The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) wins the Philippines’ first gold award as the crisis or issues management campaign of the year and the country’s first silver as the corporate social responsibility campaign of the year in PRWeek Awards 2016 – Asia’s prestigious awards program celebrating the most creative and effective public relations campaigns.
Meralco bagged the Philippines’ lone gold winner for its communication efforts during the summer supply crisis threat of 2015. The silver trophy was presented for Meralco’s “salba-bote” campaign. Meralco bested nominated entries from Asia Pacific countries including Japan, Australia, India, Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Last year’s summer power supply crisis threat proved to be a rewarding challenge for Meralco as the power distribution utility sought ways to mitigate the supply deficiency, and at the same time empower various stakeholders with multi-platform solutions. Meralco was able to turn around a crisis scenario via bringing forward innovative demand-side management solutions, harnessing collaboration and institutionalizing energy efficiency, thus earning the company, and the country, the first gold trophy for issues management in the regional awards program.
Meralco also got a silver for “salba-bote”, the company-developed safety device used to protect lives during typhoons and floods. “Salba-bote” is an improvised flotation device (IFD) made of readily available materials making it easy to replicate and distribute to customers in flood-prone areas. “Salba-bote” serves as a multi-functional rescue gear and survival kit, made up of empty recyclable softdrink bottles inside a plastic-coated mesh bag with water-resistant pocket for emergency supplies. Salba-bote is the only IFD publicly endorsed by the Philippine Red Cross and the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary to be used during rescue operations.
Alfredo Panlilio, Meralco Senior Vice President & Head of Customer Retail Services & Corporate Communications, believes that the awards are manifestations of the company’s endeavor to provide customers with outstanding communication service & initiatives. Panlilio said, “Our communication efforts last summer was centered on empowering customers with solutions and allowing for tight collaboration, while salba-bote is a product of innovative thinking and concern for the safety of our customers. Winning accolades for both underlines the importance for companies, especially for utilities like Meralco, to go above and beyond the call of service, and create initiatives that drive real change with an impact on nation-building.”
Panlilio adds, “This is a shared achievement, not just for Meralco but for the nation as well. It shows that the Philippines is at par with the best campaigns in the Asian communications industry.”