This post is part of the People’s Insights monthly briefs issue of January 2014.
In October 2012, a bomb blast shook Beirut, killing 8 people, wounding 80 and leaving many more homeless. Politicians and public figures spoke out about violence and their blame games took center stage in Lebanese media. Meanwhile, volunteer work to rebuild the attacked area went unnoticed. NGO Offre Joie launched the campaign “Volunteers Do Not Seek Recognition” to divert attention back to the victims and restoration efforts
Offre Joie’s campaign captured images of volunteers working on the site without showing their faces. The film moved people emotionally and drove home the message of anonymous volunteerism. On Facebook, Offre Joie urged people to join the movement by changing their profile pictures to an image from Offre Joie’s album. These images showed the backs of people with the word “citizen” on it.
As more people participated, the campaign garnered more media attention. Some volunteers also appeared on a talk show “Men el Ekhir” on MTV hiding their faces from the camera to emphasise on the message “volunteers don’t need recognition”.
The campaign also attracted the attention of the popular socio-political programme Kalam Ennas (Talk of the People). The show took a break from its regular feature of politicians and dedicated a special two-hour episode to the victims of the blast and the volunteers. During the show, Lebanese president surprised all with an open letter on air and honoured Offre Joie with the nation’s highest distinctions, the National Order of the Cedar.
“Volunteers Do Not Seek Recognition” generated more than $1,136,000 in earned media and engaged 45% of Lebanon’s population of 4 million. More importantly, it inspired 2,000 people to volunteer and help rebuild 80 homes before Christmas.
About People’s Insights
100+ thinkers and planners within MSLGROUP share and discuss inspiring projects – that are driving engagement with stakeholders – on the MSLGROUP Insights Network. Every month, we pick the best projects and analyse conversations around them, on the MSLGROUP Insights Network itself and also on the broader social web, into an insights report. Every quarter, we compile original insights from the MSLGROUP global network into the People’s Insights Quarterly Magazine.
In our first year and half, we focused on inspiring consumer projects around social data, crowdsourcing, storytelling and citizenship. We synthesized the insights to provide foresights for business leaders and change-makers in the ten-part People’s Insights annual report titled Now & Next: Ten Frontiers for the Future of Engagement, also available as a Kindle eBook and an iPad app.
In 2013, we launched “The Future of” series with a focus on Citizenship, Money and Employee (Re)Engagement. In 2014, we continue to track inspiring projects that are shaping the future of engagement, with a focus on reputation, employee engagement and citizenship.