Background
One of Hungary’s leading insurance companies spent HUF 30 million on the reconstruction of playgrounds in kindergartens in 12 months. Their charity attracted next to no media attention.

Assignment
Our task was to generate publicity for the company’s charity using PR methods, and to improve the client’s image, associated primarily with its core business activity.

Solution
Essentially, we based our approach not on the charitable action of the insurance company for kindergartens, but on raising the issue of the condition of playgrounds in Hungary, calling public attention to the infections children may catch playing in sandboxes, and to how playground equipment are dangerous. Using classical journalistic methods, we wrote texts for publication about these subjects. The texts prepared by ISSUES also included interviews with senior officials of the National Public Health and Medical Officer Service (ÁNTSZ), from which we found out that the organisation never examines the sand at playgrounds. We also found an EU regulation that stipulates that playground equipment had to be audited according to EU norms by a certain deadline, otherwise playgrounds were to be closed down. We made a calculation of the costs of a playground audit, estimated the number of playgrounds in Hungary, and calculated the total amount the handling of this issue will cost to organisations and institutions operating playgrounds.

We wrote a media-compatible summary of our findings and put them in a file with other texts and the interviews we had made, and sent them to editorial offices. Our summary included the information that fortunately, there are relevant initiatives on the part of the private sector, for example, this insurance company helps improve the safety of children in kindergartens. Our articles triggered a minor wave of panic across Hungary, and the section of the summary where the initiative of the insurance company was mentioned was included in almost every article about playgrounds.

Outcome
The news of the insurance company’s charity action evenrtually reached some 3.5 million Hungarian citizens between mid-September and late November in 2004. Krónika and Napközben, the news and information programmes of the public service Kossuth Rádió also carried the news, as did the economic radio channel Gazdasági Rádió, the morning programme of the Hungarian public service television, the national dailies Népszabadság and Népszava, the politics and culture weekly Magyar Narancs, and several times the daily Színes Mai Lap, as well as regional dailies.

Skills used
  1. strategy-making
  2. generating theme, issue management
  3. indirect communication
  4. copywriting, texts for the media, interviews
  5. press relations
  6. media monitoring (company monitoring; theme monitoring)
  7. media analysis
client gate (in Hungarian)

references