PR > Excellence in PR

A TEAM OF ONE

LOONG, Beijing / TENCENT FOUNDATION, CHINA ORGAN DONATION ADMINISTRATIVE CENTER / 2019

Awards:

Silver Cannes Lions
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Overview

Credits

Overview

Why is this work relevant for PR?

The campaign raised the awareness of voluntary organ donation to the public through the story of a special basketball team with only one boy. Hundreds of media agencies covered it without payment, and led to a significant increase in organ donor registration.

Background

While organ donations and their subsequent transplants are a popular process in western countries, that's not the case in China.

China banned transplant of organs from executed prisoners in 2015, and voluntary donation have been the only source. However, many are against the procedure due to cultural beliefs. In China many conservative elderly people still insist on the Chinese tradition of burying the dead intact. Many people have hardly even heard of organ donation.

Every year about 300,000 Chinese are on waiting lists to receive organ transplants, but only just over 16,000 receive transplants each year.The ratio of demand-to-supply is 30 to one.

We aim to boost voluntary donations and promote awareness of the cause.

Describe the creative idea

We found five organ recipients of Ye Sha.Thay formed a team named after him and played a match against professional players in late January as their tribute to the donor and the cause of organ donation. The organs they received are pictured on their jerseys and the number made up the date 4/27/2017, the day the donor died. It was the day they got a new chance at life.

Describe the PR strategy

Organ donation requires the support of everyone. It is not an act of human compassion, but a result of a good education. We don't try to persuade individuals to donate, but to make organ donation appreciated by the whole of society.

Ye Sha(alias) was a teenage donor who donated his organs to save 7 people. As he was an avid basketball fan, we found 5 recipients of them to form a team, hoping to play a game with professional basketball team.

We put the story on China's biggest social platform with a challenge letter to China Basketball Association(CBA). Millions of users were moved and reposted and registered as donors. Their signatures made CBA agree to a friendly match, which was broadcast live on TV and online.

Describe the PR execution

On International Basketball Day, that is December 21,2018,Ye Sha's team sent out a challenge letter to professional basketball teams on WeChat social network. It went viral, with millions of hits and reposts. With 70,000 signatures behind its back, the message was put on the table of CBA. In the end, they agreed to a friendly match during the Women's Chinese Basketball Association (WCBA) All-Star Game, which would be broadcast live on TV and online,

The team had two days of training before the five-minute game. On January 27,2019, during the game, the team had just three shots, with the help of their competitors from the WCBA. But they received warm applause from the audience in the stadium, including basketball star Yao Ming.

List the results

There were 8.26 million clicks and shares on WeChat network in 3 days, and 1.36 million trending hashtags in 3 months. About 70,000 people put their signatures on the challenge letter to basketball star Yao Ming, Chairman of CBA.

408 media agencies covered the campaign with 1335 reports in 3 months. There was a 4-minute feature report by CCTV Network News with China's hightest audience rating of 8.33%. All of these cost 0 dollar.

In response, more than 150,000 people registered as voluntary donors, which was a 4 times increase compared with 2017. Theoretically, each donor can give an average of 3.5 organs, which means about 525,000 people could benefit.

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