The launch of Paramount Group’s Anti-Poaching and K9 Academy has been voted the best communications campaign in Africa at the world’s top public relations events, held in London and Johannesburg.
The Sabre Awards together with the prestigious Holmes Report, the most highly ranked awards organisation for the PR industry globally, awarded a Gold Sabre in the Geographic Category for Africa for Paramount’s K9 Anti-Poaching Awareness Campaign. The award, selected from more than 2 000 entries, was made at a glittering awards ceremony on Tuesday 19 May in London.
The anti-poaching campaign also received the Gold Award for Media Relations at the 18th Annual Prism Awards, South Africa’s PR industry awards, held on 19 April at the Maslow Hotel in Johannesburg.
Public relations agency Burson-Marsteller Africa supported Paramount Group for the successful launch of Paramount Group Anti-Poaching and K9 Training Academy, through a photo-led strategy, which delivered circulation figures of over 600 million unique visitors and nearly 640 million in readership. In just one week, this strategy resulted in over 450 articles published across the world, including Africa, North America, UK, Europe, Asia, The Middle East, South America and Australia.
Eric Ichikowitz, Global Marketing Director of Paramount Group, says: “All across Africa, rhino and elephant populations are under severe threat. In South Africa we are fighting a war against rhino poachers. Raising awareness of this scourge is an important element of the overall strategy to beat illegal poaching. We are grateful and humbled by the awards that we have received for our anti-poaching efforts. It is a great privilege to play a part in helping the protection of our wildlife, which is part of our African heritage, for future generations.”
After three years of active involvement by the Ichikowitz Family Foundation and Paramount Group in anti-poaching activities, the Anti-Poaching Academy showcases the merits of up-skilling conservation officers with on-the-ground training and the impact effective K9 solutions can have in combating poaching activities across the continent.
One of the largest of its kind in Africa, the academy addresses the ever increasing need for training of conservation officers in anti poaching activities, wildlife contraband detection, specialist K9 solutions and ranger K9 handler training – all of which have proven success rates in combating and apprehending poachers and their activities.
The academy has been established to provide comprehensive training solutions to assist in curbing the current surge in rhino and elephant poaching. These solutions include specialised anti-poaching reaction unit training, training of handlers and detection dogs at points of access to game reserves and borders, tracking dogs for field rangers, and training special operation dogs for rapid deployment teams, among others.