PR and communications
Particular emphasis is placed on disseminating information on the UN’s Sustainable Goals, as it is clear that they will not be achieved without the widespread participation of the general public, academia, civil society and the private sector.
In March 2018, a promotional campaign was launched on all the country’s main media about the SDGs under the title “Let’s Have Good News to Tell in 2030”. As the goals aim at progress in all major areas of society on a global scale, the campaign attempted to identify what some of the good news might be in the future, if the goals are met. The objective was to draw attention to the SDGs in order to promote public participation in their implementation. Short videos were shown on television, social media (Facebook and YouTube) and in cinemas, and online advertising banners and full-page advertisements were published in Icelandic media.
In December 2018 another promotional campaign began, with the spotlight this time directed at Iceland’s international development cooperation, financed by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. It consisted of a videoblog-style documentary series, featuring a teenage girl, Elíza Gígja Ómarsdóttir, who travelled to Uganda to meet her peers there. The series showed the differences and similarities between the daily life of young people in the two countries, highlighting how some of the SDGs come into play. The series was shown on Icelandic National Broadcasting (RÚV) in December 2018.
The government’s SDG working group has three times commissioned a Gallup poll measuring public awareness of the SDGs. The first survey, conducted in January 2018 before the first promotional campaign began, showed that 46.6% of the population knew about the goals or had heard of them. Public awareness was measured again in May 2018, following the promotional campaign, showing an awareness rate of 57.4%. The proportion of persons who said they knew the SDGs increased by 1.5 percentage points between surveys, while those who had heard about the targets increased by 9.3 percentage points. A total of 27% of the participants had noticed the first campaign. The results therefore indicate that the campaign has had some success in increasing public awareness. The public’s awareness was measured for the third time in February 2019, and in this instance 65.6% of respondents said they knew or had heard about the goals. Therefore, it can now be stated that about two of every three Icelanders have heard of the SDGs.
The communications officer for the SDGs in Iceland is Hafþór Reinhardsson, a specialist at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. For more information please contact him at [email protected].