Blue Keys and Refugees – A Blog Post About Something

by Ken Mueller on June 3, 2011 · 10 comments


Image by Getty Images via @daylife

The other day my friend Gini Dietrich was suffering from brain freeze and ended up writing a blog about nothing. That post…about nothing…and at the time of this writing, had nearly 300 comments.

My post today is about something, and I know I will only get a few comments, but I don’t care. I don’t want comments. I want awareness. And I want you to shell out $5 for a good cause. And Gini is behind this cause as well. So you better listen up.

You see, I believe that Social Media not only has the ability to sell products, but also has the ability to make change, on a large scale. As a result, I”m joining a number of friends by becoming part of the Blue Key Campaign being run by USA for UNHCR. This non-profit organization seeks to raise awareness and funds for the purpose of helping refugees around the world.

Think about this: there are 43-million refugees worldwide. These are people who have been forcibly displaced from their homes. 17-million of them are under the age of 18. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, there are plenty of other numbers that bring the point home.

It’s all about numbers

When we talk about Social Media, we often talk about numbers. How many fans do you have on Facebook? How many followers on Twitter? How many people read your blog?

Numbers, while not the be all and end all of marketing, can be an important indicator. So looking at the numbers we understand the magnitude of the problem. 43-million people. That’s similar to the entire populations of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland combined. What if all those people were displaced? Four entire states!

The problem of refugees is global and a problem with which we should all be concerned.

Why? Because…

It’s NOT about the numbers

When we as consumers deal with businesses, we don’t like being treated like everyone else. We’re not numbers. We are humans; living, breathing individuals with personalities, families, interests, etc. I’m not you, and you’re not me.

Any marketer or social media consultant who is worth anything will tell you that while numbers are important, what is much more important is engaging with those people as individuals and building relationships. When you understand that a customer named Bob Smith is a unique person with unique needs, then he’s not just one of a thousand customers.

Now those numbers up there? Break it down. What if you were one of those 43 million refugees. Are you merely one of 43 million, or are you [insert your name here] with a face and a family? Think about the person you love the most. If they were displaced, wouldn’t you go to great lengths to do anything you could to help them? If you were displaced, would you want someone to help you?

Put Others First

So here’s what I’m asking you to do: As an individual, or on behalf of your business, get involved. First and foremost, purchase a blue key. They’re just $5. Most of us here in the U.S. can afford $5. Heck, we spend that much every day on a few cups of coffee.

If you’re a business owner, large or small, consider purchasing a key for each of your employees, of for everyone on your management team. At $5 a pop, that’s not much different than ordering out for a catered deli spread for your staff.

If you can’t purchase one, or even if you do, there are other ways you can help:

The goal is to sell just 6,000 of these blue keys by June 20th. So far, only a bit more than one-third of the keys have been sold. We can do much better than that. So get your key and spread the word. And if you want to get involved on a larger level, contact my friend Shonali Burke and she’ll let you know what you can do.

So are you in?

Will you be helping out in any way? Let me know in the comments how you’ll be participating, whether it’s through purchasing a key (or keys), or by spreading the word via Social Media.

Enhanced by Zemanta

I'm not sure how I feel about this, Ken! :) It's a great cause and I know it's one we all need to rally around. In fact, I'm off to buy a few more keys. Thanks for the reminder.


What a great cause Ken. I can't imagine the horror these people have gone through.


I really liked your approach with this, Ken!


This is a brilliant way to put it, Ken. Thank you so much!

KenMueller moderator

Thanks, Shonali. Hope it helps!


  1. […] Blue Keys and refugees – a blog post about Something, by Ken Mueller […]

Previous post:

Next post: