by Khomotso Makuse

Awareness campaign scoops major award

49M gets PRISM for environment

Energy efficiency practices have improved due to the success of the 49M campaign which won the PRISM Gold Award in the environment category.
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The 16th PRISM Awards, one of Africa's most sought-after awards in the public relations and communication industry, were held in Sandton, Johannesburg at the weekend.

“The 49M campaign entry focused on the use of effective public relations in persuading South Africans to save electricity through leading energy efficient lifestyles and to influence people to be environmentally friendly and mindful of South Africa’s resources,” says Pat Nyathi, chief executive officer of Sandton based Global Interface Consultancy.

Global Interface Consulting is an integrated marketing agency and entered the 2013 PRISM Awards on behalf of its corporate client, Eskom. 

The PRISM Awards are presented to public relations and communication professionals who have successfully incorporated strategy, creativity and professionalism into public relations and communication programmes together with strategies that showcase a successful public relations campaign.

In its entry, 49M revealed that the latest research has confirmed that energy efficiency awareness has risen to 73% where 83% of the aware group has indicated that the campaign led to their changed behaviour.

The campaign has also seen over 200 000 pledges by individual South Africans and up to 77 corporate partners pledging to support energy efficiency.

'You turned me on now turn me off', 'Let’s take it outside', 'it’s nicer in the dark'. These were some of 49M’s messaging tags spread to move SA to switch off the lights, spend more time outdoors and keep the minimum lights on.

The campaign launched in March 2010 in response to a constrained power system, encourages South Africans to live green by leading energy energy efficient (EE) lifestyles.

Tapping into South Africa’s witty flair the campaign kept South Africa on its quirky toes throughout the year from challenging them to make EE resolutions to keeping a sexy 'candle light' valentines.

“One of South African’s best traits is their friendliness, humour and ubuntu, the 49M campaign sought to tap into all these levels of our national personality to ensure resonance and relevance.

"Over and above the recognition of our public relations ability we would also like to continue to urge South Africans to value their resources by using sparingly and switching off what they are not using to ensure that our future generations may also enjoy the abundance we have. That is what Ubuntu is about” explains Nyathi.

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