Rwanda’s Remarkable Recovery

A global campaign.

In 1994 Rwanda suffered one of the deadliest genocides in world history – an estimated 800,000 people were killed in 100 days. Today the country is significantly transformed. Political, judicial, economic, and social institutions have all been rebuilt. Despite these accomplishments, public perception of Rwanda continues to be shaped by the spectre of genocide, with little understanding of the country’s progress.

Challenge Rwanda’s government engaged BTP Advisers and our then US partners Racepoint to develop and implement an international media campaign designed to promote a post-genocide message about the Rwanda of today and tomorrow.

“A brilliant and comprehensive execution of a tough campaign to change ingrained perceptions of Rwanda” ~ PR Week Award Judges

Work The campaign used an integrated strategy composed of mainstream international media and digital components that simultaneously promoted key messages and online community formation, while undercutting misinformation. Friends of Rwanda and Rwanda Fact Check - two online sources - were created to shape the dialogue about the country.

Other campaign components included proactive outreach to top-tier media, writing and placing a series of Op-Eds, international media tours to Rwanda and public policy and investor briefings.

Results The campaign produced more than 100 articles per month in traditional media outlets such as Newsweek, The Financial Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Spectator, Prospect Magazine, The Huffington Post, National Geographic, BBC Lonely Planet, BBC World, CNN, Al-Jazeera, and CNBC.

Online discussions relevant to Rwanda´s transformation changed: "education" increased by 4,400%; Rwanda travel and tourism discussions increased by 183%; Rwanda economy discussions increased by 129%. Online discussions about Rwanda´s genocide decreased by 11%.  

BTP Advisers and their partners were awarded PRWeek’s Annual Award for Best Global PR Campaign.