U.N, World Food Program


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A case study from a few back that catalogues my work for the WFP over the course of 2-3 years...helping the agency deliver a frontline daily newsletter & built-in media analysis service

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U.N, World Food Program

  1. 1. World Food Programme This case study shows how the United Nations Word Food Programme’s (WFP) need for a real-time international news service and evaluation programme was met by Delahaye Medialink’s news digest service. It explains how this ‘Daily News Digest evaluation news service’ has evolved over the last twelve months and how it is not only helping the WFP to measure the content and efficacy of media coverage, but now it is also serving as an early alert system to address mis-reporting, mis-representation and poor interpretation of the facts surrounding the reporting of the work done in highly sensitive situations throughout the world. (Haiti, North Korea,INDEX Darfur/Sudan).Work of the WFP 1 Set-up in 1963, WFP is the United Nations frontline agency in the fight against global hunger. In 2003, WFP fed 104 million people in 81 countries,Who the WFP helps 2 including most of the worlds refugees and internally displaced people.WFP Challenge 3 Scheduled to go into operation in 1963 as a three-year experimental programme, WFP was up and running before it could walk. An earthquakeA Fresh Approach 4 hit Iran in September 1962, followed by a hurricane in Thailand in October.Correcting Press 5 Newly independent Algeria was resettling 5 million refugees. Food aid wasReports urgently needed and WFP supplied it. It has never stopped.Taking Evaluation 6 Since 1996, WFP has been governed by the WFP Executive Board, whichTo Present consists of 36 Member States. The Executive Director, appointed jointly by the UN Secretary General and the Director-General of the FAO for fixedMore Content, 7 five-year terms, sits at the head of the Secretariat of WFP.Stronger Relation-ships Special points of WFP Mission interest: • Stop ‘mis- As the food aid arm of the UN, WFP uses its food to: reporting’ • Stop ‘factual inac- • Meet emergency needs curacies’ • Stop ‘incorrect sto- • Support economic & social development ries’ • Global news • The Agency also provides the logistics support necessary to get evaluation service food aid to the right people at the right time and in the right place. • Partner approach to a world beating • The WFP works to put hunger at the centre of the international organisation agenda, promoting policies, strategies and operations that directly benefits the poor and hungry.
  2. 2. Who does the WFP help? Page 2 • Victims of natural disasters like the Mozambique floods in 2000 or Hurricane Mitch, which affected one million people in Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatamala in October 1998 • Displaced People - both refugees and internally displaced persons that are forced to leave towns and villages in places like Kosovo and Sierra Leone. • The world’s hungry poor, trapped in a twilight zone between poverty and malnutrition • WFP also believes that women are the first solution to hunger and poverty. Women not only cook food. They sow, reap and harvest it. Yet, in many developing countries, they eat last and least.How does the WFP fight hunger?WFP is the world’s largest international food aid organizationcombating hunger in underdeveloped nations with severe foodshortages. The frontline stretches from sub-Saharan Africa andthe Middle East to Latin America and Asia & the Pacific.Rescue: WFP stands on a permanent state of alert, ready to mobilisefood aid for delivery to natural and man-made disaster areas.Rapid Reaction: WFP’s rapid response team draws-up contingencyplans designed to move food and humanitarian aid fast into disasterareas. The WFP works closely with the other members of the UNfamily, governments and NGOs, offering its logistics expertise toguarantee the delivery of all kinds of humanitarian aid.Rehabilitation: WFP food aid also serves as a means to get disaster-affected regions back on their feet.Deterrence: Malnutrition gnaws away at the most valuable asset in anycountry’s development: its children and its workers. Food aid is one ofthe most effective deterrents against long-term poverty.Development: The WFP kick-starts development by paying workerswith rations to build vital infrastructure, and in offering children food aidas a reward for going to school.
  3. 3. The WFP Challenge Page 3 The WFP wanted a reliable and useful media intelligence and evaluation tool that provided a comprehensive service covering all WFP mentions across all principal national newspapers in a number of core donor coun- tries. International consultants (Deloitte & Touche) assessed the impact of the WFP’s press and media operations internationally and reported that the organization was making a strong impact upon the world’s media. What the WFP now required was a reliable system to measure that im- pact. This was particularly true in donor countries, where the media plays such a significant part in shaping the size and use of the overseas aid budget at a political level. The WFP tried several suppliers prior to coming to Delahaye and had been unhappy with the quality of service received. So, in the summer of Countries included: 2003, the WFP signed an agreement with Delahaye to take its web based Daily News Digest service covering news stories about the WFP that ap- UK peared in international ‘top-line’ major papers that covered 13 of its ma- France jor donor countries. USA Finland Denmark The Delahaye solution Sweden Norway Germany• Track WFP Press Releases and Spokespersons that had been cited in Netherlands these releases. (See Figures 2 & 3 attached for full lists and examples) Italy• Capture all WFP coverage across the defined media in all major donor Australia countries Canada• Deliver a daily news service to all regional WFP communication offices Japan (around 35 worldwide)• All foreign language content summarised and translated into English• Each story has an interactive link back to the original news source – or it would have a full text copy of the same story “If the WFP was to have• All available to WFP executives around the world using a web based a meaningful evaluation delivery tool tool that helped its daily• Content is searched and updated twice daily decision making, we had• All content on the web site is categorised and searchable by - Key Words to design it so that it - Media Type offers both real-time - Reporter needs and with classic - Spokesperson ‘historical drill-down - Press release reporting tools to the - Dominant issues/messages - Stakeholder groupings client.’ - By country Norman Clements - Specialist comment Managing Director Delahaye Europe
  4. 4. Early Stages of the Project Page 4A new team took control at WFP in acy of the service, so that it couldRome – run by communications become a tool that could assistexperts Neil Gallagher and Brenda them in day-to-day decision making.Barton. They wanted more newscoverage of a greater number of In early 2004, the WFP appointed anews titles and more immediacy. new Scandanavian WFP chief. HisLast February, they authorized an team would capture clips from theextension of the reading list covering region (Norway, Sweden, Denmarkmajor publications from all donor and Finland) and would provide thecountries and a fresh country was information for the main quarterlyadded (Ireland). reports only. To compensate for the loss of these countries on aThese changes were driven by daily basis, Ireland was introducedinternal WFP demand as more staff to the survey and the current set ofsigned up to the Daily News Digest publication across the remainingsystem. With more demand came countries was thrown wide open torequests for wider coverage. The better reflect the realities of pressnew WFP team were also curious coverage of the WFP global com-about ways to improve the immedi- munications work. A Fresh ApproachAs part of this new agreement, outside standard European work- WFP Chief Publicreached between Delahaye and the ing hours and organise an emer- Affairs officer, BrendaWFP in February 2004, Delahaye gency email alert system that sends Barton commented:agreed to shift focus of its service ‘warning’ of breaking news to keyfrom simple reporting of news to far WFP staff – so that when they ar- “We have found themore pro-active support of the day- rive at their desks the next day service extremely helpfulto-day work of the WFP. they have a clear indication of the at all levels. We are able WFP-related stories that are mak-The new focus was on the develop- ing the news. to measure where wement of a international multi-country stand in terms of ournews ‘radar’ system that could alert Delahaye also sought to work on work on a global scale.the WFP to breaking news that could ways of assisting key WFP commu- We also have a team athave a major impact upon its busi- nication staff to track, monitor and Delahaye that activelyness. This meant that although Dela- assist in helping the WFP tohaye was to plan for the eventual ‘protect the brand’ from press mis- supports us whenever we‘switching on’ of deep media evalua- takes and misreporting that gave a need to act fast to correcttion in mid 2004, it was also to seek wrong impression of the WFP and media inaccuracies.”ways to monitor stories breaking its works around the globe. Tracking Media ErrorsA plane was downed recently in the discovered whether this story ap-Aruba Mountains of Sudan. It was peared anywhere else. In fact, nofeared that WFP staff were on board. WFP staff were involved and as theThis story came from a Khartoum- story broke on Italian websites De-based stringer’s report to that effect lahaye fed the information back towhich was transmitted through the WFP – who ensured that theANSA. Delahaye’s DND system information was corrected and re-picked up this story and quickly tractions issued where required.
  5. 5. Press reports of 2 WFP staff killed in Sudan Page 5The Daily News Digest picked up press mentions of this story – relayed thisto WFP communications staff in Rome – who confirmed the inaccuracy ofthe story and dealt with it accordingly. This was done by getting the mainGerman newswire – Deutsche Press Agentur to issue a public retraction. Reports of US Government aid cuts of 20%Reuters had reported that the U.S. government was cutting the WFP’s aidbudget for 2004 by 20%. However these numbers were merely early esti-mates and revised upwards as circumstances unfolded during the year. De-lahaye tracked the story globally and supplied copy to WFP to enable themto correct the story wherever it appeared. It only gained exposure inReuters, Australia and Canada – and the mis-reporting was stopped. Reporting on news coverage of regional disastersAs the lead UN Agency into Ryongchon in North Korea after the train dis-aster in April, WFP Regional Director, Tony Banbury, saw his commentssyndicated globally in a matter of just a few days. Inside just 6 days, theWorld Food Programme news digest site carried over 600 mentions onhow the WFP was leading the UN effort to help the victims of this tragedy.The Daily News Digest website remained up-to-date throughout, publishingthe news from across the tracked countries – making it available to WFPstaff each morning. Tracking the Overthrow of President Aristide in HaitiAs the crisis broke the WFP was a prominent source of news for theworld’s media with comment from Guy Gavreau, WFP Country Director,capturing a large share of the headlines in February’s crisis. As one of thelead agencies into the region – the news media closely monitored theWorld Food Programme attempts to try to distribute food to 5,000 peoplesecurity situation permitting. Floods and earthquakes devastate Haiti and the Dominican RepublicIn May stricken Haiti was hit once more by torrential rains that led to flood-ing. The media reported the WFP lead role in delivering food and water toremote farming towns (such as Mapou) where reporters saw for the firsttime the worst devastation from deadly floods that inundated parts of Haitiand the Dominican Republic and left Mapou under 10 feet of water. On-going humanitarian disaster in Darfur Western SudanWith initial unconfirmed reports of mass exodus and ethnic cleansing in theDarfur region - the head of the World Food Programme, James T Morris,led a major UN delegation to the country that saw that the worst had in-deed happened. After visiting Darfur he said: "What we are witnessing inDarfur and in Chad is a dramatic humanitarian crisis, no doubt one of theworst in the world today, a crisis of massive displacement, critical humani-tarian needs and extreme levels of violence and fear."
  6. 6. Taking Media Evaluation into the Page 6 presentMedia evaluation has traditionally been about reporting and analysing issues “Having a reliableafter the event – with traditional reports landing on client desks two to service in place hasthree ‘working’ weeks after the Quarter reported on has closed. The re- helped us enormously onport has depended upon the provision of clips to the media evaluation com- a day-to-day basis. Itpany by either the client of the PR agency. In many instances, this has beenthe major ‘anchor’ preventing reporting on a communications cycle being has saved us man hourscloser to the end of the period under scrutiny. Media evaluation agencies and effort and aided us innow have the ability to operate in real-time across a 24 x 7 media world approaching the mediathat knows no global boundaries. for successful retractions or factual corrections.”Media evaluation is evolving and tools such as the News Digest now play arole in keeping global communication professionals ‘on message,’ ‘informed’ Francis Mwanza,and ‘up to date’ – and making day-to-day decisions in real time. This has not Senior Public Affairsbeen the traditional territory of the media evaluation company – it has his-torically belonged to the PR agency. No longer need a media evaluation Officer, WFPcompany concentrate on simply measuring the ‘outcomes’ and nothingmore.Now it can influence the formulation of communication decisions – some-times to the extent that it can stop news happening (as is the case in thisinstance where Delahaye has helped the WFP to quash ‘mis-reporting’ and‘mis-representation’ in several major news stories about the global aidagency). This can also now be done on a global rather than a national stage.A further lesson is that there are no longer any constricting boundaries interms of languages or countries. In Delahaye’s case, with offices across theglobe, it is possible to offer a 24 x 7 news digest service that covers up asmany countries as a client desires – all backed by customer service that of-fers a radar alert support system to clients who operate on the multi-country, multi-continent scale.
  7. 7. The Future - more content, more Page 7 evaluation, more analysis - all in real timeThe WFP will soon move to an uprated and more automated service anddelivery platform. In essence deep evaluation techniques will be availableas and when the news stories are posted.In this way stories can be compared to the WFP’s values vis. meetingemergency needs, supporting economic and social development, provide Top Ten Donor Countrieslogistic support to get food aid to the right people at the right time in the by Dollars (July 2004)right place and the important ‘value’ of putting hunger at the centre of theinternational agenda. USA 228 814 358It will monitor stories so that it becomes possible to track who it is help-ing through its work – according to the international media in donor coun- Japan 68 598 761tries.Tracks will be set up to assess who benefits from WFP work in each story Germany 51 215 755– victims of natural disasters, displaced people, the world’s poor and hun-gry trapped in poverty and how the role of women and how they figure in Nether- 40 925 659relation to such issues. Delahaye already monitors news coverage that landsreflects news of the work of the WFP in combating hunger in underdevel-oped nations with severe food shortages. The frontline stretches from Sweden 39 070 664sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East to Latin America and Asia & thePacific. Norway 33 683 834In the ‘old’ News Digest there is a breakdown by country of news coverage– and by some core aid agency issues such as: GM crops/food and HIV/Aids. UK 29 376 321This work will continue on the new version of News Digest. All newscoverage will now include fresh tracked key words in all target languages Denmark 28 152 157that capture news stories that explain ‘how’ the WFP achieves its objec-tives. These ‘positioning messages’ will focus upon reporting on: rescue,rapid reaction, rehabilitation, deterrence and kick starting economic and Canada 27 336 299social growth. Switzer- 18 024 110Whenever a news story of some significance breaks – WFP team members landinvariably contact Delahaye requesting the re-focusing of the trackingefforts upon this new story so that it can help them to assess the issuefully.
  8. 8. WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME Rome HQBrenda Barton Mailing AddressChief Public Affairs Officer Via C.G.Viola 68tel: +39-06-6513 2602 Parco dei Medicifax: +39-06-6513 2840 00148 - Rome - Italybrenda.barton@wfp.org Tel: +39-06-65131Francis Mwanza Fax:Senior Public Affairs Officer +39-06-6513 2840tel: +39-06-65132623fmwanza@wfp.org Professionalism. Speed. Expertise. No one delivers as broad a range of research services as Delahaye. With responsiveness and insight, we help our clients improve their reputations, sharpen their competitive edge and prove the return on their PR investments—ROI. Whether you are communicating internally or externally, via broadcast, online or in print, our experts deliver timely research-based intelligence that demonstrates the true value of Pub- lic Relations to decision makers. Steve Virgin Delahaye Medialink Europe Director of Business Development 16 –22 Baltic Street London EC1Y 0UL Tel: 00 44 20 7251 7225 Fax: 00 44 20 490 4258/251 7231 Email: svirgin@delahaye.com