COMMUNICATIONS NEWS: ActionAid turns to internet to attract younger members

Development charity ActionAid is hoping to attract younger members with a website aimed at 14 to 24 year olds.

Animations, text messaging and email all form part of the site, www.actionzone.cc, which will be used to gather information about the target audience and inform future campaign messages.

The site was launched on the back of a publicity spoof ActionAid ran last month to highlight food-patenting issues. Young people can log on, read about global development issues such as food patenting, HIV and education, and then email their MP.

Potential activists can discuss global poverty issues online and opt to receive campaign updates through their mobile phones or email addresses.

Attempts have been made to tackle international issues in accessible and relevant terms, through animations and campaign stunts, said an ActionAid spokeswoman. "Our research showed that we weren't targeting young people.

They were interested in international issues but felt disempowered and tended to think "what's it got to do with me?",

she said.

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