Fukushima Conference Organisers Promo, Case study THE FUKUSHIMA CONFERENCE by Fleishman Hillard

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Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Japan
Agency Fleishman Hillard
Released September 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Public Affairs
Product/Service: JAPAN VOICE
President/Chief Executive Officer: Dave Senay (Fleishman-Hillard)
President/Senior Partner (Japan): Shinichi Tanaka (Fleishman-Hillard)
Media placement: Press Conference; Announcing Fukushima Conference 2011 - Fukushima Jichi Kaikan (Nearby Fukushima Prefectural Office), Fukushima Prefecture ,Japan - 7th September 2011
Media placement: Pre Fukushima Conference At Asia Innovation Forum - Tokyo International Forum / Marunouchi District, Tokyo, Japan - 21th September 2011
Media placement: Pre Fukushima Conference At UIA2011 TOKYO - Tokyo International Forum / Marunouchi District, Tokyo, Japan - 27th~28th September 2011
Media placement: Press Conference; Announcing The Program Details - Fukushima Jichi Kaikan (Nearby Fukushima Prefectural Office) - 12th October 2011
Media placement: Live Streaming The Fukushima Conference Program #1 - Fukushima Conference Office, Fukushima Prefecture ,Japan - 23th October 2011
Media placement: Pre Fukushima Conference At Sophia University - Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan - 21th October 2011
Media placement: Live Streaming The Fukushima Conference Program #2 - Fukushima Conference Office, Fukushima Prefecture,Japan - 6th November 2011
Media placement: Press Conference; Announcing Opening Fukushima Conference - Fukushima University Fukushima Prefecture, Japan - 11th November 2011
Media placement: Fukushima Conference - Fukushima University And Cities Of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan - 11th~13th November 2011

Summary of the Campaign

“I truly hope that a new energy will be born out of this discussion.” Sokyu GENYU, co-leader of The Fukushima Conference.

A year after Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, media showed the contrasting images of decimated areas and the same land months later, swept clean. But the story of Fukushima presents a picture of damage much more difficult to put right.
For those in Fukushima prefecture, it wasn’t the immediate devastation of the earthquake and tsunami alone that caused such grief and fear. With the threat of contamination from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant, many were confronted with difficult choices. Evacuate or stay at potentially great risk to their children? Kill livestock or let them roam? Give up on the territory or rebuild?

With the gravity of these choices came fear; the people of Fukushima buried their anxieties in stoic silence.

A group of individuals took action by providing a place for people to gather and discuss the enormous challenges. The Fukushima Conference was created to give individuals a voice and the comfort that the world was listening.

More than 1,000 citizens showed up in-person for the 3-day conference and 30,000 more participated via social media, opening up a rich channel for dialog. Smaller groups have formed to continue discussion, and the people of Fukushima report feeling uplifted about their future. There has been a strong grassroots call for the conference to become an annual event for the next 30 years. Organisers have pledged to make this happen.

The Situation
Following the devastation in Japan, Fukushima bore the brunt of long-lasting destruction with the crippling of its nuclear reactors. People were forced to make the most difficult choices. Evacuate or risk exposing their families to radiation? Split up families according to generational desires or keep units intact? Kill livestock or leave them? People fell silent in despair.
A group of individuals planned and implemented The Fukushima Conference to provide a platform for people to come together as a community and to feel the world’s attention and support for their struggle.

The Goal
• Help Japan find its voice as the foundation of healing.
• Introduce an annual people’s conference - free of government, religious or commercial sponsorship and interests - that gathers citizens to discuss needs, issues and plans for the future.
• Create a national and world spotlight on Fukushima as a model for rebuilding, learning and for the values of civility, resilience and sacrifice that make Japan a great nation.

The Strategy
With the foremost goal of helping the region find its voice, a group of individuals from the fields of communications, academics, research and local non-profit groups formed an organising committee and set out a path of action.

Strategies were to:
• Involve all of Fukushima in conversation about the impact of the disaster and road forward.
• Hasten the healing process by helping the people of Fukushima unite, find their voice and feel heard and supported by the world.
• Avoid financial support from companies, political groups and other commercial organisations to remove the political barriers for the voice of Fukushima and enhance honest words from the attendees.
• Organise volunteers with various backgrounds and fundraise for the execution of the conference.

Designed for Dialogue. The Fukushima Conference was held at Fukushima University from November 11th to 13th, 2011. More than 1,200 joined came. While each day had some structure (e.g., discussions with Chernobyl experts, and discussions on renewable energy), the initial hours were open to encourage free expression.

Ustream and Twitter Voices. Tens of thousands more joined live through social media. More than 30,000 people participated through a live USTREAM feed and posted their comments which were read by Prof. Akasaka.

Political Leaders Invited to Listen.
Conference organisers invited political leaders, from Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada to Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba and the Minister for the Restoration from and Prevention of Nuclear Accident Goshi Hosono. The invitation came with the stipulation that none of these dignitaries speak formally and that they only listen. Several high-ranking leaders attended and abided by these rules.

Documented Results
- 30,000 people participated in the conference via social media; it topped Ustream's most-watched list on Day 2.
- More than 26,200,000 Google searches were registered.
- 40 journalists throughout the world attended. Coverage included Japan’s national broadcast NHK and major dailies.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda sent this note to attendees: “We will never be able to regain trust of our country unless Fukushima is reconstructed. It is … important to listen to voices from Fukushima, share with each other, discuss the future, and make those voices heard around the country and the world.”
- After the conference, more than 30 groups have been initiated for further conversations.
- The conference is helping people focus on generosity with each other and on becoming a model for how cities can be rebuilt.
- With the full support of the community, organisers plan to make The Fukushima Conference an annual event for the next 30 years.