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Noguchi Porter Novelli - Community Relations Campaign

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Company: Noguchi Porter Novelli, Budapest, Hungary
Company Description: Established in 1996 in Hungary by PR professionals, we are one of the market leaders among over 200 consultancies. We are also a network member of the Porter Novelli group, since 2004. Our main fields of expertise are corporate communications, PA and consumer/brand PR with a deep understanding of strategic planning, media relations, crisis & issues management, digital & social media.
Nomination Category: Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Community Relations

Nomination Title: You can count on us! - Baby prematurity has endemic proportions in Hungary. A meaningful change is needed!

Tell the story about this nominated campaign since 1 January 2017 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

Summary

Baby prematurity has endemic proportions in Hungary, every 10th baby is born preterm. NaturAqua, The Coca-Cola Company’s Hungarian national mineral water brand refocused its brand strategy around this social issue with our help. This is an initiative that resonates with consumers – a cause that is not on most people’s radar, but one where we can have a meaningful positive impact. Our task was to build a 3-year plan and execute the program starting in late 2016. Through the brand's help, sixteen neonatal intensive care units now have new equipment, baby cloths and furbished baby-mother rooms. The program continues this year with the remaining thirteen PICs (neonatal intensive care units).

Short statement

Every 10th baby in Hungary is born preterm, that is, prematurely. They are treated in one of 29 neonatal intensive care units (PICs). While these are well equipped in terms of medical devices, many lack the space or financial resources to build rooms that would allow moms to spend time with their babies – sometimes all that’s missing are a few cozy chairs to sit and breastfeed. Being close to each other, a physical connection and emotional bonding are the most important things premature babies and their parents need – neonatal doctors say it’s the most potent medicine.

Our idea was to partner NaturAqua with KORE (Association for Premature Born Babies), an NGO founded by the parents of preemies to support other parents.

Research

We conducted a survey to find information on the issue of prematurity. There are some alarming statistics that a significant percentage of these babies sadly still won't survive. Even though these numbers are still high, they are about 50 percent lower than in the 90's.

With interviews conducted with healthcare professionals and the experts of the ministry we found that in 19 Hungarian counties, there are 29 neonatal intensive care units (PICs). These are mostly well stocked, and technically adequate, though some more equipment wouldn’t go amiss. The main problem is however, that parents and babies can hardly stay together, even though it would be beneficial for all. Babies are frequently kept in incubators for weeks and the mothers can hardly see them. According to the experts this can cause great emotional stress.

The research also found that the most traumatic experience for the parents is to see their child with several tubes and cables attached. No one attended to these emotional issues in Hungary until now, due to the lack of time, energy and funds. In other parts of the world and Europe, there are programs and initiatives like the Octo-project, which can help both the parents and their babies.

Planning

NaturAqua is the market leader mineral water in Hungary, and the brand’s communication in the past years mainly focused on the beneficial effects of water consumption and the importance of hydration. The communications goal of the new PR-campaign was not to promote the product (or the brand), rather to show that NaturAqua, as a good corporate citizen can and will make steps for an important social issue. Thus, we wanted to draw attention to the issue and not the brand.

Measurable objectives:
-How many people become aware of the issue
-How many will be ready to help
-How much more and better informed the affected families become
-What other NGOs, or other organizations join the cause of the campaign

Target audiences:
-Women, aged 25-40
-Families, affected recently or in the past
-Medical professionals, family aid workers
-Every adult who can help (with donations or otherwise

Actions desired of the audiences:
-We wanted to familiarize them with this social issue and stoke the fire of their helpfulnature.
-To calm and prepare expectant mothers for the possibility of preterm birth, and to help them solve the possible problems.
-Inform the target audiences about the fact that baby prematurity can be a longer-term issue.

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 2017 (up to 150 words).

- Our goal was to encourage people to help, to donate and support the PICs and other parents who go through something harrowing.
- In the first year of the project, three PICs, and in 2017 a further thirteen units were supported.These PICs not just received the support from our end; but had thousands of personal offerings as well (cloths, toys, monetary aid, etc).
-We reached the 10 000 affected Hungarian families at least five times during both 2016 and 2017.
- More than 100 articles appeared in the print and electronic media in 2017.
- We were able to update and issue the parents’ guide for every PIC units of the country.
-The two opinion-leaders, a popular jazz singer and a TV anchorwoman provided several tweets and Facebook, garnering hundreds of likes and shares.