Chief Communications Officer at WePlay Esports Alena Dalska-Latosiewicz tells how to successfully organize a communication campaign.
WePlay Esports is shortlisted for the respected PR Daily 2020 CSR Awards. The American jury evaluated the communication campaign for the charitable esports marathon WeSave! Charity Play. The company will compete with four other projects for the victory in the Fundraising and Philanthropic Initiative category.
WeSave! Charity Play was an online Dota 2 marathon that lasted from March 20 to 26, 2020. Twenty-four professional teams were playing the game on a pro bono basis, while the esports community was contributing to the event prize fund of an initial $120,000 from the company and its partners. The final prize pool of $188,879 was equally divided between CEPI and GlobalGiving, who are fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
We talked with Alena Dalska-Latosiewicz, Сhief Communications Officer at WePlay Esports about the communication campaign and results of its implementation.
It took just seven days to plan WeSave! Charity Play. Which factors, in your opinion, helped the company to organize the event so fast?
I see several reasons for that. First, it’s about trust in the idea of hosting a charitable online marathon. I’d like to highlight that organizing this event was a spontaneous yet timely decision. People were bouncing around the idea, and founders with upper management gave it a green light. Everyone was feeling enthusiastic and committed to making this event happen.
Next, there is the management side. Each person knew exactly what they were responsible for. Planning the event remotely for the first time was challenging because we had to cooperate with our US office. But we found a way. We were syncing up and calling each other frequently to keep ourselves updated on each checkpoint or task. The habit of working in a fast-paced mode helped us, too.
Finally, operational flexibility also mattered. There is no corporate bureaucracy at WePlay Esports, and that’s why we can take or change any decision quickly.
The prize fund was equally divided between two organizations — CEPI and GlobalGiving. Why did the company choose exactly these two companies? What selection criteria did you use?
We did our research and chose organizations that were currently helping communities to fight against the pandemic and were ready to work speedily with the esports industry. Besides, these are trusted entities, so we were confident to cooperate with them from our side. CEPI, launched in Davos, Switzerland, aims to speed up the development of vaccines, notably, the one against the COVID-19 virus. GlobalGiving, with offices in the US and UK, partners with local organizations across the globe. It now provides coronavirus-affected countries with hygiene goods, personal protection gear, and medical equipment.
Meanwhile, the charity organizations reviewed our application, verified us, and agreed to collaborate on the project. We were recognized as a transparent partner, which is important. Moreover, we got their feedback fast, within two days.
Media from 29 countries, including well-known Forbes and Reuters, wrote about the event. How did you manage to get such huge support from both niche and non-core media?
WePlay Esports has been in the industry for quite some time and has built a good relationship with many media, especially those interested in tournaments. It’s also exciting that non-core global media like Reuters wrote about our initiative. I think the event’s nature (it’s a charitable marathon), as well as top teams and talents who volunteered in WeSave! Charity Play, drew the attention of the press with a diverse target audience. Our PR team didn’t have much time for making announcements in advance, so the media were sharing the news on the go.
Ukrainian popular artists also joined the initiative. Who and how supported the charitable marathon?
Several Ukrainian stars supported the online charity marathon:
- Eugene Filatov, composer and sound producer of ONUKA and The Elephants, the founder of The Maneken musical band
- Valeriy Bebko from the HARDKISS musical band
- Nata Zhyzhchenko, a front woman from the ONUKA musical band
- Ukrainian-Bolivian singer Michelle Andrade
They recorded cheerful videos inviting people to join the stream on Twitch. Michelle also introduced her new single. These video messages were played back during the live stream.
Given that stars get lots of propositions from charity event organizers, we appreciate that artists and their managers found time for our project. WeSave! Charity Play became the first step in building relationships with show business. Some artists considered taking part in offline tournaments in the future. So maybe you’ll see them in the studio!
Viewers from all the continents supported the marathon. More than a thousand people donated to the charity fund. According to Esports Charts, 161,215 people were watching the games simultaneously at the peak. Friendly studios streamed WeSave! Charity Play in French, German, Chinese, Portuguese, Turkish, Arabian, and Mongolian.
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