[Agency: Havas PR Spain]


Challenge: To convince video game users that “PES 2013” is the most realistic football simulator ever created.

Actions: For the first time in history, a fan became a virtual player of his favorite video game. We created a tournament to find the best football and video game player in Spain. We then traveled with him to Japan, where the video games developers created his avatar and joined in the video game. Today, millions of fans around the world play as him.

Results: More than 9 million users now play every day, and totalling over 1 billion impacts around the world just after a national campaign, earning a PR value of €3.2 million. We converted the product into the main channel to get the message to our users. We’ve won more than 20 awards in the main global awards festivals, and have had “Enter the Game” covered in many news outlets, including here.


[Agency: The Abernathy MacGregor Group]

Challenge: We have provided counsel to a U.S. Fortune 10 company on two separate issues of food tampering and food recall in China. The crisis training that we had previously conducted with the company and its management provided the necessary framework for responding to crisis situations and allowed the issues to be resolved quickly and efficiently, with minimal damage to the company’s reputation.

Actions: Our agency worked with the company’s local corporate affairs team to align on strategy, coordination, messaging and stakeholder outreach and developed communications materials (media statements, executive messaging, stakeholder Q&A) for that team as well as the larger U.S.-based corporate affairs team. As the situation developed, we counseled the crisis response team, coordinated with the U.S.-based corporate affairs team to handle incoming media requests and participated in regular calls to strategize and align messaging. We worked with the local corporate affairs team in China to understand the business impact of the issue, actively monitored media reports to identify and correct misinformation, tracked other relevant stakeholder perception as the issue evolved, and provided high-level analysis of media for the corporate affairs teams in the U.S. and China. Finally, our agency helped the company reinforce its commitment to food safety and announce additional guidelines that it was adopting to further strengthen its standards.

Results: Reputational damage was mitigated, and the company has assumed a leadership role on food safety issues.

Helping a Newtown Family

[Agency: Havas PR North America]

Challenge: The day after the December 2012 massacre in Newtown, Conn., we offered our help pro bono to Alissa and Robbie Parker, parents of 6-year-old victim Emilie. They were overwhelmed not only by grief but also by an influx of requests from media, by people wanting to help and by hateful conspiracy theorists.

Actions: Our agency focused on the word “movement.” First was moving the family offscreen so that they could grieve, then moving their communications to statements (which we provided to handpicked local and national media outlets) and the WordPress site we created (emilieparkerfund.com), which set the stage for a global movement. We continue to monitor comments and coordinate with law-enforcement agencies regarding threatening messages. Havas PR North America has managed all conversations with media from the start, including placing a lengthy interview with the Parkers with CBS at the 100-day anniversary of the shooting. Piers Morgan saw it and personally invited Robbie on his show.

Results: Robbie Parker wrote that we “truly helped” them get through difficult days. Our website has garnered 139,000 unique visitors, and the CBS interview opened a media floodgate—22.1 million media impressions and 1.8 billion Twitter impressions over the first weekend alone. Our best result? Helping the Parkers tell their story in a way that helps them heal and allows Emilie’s life to make a difference forever.

China Zhongwang Holdings

[Agency: Porda Havas]

Challenge: On Sept. 14, 2009, The Economic Observer, one of the most influential financial media in China, published an inaccurate article that claimed that Zhongwang Holdings had fabricated sales to its top 10 customers in its listing prospectus. The newspaper claimed it had received an anonymous allegation, which was said to have been verified by ZW. Many other news portals picked up the story. After the article was published, ZW’s share price dropped by more than 10 percent.

Actions: ZW, the world’s second-largest industrial aluminum extrusion product developer and manufacturer, is a client of Porda Havas. We alerted management to the news article, put our crisis management operation in place immediately and worked closely with ZW throughout the process. The Economic Observer, which was alerted of its mistakes, carried out subsequent investigations and accepted that the contents of the article were seriously inconsistent with the facts. We advised a media conference with ZW’s major clients and an audit committee to conduct an independent review, then a conference call with investors about the results.

Results: The Economic Observer publicly apologized to ZW and its investors through its official website and the newspaper on Sept. 16, 2009. It published a correction to the inaccurate article, and we circulated the key message about ZW—that the company is dedicated to maintaining transparent communications—through media and research reports to better enhance the understanding of ZW and improve investors’ confidence level. ZW’s corporate image has improved, its brand awareness has increased and its share price has stabilized.