In an unprecedented move, the United Nations has issued a global call to creatives to help communicate essential messaging around Covid-19 - and the call to arms that has been circulating is legitimate, LBB can confirm.
"We are in an unprecedented situation and the normal rules no longer apply," UN Secretary-General António Guterres is quoted as saying in the introduction to the open source Google Doc. "We cannot resort to the usual tools in such unusual times. The creativity of the response must match the unique nature of the crisis - and the magnitude of the response must match its scales."
The document follows to express the importance of preemptively communicating with the communities around the world who can still avoid or minimise an outbreak. "You have the power to change the world," it says. "We need help translating critical public health messages - not just into different languages - but into different cultures, communities and platforms - reaching everyone, everywhere.
"We need to meet people where they are, with a stream of fresh, innovative content which drives home the personal behaviours and societal supports needed today. We are equipping you with WHO-provided knowledge and messages to spread."
This marks the first time that the UN has ever launched an open brief to every creative on the planet. It goes on to stress that this doesn't take the form of one campaign. The UN is looking for all manner of solutions to reach all manner of audiences across cultures, age groups, affiliations, geographies and languages. "We are asking you to extend your ambition and lend your support and ingenuity," it says.
With this call to action the UN is aiming to inspire "creators, influencers, talent, networks and media owners" who can take its key messages and instil their own unique magic to them - "a creative twist, a cultural quirk, an interpretation which helps amplify them to audiences we are not yet reaching".
It adds: "Working with media partners, and clients with media inventory, across social, digital, streaming, broadcast, print and radio we will amplify the best of the creative community."
The UN has issued six separate briefs based around six key areas of public activation that it has identified as most essential right now. They are:
- Personal hygiene
- Social distancing
- Know the symptoms
- Kindness contagion
- Myth busting
- Do more, donate
It stresses that "the way we all communicate and how we do so, is as important as what we communicate". To help in that regard, the document includes resources to help create campaigns and content including key messages, existing assets, and inspiration fodder. "We hope this serves as a tinder box of inspiration for adapted, localised creative in and for your community."
A United Nations spokesperson has confirmed to LBB that the initiative, which has been circulating as a set of Google Docs and has been shared on creative WhatsApp channels is a genuine project.