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Industry Political/Religious/Trade Organizations
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Brazil
Released July 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Best International PR Campaign
President: João Rodarte (CDN)
Regional President: Rissig Licha (Fleishman-Hillard)
Vice President: Andrew Greenlees (CDN)
Vice President: Inacio Muzzi (CDN)
Director: Alexandre Pinheiro (CDN)
Senior Vice President: Dario Cutin (Fleishman-Hillard)
Senior Vice President: Metthew Doering (Fleishman-Hillard)
Coordinator: Erica Ferraz (CDN)
Vice President: Sarah Vellozzi (Fleishman-Hillard)
Vice President: Helio Maçol (CDN)
Senior Vice President: Steve Naru (Fleishman-Hillard)
Director: Marilia Stabile (CDN)
Media placement: PR Campaign/ Not Advertising - Global Media - 01 March 2009

Summary of the Campaign

Initiated in 2009, Brazil's international PR program was strategically conceived to go well beyond views that link the country basically to sports and tourism. The Federal Government decided to use PR as a means to engage media and thought leaders abroad in a dialogue about Brazil's solid institutional and economic foundations, growing social inclusion, strong environmental policies and active foreign policy. The programme set the goal of communicating to the international audience that Brazil is ready to take on greater responsibilities on the global scene and is also a sound choice for foreign companies looking for places to invest and do business. With teams in Brasilia, New York, Washington (DC), Miami and support from offices in Europe and Asia, the PR strategy includes a comprehensive Media Relations program and other initiatives; such as research with opinion makers, third-party engagement, events for investors, preparation of papers on specific topics and planning of the Brazilian communication in key global events. Results in the first year were outstanding: 3,183 positive news stories resulted from pro-active work, along with feedback from many thought leaders about Brazil's new role on the international scene.

The Goal
The program aims at creating awareness, credibility and visibility about the country's reality. For the first year, focus was on the United States and Europe (UK, France, Spain and Germany), plus specific events in China and Russia. These countries were chosen from a list of leading foreign investors in Brazil. The target audiences are: reporters, editors, columnists, correspondents from national and specialized media, blogs, investors, think tanks, NGOs and chambers of commerce. Research at planning stage with leaders in 11 countries showed a near consensus that Brazil was an emerging market to be watched while there was a lack of deeper knowledge of the country.

As an ongoing PR program, results come over time. After a year, though, Brazil´s international exposure has grown remarkably in numbers and quality, including covers at The Economist and Newsweek, high-profile interviews on CNN and CNBC, columns at The New York Times, op-ed pieces in over 70 international publications, stories in specialized energy media and environmental blogs. The program includes a monthly indicator of exposure in 50 news outlets. On a scale of 0 to 10, resulting from positive minus negative pondered exposure, the country's image scored an average 8.1. Negative stories were mainly generated by situations beyond the program's reach: natural disaster, corruption, etc. Each teleconference with officials had a larger number of analysts participating than the previous one. As a leading Brazilian business newspaper put it:"With a positive image, the country gains visibility in the international media". And, in the words of a top American journalist:"The eyes of the world are turned to Brazil".

- Media relations seminars on Brazil's economy in association with The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times. - Monthly teleconferences with high-ranking officials (Finance minister, Central Bank governor, Environment minister etc) with journalists and analysts. - Support for press trips, including Thomas Friedman's visit to the Amazon. - Story and interview pitches Press releases Op-ed pieces in major publications, blogs. - Media strategy and support at major events such as G-20 meetings and COP-15. - Brazil´s website at the Copenhagen event had over 97,000 page views and daily editorial analysis covering 50 outlets. - Third-party relationship building with think tanks such as the Peter G, Peterson Institute for International Economics and the New America Foundation, and universities such as Johns Hopkins. Identifying investor events and securing Brazilian spokespeople. - Research Interviews with 100 executives from international companies to determine perceptions of the country. - Plans to research how Brazilian post-graduate students abroad view their country and opportunities to provide them with information.

The Situation
Since democracy was reinstalled in Brazil in the mid 80s, government and business leaders felt that although institutional and economic stability was quickly developing, perception abroad was still that of a country limited to tourism and football. While these are two Brazilian prides, there was a need to go further. Finally, in 2008, the Federal Government's Secretariat for Social Communications decided to put in place a program that would offer information about Brazil's new reality to foreign opinion makers as well as understand their doubts and possible misconceptions about the country. After a year of planning and procurement processes, the PR program was initiated.

The Strategy
The first step was to define Brazil's key messages of stability, growth, social inclusion and sustainability. While the messages were being approved internally, though, a gripping issue took center stage: the global financial crisis. Strategy was adapted to also convey that Brazil's sound economic fundamentals would allow it to "be one of the last in and one of the first out of the crisis", as president Lula said. Media monitoring shows that Brazilian spokespeople were quoted extensively on this topic. The next step was to identify ways to approach and engage the audiences and how to 'influence the influencers'. One of the main objectives has been to 'listen' to them, to learn about their perceptions, offer new and qualified information and clarify misconceptions. 'Dialogue' is the strategic cornerstone.