Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Your Country, Your Call

I was invited along to Guinness Storehouse on Monday evening to give input into a new Social Media focused project that is being launched. I had only been told bits and pieces about the campaign and, to be honest, I really didn't know what to expect. However, there were a few key things that I knew and they were enough for me: Dr. Martin McAleese was the main person behind the campaign's idea and it was all being patroned by his wife, President Mary McAleese. Aside from this, I had been told that all work on the campaign, by all parties, was being done on a pro bona basis. Considering the global economic situation we all find ourselves in, this was a pretty stand out point.

The evening began with an an overview and background from Dr. McAleese and then a general open floor discussion / Q&A about everything to do with the project from the overall strategy through to the site design.

The campaign microsite, which will be the main focus of all activity is

So what is it all about? This is a international competition (anyone in the world can enter) that is being driven by a hope to ignite imaginations and inspire thinking. The overall goal is to find two ideas that have the ability to fuel prosperity and jobs for Ireland. The ideas could be anything – absolutely anything, the only caveats are that they must focus on Ireland and should be so robust and expansive that they will be looked on in a decades time and seen as true turning points in Irish history.

The two winning ideas will secure their ‘thinkers’ a prize of €100k each and the ideas will then have a €500k implementation fund (as well as the expertise of a host of world class people from all walks of industry) to get them off the ground.

The competition also has a second side to it – Your Ireland Moment, which is a call for people to submit their personal moment that they most felt proud to be Irish. This can be found through the main site.

The whole project will have an extremely strong focus on Social Media and will be driven heavily through both Twitter and Facebook. however, there will also be event, radio, print and television used across the campaign duration to help boost awareness and participation.

This is Dr. McAleese’s brainchild and something he is truly passionate about. Personally I think it is really exciting, and well worth a look. In fact, I already have 4 ideas scribbled down on paper that I need to flesh out a bit. Check out the following video from President McAleese about the campaign...

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