EXCLUSIVE: State Department & Ad Council Planning Massive Pro-Refugee Ad Blitz (UPDATE)
We’ve had some cool stories today, but none of them have been written by me! Let’s change that, shall we? A reputable media source just handed me an embargoed story that was scheduled to be released on World Refugee Day. That’s June 20th, but as you can see by your calendar, today is the 16th. So, we’ll get a 4-day jump on the official unveil.
I guess it’s not a shock that the State Department and the Ad Council would be working together to create a pro-refugee narrative, given the stance of the Obama administration. I don’t think that’s going to offer much comfort to those who disagree with their position, though. I favor letting the public decide as well. This strikes me as governmental interference into a political debate and it’s also a waste of money. Plus, knowing their track record, it will be corny as hell.
Here’s the story itself…
EMBARGOED UNTIL 12:01 AM EST ON MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2016
“World Refugee Day” is June 20th
New PSA Campaign Encourages Americans to Support and Welcome
Refugees in the United States
Heather Higginbottom, U.S. Department of State, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, is available for interviews
on Monday, June 20th from 7:30 AM – 12:00 PM ET
There are currently 60 million forcibly displaced people globally and many are fleeing some form of persecution – the largest number since World War II. U.S. humanitarian leadership, assistance, and diplomacy are vital to those who flee persecution and violence, and save millions of lives. During Fiscal Year 2016, the United States will admit 85,000 refugees for permanent resettlement, including 10,000 Syrians. A major resettlement priority is to reunite families. In the last 10 years, more than 60 percent of all refugees admitted to the U.S. have been women and children.
Refugees who resettle in the U.S. are fleeing threats of terrorism and violence. Yet at least half of all Americans oppose recent changes to U.S. policies increasing the resettlement of certain groups of extremely vulnerable individuals. Refugees are as likely to encounter fear and animosity in the U.S. as they are welcome and support.
The U.S. offers resettlement to refugees who are among the most vulnerable, such as victims of torture or those caught in the crossfire of civil war. They are frontline victims of war, political persecution and terrorism. Applicants are screened through multiple agencies, including the National Counterterrorism Center, FBI Terrorist Screening Center, and the Departments of Homeland Security, State, and Defense. Those who have resettled in the U.S. have proven to be hardworking and productive residents who embrace American culture, and in turn hope to have America embrace them.
To dispel some of the misconceptions many have about refugees, as well as to educate Americans about the resettlement process, the Ad Council is launching a groundbreaking national public service campaign. The powerful initiative encourages Americans to be more welcoming and accepting of refugees who were recently relocated to the U.S. by educating them on the resettlement process as well as connecting them with local resources to assist refugees in their communities. The campaign has a simple message – welcome refugee families with open arms.
In recognition of “World Refugee Day” on June 20th, Heather Higginbottom, U.S. Department of State, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources is available to discuss:
World Refugee Day and its importance in the United States
The myths and misperceptions of accepting refugees into our country
Details on the new “Welcoming Refugees” PSA campaign
Simple steps and resources to assist refugees in your community
Interviews Provided by the Ad Council
I guess be on the lookout for this on a channel near you. I’m assuming there will be some print and internet advertising as well, but I we’ll see. I’ll follow up on this when they officially unveil the program.
UPDATE (5/20/16): And, here it is…
— Ad Council (@AdCouncil) June 20, 2016