opinions, concerns, statistics as well as the impactful stories told from the perspective of volunteers making a difference. The materials will relate directly to the challenges to be discussed at the Summit. These will be packaged in a multi-media presentation that will be presented at Rio+20. 

  • The campaign designer developed promotional materials, in line with the general branding guidelines (also developed under the project terms of reference), including posters, booth architecuale and interior design plans and concept, promotional materials, multimedia screens planning and many more.

This complex communication campaign was challenged by the fact that numerous groups geared up for Rio+20 by launching online engagement campaigns. The campaign “Volunteer Action Counts” did stand out because there were clear objectives, a clear reason for individuals and groups to get involved, strong partnerships involved and an innovative mix of engagement means.

We have used mainly the twitter hashtag #actioncounts and campaign account @actioncounts, the website actioncounts.org and secondary a facebook page, facebook.com/actioncounts. Multiple monitoring tools were used, and integrated with the website, for a robust count and easy accountability.

In English, Spanish, Portughese and French, the campaign counted more than 62 million actions from individuals and groups/and sent a consolidated message to participants at the Earth Summit about the value and impact of what they do to achieve sustainable development. 


The campaign was run from Geneva by a team of 8, including social media specilaists, editors, transaltors, web developer, graphic designer/interior design specilaist, translators, editorial support. 

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