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Ogilvy PR Sri Lanka wins top Asia Pacific award for Right to Information campaign

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  • Bags SABRE Asia Pacific ‘Best in Show’ Platinum Award, a Gold Award and lines up for a Global SABRE Award  

Ogilvy Public Relations Sri Lanka succeeded in finishing ahead of 1,200 of the best award entries from across the Asia Pacific region at the SABRE APAC Awards held in Hong Kong recently. 

The agency’s ‘Uncover the Truth’ campaign for Sri Lanka’s Right to Information Act won two Certificates of Excellence, a Gold Award in the ‘Charities and Not-For-Profit’ category and the Best-in-Show’ campaign at the SABRE APAC Awards 2017.

Ogilvy Public Relations Sri Lanka is the first and only PR Agency in the country to win the Platinum ‘Best-in-Show’ Award, earning it the crown of the best PR campaign in the Asia Pacific awards show, which saw entries from Australia, Japan, India, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and many others in the region.

The SABRE Awards Show is the world’s largest and most sought after public relations awards competition, which recognises superior achievement in Branding and Reputation Management in North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), South Asia and the Asia-Pacific regions. The SABRE Awards is hosted by The Holmes Report, the authoritative voice of the global public relations industry, dedicated to proving and improving the value of public relations by providing insights, knowledge and recognition to public relations professionals.

This campaign for Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) focused on educating the Sri Lankan public on the Right to Information (RTI) Act, which came into effect on 4th February, 2017, after nearly two decades awaiting parliamentary sign-off. The PR campaign titled ‘Uncover the Truth’, was executed in partnership with the Neth FM radio station and its online channels, to promote the Act’s usage among the public.

“The ‘Uncover the Truth’ campaign beat out four other Platinum-nominated campaigns for ‘Best in Show’. Last week was a proud moment for all of us in Ogilvy Asia Pacific. Thank you, team Sri Lanka for making us so proud,” said, Scott Kronick, Ogilvy Public Relation’s President and CEO for Asia Pacific.

Speaking on the win, Irvin Weerackody, Chairman, Ogilvy Group Sri Lanka, said: “Once considered a stepchild in the marketing world, Public Relations is now a potent tool in marketing and of course in championing public service initiatives. Ogilvy PR has been tremendously successful in the use of best practices in PR in crisis management and strategising public service campaigns over the last few years. The campaign for the Right to Information Act is such an example, and a landmark campaign. Apart from winning the Platinum award for the best in Asia Pacific, the ‘Uncover the Truth’ campaign draws attention to a new law in Sri Lanka that forced disclosure of information held by public authorities and has given hope to the relatives of victims of human rights violations, and many others.It was hailed asa great example of a public service campaignby Paul Holmes, Founder of the Holmes Report and Chairman of the SABRE Awards, in light of a recent controversial PR campaign done in South Africa to incite racial tensions.”

“It is excellent to see the creativity of Ogilvy Public Relations, combined with TISL’s cutting edge work on RTI recognised through this regional award,” said Asoka Obeyesekere, Executive Director of Transparency International Sri Lanka. “We are still only scratching the surface of RTI’s potential impact. This award serves as a reminder of the essential need for innovative communication on citizen rights.”

Ogilvy Public Relations Sri Lanka further has the distinction of being the only Sri Lankan PR Agency to win a Global SABRE Award, which will be presented in Miami, USA, on 25 October. Every year, the SABRE competitions across the globe recognise the 40 most respected and effective PR campaigns from around the world and Sri Lanka’s ‘Uncover the Truth’ campaign is selected as one of the top 40 best PR campaigns in the world for the year 2017.

This year’s accolades received by the agency reign as the biggest global and regional recognitions received by a Sri Lankan PR campaign.

The SABRE Awardsattract over 5,000 entries from more than 60 countries. The winners of the Global awards are the elite of the elite, representing the best in categories ranging from social media to social responsibility, from public affairs to employee communications. These 40 campaigns represent the best of the top 1%, a selection of work that PR professionals around the world can be proud of.  

Ogilvy Public Relations Sri Lanka, previously won the country’s first In2 SABRE Award at the SABRE APAC Awards 2016, for ‘The Vote Scam’ campaign done for Verite Research. Established in 1999 in Sri Lanka, Ogilvy Public Relations is the largest and most awarded PR firm in the country. It is part of the Ogilvy Group in Sri Lanka and the local office of the global PR network, OgilvyPublic Relations, with over 80 offices across the world.


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