Edited by Sinéad O’Ferrall and Helen Jane Myrr
The weather is great, the air is fresh, birds are chirping, and the Copenhageners are already out and about enjoying the sunny day. Spring is coming and so is our CPHappiness Campaign. For two months we have been working on the campaign and the positive spring energy is perfect for its launch.
Distant corners of the city are reached to distribute Happy Tips on bikes.
Credit: UNYA GH
Who are UNYA Global Health?
We are 13 students with different academic backgrounds whose joint enthusiasm about global health issues brought us together back in October 2014. The newly established UNYA Denmark platform enabled us to form the Global Health working group. UNYA DK is a place for youth participation related to UN issues, giving us the opportunity to raise awareness among youth about UN-related Global Health matters.
From the 13th until the 20th of March 2015 the United Nations Youth Association Global Health group (UNYA GH) launched the “CPHappiness” Campaign in relation to the International Day of Happiness. We chose to raise awareness about this day because of the increasing need to bring attention to global mental health issues. To show what we did and how we did it, we want to share our campaign diary.
21 days until campaign launch: The start of #HappyNews month!
Today is the first day of our #HappyNews twitter campaign, which includes tweeting happy news on a daily basis for one month. We decided on this campaign strategy because we found that news mostly covers negative events. Our idea was then to focus on positive aspects, showing accomplishments that have been reached in global health and emphasizing the importance of happiness for a healthy life.
Credit: UNYA GH
Campaigning includes different steps; defining objectives and a clear message, strategizing, action planning, and implementation, as well as a final evaluation. Finding objectives and a message was the first step. We enthusiastically agreed to raise awareness among youth about Global Mental Health issues, to highlight the importance of happiness in a healthy life and getting more people involved in spreading happiness about global mental health.
The motto of the day: You learn by doing, so why not just get started?
14 days left: Planning.
The #HappyNews campaign on Twitter is on a roll and new ideas are being developed including the Humans of CPHappiness, Happy Facts, Happy Tips, and Happy Bikes. We are constantly reaching out to more people, gaining more followers, and our goals and expectations are skyrocketing.
The motto of the day: Don’t be so high on your horse!
7 days left: Distributing happiness also has some challenges.
However, with all of these great ideas on the table, it seems like we are all going off in different directions. Everyone has their own interpretations of the campaign ideas. Communication is key here! Having so many people in the group is an advantage for developing new ideas, however, coordination is a challenge. At the end of the meeting an agreement was reached and organization and progress was restored.
The motto of the day: Keep your eyes on the prize!
Credit: UNYA GH
1 day left: Chaos!!!
After having distributed the different tasks, time management problems arose leading to unforeseen last minute changes. Lack of time spills over to the next stage – namely the implementation of the CpHappiness campaign: Who posts what, where? Was it the Happy News or the Happy Tips? On Twitter or Facebook? At 10.00, 15.00 or 22.00?
Are these challenges just a last step in making a campaign work?
Motto of the day: What doesn’t kill you, make you stronger!
0 days left: “Humans of CpHappiness” Campaign is launched
Sharing happy facts was not enough, we also wanted to engage people to understand how Copenhageners see happiness. Read a sneak peak of an interview here…
Credit UNYA GH
Can you describe what makes you happy?
“Working on things I don’t know anything about. I get bored very easily and when I can put myself in situations where I have to do a lot of learning very quickly under a little bit of pressure, it’s stimulating to say the least. Sometimes you f*** up big time. You lose a lot of money or you lose a lot of time or whatever, but you do learn a lot from that and when it does work, the outcome is quite gratifying”.
End of the campaign: What did we achieve?
At the beginning of the campaign the steps seemed to be fairly straight forward and the process linear. However, we learned that when planning a campaign these steps are extremely interlinked, leading us back and forth to make sure that the campaign is coherent, always taking new information into account.
So what did we actually achieve? Looking back on our objective to raise awareness about mental health, we can measure the outcome through social media reach – for example new followers, retweets, and likes. However, we have also personally gained a lot from this process, from the challenges of carrying out a campaign, to discovering the vast availability of positive news about health developments, to the importance of focusing on global mental health. This in turn also made us more happy!
Thus, the final motto: If you want to feel good, do good!
Join us! Follow us!
Are you interested in joining UNYA Global Health? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow us on twitter @UNYADK_GH and like United Nations Youth Association of Denmark on Facebook for more updates.