It’s been almost 10 months since global icon Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu passed away back in December 2021. His memory, however, was celebrated at last week’s sold-out 12th Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture held at Cape Town’s City Hall. Flow Communications was there to amplify his vision for hope and healing in the world.
Our work started before the lecture with writing the communications plan for the event, which mapped out channels and made suggestions on media engagement. We assisted the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation with content creation in the run-up to the event. This meant designing the look and feel of the campaign and building anticipation and excitement for the event.
Flow took over the foundation’s social media accounts on the evening, live-tweeting on Twitter and continuing the discussion sparked by speeches by United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina J Mohammed and Doug Abrams, who wrote The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World with Tutu and the Dalai Lama.
Mohammed chairs the United Nations Sustainable Development Group and Abrams is a multiple New York Times bestselling author, as well as an editor, literary agent and film producer.
“We had four people working furiously both online and at the City Hall to cover the event live across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Our aim was that, even though many might not be online watching the event, they would at least hear about it and possibly watch it later. We reached four million people through this content both on the evening and in the run-up to the event,” says Flow business unit head Sarah-Jane Viljoen.
“It was wonderful to see engagement with our content, with retweets and shares from the accounts of Amina J Mohammed and the United Nations in South Africa, among others.”
A visual affair
Our team of graphic designers worked hard on the look and feel of the campaign before the event. The designs were used for both the digital and in-person events. These included graphic images and editable templates for social media to highlight inspiring quotes from the speeches by Mohammed, Abrams and others who addressed the packed Cape Town City Hall, including the Mother City’s mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis.
Says Flow’s head of graphic design, Elmarie Harrington: “Desmond Tutu was such a vibrant and inspirational figure, I wanted to create something that reflected the theme of this year’s lecture, ‘A vision for Hope and Healing’. We went for a vibrant pattern and partnered that with deep purple and bright yellow.
“Overall, the design is alive and full of energy, and amplifies the theme and what the Archbishop was known for – being a vision of hope and always full of positive energy.”
The quote templates, designed to be celebratory and vibrant, allowed us to creatively and attractively amplify the speakers’ messages. We posted them across all the social media platforms, along with photographs and videos of the joyful event.
“What an amazing event to be a part of. Our designed templates enabled the social media team to easily post excerpts from the speeches in minutes,” says Flow multimedia designer Kim Wyatt. “A variety of options and formats were supplied that matched the visual energy of the event, making it possible to achieve high production value in real-time.”
Spreading the word
In the run-up to the event, Flow assisted the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation team with creating awareness around the lecture.
Social media and newsletter campaigns were launched and media releases were sent out. The team also ran a set of Google Search ads to advertise the peace lecture, and to draw attention to the fact that people could choose to attend it in person by buying a ticket, or to live-stream it from the comfort of their homes.
We were inspired
This was the third year running that Flow had the privilege of collaborating with the foundation on its pinnacle annual event. Every year, we have been inspired by the peace lecture.
We were delighted to help the foundation share our beloved Arch’s legacy with the world.
If you missed the peace lecture, you can still watch it on YouTube here: