Hill+Knowlton South Africa scoops Corporate Social Responsibility Award

Hill+Knowlton Strategies South Africa is the proud winner of the coveted PR Daily Corporate Social Responsibility Award in the ‘Best Public Health/Safety Initiative’ category. The agency was recognised for its success in telling the continent about The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation’s response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa.

Group Account Director, Jennifer Leppington-Clark, says H+K is honoured to receive the award. “Doing work that matters is what excites us at Hill+Knowlton Strategies. And, when you have an opportunity to combine challenging and creative work with the need to raise awareness around an issue, then you’ve hit the sweet spot,” Leppington-Clark says.

The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF) asked Hill+Knowlton Strategies (H+K) to develop a plan to tell its employees, stakeholders and the media about what its doing to help doctors, medical support staff and people infected with Ebola in West Africa.

The result was a well-planned and executed strategy, consisting of two approaches, to help spread the message across the continent through H+K’s wide network of South African and Pan-Africa media.

The strategy started with a PR campaign which leveraged all earned and owned media channels (traditional and social). Then Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of the CNN Multichoice African Journalist of the Year Awards was utilised to position Coca-Cola as a thought leader on Ebola.

At the Coca-Cola Company-sponsored breakfast, an event which forms part of the annual awards, H+K facilitated a panel discussion which challenged the media to do more in reporting the African story around Ebola....

A key focus of the discussion was finding ways to refocus the African media’s gaze on Africa – where the real challenges of this epidemic lie.


 - The press releases and thought leadership article received 30 mentions across African media including coverage in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia and Malawi.
 - This included 16 Tier 1 publications and broadcasters with a PR value of $2.4 million, a reach of 24 million and an ROI of 13.4:1.
 - One of the most important successes of this event is that it started a conversation around coverage of Ebola. Media outlets started their own discussions – without being prompted – taking a critical view on how the media continues to cover the crisis in West Africa.
 - Joy Summers – a producer from South Africa’s Carte Blanche – and a category award winner at the CNN Multichoice awards this year, commissioned an Africa-focused Ebola story.

“We hoped through this campaign to challenge African journalists to continue to tell the story of their continent and to keep this issue front and centre,” Leppington-Clark says.