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Ideal H+K Strategies - Public Service Campaign

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2016, Click to Enter The 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer service

Company: Ideal H+K Strategies, São Paulo, Brazil
Company Description: Founded in 2007, Ideal was born as a Communication startup to serve Google in Brazil. Pioneer in Digital PR in Brazil, in five years it became one of the seven largest agencies in Brazil. In September 2015, Ideal was acquired by WPP, absorbed the Brazilian office of Hill & Knowlton and started to operate as H + K Ideal, a Brazilian arm of H + K Strategies.
Nomination Category: Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Public Service


Tell the story about this nominated campaign since 1 January 2016 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

The #SOMOSLIVRES #WEAREFREE campaign created public awareness and mobilized a movement on an urgent and current theme: slave labor.

It is estimated that between 1995 and 2016 some 50,000 slave laborers were released in Brazil. However, Brazilian law, one of the most modern in the world in this area, was in danger of being changed. The National Commission for the Eradication of Slave Labor - created to coordinate and evaluate the implementation of actions for the eradication of slave labor and to monitor the drafting of bills of law in the National Congress - picked up a possible change to the wording of the law on slave labor in Brazil, which threatened to remove "exhausting working hours" and "degrading conditions" from the text, without any prior public debate.

The way to stop the vote would be to bring popular pressure to bear on the National Congress and Senators. However, a national survey showed that Brazilians did not understand the concept of "slave labor" and, furthermore, they believed that this situation no longer existed in the country. So, how could the population be mobilized to fight a cause it knew little of? Through an awareness raising campaign!

So, with the support of the Public Prosecutor's Labor Office (MPT) and the International Labour Organization(ILO), the #SOMOSLIVRES campaign was created to clarify the concept of contemporary slave labor and to engage people to pressure Brazilian Senators not to change the law. The awareness campaign would give way to mobilization and build enough public pressure to keep the law intact. The challenge was to create a campaign that would make Brazilians aware of what constitutes a situation analogous to slavery and how changes in the law could affect workers. This would make it possible to engage people in putting pressure on politicians to achieve the ultimate goal: stop the vote in Congress.

To create empathy and make the issue more real for Brazilians, the starting point of the campaign was to provoke people by asking, "What was your worst day at work like?" The question was led to others, such as: have you ever fainted from fatigue? Have you even been given rotten food? Have you put your child at risk? From these responses, empathy was generated automatically. The cause, which seemed distant, was revealed. Then, important Brazilian influencers were selected - Wagner Moura, an actor in the Narcos series, and Camila Pitanga, an actress from Brazil's largest TV network, among others. They recorded videos about their worst days at work, showing that none compared to people subjected to conditions analogous to slavery.

Through the video, everyone was invited to access the hub. It provided videos made by other influencers, information on Brazilian legislation and slave labor in Brazil, as well as details about the campaign. It also had an e-mails launcher through which e-mails could be sent straight to Brazilian Senators asking that the law not be changed.

To launch the #SOMOSLIVRES campaign and the hub, an event was organized with a press conference attended by the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Kailash Satyarthi, journalists, influencers and people involved in the cause. A debate helped those attending understand the concept of slave labor and the impact of the change in the law for workers. Always seeking to increase the scope of the cause and to impact more and more people, before and during the campaign, constant contact was made with influencers and the press via press releases and follow up, showing the scale and importance of the campaign to the Brazilian population.

The result: after the intervention in the social and political reality of Brazil, the law was not changed.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief features and results of this nominated PR program since the beginning of 2016 (up to 150 words).

- The campaign gained spontaneous support from the national media and key opinion makers (academia, intellectuals, celebrities, influencers), which helped engage the public to put pressure on politicians.
- The campaign has been covered in the media, on social networks and through public affairs channels.
- More than 160 national press outlets published stories about the event and the campaign.
- Key opinion leaders showed their support for the campaign, also using the hashtag.
- About 4.4 million people were impacted.
- More than 8,000 e-mails were received by Brazilian Senators through the tool on the hub.
- The politicians were impacted: the e-mail launcher was blocked by the Senate IT system.
- People changed their behavior and began to put pressure on political leaders.
- The campaign influenced discussions in the Senate, which led to a review of the debate.
- The lawwasn´t changed