1 in every 95 people on Earth has fled their home. War, religious violence, political persecution and famine are forcing people from their homes to the temporary safety of neighbouring countries – 85 per cent of which are developing nations.
As part of a wider community of B Corps using business as a force for good, we wanted to use our PR expertise to help the very charities that are creating a safer, more inclusive world for forcibly displaced persons and refugees. And so, on 20 June 2021, Gong’s Refugee Press Office was born.
WHERE ARE WE NOW?
Twelve months since we launched our CSR press office, we’ve been busy supporting several refugee and humanitarian-related charities.
We’ve long been advocates for Refugee Support Europe, backing its mission of Aid with Dignity. With refugees and migration becoming increasingly politicised in the UK, the work of charities and NGOs in protecting the rights of refugees has never been more important. Volunteers are the backbone of these organisations, so we were delighted when Refugee Support asked us to help them with PR around their annual Dignify Festival. The event brought together established and upcoming music and comedy acts to raise funds to support the resettlement of Afghan refugees and provide them with essential food and hygiene items.
Held at The Bedford in Balham, Ronnie Scott’s regular Sarah Jane Morris and Hip Hop Blingo kept the crowd entertained on a drizzly November evening. In the run up to the event, we secured coverage in local titles to support ticket sales, securing coverage in London News Online, South London Press and Balham Newsie.
The event was a huge success, raising £65,000 to support the charity’s operations.
DIGNITY FOR VICTIMS FOR WAR
The war in Ukraine has seen more than 14 million people flee their homes in search for safety in neighbouring countries and across the world. Moldova, one of the poorest countries in Europe which sits to the southwest of Ukraine, has seen its population swell as a result. This is exactly where Refugee Support decided to set up its next Dignity Centre. To assist in their fundraising efforts, we placed op-eds on behalf of co-founder, Paul Hutchings in the Independent and Charity Times, where he highlighted the importance of buying locally to boost local economies where refugees reside, rather than shipping donations from the UK.
PR WITH PURPOSE ACROSS THE GLOBE
Gong has also been lending its expertise to the Refugee Consortium of Kenya, helping to increase engagement across its social platforms. We have delivered research on digital volunteer networks for Indigo Volunteers, a platform which connects volunteers with humanitarian projects.
Elsewhere, we have been busy assisting Alive & Kicking, an African social enterprise that promotes health education through sport, with the announcement of the winners of its second annual Youth with Refugees Art Contest. It has created over 1,000 jobs and donated more than 120,000 footballs to young people to improve health, fitness and wellbeing.
THE YEAR AHEAD
Looking ahead to what our CSR programme will look like over the next 12 months has got us buzzing with ideas. Employees are asked to pitch charities that they are passionate about, before the whole company votes to decide a favourite. Whichever it is, we’ll make sure we do our bit as a dedicated B Corp, to show how business can also be a force for good.
If you run a refugee charity and need communications support from press office, events management, brand awareness to digital PR and website development, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.