Tag Archives: Arab Spring

January 20, 2012 | fhamid | Tagged , , , ,

Is Gaming Relevant for Causes? Nick Kristof Says Yes

A note from Carreen Winters: One of the greatest things about working in an agency like MWW Group is the wealth of talent, the diversity of perspective and the new ideas that come from members of the team.  For the next generation of PR leaders, social engagement won’t be a new thing – it will be their thing – like the press conference and the VNR defined “creative” when I was learning the ropes.  (Yes, I am dating myself)  Check out this great post from Farrah Hamid about Nick Kristoff’s use of social gaming…it’s a great read.

Last week, Nick Kristof, famed Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times, announced the release of a Facebook game based on his award-winning book Half the Sky. The game, reportedly similar in format to the popular FarmVille, will allow players to make micro-donations to humanitarian groups around the world and contribute to their own causes. Kristof’s website says that the game will trigger “real-world, charitable action” in the fight against the oppression of women and girls worldwide, the cause at the center of Half the Sky.

The announcement and a particularly interesting corresponding interview that Kristof conducted with Fast Company raises two important discussions about the increasing relevance of social media and gaming for cause organizations. First, it addresses the opportunities that causes and advocacy organizations have to build awareness and credibility – beyond the extraordinary rallying of the crowds on Facebook and Twitter that we’ve witnessed in the recent past, with movements such as the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street (just to name two).

For an organization advocating for an issue as serious as oppression against women, gaming is certainly a surprising medium to undertake, especially given its relatively frivolous, entertainment-based connotations. Yet, some are commenting on its potential to change the game (yes, pun intended) for advocacy organizations – Kristof’s game for one will engage users not just to become aware of the cause, but actually raise cash and benefit real world schools and refugee camps.

The second discussion the move addresses is the evolving role of opinion journalism, as reporters are increasingly acknowledging the need for the “real, multi-party dialogue with readers”, as Kristof calls it, that social networks enable. When reflecting on his role as an op-ed columnist, Kristof says, “We’re moving from a format where we ‘proclaimed the news’ to the world on a fixed schedule to one where we converse with the world on a 24/7 basis. That does feel like a significant change.” For more from Kristof, you can follow his active updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Kristof’s currently untitled game is expected to launch in late 2012. What do you think? Can the world’s societal issues be changed through online gaming? Leave us your comments below.

December 29, 2011 | cwinters | Tagged , , , , , , ,

2011’s Reputation Winners

Reputation building requires relevance – sometimes that relevance comes from an event in the news, and sometimes it is created and crafted by the choices, statements and actions of individuals. History is filled with examples of reputations ruined in a single action or in a brief news cycle, and 2011 was no different.  (Watch for that blog soon). 

But winning the reputation battle…that is another story altogether.  Here’s my list of reputation winners of 2011 – who would you add?

  • NYC as a tech hub – the success of FourSquare, Twitter’s NY office and Facebook’s plan to come to NY in 2012 have put NYC back on the map as a legitimate technology center.
  • Tablet Computing – sure, Apple still dominates the category – but the holiday success and popularity of the Kindle Fire and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab have taken Tablets from a product (the iPad) to a category.
  • Populism and mass protest – three letters – OWS.  But this wasn’t the only movement that captured attention this year – think about the protests over Russia’s elections, the Arab Spring or even India’s anti-corruption movement. 
  • The British Monarchy – there is nothing like a royal wedding to make an out of date institution like the monarchy relevant again.  Will and Kate have captured the hearts of the public in a way we haven’t seen since Princess Diana.
  • Social Media – no longer the wild, wild, west – social media’s acceptance in the mainstream world and in the board room makes it a big winner of 2011.
  • NCAA Basketball – scandals in college football and an NBA lockout made college basketball the darling of winter sports – where the love of the game rules the day
  • Steve Jobs – The untimely passing of Steve Jobs, and the insight into the long range plans he left behind for Apple has taken an iconic leader of our time and made him even larger and more iconic than when we was living. 
  • Google’s Sergy Brin – taking back the reigns of Google and tackling tough issues like China while restoring Google’s focus on the ideas that work is helping Google get its mojo back.  Let’s watch Google+ in 2012.
  • GM, Ford and the American Automotive industry – Once the industry America loved to hate, complete with CEOs taking private jets to Washington to ask for a bailout, the American Automotive industry is on the rise, fueled by bold leadership by CEOs like Dan Akerson, who dares to say out loud what many just think, or Alan Mulalley, who arguably led the industry’s reputation turnaround.
  • Lady Gaga – once known simply for her eccentricity (meat dress, anyone?), Lady Gaga has emerged as a leading equality advocate – for LGBT issues and for anti-bullying in general.