2006

Vote corruption away

In APRIL 2006 Armenian Public Relations Association was incepted as 13th member of Anticorruption Coalition of NGOs, established in 2004 and supported by OSCE Branch Office in Armenia. Coalition is dealing with the projects, aimed at tackling corruption cases in various areas of public life: public health, education, military service, SME, customs services and several business regulatory bodies by publicizing cases of successful lawsuits of small businesses against the state, and stressing the importance of public authorities' transparency.

APRA’s role in the coalition has been defined as that of raising visibility and provide publicity to the overall work of coalition.

In June – October 2006, within the framework of the OSCE anti-corruption initiative and in order to support ongoing field activities of NGO Anti-Corruption Coalition, APRA implemented an anticorruption PR campaign using a combination of media and advertising instruments to promote awareness of Corruption implication at a particular, strategic point of time.

The campaign was designed to appeal to broad layers of population and was built around placing articles in newspapers, posting television social advertisement spot encouraging citizens to take a stand against corruption under the general slogan: “Vote Corruption Away!”

The project was focused not on “naming names” or attacks on individuals, but rather on building systems that combat corruption.

Important component of the campaign was encouraging citizens to protect their rights and find solutions through seeking advice and consultation in public reception centers established by OSCE NGO-partners and through courts as well as by using other legitimate ways of fighting corruption. The project also helped establish and develop collaboration with the NGOs of the anti-corruption coalition and strengthen links with these organizations and their representatives.

To make this happen the heads of these NGOs were interviewed and these interviews were published in the newspaper supplement. The supplement was disseminated along with the main edition of “Im Iravunq” newspaper, reaching the audience and telling the public about the activities of the coalition and bringing the opinions of the heads of these NGOs to the attention of the readers.

The second phase of the project was aimed at developing an anticorruption TV spot with an understandable message that could be easily picked up by the public and perceived as a call to action, to behavioral changes. Initially, the project participants discussed the scenario ideas of the TV spot, then these ideas were elaborated into a concept and later – into a scenario plan for the TV spot. The spot was developed by a team of professionals and was aired more than 40 times on four TV channels.

Remarkable assistance provided by Armenian leading TV companies regarding pricing policy and quantity of broadcasts helped to bring about as big social resonance as possible. Development of a most effective TV spot increased public awareness on the activities of the NGOs coalition, fighting corruption.

During only 15 days TV promotion campaign more than 300 calls were received which aroused belief that corruption can be fought, and this has to be done on individual level as well.

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