Goal: Connect and engage peace-minded Canadians through social and traditional media

In advance of Remembrance Day 2012, Ceasefire.ca wanted to start a dynamic coast-to-coast conversation with Canadians about the importance of remembering peace, instead of simply commemorating war. They wanted to engage as many Canadians as possible in this dialogue and ask the question: Is Remembrance Day too much about war and not enough about peace?

To kick off the campaign, our team partnered up with Abacus Data, an Ottawa-based research firm, in order to conduct and release a poll about youth and Remembrance Day. The nation-wide survey asked young people between the ages of 18 and 30 what Remembrance Day meant to them. A strong majority ranked “honouring veterans and soldiers killed in wars” as their first choice (71%), while one in four (25%) said the “reminder of the need for peace” was the most important meaning for them. Only a few (4%) ranked “celebrating Canada’s military achievements” as their top choice.

For many young people, Remembrance Day may be too much about war and not enough about peace. Remembrance Day organizers should embrace a peace message on November 11, and find ways to include it at cenotaph ceremonies across Canada.

– Steven Staples

With the poll results circulating widely in traditional media, we turned to social media to reach out to the rest of Canada and ask the same question. On the Ceasefire.ca blog, we encouraged Canadians to sign up to be counted as someone who remembers for peace and to share their thoughts in the comments section. We sent anyone who wanted one a special “I Remember for Peace” sticker to wear with pride. We also hand-crafted messages that supporters could easily share on their Facebook pages and re-tweet on Twitter, and we encouraged everyone supporting the campaign to use the #Nov11peace hashtag.

To continue the conversation, we shared some of our supporters’ blog comments on our own Facebook page and through our Twitter account – and the sharing, liking and re-tweeting continued! In the end, we were proud to help create a truly vibrant, national conversation about the connection between Remembrance Day and peace.

Results: Stories about the poll were published by the Vancouver Sun, the Calgary Herald, the Ottawa Citizen and the Edmonton Journal, reaching a joint circulation of over 346,000 people.
Over 2,000 Canadians counted themselves as someone who would remember for peace and their messages were shared, liked and re-tweeted countless times on social media.