Tag Archives: hashtag

Your initiative should exploit UN days

International days, weeks, years and decades, as designated by the United Nations General Assembly, offer excellent outreach opportunities for nonprofit organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society organizations, charities, government initiatives and other agencies focused on improving and enriching communities and individuals, as well as protecting the environment. There is a commemorative day, as designated by the United Nations general assembly, for just about any subject you can think of. Here’s just a sample:

Cancer
Female Genital Mutilation
Women and Girls in Science
the power of radio 
Social Justice 
Wildlife
Women
Racial Discrimination
Poetry
Down Syndrome
Forests
Water
Meteorology
Tuberculosis
Autism
Mine Awareness
Sport for Development and Peace
Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda
Health
Human Space Flight
Malaria
Tourism
Mountains
Migrants

and on and on and on. Now is a great time to look through the list and think about how you are going to exploit these days throughout 2018 for your initiative’s mission.

You can use these designations to tie in your organization’s events and programs, through

  • issuing press releases about your work and how it relates to the day, week or year
  • posting social media messages that relate to the day, week or year’s theme
  • writing op-ed pieces for local media
  • blogging on a related topic, posting social
  • offering yourself for interviews to radio and TV
  • holding a special event that ties in with the day, week or year

If you mention these days, weeks, years, etc. on your blog and web site, and use the official Twitter tags for the events, you increase the chance of your organization coming to the attention of anyone doing a search online for information about these days, weeks, etc. and reaching an even wider audience.

For a list of these UN days, weeks, years and decades, see either this part of the UNESCO web site or this page by the UN Association of Canada. HOWEVER, note that, as of the start of December 2017, these calendars have not been updated with the 2018 designation. It’s not known of the UN will designate 2018 with any theme. The General Assembly has declared 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages.

The UN Decade of Action on Nutrition is 2016 to 2025, which means it’s still happening in 2018. The designation aims to trigger intensified action to end hunger and eradicate malnutrition worldwide, and ensure universal access to healthier and more sustainable diets for all people.

The International Decade for People of African Descent is 2015–2024, which means it’s also still being celebrated in 2018, as is the United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All, which is 2014–2024.

The decade of 2011–2020, also all still being celebrated, has four designations:

There’s also the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022), which is designated by UNESCO, a UN initiative, but not the General Assembly. Rapprochement means reconciliation, increased understanding, restoration of harmony, agreement, cooperation or harmonization. The decade is meant to promote mutual understanding and reciprocal knowledge of cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity, and to foster dialogue for sustainable development and its ethical, social and cultural dimensions. The initiative offers a number of free resources you can use to promote the themes of the decade.

Also see:

The awesome power of tweet tags

Twitter_logo_blueI still love Twitter. I know, I know – all the hip tech folks say it’s passé. Nonsense. I still get so much more out of Twitter than Facebook, professionally:

  • I get a great sense of what folks are doing in the areas of expertise and work I care about most – new resources, new ideas, new trends I need to know about
  • I can easily find and connect with amazing experts in areas of expertise and work in which I’m intensely interested
  • I can find what I’m looking for and easily screen out what I don’t care about (unlike with Facebook)
  • When I tweet, I get replies and retweets and even requests for more info – real engagement – as well as traffic to my blog and web site

In fact, I’ve gotten a couple of paid jobs because of what I do on Twitter. 20 minutes on Twitter a few times a week is well worth my time! I’m @jcravens42 on Twitter, btw…

One of my favorite things about Twitter is tweet tags – keywords or phrases with a hash mark (#) in front of them. They are my favorite way to find great information on a specific subject, and for me to reach people that aren’t following me on Twitter but are following the tweet tag (by “following”, I mean that they look for tweets with that tag, specifically).

Here are my favorite tweet tags as of today. If you don’t know what one means, and I haven’t said so below, just click on it and have a look at some tweets that use the tag:

#volunteer (usually used regarding people giving back to causes or communities, but there is a USA university that uses it for their sports team references too)
#volunteers
#voluntario
#voluntarios
#nonprofit
#ngos (non-governmental organizations)
#vvbook (for mentions or links to The Last Virtual Volunteering Guidebook)
#ework
#ttvolmgrs (Thoughtful Thursday discussions for managers of volunteers)
#tech4good
#apps4good
#Civictech
#ict4d
Community, environmental & human development-related tags (caution: some software developers sometimes use some of these tags for their work, which can be confusing, and “development”, and therefore “dev”, can also mean fundraising in the USA)
#humanitarian
#comm4dev
#research4dev
#ideas4dev
#capacity4dev
#globaldev
#sdgs (sustainable development goals)
#undp
#unitednations
#usaid
#defyhatenow
#Afghanistan
#Ukraine

#Kentucky (usually in combination with another tag, like #volunteer or #nonprofit)

#pdx (Portland, Oregon-area – usually in combination with #volunteer)

#fogro (Forest Grove, Oregon)

How do I find tags to follow? Either via other Twitter accounts I follow, or I think of them and wonder if any is using them and so I look for them. I also look at what’s trending on the left side of my Twitter screen on my laptop, and sometimes those trending tags inspire me to share something using such myself.

I also leverage Twitter tags associated with United Nations Days that are somehow associated with my work or interests. For instance, August 19 is World Humanitarian Day, a day meant to honor those who have been killed whilst doing international aid work and to recognize the work being done by humanitarians worldwide – local as well as international humanitarians. The tag the organizers use ever year is #WorldHumanitarianDay. Some years, they have a second tag for a specific theme; in 2016, that tag was #ShareHumanity. So I used HootSuite to program tweets in advance that would be posted a week before the day, the day before, and then lots the day of, and that were tagged with #WorldHumanitarianDay and/or #ShareHumanity. The result was that many people following those tags ended up retweeting my tweets, and I got a few new followers as a result (and some great people and organizations to add to my Twitter lists).

Tweet tags to use and follow will differ from person to person, and organization to organization. For instance, when I was in Ukraine, working for the UN, I recommended that @UNDPUkraine use these tags regularly, both on their own tweets and to follow:

#Ukraine
#UNDP
#uatech4good
#mdgs
#innovation
#comm4dev
#urbanplanning
#poverty
#humanitarian
#health

For a government program regarding water and sanitation in Afghanistan, I recommended:

#Afghanistan
#UNICEF
#water
#watsan
#sanitation
#wateris
#food
#health
#toilets
#equality
#industry
#energy
#poverty
#humanitarian

Give it a try yourself! Searches can be saved, for easy daily or weekly references. I don’t check all the tags every day – usually just a few times a month. And this is anonymous – people can’t see which tags you are looking for and following yourself.

Should you create your own tweet tag for a conference, a program, your region, a cause, etc.? Only if you believe you can get lots of other people to use it, and you understand you will not own the tag, that absolutely anyone on Twitter can use it. How to get lots of people to use a tag you have created? That’s the subject of a future blog…