Tokyo, September 9, 2013 – A communications campaign for the Japanese Red Cross Society undertaken by Dentsu Public Relations Inc. (Dentsu PR) has won its category in the 2013 Golden World Awards (GWA) for excellence in public relations decided by the International Public Relations Association.
Dentsu PR’s campaign was voted the world’s best in the “Internal Communications – Agency” category and this year’s award takes to ten the number of GWA honors Dentsu PR has won to date, including a Grand Prix award in 2005. Dentsu PR was the sole winner from Japan this year. The campaign that earned Dentsu PR its award, entitled “Spirit of Togetherness”, harnessed the communication potential of the 62,000 Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS) employees to deepen understanding of the organization’s mission and to raise public awareness.
Commenting on the agency’s success in this year’s GWA competition, Takehiko Chikami, President and CEO of Dentsu PR, was delighted that the campaign mounted for the JRCS had received such high recognition abroad. “The ‘spirit of serving the public good’ is something that those of us working in PR should always nurture within ourselves,” he said.
Established in 1990, the GWA is divided into 30 categories, with each category featuring an Agency and In-house award. This year, 325 entries were submitted from around the world, and there was also a United Nations Special Award, judged by a panel of UN officials, to recognize the campaign which most closely followed the aims and ideals of the UN.
Kenji Hanaue, who headed the Communication Design Division at Dentsu PR responsible for the winning campaign, said he realizes more than ever that the basis of corporate communication comes from within organizations. “While the issue of enhancing external communication ability is linked to organizations as a whole, by considering internal coordination and the PR skills of each employee as essential we achieved significant reforms working together with the Japanese Red Cross,” he said. Dentsu PR will be awarded the prize at a Gala Ceremony hosted by the International Public Relations Association later this year.
Outline of the award-winning project
Project name: “Spirit of Togetherness – Enhancing the Japanese Red Cross’s Communications Capacity”
Entry category: Internal Communications – Agency
Client: Japanese Red Cross Society
– Kenji Hanaue, Executive Project Manager, Communication Design Division
– Yuriko Kano, PR Director
– Takeshi Okuma, Project Manager, Business Promotion Department
– Manabu Yamashita, Senior Consultant, Account Services Division
Since its foundation in 1877, the Japanese Red Cross Society has been expanding its activities, providing services such as disaster relief, managing hospitals and organizing blood donations through some 442 facilities nationwide. Heavily reliant on public donations, in recent years the JRCS found itself struggling for funds after failing to effectively publicize its activities, particularly among younger Japanese. The major cause of this trend was felt to be internal, with limited coordination and ineffective PR.
To correct this, in September 2007 the “Spirit of Togetherness” campaign was launched to boost the internal communications capacity of the organization. The key to raising the public profile of the JRCS was seen as maximizing the use of its most valuable resource – its 62,000 employees.
Through seminars and other means, the communication sense and skills of staff members were successfully enhanced. Subsequently, an annual awards system was established in 2008 to recognize the most
outstanding communications activities, with the practices and knowhow from such cases shared across the organization to much educational benefit.
The corporate slogan born out of the campaign, “Together for humanity”, has featured in government-approved Japanese language junior high school textbooks since April 2012, as a key example to encourage young people to actively help each other. Indeed, this message really resonated with many JRCS employees in the aftermath of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, as their contributions to internal newsletters and other media attested.
Over the past five years or so, the view within the Society that had relegated PR to being of secondary importance has steadily changed. There has also been a fivefold increase in media placements reporting the organization’s good works, and 97% of staff members surveyed evaluated the campaign as effective.
About Dentsu Public Relations Inc.
Dentsu Public Relations Inc., a pioneer in the field in Japan, has been supporting Japanese and foreign clients to communicate more effectively with their stakeholders for over 50 years since its inauguration in 1961. Its workforce of 228, including consultants with expertise in fields such as social media and digital marketing, is ideally equipped to provide a fully comprehensive service, from strategic proposals to specialized solutions.