Maja Pawinska Sims 28 Mar 2022 // 8:43PM GMT
LONDON — The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) and the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) have launched a joint initiative to coordinate volunteer communications activity for the people of Ukraine.
The Ukraine Communication Support Network (UCSN) is co-chaired by Ukrainian communications leader Nataliya Popovych, founder of One Philosophy, and independent consultant David Gallagher.
USCN is inviting communications professionals around the world to submit proposals and projects under 12 categories for communications projects supporting Ukraine and those affected by the war, including support for the Ukrainian government, refugees, independent journalism and business continuity, as well as initiatives around public awareness, counter-disinformation, digital and social media and content production.
The network’s steering committee will oversee an approval process for pro bono activity designed to accelerate and amplify support for the people of Ukraine, working with a volunteer base of more than 200 communications professionals and agencies.
As well as the co-chairs, the steering committee members are: Elena Bakum-Ramola, director of creative business at Publicis Groupe Ukraine; Golin EVP Alexandra Bell; crisis consultant Rod Cartwright; Iva Grigorova, managing director of MSL Bulgaria; Hotwire CEO Heather Kernahan; Nitin Mantri, group CEO of Avian WE; Manifest founder and global CEO Alex Myers; Olena Sukhanova, managing director of MSL Ukraine; and Grzegorz Szczepanski, CEO of Hill+Knowlton Strategies in Poland.
From this week, USCN will be producing short video updates from Ukrainian communicators and others to give first-hand perspectives on the war, its human impact and to highlight specific projects and campaigns.
The network is also looking at extending the initiative in collaboration with the Ukraine Justice Alliance and the International Association of Risk & Crisis Communications, both of which are producing resources and support services of their own.
Popovych said: “It is rewarding to see that the appeal to public relations professionals with high moral compass has generated so many supporters willing to commit their time and resources to helping Ukraine win. Be it in increasing the cost of war for Russia or helping ease the unnecessary suffering of the Ukrainians via humanitarian solutions, Ukraine now has many briefs for the pro bono agency partners globally, and we will not forget those who have been our friends in need.”
Gallagher added: “There’s no shortage of demand for thoughtful, professional communications support for the causes and issues associated with this devastating war, and the generous response from the international PR community is inspiring. We hope this effort will make it easier for professionals and agencies to focus their efforts in meaningful ways.”
Communications professionals can submit proposals to the USCN here.