The Manila Electric Company (Meralco), the country’s premier electric distribution utility, has once again demonstrated excellence beyond delivering stable and reliable electric service in its franchise area.
Recognized for its impactful internal and external communication programs centered on employee health & safety, customer service excellence and transparency, the company bagged one gold and four silvers in the recently concluded 57th Anvil Awards.
The Anvil Awards is an awards program annually held by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP). Dubbed as “the Oscars of Philippine Public Relations”, it recognizes outstanding programs, campaigns, and tools that showcase the highest standards of PR practice in the country.
This year’s theme for Anvil Awards “Humanity First” highlights the importance of PR in spreading messages of hope and optimism, and recognizing PR as a tool that can be mobilized for good. This was more relevant in context of today’s challenges, with communication becoming even more crucial amid the global health crisis. Developing various ways of communicating advocacies and initiatives to customers and stakeholders have become imperative to enable the company to adapt to the impact of the pandemic.
“These Anvil wins are manifestations of Meralco’s commitment to purposeful and meaningful communication that is called for during this challenging time,” said Joe Zaldarriaga, Meralco Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications.
Meralco’s 2020 Annual Report, “Power On,” won a Gold Anvil under the category of Public Relations Tool. In its Annual Report, the company reinvented its visual vocabulary, turning constraints into something fresh and new. Its writing was crisp in its narration of the challenges that brought out the grit and heroism of the company, its employees, and its partners.
Power On encapsulated the best of Meralco during the worst of times. The annual report even bagged the highly coveted Gold Stevie in the Best Annual Report category at the 2021 Stevie International Business Awards, besting 19 other nominations from various organizations from different industries worldwide. Stakeholders expressed agreement with “thumbs up” and commendations during Meralco’s virtual annual shareholder meeting.
In addition to Power On’s Gold, Meralco also won Silver Anvils for the following communication campaigns:
#AYOKOMAGVIRAL: A MERALCO INTERNAL CAMPAIGN AGAINST COVID-19
Category: Public Relations Program Directed at Specific Stakeholders
Meralco, as the largest electric distribution utility in the country, has been at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19. In order to continue delivering stable and reliable electric service 24/7 to its customers, it had to first take care of its manpower.
#AyokoMagviral is Meralco’s internal communications campaign that affirms the commitment of Meralco in fulfilling its part in helping curb the rise of infections, especially among the thousands of its employees, their families and communities. The campaign featured simple images with compelling and incisive text, reminding employees to always observe pandemic health protocols in and outside of the workplace.
MERALCO: PROVIDING CONSUMERS THE POWER DURING SUMMER
Category: Specialized Public Relations Programs
In the summer of 2021, government imposed stricter quarantine restrictions due to rising COVID-19 cases. During this period, temperature reached a 40-degree high, and with more people at home under sweltering heat, consumption and electricity bills were also bound to inevitably increase. In May 31 to June 2, Luzon grid plunged to RED ALERT, and Meralco had to implement rotating brownouts. As an offshoot of this, prices in the electricity spot market also increased.
In spite of the dire situation, Meralco proactively communicated the need for intelligent use of electricity via multi-platform, integrated campaign maximizing all available media, to reach its multiple stakeholders. Meralco also served as enabler for its residential & business customers in the pursuit of solutions. By September 2021, Meralco logged its second highest net PR value on record, with summer campaign contributing largest share. Customer satisfaction ratings also surpassed last year- proof that the information drive provided value for both Meralco and its publics.
GIVE HOPE: 2020 ONE MERALCO FOUNDATION ANNUAL REPORT
Category: Public Relations Tool
In May 2021, One Meralco Foundation (OMF) published “Give Hope,” its 2020 annual report. More than reporting the financial performance and program accomplishments of the foundation, the publication served as a vehicle to showcase how its advocacies gave hope to beneficiaries in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the disruption caused by the health crisis was unprecedented, OMF was quick to reallocate its resources and review its strategy early on to implement programs best suited to the new needs of communities greatly impacted by the pandemic. On top of this, OMF pursued and succeeded in meeting its original, pre-pandemic targets.
This agility and resilience of the foundation — a reflection of its maturity and dependability as a social development organization — were captured in “Give Hope,” alongside heartwarming stories of meaningful impact told from the perspective of those whose lives were positively transformed by OMF’s initiatives.
LIVE LIFE: 2020 MERALCO SUSTAINABILITY REPORT
Category: Public Relations Tool
Live Life is Meralco’s second sustainability report (SR). It builds on the momentum of the Company’s highly successful and lauded maiden 2019 SR by capturing Meralco’s heightened commitment to embed sustainability at its core—in support of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
As the primary platform for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosures, Live Life presents Meralco’s efforts and progress across the four pillars—Power, Planet, People, Prosperity—of its sustainability agenda (characterized by the phrase Powering the Good Life). It articulates how Meralco provided life-giving energy to its customers and communities during an extraordinary year fraught with crises, keeping the lights on for millions of Filipinos and helping them overcome the adverse impacts of climate change and COVID-19. Finally, it outlines Meralco’s long-term sustainability aspirations through 2030 and beyond—a testament to Meralco’s thrust to power good lives and bring forth a better normal today and for generations to come.
All these awards and recognitions serve as a testament to Meralco’s customer-centric, goal-oriented and impactful programs that not only promote sustainability, but also prove to be beneficial for customers and industry stakeholders during the pandemic. Excellent and clear communication is essential to ensure that Meralco’s programs and services are well understood and appreciated by its customers and stakeholders.