Everyone knows that pictures speak for themselves, and the public relations organization Stand With Us has taken that concept all the way by bringing to Israel leading users of Instagram and inviting them to come up with a unique, fresh look at life in our dynamic country.
An international organization, Stand With Us was founded in 2002 as a response to the troubling lack of pro-Israeli voices on university campuses across the USA. Its goal is to present an honest, fair, and credible portrait of Israel to students and faculty and to the media throughout widespread communities. Stand With Us, which sprouted from an activist student organization, today numbers eleven offices and tens of thousands of active members and staff throughout America, England, France, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, and Israel.
This week a group of 10 Instagram photographers arrived in Israel for a trip initiated by Stand With Us and planned in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, the Negev Development Authority, Ramat Hanadiv, and a multitude of businesses, from 'gourmet chef' restaurants to one-of-a-kind tourist destinations across the country. Hailing from the USA, Denmark, Turkey, Russia, Norway and elsewhere, these photographers have a combined audience of more than 3 million followers on Instagram! Starting on 24 October, they have had 8 days to explore the streets and sights of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and, among other things, they will come to check out Zichron Ya'akov and Ramat Hanadiv.
Thus Instagrammers will be exposed to the wealth of Israel's varied landscape and nightlife, its history and multi-culturalism, and this vast audience will be able to follow, in real time, the photographers' exciting experiences across a panoply of fascinating places and encounters in Israel.
This is not t
he first group of the kind to visit Israel. A similar one came here in September for ten days, and, using new smartphone applications, its participants actively contributed towards Israel's public relations and its image throughout the world. The unusual aspect of this project was not just the interactive platforms accessible to the group's followers, but also the fact that their pictures have remained on the internet in social apps, so that a single quick search of the word 'Israel' in these apps will bring up, first and foremost, the pictures by the project's participants. The high point of the September trip was its participants' meeting with President Shimon Peres, who hosted them in his residence and praised them for their decision to visit Israel and document it through Instagram ‒ which, he took care to note, he uses himself!
If you haven't yet had a chance to download the top app in the world for sharing pictures via your smartphone, maybe today is the day! Take a look at the photos, write your comments, and you too will become instant emissaries for Israel.