Author: Aleksandra Vesic
As we wrote before, Philanthropy Posts’ new effort, the Catalyst initiative is following media in 7 countries in the region trying to work out ways to measure philanthropy. As we were looking into the data, we were interested to see what actions got the most media attention in each of the countries. This is an opportunity for you to see how media in your country view what is interesting for their audience:
Albania: Albanian media seemed to avoid repetition of reporting on the same action – there were just two stories that were mentioned more than once. The first one was a volunteer action led by the First Lady of Albania, who organized and led volunteers to clean up a wild dump site and invited people to do the same throughout Albania. The other one was a corporate in kind donation for the Zyber Hallulli orphanage. The Bank of Albania donated toys, clothes and books for children of the ‘Zyber Hallulli’ and followed up with monetary support to the orphanage. Both actions were reported twice. Interestingly, this is also the only country where environmental action got media attention – most likely because it involved the First Lady – nevertheless it was a worthy cause.
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Bosnia’s media seem to be most interested in helping individuals. So, we have three philanthropic actions that attracted same number of media reports – 11 each – of which two are reporting on individual medical treatments and one donation of food. The first one was about Miralem Pjanić, a Bosnian football player currently playing in Italy, who donated money to a fund for the medical treatment of Aldina Sarajlić. The second is about final fundraising event – a theatre performance in Mostar – that marked the completion of a campaign to collect money for the medical treatment of a child, Andi Milas. The third is about the “Ovako” Meat Industry donating 30 tons of food and information about the open call the company has issued where citizens can apply to receive a donation.
Croatia: The most reported action (18 reports) in Croatia was a call for donations, as well as a description of a variety of activities to collect money and reports on how much money was collected for medical treatment of Masa Lucic – a child needing an operation in USA. The next most reported story –(10 reports) was about the parents of the late Nora Šitum, who are using the funds collected for their child’s treatment to build a home for children with cancer, thus starting “Nora Šitum” Foundation. Finally, the last one with 6 reports was about OTP Bank’s donation to Zadar General Hospital for purchasing medical equipment.
Kosovo: It seems that the Kosovo media most often follow donations which benefit the whole community. The two most written about actions – 6 reports each – were both diaspora donations: the Rotary Club and Romed Klinik from Germany donated hospital equipment for the national clinic (QKUK) in Prishtina and the diaspora foundation Fondit Humanitarte Kosoves Lindore from Switzerland organized the building of 100 houses in Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedje for homeless people.
Macedonia: For Macedonian media, it seems that ‘children’ is the magic word – all the repeatedly followed donations/actions were for children. The VIP Mobile donation of equipment to the national Gynecological clinic was the most reported on – with no less than 29 media reports on this one! The second action was a Rotary Club Skopje and “Tineks” donation of again medical equipment to the “Kozle” Children’s Hospital in Skopje – covered by 18 media reports. The third one – with 12 reports – was a donation of Bitola Dairy which provided 110 packages of milk to the “11 Oktomvri” Orphanage in Skopje.
Montenegro: It is similar in Montenegro, donations for children gets the most attention. The first in terms of the number of reports – 10 overall – is the donation of Montenegro Telekom which, in cooperation with the Association of Parents, provided 15 TVs and a free one-year subscription for ExtraTV packages to 15 kindergartens in Montenegro. The second place is shared by two donations which both have 6 reports each: the “Knjaz Miloš” Company donated 15.000 EUR for the renovation and adaptation of the Counseling Center for Children’s Development within the Clinical Center of Montenegro; the other one is a donation of Merkur Insurance which donated school bags to 71 children from the Resource Center for Children and Youth “Podgorica”.
Serbia: Serbian media obviously go after celebrities – all the most reported on philanthropic events were high profile actions with culture and health as the main themes. The most reported on (21 times) is a concert and fundraising dinner organized by Zubin Mehta and the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra to collect funds for their upcoming tour. Then three other donations were each covered 15 times: the Dragica Nikolić Foundation (Serbian first lady) donating medical equipment to the Clinical Centers of Serbia, Vojvodina and Niš; Ivančić and Sons Company joined the action “Battle for maternity wards” (Fond B92 action) by donating medical equipment. Finally, “Hugo Boss Celebrities Challenger Belgrade 2013” (a celebrity tennis tournament) chose to support “Blue Circle” – Belgrade Association for Fighting Diabetes.
It seems that – while media in different countries covered different issues – there are some similarities in their coverage. For example, the majority of the repeatedly covered stories have what we may call a ‘human interest touch’: these are stories about children, people who need medical help, communities that need support etc. Furthermore, celebrities and/or important persons (e.g. first ladies :)) will get you in the media eye very fast! Finally, nurturing partnership with companies is good – many companies have PR agencies working for them and placing their stories in the media. So, when trying to get the interest of media, either think about what is your selling point (human interest/celebrity) or ask for professional help!
We know that many of you are involved in philanthropic actions that are not ad hoc initiatives but promote long-term investements in solving important issues. Given the huge role of media in educating the public promoting stories that would push people toward thinking of the longer-term impact of their giving would be great step ahead in developing philanthropy in our countries. We hope that you’ll be able to use some of these experiences in getting such stories more often and more widely promoted!