WINNER: Echo Myanmar – Lighting the Way Forward

Myanmar Post and Telecommunications raised nearly $200,000 at a vanity number auction and wanted to donate it to charity, with just one press event around said donation. But Echo Myanmar was hungry to make a name for itself, not even one year old at the time, and it saw there were far bigger opportunities for MPT .

Through consulting further and understanding their stakeholder objectives, in rural areas specifically, it discovered they needed to build their reputation among rural communities — not just the general public, but monastic communities and media, too.

Echo knew the importance of the monastic community to Myanmar and sought to forge widespread goodwill towards MPT through two issues close to the heart of Myanmar people, religion (notably Buddhism ) and education (an issue under close public and media scrutiny during the country’s first democratic election). Echo found that rural monastic schools are often poorly lit and students had a difficult time studying during monsoon season and in evenings, with little access to power. It therefore asked the largest network of monastic schools in Myanmar , Phaung Daw Oo Monastic Education, if they would accept a donation on behalf of MPT for solar lanterns that can be installed and operated easily in schools throughout the country. They agreed, to the benefit of 58,000 students in 632 schools .

Rather than donate in one go at a single event, Echo proposed a sustained initiative to extend media exposure. It called the programme “ Lighting the Way Forward ” to play on MPT’s well-known slogan “Moving Myanmar Forward”.

TV is the number one channel to communicate in Myanmar, reaching 70 percent of the country, so Echo pitched an exclusive media partnership to the leading network in Myanmar, MRTV-4, in which they agreed to attend a series of donations around the country and create individual segments that would become a feature story at the end of the campaign .

Echo also enlisted the support of documentary filmmakers Tagu to chronicle the visits around the country and capture the campaign in a more emotional light.

The donation of 2,000 solar lanterns went to areas around the country, not just Yangon, the focus of most CSR. The estimated campaign reach was 25 million and more than 90 percent of the coverage was positive. Echo would earn 87 clippings and $94,115 in ad value .

The best evidence of success is that what started as a brief for a small CSR project ended as one-year corporate communications and social media retainers, with a clutch of awards to boot.


  • ANZ Bank New Zealand: Donating is about more than remembering – ANZ’s sponsorship of the Returned Serviceman’s Association’s “Poppy Day” appeal

  • Echo Myanmar:  Lighting the Way Forward

  • Standard Chartered Bank & Merchantcantos: Vishal’s Story & Jeremy’s Story