After years of progress, the world had lost focus on malaria. A child was dying every two minutes and countries were reporting significant increases in cases. The campaign group Malaria No More wanted to rebuild international momentum and identified the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London as the opportunity. It needed to get the issue on the summit agenda.
An insular populist mood has made it difficult for organisations promoting international development. To succeed, this campaign had to create political space for government to choose to prioritise this issue. That meant finding stories that chimed with a mainstream domestic audience while making the policy case to the political world and winning international support.
STRATEGY & EXECUTION
Edelman assembled a team with expert knowledge of the political, health and science and general media. By securing a series of stories in top tier media we helped make it easier for the UK government to agree to co-host a one day Malaria Conference at CHOGM.
We worked with famous and not-so-famous Brits whose families had been struck by malaria to help build momentum. Activity ranged from placing op-eds to a press trip to a malaria affected country.
Closer to the summit, David Beckham agreed to be sealed in a glass box, surrounded by mosquitos, something covered widely by major media outlets including Sky, The Sun, The Mirror and The Express.
At the summit itself, we worked a range of political and cultural leaders to ensure the progress made on the day was recognised.
The campaign was a huge success. Edelman’s work helped to generate:
• 78 stories with 4.98 million unique views
• Stories with 1.64 million print circulation
• Media that reached an audience of 159m people
At the summit, Commonwealth governments promised to halve malaria deaths by 2023, and an additional £2.9 billion was pledged to help hit that goal.