Communication and Public Relations in 2020

Ekrem Şahin
Turkish Red Crescent Deputy General Manager

The Turkish Red Crescent has constructed its 2030 goals on strategic community-based projects. Therefore, the most important stakeholders for the Red Crescent are all our people, all our citizens. Another year where efforts to touch each citizen with this understanding were attempted by always keeping alive has been completed at Red Crescent.

Despite 2020 being a year to remember in the Turkish Red Crescent with the pandemic, disasters, and general difficulties, at the same time it was also a year of great success. The entire Red Crescent attempted to involve each of our citizens in the struggle for well-being carried out on a volunteer basis while delivering our services to the people. In this context, more than 125,000 volunteers actively took part in Red Crescent activities throughout the year. If these heartfelt contributions in Red Crescent efforts from our benevolent volunteers were to be calculated in work hours as cash, the amount would be over 20 million TL.

In order to get more volunteers involved in Red Crescent activities and to respond to incoming volunteer requests, 16 youth and volunteer centers were established and put into operation in 2020. Meanwhile, the organizing of Turkish Red Crescent’s women branches was reviewed and restructured in order to strengthen the compassionate hands of our women who’ve always been with the Red Crescent for 153 years. Through all these efforts, the Red Crescent aims to enter the veins of society and increase social resilience on a voluntary basis. In this sense, the most important news of the year has been the launch of the next generation volunteer platform Becoming a Red Crescent volunteer is possible thanks to this platform, and one can be assigned to voluntary tasks with just one click. In the period ahead, the goal of the Red Crescent will be to gain the strength and ability to mobilize 2 million volunteers for those in need. For this reason, 2021 will go down in the history of the Turkish Red Crescent and Turkey as the Year of Red Crescent Volunteerism.

The Red Crescent has regularly increased its income from donations. As in previous years, this tradition was not disrupted in 2020. In this context, the total amount of donations accepted by the Red Crescent from both individual donors and Red Crescent-friendly institutions and organizations exceeded 1 billion TL for the first time in its history in 2020. Immediately after the disasters experienced throughout the year, the spirit of social solidarity and cooperation was felt in all cells of the Turkish Red Crescent; millions of citizens were reached through the 12 relief campaigns conducted throughout the year to heal the wounds caused by disasters and to alleviate human suffering.

Since the first days of the year, we’ve left behind, the Turkish Red Crescent has carried out awareness studies about the pandemic and the dangers of COVID-19; informative websites have also been established. Taking advantage of the broader use of digital tools in the atmosphere created through the pandemic, 60 million viewers were reached through 53 live streams from the Turkish Red Crescent’s digital channels.

The more than 18,000 visitors who access the Red Crescent website daily carried the number of visitors the Red Crescent named from the Internet by the end of the year to 7 million.

The number of calls coming in to the Red Crescent call center during the year increased by 51% compared to the previous year, reaching 1,228,355 people. A significant majority of the callers accessed the call center in order to donate to the Red Crescent or to request help from the Red Crescent. All these figures give important clues to understanding how strong the communication link was between Turkey and the nation’s institution of the Red Crescent in 2020.

The Turkish Red Crescent’s activities both in the country and abroad were featured positively in newspapers 95% of the time and on television 93% of the time. This visibility also helped increase interest in the Red Crescent. More importance was given to communications from the Red Crescent’s international activities for enlarging this increased favor both domestically and abroad.

As the leading institution of civil initiatives in Turkey with its deep-rooted structure and historical background, the Turkish Red Crescent has made important breakthroughs in fields such as national and international humanitarian aid, public health, disaster management, and migration services. Working to convey the message of goodness to the people it reaches most accurately and powerfully, the Red Crescent continues to work with all its might to ferment this message of goodness coming from the power of humanity.

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