The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Philippines held on March 25 its first-ever virtual 18th Philippine Quill Awards to recognize the most excellent ideas, strategies, and executions in business communications that delivered impactful results in 2020.
The Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) is one of the year’s top winners, bagging a total of 13 Excellence Awards and 17 Merit Awards across 13 different categories under the Communication Management and Communication Skills divisions. Helping MERALCO reach its goals for communications efforts is Ripple8, a 360-degree public relations agency that caters to all business communication needs.
In light of the continuing pandemic and the unprecedented challenges it brings, this year IABC created a special category honoring COVID-19 communications.
“We congratulate MERALCO for receiving the Quill Top Award for COVID-19 communications, among other honors, at the recent Quill Awards. Being a partner of MERALCO for over 10 years now has been our honor and privilege at Ripple8. We want to thank MERALCO for the opportunity and continued trust as we help shape their communication strategies and executions, especially during these unprecedented times. We hope to create and implement more innovative solutions in communication with MERALCO to better serve its customers in the years to come,” says Ripple8 Managing Director Bobby Vito.
MERALCO’s “Digital Press Conferences: Keeping close with Media and Public Despite Social Distancing” was a project formed at the height of the pandemic. It was among the first to innovate and adapt to the unexpected shift and create a system that allowed MERALCO to have unhampered communications with stakeholders through media announcements. It also enabled the company to sustain and even strengthen media relations, which ultimately led to better information dissemination to the general public.
The project saw the company’s swift and immediate response to the need for better measures to continuously conduct press briefings and serve relevant information without breaking protocol and risking the health and safety of media guests and employees. By utilizing digital platforms like Zoom and MS teams, MERALCO was able to conduct regular conferences and other engaging activities virtually attended by members of the press and media.
“The COVID-19 pandemic, challenging as it is, has pushed us to transcend the boundaries of traditional communications. It made us utilize a more innovative approach as we adjusted to the limitations brought by the times,” said Joe Zaldarriaga, Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications for MERALCO.
Aside from this, MERALCO also earned an Excellence Award for Internal Communication – Corporate Communication with its “MERALCO Goes Green” campaign, which empowered employees to do their part in living sustainably through informational videos and graphics, posters, and cheat sheets released through the #MeralcoGoesGreen campaign. MERALCO also won an Excellence Award for Customer Relations Communications with its “MERALCO Advisory: Informing, Educating, and Equipping Customers with Knowledge through Innovative Communications” campaign, which used a digital and social media approach by means of animation on its monthly MERALCO Advisory TVC materials. Both award-winning entries were contenders for the Top Division Award for Communication Management.