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Charity:Water Rules Social Media on ‘World Water Day’

In case you didn’t realize it, today is “World Water Day“, an event first created by the United Nations in 1993 to bring attention to the chronic lack of sanitary drinking water that affects one billion people in the developing world. charity: water, a New York nonprofit founded in 2006 to more directly address that very problem, has displayed its mastery of social media on several fronts today, and we’d like to review them briefly.

  • Public events: the organization created a “Waterwalk” event in Times Square and other locations around the world in order to highlight the fact that many poor individuals have to walk several miles a day carrying heavy “jerry cans” to secure water that might not even be safe to drink. The org set these cans on the sidewalk to encourage the public to “walk in their shoes”, then posted photos of related events from Paris to midtown Manhattan on its Instagram page.
  • The “Pledge Your Birthday” project: Here charity: water created a nice viral promo campaign by encouraging fans to promise that, when their next birthday comes around, they will create their own social “fundraising page” with the charity’s help and encourage all their friends to make donations. Tens of thousands of people have already done it, and the average user raises several hundred dollars for the cause. That’s a nice chunk of change.

  • On Facebook, the org created a bunch of shareable meme-worthy images like this one and this one in order to build up anticipation for the day (nice Chuck Norris shout out).
  • To bring everything together, Twitter promoted messages bearing the #WorldWaterDay hashtag free of charge to help the org push cute videos like the one below, in which a young boy explains his own “pledge your birthday” plans.

Quite a few personalities got involved (and wow, the guys in Depeche Mode just made us feel old). For example, Florida Senator Marco Rubio took the occasion to make light of his own “water bottle-gate” media mishap:

And here’s another clip explaining the whole project in greater detail:

Throughout the day, we’ve seen lots of people mentioning World Water Day on Twitter and Facebook — and we hadn’t heard of the day or the charity group before this morning.

That’s a social media cause marketing win right there.

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