Turning a CSR story into a TV series

As the communication consultant, telling the Thai public about the “Rao Rak Nam” CSR project requires us to put on our thinking hats. First of all, we have to find a different approach to telling our CSR story, so that our project could be distinguished from many other water conservation and community projects supported by Thai corporations.

Another challenge to our communication program design is how to communicate the “New Theory” approach to agriculture bestowed by His Majesty the King in an engaging manner. Both the “New Theory” approach and the philosophy of Sufficiency Economy are the core ideas behind the “Rao Rak Nam” project.

In the first phase of the project, Red Bull Beverage Company joins the Royal Project Foundation to build 80 water reservoirs on the highlands in Northern Thailand to store water for hill tribe communities.

The second phase of the program involves government and local administrative bodies in Lahanna district of Khon Kaen province to build water storage ponds for local communities. Availability of water is the first step towards food security for people in the Northeastern region. A total of 189 storage ponds with capacities of 2,500 and 3,700 cubic metres will be built in the second phase of the program. Having water all-year-round for agriculure and raising fish makes a big difference to the quality of life of the communities.

We recommended our client to sponsor a production of an 8-part television series to be aired during prime time on TV Channel 5.?The series “Baan Rao Jong Jaroen” is a romantic comedy which tells a story of a couple who accidentally meet, fall in love, and rediscover the joy traditional way of living in the country.

Telling the story through a drama series helps making the story comes alive and relates well to the local audience.?In terms of awareness, the TV rating of the series was very satisfactory.? In fact, our approach to story-telling generats a lot of buzz for the client and for the project.

We also design and run a print campaign in local newspapers and magazines to give provide the information about the program and the impact on the quality of life of people living in the communities.

Royal visits to rural areas all over the country and the questioning of local people themselves have made His Majesty realize that lacking of water is the major problem facing rice farmer. He, therefore, has suggested to build a small water reservoir lining with plastic sheets to keep rain water in each paddy field. This is how the ” New Theory” for agricultural land management comes into practice.

The “New Theory” suggests that a plot of farmland should be divided into 4 parts according to the 30-30-30-10 formula. The first 30% of the farm area is reserved for a water reservoir. Another 60% of the farm are should be divided equally for cultivation of rice and fruit trees or field crops. The remaining 10% of the farmland should be used for residential area, roads, dikes, vegetable gardening, and family animal husbandry.

Star powers also gave us extra public relation mileage. The program captured a lot of attention in the entertainment news which normally do not concern themselves with this kind of subject. In terms of product marketing, the client also gains a lot of product exposure as bonus.