2010 PR News: Financial/Investor Relations

Winner: Novartis AG/Ruder Finn – Restoring Confidence and Driving Reputation in an Economic Crisis

Big Pharma’s resiliency has been tested during the global downturn. In response, Novartis wanted to break from the struggling pack and reassure investors of the soundness of the brand. Novartis enlisted Ruder Finn to help it gain control over media coverage, securing not just media touch points, but a major story. Ruder Finn developed a highly refined matrix of upcoming milestones, syncing this with the schedules of Novartis executives who would serve as spokespeople.

After briefing the Novartis C-suite on key platforms, Ruder Finn proactively approached the target business and financial reporters with strong material news—all with an eye toward sending positive messages to investors. In addition to milestone outreach, RF remained in constant contact with core journalists at major business outlets to explore potential opportunities for a substantial feature story. The result: a June 22, 2009, cover story in BusinessWeek profiling then-CEO Daniel Vasella.

Honorable Mentions:
American Airlines/Weber Shandwick – Clearing the Skies:

American Airlines demonstrated that its business could survive a severe business climate with an aggressive media campaign, focusing on articles containing third-party quotes about AA's success. Weber Shandwick secured more than 950 news stories.

CCG Investor Relations Strategic Communications – Yongye International - A Formula for Growth:
In order to raise Yongye’s profile among the investment community, it was first necessary for the company to upgrade from the OTC to a senior stock market. To accomplish this, CCG created a strategic plan detailing each step required to achieve a NASDAQ listing, beginning with improving the company’s corporate governance. As a result, Yongye was upgraded to the NASDAQ Global Select Market in September 2009 and share price increased from $1.25 in October 2008 to $12 in October 2009.

The Coca-Cola Company/Methodologie Inc. – The Coca-Cola Company Annual Report: Coca-Cola's annual review site includes a video from leadership discussing the Company's "2020 Vision" plan for growth as well as video messages from each operating group. To date, the site has received more than 80,000 unique visitors with an average time on the site of 3:21.

Emerisque/MWW Group – The War of Whisper Campaign:
MWW positioned Emerisque as lead bidder for the acquisition of Hartmarx, preparing comprehensive dossiers and identifying third-party influencers. The company successfully came out on top of the transaction and was soon approached by similar companies.

FD – No Brakes for Monro Muffler!: FD protected and enhanced Monro Muffler's reputation in a challenging time through compelling research-based messaging—reassuring Americans that it was OK to replace old parts rather than buy a new vehicle. 

Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited - Temasek engages with its diverse
global stakeholders during the global financial crisis: Temasek's CEO, in a speech in July 2009, indicated that a fall in portfolio value was over $40 billion. Following this speech, Temasek's corporate affairs team hosted individual media lunches with the various local media and international wires based in Singapore to provide them with the context of the portfolio value decline. These lunches resulted in the Singapore Daily and The Straits Times publishing two independent reports on Temasek's portfolio value rebound ahead of the official corporate results announcement.

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