The index that ranks countries on their peacefulness

The Global Peace Index is an annual piece of research from the Institute for Economics and Peace and the Economist Intelligence Unit that ranks 149 countries of the world based on various indicators of peace such as respect for human rights, perceptions of criminality in society, and military expenditure. In June 2010, Hill & Knowlton launched the fourth annual Global Peace Index to media, bloggers and stakeholders reaching an audience of more than 1 billion people.
 ObjectivesThe main aim of the campaign was to launch the 2010 Global Peace Index to an audience of media and bloggers and successfully reach government, business and NGO stakeholders. It was important to increase the quality of coverage in top-tier global news and business media while maintaining the volume of coverage received in previous years. A campaign was needed that would appeal to the most influential business and political stakeholders to deepen engagement with the Global Peace Index. Another key aim was to develop and implement a digital strategy to enable the Global Peace Index to maintain a buzz post-launch.

StrategyWhile the Index has traditionally received high volumes of coverage it was important to develop a new strategy to maximise the 2010 launch by increasing quality and extent of coverage; increasing the profile of the Institute for Economics and Peace and positioning the Global Peace Index as its hero product.

A three pronged approach was taken, to:
• develop senior advocates through a stakeholder supper before the launch
• build momentum before the launch by revamping digital platforms
• use the PR consultancy’s network to secure top-tier international media coverage.

Ahead of the launch, the agency PR team worked with the client, providing guidance and recommendations on the relaunch of the Global Peace Index website. Improvements were designed to make the site both more visually engaging and increasing stickiness of the platform, encouraging visitors to manipulate the data to make comparisons country by country, and to get a clearer picture about the elements driving peace in different regions. At the same time, the Global Peace Index Twitter feed was reactivated, reaching out to new communities and providing a dripfeed of information before the launch.

In April, the team hosted a pre-launch dinner with 12 senior business, political and NGO leaders. Designed to introduce the Global Peace Index to a senior audience, the dinner sparked debate and discussion on how businesses and governments should be using the results when making policy and investment decisions. Attendees included Des Browne, former UK defence secretary; Claudio Cordone, interim secretary-general of Amnesty International; Sir Graham Boyce, strategic advisor to Nomura and former ambassador to the Kuwait, Qatar and Egypt; and Dr. Muhammad Abdul Bari, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain.

For the media launch, the team secured top-tier national media briefings in eight key markets – Brazil, India, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, the UAE and Japan. Tailored press releases for each country based on their individual rankings were also drafted and distributed. At the same time, a social media press release was developed that encouraged media to engage directly with the Global Peace Index via Facebook and Twitter.

Last, the team organised a panel session and evening reception for government, NGO and business stakeholders to discuss the 2010 Index findings in-depth. The panel featured Global Peace Index founder Steve Killelea speaking about the results alongside Des Browne; Robin Bew, chief economist at the Economist Intelligence Unit; and Sue Adkins, international director at Business in the Community.

ResultsThe team secured top-tier national media on every continent, including The Guardian, Reuters, BBC World Service Radio, BBC World, BBC Arabic, Nippon TV, The National, FT Deutschland, Spiegel, Expansión and Les Echos.

In the two days after the launch, the team drove coverage that reached over 1 billion people in the space of 48 hours. Visits to the Global Peace Index website increased by more than 20 per cent, while engagement and time spent on the site was up by 40 per cent. More than 450,000 people were reached via Twitter within 24 hours, while the number of Twitter followers to the Global Peace Index feed increased by a factor of 12 throughout the duration of the campaign.
February 2010-June 2010


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