Reporters Without Borders Promo, Case study CAPTURED INFORMATION by Publicis Brussels

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Industry Charities, Foundations, Volunteers
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Belgium
Agency Publicis Brussels
Executive Creative Director Paul Servaes
Creative Director Alain Janssens
Art Director Najate El Achari
Copywriter Jérôme Van Den Broeck
Client Service Director Sebastien Desclee
Released April 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Charity and Not for Profit
Executive Creative Director: Paul Servaes (Publicis Brussels)
Creative Director: Alain Janssens (Publicis Brussels)
Copywriter: Jérôme Van Den Broeck (Publicis Brussels)
Art Director: Najate El Achari (Publicis Brussels)
Graphic Designer: Christophe Vantricht (Publicis Brussels)
Print Producer: Marleen Hemeleers (Publicis Brussels)
Art Buyer: Laurence Maes (Publicis Brussels)
Client Service Director: Sébastien Desclée (Publicis Brussels)
Account Manager: Mikaël Ogor (Publicis Brussels)
Web Development: Bureau 347 (Bureau 347)
TV Producer: Marc Van Buggenhout (Publicis Brussels)
Planner: Tom Theys (Publicis Brussels)
Media placement: press - La Libre Belgique - 03/05/2011
Media placement: tv - RTL-TVI - 03/05/2011
Media placement: radio - Radio Contact, Bel RTL - 03/05/2011
Media placement: internet - MM, Le Vif, Pub, Le Soir, La Libre Belgique - 03/05/2011

Summary of the Campaign
May 3rd has been International Press Freedom day for quite some time, but it never made it to the headlines. That changed in 2011.

In order to make it tangible to the Belgian audience and the politicians how threatened press freedom can also affect their lives, Reporters Without Borders decided to deprive them from their main sources of information.

The 7 o’clock news on TV, the morning news on national radio, 5 main news websites and a leading quality newspaper, all in their own way blocked the information to their audience. They signed off: 'Each time a journalist is imprisoned, it’s your right to know that is being locked up.’

This 1 day campaign had a massive PR result:
• It reached almost 40% of the Belgian population
• It affected both politicians, opinion leaders, journalists and the public
• The awareness of RWB among journalists as an organisation defending journalists’ rights rose to 100%
• The issue of threatened press freedom made it to the political agenda
• Already the collaboration of the media themselves lead to a higher involvement of RWB’s main PR audience: journalists
• Media cost: €0. Media impact: priceless

The Situation
RWB defends the press freedom across the world and as such acts as a defender of reporters and journalists in all countries. RWB is a small organisation and as such is not high on the list of well-known NGO’s. May 3rd is an important day for them: It is the International Press Freedom Day and this usually offers RWB the chance to get a little bit more attention than anyone else.

The Goal
Raise awareness, both of the situation of threatened press freedom, as of RWB as an organisation. Reach the 3 main audiences: politicians/opinion leaders, journalists and the public.

The Strategy
It’s hard to get through to people if you don’t affect them personally. We wanted to raise awareness for the threatened press freedom in certain countries by showing what this could mean for the people over here: by blocking their access to their favourite sources of information.

On May 3, the 7pm news on RTL-TVI (the most popular news channel) opened as usual, but fell flat right after the titles since there was no newsreader on the set. The same day, the homepages of 5 major news sites were simply black.

When the news opened on radio stations Bel RTL and Radio Contact (the most popular radio stations), there was no newsreader behind the microphone. 5,000 copies of the newspaper La Libre, distributed among politicians and opinion leaders, were sealed with a sticker. We literally hijacked the news on that symbolic day.

All the actions were signed off with the line 'Each time a journalist is imprisoned, it’s you right to know that is being locked up.’

Documented Results
In only 1 day’s time, we reached almost 40% of the Belgian population. The campaign had a dramatic impact on the audience, was shared on social networks and for the first time got 'press freedom' on the public agenda.

We reached a click through rate of 4,3% with our action on the internet (average rate benchmark is