The project’s goal was to increase the awareness in society about organ donation and to encourage more people to become donors after their death. Another important goal of the project was to provoke a discussion on an institutional level, so that legislative changes could be made. All this was realized in an unusual way – an ocean row expedition, undertook by the 17-year-old Maxim and his father Stefan and dedicated to the organ donation. They rowed the Atlantic Ocean on NEVEREST – a boat built by them – and set a world record and several first-time achievements. М3 Communications is the official PR partner of the project that actively participated in the development of the idea and its implementation and contributed to making the achievement of the two rowers a top story in Bulgaria.
Project Target Group
The project’s target groups include:
- institutions – so that concrete legislative changes regarding organ donation could be undertaken;
- media – in order to drive more publicity to the topic of organ donation;
- the whole society – so that people could be better informed and support the organ donation.
The most active phase of the project was from May to October 2020 – from the period right before the beginning of Maxim and Stefan’s expedition until the period after their arrival in Bulgaria. The campaign is ongoing with different activities.
-Stage 1 – creating the idea of the project and drafting a plan for reaching the relevant target groups.
-Stage 2 – communication campaign before and during the expedition:
*Press releases – organ donation had been a minor topic in the public agenda until the first press release about the expedition was distributed. Press releases were sent out to announce other important news, including the successful end of the ocean row.
*Social media – the development of the expedition was followed on Facebook and Instagram, where information about the organ donation was also shared.
*Interviews – organizing interviews with Maxim and Stefan for the leading media in Bulgaria before and after the expedition.
-Stage 3 – successful completion of the expedition:
*Media event was held right after the two rowers’ arrival in Bulgaria. It took place at Maxim’s high school, where he was welcomed by his classmates and awarded with a Medal for Bravery.
*Activities with the Ministry of Health – Maxim and Stefan had a meeting with the Minister of Healthcare to present their ideas on organ donation. The two rowers now discuss concrete legislative changes with the responsible institutions.
-There is an active discussion about potential legislative changes related to organ donation that could save many people’s lives. Before NEVEREST this was not a priority topic for the institutions.
-The media publications on organ donation increased significantly and the topic was put on the public agenda.
-More than 500 publications, related to NEVEREST, including in international media, were achieved without investing funds in advertising or paid media.
-The father and the son were put on the cover of Forbes magazine and were nominated for “Man of the Year”.
-Maxim and Stefan were established as KOLs and turned into a role model.
-The expedition became one of the most positive stories of 2020 and Maxim and Stefan’s achievement inspired thousands of Bulgarians to chase their drea