Broadening the reach of IDSDP
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What communications strategies can be borrowed from a more popular international day?

While well-celebrated in the sport and development sector, the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) remains a lesser-known international day among the general public. A more popular day catering to a larger audience, Women’s Day can offer lessons in raising awareness about the IDSDP. Below are three communications ideas from International Women’s Day media coverage and campaigns which may help broaden the reach of 6 April.

Evolving themes

The UN defines a theme for International Women's Day every 8 March, this year’s being: “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”. Establishing a theme calls attention to a specific objective within the overarching goal of achieving worldwide gender equality in all areas. By focusing on a new theme each year, the day serves to contextualise challenges and objectives, aligning them with SDGs. In the case of 2019’s theme, it also echoes this year’s Commission on the Status of Women.

The IDSDP also specifies a theme, with 2019 being “sport for the SDGs”. However, a tagline may help reach a wider audience and explain why the day is important. 

Photo campaigns

Along with the UN theme, people worldwide participated in a #BalanceForBetter photo campaign – a global call for more gender balance in government, business, education and every realm of society. Participants posted photos holding their arms out in the “balance for better” pose.

In previous years, a number of photos and video campaigns have emerged in support of IDSDP, one of the biggest being Peace and Sport's #WhiteCard initiative. This year, sportanddev is asking the community to contribute a special video message highlighting sport as a universal language. 

Spotlighting noteworthy figures and inspirational quotes

For Women’s Day, many news outlets take the opportunity to highlight landmark moments in history and changemakers in women’s rights. This can be an effective tool in engaging people, especially on social media.

IDSDP is also a day to share milestones in sport and development, and is a great opportunity to share inspiring words from athletes and sport for development advocates. 

Just as Women’s Day both celebrates women’s progress and pushes for gender equality, the IDSPD also has the potential to serve more than one purpose. 6 April is a day to highlight sport, its global reach and potential to create positive outcomes.