American Express launches ‘Friends of Japan’ on Facebook

I had a very nice message on behalf of American Express today, asking if I might inform my readers of a new project they’ve just launched. Here are the details:

American Express Launches Global Facebook Program, ‘Friends of Japan,’ to Generate Continued Awareness and Support for Earthquake Relief Efforts

American Express to Donate $1 toward Relief Efforts for Every ‘Message of Hope’ Shared for Japan on Facebook

TOKYO, August 9, 2011 – Today, American Express launched ‘Friends of Japan’, a global program on Facebook designed to revive global attention on relief efforts since the East Japan Great Earthquake struck the region five months ago. People from around the world are encouraged to share ‘Messages of Hope’ through the ’Friends of Japan’ section of American Express Japan’s Facebook page (http://facebook.com/americanexpressjapan). The ‘Friends of Japan’ Facebook experience will be translated into eight languages for the international audience and American Express, which has more than 1,100 employees in Japan, will donate $1 towards the relief efforts for every message of hope posted from anywhere in the world.

Visitors to the ‘Friends of Japan’ area on the American Express Japan Facebook page can select one of four messages or create their own ‘Message of Hope’ for Japan in the form of a virtual postcard. Donations from American Express will go to Japan Platform, an intermediary non-governmental organization that supports various relief agencies active in the affected areas. Facebook visitors can also view the messages of hope shared by others around the world; each postcard is customized with the sender’s first name and country. In addition to sharing and reviewing messages of hope for Japan, Facebook users will be able to learn about the status of relief efforts, share information and photos with Friends and encourage their participation.

“It’s been five months since the East Japan Great Earthquake and there are many impacted areas that are still in need of support,” said Robert Siedell, Country Manager of American Express in Japan. “Leveraging the power of Facebook’s global platform and American Express’ global network, ‘Friends of Japan’ is a way to bring an international community together and re-ignite the conversation to maintain support for ongoing relief efforts.”

A Global, Social Call to Action
The ‘Friends of Japan‘ area on the American Express Japan Facebook page will be translated into Chinese, English, French, German, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish. Visitors from across the globe will receive a customized experience based on their location and can personalize their messages of hope for Japan. Each virtual postcard will be stamped with the sender’s name and country. To drive participation around the world, American Express will be promoting the campaign globally and communicating about the program through its social media channels, including American Express Facebook presences in 14 countries. The program will run for eight weeks; however, the Facebook presence will continue to be updated with new content thereafter.

513,700 volunteers have contributed to relief efforts, including in some of the hardest hit prefectures/districts of Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi.

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