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A High Price

PRIME WEBER SHANDWICK, Stockholm / CIVIL RIGHTS DEFENDERS / 2020

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Overview

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Overview

Background

Every year, hundreds of journalists are jailed and others subject to threats and assault. They pay a high price for freedom of expression. Our challenge was to raise awareness of this pressing issue and attract new private donors for Civil Rights Defenders by creating a social media campaign. The objective was to raise 500.000 SEK.

Idea

In many parts of the world, journalists pay a high price for freedom of speech; every year, hundreds of journalists are jailed and others subject to threats and assault. We thought it was time for everyone to pay a high price but in a different way; by creating the world's most expensive article. Written by Pulitzer Prize winner, Esther Htu San, the article was locked behind a paywall with a fee of one million Swedish crowners to unlock it. The campaign drove the target group to help unlocking the article thereby helping out to finance Civil Rights Defenders work. The article was a symbol of the high price Esther, along with other journalists around the world have to pay.

Strategy

The target audience was middle aged swedes and the objective was to get them to make a donation. The campaign was activated through targeted social media ads and combined with a earned media outreach. The campaign sparked huge interest and thousands of people contributed to the crowdfunding effort, the original target of 500.000 SEK was exceeded with 100%, with well over one million SEK raised and the article unlocked in only four weeks.

Execution

The campaign was activated in Sweden through social media on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. Both through Civil Rights Defenders own channels and pages but also with paid support. The campaign ran for 4 weeks from Dec 8th 2019 to Jan 8th 2020.

Outcome

The objective for the campaign was to raise 500.000 SEK in private donations through crowd funding, the campaign ended up getting 100% more than that. 1.000.000 SEK was donated and thereby the article was unlocked in only four weeks. The campaign also triggered a large debate in social media, when Joakim LaMotte, one of Sweden’s most controversial debaters with the 4th largest Facebook reach and engagement in Sweden, picked up the campaign and criticized it for being “leftist”. This created a huge engagement from both sides of the political spectrum with hundreds of comments in social media.

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