Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC) Promo, Case study TRANSPARENCY IS GOLD by The Practice

TRANSPARENCY IS GOLD

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Industry Raw Materials & Minerals
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Romania
Agency The Practice
Released April 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Crisis and Issue Management
Advertiser: ROSIA MONTANA GOLD CORPORATION
Product/Service: MINING PROJECT
Agency: THE PRACTICE
Managing Partner: Gabriela Lungu (The Practice)
Head Of Social Media Department: Monica Jitariuc Soare (The Practice)
Social Media Specialist: Magda Halus (The Practice)
Head Of Pr Department: Oana Bulexa (The Practice)
Event/Production Specialist: Ruxandra Avram (The Practice)
Media placement: Bloggers Event (The First) - Bucharest - 5 April 2011
Media placement: Blog Articles - Www.costin.ro, Www.concediaza-Ti-Seful.ro, Www.piticu.ro - 6 April 2011
Media placement: Facebook Page - Facebook - 6 April 2011
Media placement: Twitter Campaign - Twitter - 5 April 2011
Media placement: Youtube - Youtube - 5 April 2011

Summary of the Campaign
This PR campaign changed the influencer perception 180 degrees and significantly improved the reputation of the most controversial industrial mining project in Romania. Furthermore, it did this in a crucial period for the company: the 'legislative permit' time, when the public opinion is essential for the project to receive green light from the authorities.

We chose to communicate with a very influential target, but so difficult to influence, the online opinion leaders, and convinced them to vocally support the mining project. We had an issue, a major perceptional and attitudinal issue, and we managed it with grace, creativity and efficiency.

The results: 1,600% increase in positive online articles, a positive online perception of our industrial mining project and much more.

The campaign was already awarded with Gold at a local PR competition as the best campaign of this type, so we really believe you will also consider it worthy of an award.

The Situation
Gold Corporation is a company due to develop the most modern gold mine in Romania. If the gold is extracted, Romania will become the leading gold producer in Europe. Doubtless, Rosia Montana is the most controversial industrial project in Romania and, except for football and politics, one of the most talked about. The project has mainly NGO opponents, that vocally use the online environment against it. If it were to choose 1 word to describe the project, 'controversy' would be that word.
The company must soon get the green light from the environment authorities and other permits to start the project.

The Goal
Our communication objectives were to:
- Provide rational and transparent information about the project towards bloggers, balance online coverage and get fair coverage of the topic with 1st hand information
- Create a fresh start for the relationships of RMGC and bloggers

The evaluation criteria:
- Increase by 100% the blogger articles related to Rosia Montana from 14 in the previous 6 months to at least 30 in the next 6 months
- Balance the tone of voice when talking about the project
- Get at least 70% positive and neutral articles related to Rosia Montana.

The Strategy
The research helped us to (re)discover that bloggers are real media influencers in Romania, but they are reluctant to write about such a complex and controversial project. Moreover, they did not have first-hand information.

So, when we elaborated our PR strategy, we got back to the PR manuals: face-to-face contact works best. And we came up with a bold idea: what if we put face-to-face the CEO of the company and the irreverent and inquisitive bloggers? A courageous strategic solution that's worth its weight in gold: a National Marathon of Transparency! The keywords: openness, transparency and solid information.

We chose top bloggers from 3 geographic areas, relevant to our client: Bucharest (the capital), Cluj, Alba, Timisoara and Arad (cities directly impacted by the mining project). We chose bloggers who have written before - either pro or against - and also those who have not written about the project. Total target involved: 50+ bloggers.

Execution
Our campaign had 3 highlights: The National Marathon of Transparency started in Bucharest in April, reaching Cluj in July, and Timisoara in September. We chose vivid dialogue over boring presentations: the openness of Q&A sessions between the very CEO of RMGC and bloggers.

We explained how bloggers are and we addressed the idea of transparency by all means and available tools.
The developed creative concept was 'Din Casa' (in Romanian, 'from the house', i.e. 'inside information').

The messages focused on the 4 communication pillars of the project, destroyed myths, and delivered official and proved information. We did not use incentives, and we convinced bloggers to come, relying on pure dialogue and transparency.

The flow: simple and bold. Bloggers asked tough questions. The CEO answered in a friendly, yet firm, way. The people were so interested and the discussions so stimulating that the timing was the only thing not sticking to the plan.

Documented Results
After the National Marathon of Transparency, we recorded a growth of +760% in terms of visibility and of 1,600% of positive articles compared with the previous 6 months. Our PR efforts paid off, overachieving all objectives:
100+ articles: 2 negative, 26 neutral, 80 positive
900+ comments
50+ important bloggers responded to our invitation
32+ Facebook updates
100+ tweets (#rosiamontana)
10 videos on Youtube
200+ photos uploaded
500,000+ people reached.
98% of the written articles were positive and neutral. Beyond figures, the qualitative results were more impressive. The National Marathon of Transparency generated dozens of long and consistent articles, with personal approaches and official key messages.

The bloggers have first-hand information from a company that compliments transparency and openness. They are now informed and able to answer questions and, most importantly, challenge those without knowledge who who speak against Project VOICE.