Kenyan census campaign wins UN public relations award

People from the Maasai community in Kenya. Photo: Helga76

5 November 2010 – A media relations campaign which sparked widespread participation in Kenya’s 2009 population census has been chosen for the 2010 United Nations Grand Award for outstanding achievement in public relations.

The award was presented today at a ceremony today in London by Afsane Bassir-Pour, Director of the UN Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC) as part of the 2010 International Public Relations Association (IPRA) Golden World Awards.

The winning campaign, “Nipo Natambulika” or “Count Me In,” was commissioned by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics and developed by Apex Communications Limited (ACL). It was designed to present the Census as an important national exercise, and assuage concerns about how information would be used, especially on the matter of ethnicity.

As a result of the campaign, 98 per cent of Kenya’s 12 million households participated in the survey, the highest rate since independence in 1963.

The campaign engaged faith-based organizations, particularly Christian and Muslim groups. A major thread running through the campaign, which aided in its success in presenting the Census as unifying national force, was its logo. Three design elements represented a household: black for the man; green for the woman, and red for the child, all reaching out to be counted as Kenyans.

The annual award is jointly sponsored by the UN Department of Public Information and IPRA, a professional organization for senior international PR executives. The UN Award was established in 1990 to recognize excellence in campaigns that address priority issues before the world Organization.

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