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Google Goes Tribal

How the United Nations University Wins Hearts and Minds

We hear of the affect that globalisation may be having on the environment, but little is spoken of the impact that rapid development and westernisation has had on indigenous culture.
From Australia’s Aborigines to American Indians, indigenous populations are decreasing globally due to cultural blending and the resulting homogenisation of humanity.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, just 2.4% of the total population identifies itself as Aboriginal. Furthermore, there is little hope for any increase with 69% of Aboriginal adults married to non-Aboriginal spouses, up almost 20% in 15 years, and more blended generations coming through.

The painful realisation is that without action to preserve the knowledge and heritage of traditional indigenous cultures, a precious piece of human history will be lost for future generations.

United Nations University

In 2007, a non-profit organisation called Traditional Knowledge Initiative (TKI) was established by The United Nations University (UNU) Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) with the support of The Northern Territory Government of Australia and The Christensen Fund. UNU-IAS-TKI is a pilot research programme developed to promote indigenous research, build awareness of indigenous cultures and educate the greater community on traditional knowledge. This initiative will provide significant practical benefits to the indigenous people of the world.

The mission of UNU-IAS-TKI is information, education and influence. In addition to preserving traditional knowledge, enhancing people’s understanding globally will help to reduce destructive intolerance and influence international and domestic policy makers.
Relying strategically on cross-border communication, the UNU recognised the need for the most innovative and current methods for reaching new audiences. So too, being a non-profit, this solution would need to be highly cost-effective.

Reaching audiences in the most effective way

Research indicates a clear movement away from traditional broadcast media. Due to the influence of emerging technology, economic changes and social trends, TV, print and radio have lost their appeal, as much for the consumer as for marketers reaching a target audience.

The most recent figures indicate that 11.3 million Australians are connected to the internet and as a country we are spending more time online than watching TV. Furthermore, Google has become the primary way that internet users navigate the web, with the search giant accounting for 88% of online enquiries. Accordingly, Google has become the nucleus for any serious marketing strategy.

The United Nations University decided that, in the spirit of many non-profit organisations, a web-based marketing strategy would be the most appropriate vehicle for reaching hearts and minds around the world.

There were several critical success factors to consider if they were to achieve their goals.

  • The solution would need to be affordable and cost-effective.
  • Exposure to audiences around the world would require a boundary-spanning strategy.
  • They would need to be assured priority Google rankings.
  • Their message would need to be clearly delivered via first-class design, graphics and copy.
  • They’d need the advice and services of a professional and experienced online marketing company.


The United Nations University Website

The United Nations University website was designed and developed by Exa Web Solutions, a leading website company in Australia. In keeping with the primary needs and objectives of the UNU, Exa created a site that has since achieved top Google rankings and visually represents the organisation’s fundamental cause through an indigenous inspired design. The professionally presented and informative United Nations Website, provides up-to-date information and news on current affairs and events, as well as promoting a brand image tightly aligned with its subject.

Site administrators at the UNU-IAS TKI utilise a highly customised Content Management System to change and update the site content, keeping the site fresh and current with regular updates to text, images, headings, news, articles, bulletins and events. Even the site’s banners, flash elements and navigation are self managed by the UNU. Constant updates ensure the website is building on the information they deliver their visitors.

The UNU-TKI AIS website has become a living communications tool that can continue to grow and develop its knowledge base. Coupled with Exa’s online marketing capabilities and search engine optimisation genius, The United Nations University is fulfilling its objective of preserving traditional indigenous knowledge and reaching audiences around the world as Google goes tribal.

View United Nations University in Exa Folio

Go to the UNU website

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