2009 PR News CSR Award: Corporate-Community Partnership


Forum Media and Diageo for DRINKiQ

Irresponsible drinking has been a problem throughout history, and that reality presents unavoidable challenges for alcohol brands, which must defend their reputations while making efforts to promote safety. This was the goal that Diageo and agency partner Forum Media set forth with the creation of DRINKiQ, a Web site that would serve as a global resource to help combat alcohol misuse and promote responsible drinking by sharing best practice tools, information and initiatives.

DIGITAL COCKTAIL
Key to achieving this objective were partnerships with organizations such as National Consumers League and the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, which supported and validated the initiative. Plus, they helped make the site a vehicle for delivering responsible drinking materials to a broader audience.

These partnerships, along with the help of Forum Media, gave DRINKiQ authority on the subject of responsible drinking, but that alone wouldn’t guarantee global participation in the site. Interactivity and stakeholder engagement were critical to taking the Web platform to the next level.

“The centerpiece was DRINKiQ’s Resource Center, which features the Responsibility Channel, a community section of the Web site centered around interactive media,” says Carolyn Panzer, global director of alcohol and responsibility for Diageo. “This platform has allowed DRINKiQ to offer a single destination among the plethora of other responsibility Web sites where users can find a wide range of tips, tools and multimedia.”

SAFETY FIRST
The site’s content created a destination, but the team’s use of search engine optimization and media outreach effectively increased traffic, heightened awareness and maximized the overall effectiveness of DRINKiQ. Ultimately, the overall communications strategy succeeded in delivering important information to the community about responsible drinking.

“Through this portal, we have been able to communicate with stakeholders, allowing them to post their own media and to interact with one another,” Panzer says. “This sort of circular dialogue has helped advance the conversation surrounding the subject of responsible drinking and grown DRINKiQ’s audience.”


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