There is a wonderful phrase first heard in the movie of the book "Into the Wild" which summarises values which, to us at Mana, are core, important and completely necessary to all: "Happiness is only real when shared". We won't give you any spoilers of the movie but suffice to say the main character says it when he realises all his efforts in doing something were void of meaning because there was no one to share them with.
Sharing and giving are at the centre of our existence. At a biological level, it's only through sharing that we, as human beings, actually exist. There is nothing in our world is which is not made better when shared.
1. Time – we share and give our time and space in celebrations, social media and special moments.
2. Experiences – when we achieve something it seems that it is only truly achieved after sharing it with our friends and family.
3. Love – obviously in whatever form or shape, we all seek love, we want to share ourselves and actually when we share and give love it grows and multiplies.
4. Lives / History – our past, present and future only has meaning when we share it.
But sometimes we forget about the power of sharing and giving and we do exactly the opposite. A little like when you are learning to ski and they tell you "lean back, it's less dangerous" but you of course, lean forwards.
And our society gets distracted and selfish and we just miss the point of sharing or giving, this can be seen with the advent of modern crazes, such as the fashion for taking "selfies" – I want to see me! – and the way we consume seems to be all about individual packages (food, obsession with clothing, etc...) in effect saying "I want to spend my money on only ME".
A pinnacle of these distractions are days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We have come as far as to devote an entire day to buying, consuming... mostly things for ME. So it's great when someone comes up with a wonderful idea of doing the complete opposite: #GivingTuesday.
The Mana team loves this campaign for many reasons but mostly because:
a. It helps us refocus on what REALLY matters, and what really makes us happy.
b. As PR professionals we think the guys of 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation (founders of the campaign) have done something amazing.
c. The campaign has now engaged over 10,000 organisations worldwide. Nearly $46 million raised for charity over a 24-hour period, according to initial numbers released Wednesday.
And what we really love about it is that it shows how PR and media (social media and journalism) can be an incredible source of good.
It's thanks to campaigns such as the #unselfie that Giving Tuesday has become a world phenomenon. It's this kind of ethos that is the core of Mana. We are very proud to follow that incredible spirit of "giving" by sharing and giving what is of most value to us in business - our time, expertise, professionalism, care and attention - to important and noble causes by supporting charities and NGOs with pro-bono PR work.
Such as our friend, Glen Hulley, a former Australian detective who gave up a lot to take on a role with Terre Des Hommes Netherlands and left Australia to head up ProjectWATCH where he is working with local South East Asian private investigators to enhance their evidence-gathering and detective skills. The aim of the project is to see a greater number of sex offenders operating in South East Asia convicted for their crimes. You can read more about Glen in our blog Mana Loves a Great Cause.
Following that great experience, Mana is now working hard to establish and formalise the way we will offer these services to the third sector. We are looking forward to sharing what we do best to those who are changing the world.