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Ogilvy Receives Gates Foundation Grant for Health and Development Research

Leon Kaye | Friday May 24th, 2013 | 1 Comment
Ogilvy, Ogilvy Public relations, Gates Foundation, Bill and Melinda gates foundation, Leon Kaye, social enterprise, Tony Morain, cause generation, social media

Many local profits in India go unnoticed (via Leon Kaye)

Earlier this week Ogilvy Public Relations received a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Exploration grant. One of 10 finalists out of the over 1,200 applications sent for this program, Ogilvy will pursue a global health and development research project titled “Cause Generation: A Platform to Define a Generation’s Cause.” Part of the project involves answering a simple question: just what is this current generation’s cause? Past overarching causes included, of course, World War II, the Vietnam War, nuclear non-proliferation, women’s equality and HIV/AIDS. But in today’s world, which allows anyone with social media savvy to attract attention to his or agenda, passion and activism are now highly fragmented. To that end, Ogilvy’s professionals seek to channel the intelligence, energy, curiosity and passion of younger generations around a specific cause.
At Ogilvy, much of the grant will be devoted to creating a platform that will aggregate innovative development aid and social enterprise initiative ideas, as well as vital communications resources. So besides defining a unified “cause,” this platform will also give NGOs and activists more knowledge and capacity over how they can communicate their work to media outlets and the general public. Such work is crucial because international aid and development often receive negative attention in the media and naturally, from Congress. Plus the “good work” goes on every day throughout the world but does not receive the proper attention because of the media’s proclivity to concentrate on scandal or failure. Furthermore, small NGOs (and companies) face a huge structural hurdle in getting their story out.  In 1980, 1.2 public relations professional worked for every journalist. By 2012, that ratio rose dramatically to 3.6. Getting one’s story out to the media has become tough, period. Plus the reality is that we as a society are more engaged and more preoccupied with improving lives and mitigating environmental damage more than at any other time in history–but unless an organization has a huge communications department, the new changes and successes are not being told. Ogilvy will receive a $100,000 grant to pursue these goals, but the firm will invest even more money that will exceed the prize’s value in order to get its platform up and running. Ogilvy’s Tony Morain said, “People all around the world are doing amazing, creative work to improve the lives of others. Unfortunately, the vast majority of this work goes unnoticed. Cause Generation aims to address this problem, and an organization like Ogilvy has what it takes to bring something this ambitious to life.” Based in Fresno, California, Leon Kaye is the editor of GreenGoPost.com and frequently writes about business sustainability strategy. Leon also contributes to Guardian Sustainable Business; his work has also appeared on Sustainable BrandsInhabitat and Earth911. You can follow Leon and ask him questions on Twitter or Instagram (greengopost). [Image credit: Leon Kaye]


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