2022 Winners & Shortlists


Short List
CategoryNot-for-profit / Charity / Government
Idea Creation LEO BURNETT Beirut, LEBANON
Production LEO BURNETT Beirut, LEBANON

Why is this work relevant for PR?

In Lebanon where people are plagued with a shortage of basic needs, gender-based violence (GBV) has grown into an absurdly overlooked reality. With an ambitious mission to change society’s perception about GBV, we turned our strategy into a mechanism that fires off the campaign message on all media cylinders. Special attention was given to selecting influencer partnerships to maximize earned media by garnering the widest reach and sparking the highest engagement. The focus on PR allowed Abaad to uphold its reputation in breaking decades of silenced conversation on the preservation of women’s right to safety.


Knee-deep in crisis, Lebanon is flashing red on the political, economic and social fronts. With a growing impoverished class, to a lack of electricity, to medicine shortages, women’s safety is compromised for more “important” issues while gender- based violence (GBV) is on the rise. As an NGO whose sole existence is to sustain gender equality and woman empowerment in the MENA region, Abaad wants to reshuffle the priority list and place women’s safety at the top. Because undermining women’s safety risks an entirely silenced generation of GBV victims. Because her right to safety is a priority too. And because the time to talk about her rights is now or it’s too late. Such a crucial message requires a grand entrance, which is why we launched the campaign during the UN’s 16 Days of Activism- to bring women's protection to the forefront of popular discussion and media interest.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

Rather than allowing women in Lebanon to believe that women’s right to safety is a backseat topic, we’re stopping this perception in its tracks to avoid risking an entire generation of women who have been abused and silenced. Comparing the importance of starvation to gender-based violence is out of the question. And so is comparing a lack of medication to abuse. And so is comparing a lack of electricity to silenced sexual assault cases. That’s why the time to talk about her rights is now or it’s too late. That’s why her safety is a #Prioritytoo/ #دايما_وقتها

Describe the PR strategy (30% of vote)

Online and offline touchpoints were purposefully positioned, allowing each touchpoint to fuel its counterparts. Those backed by PR optimized the overall message delivery and amount of earned media: Our first offline touchpoint snagged the public’s attention through an on-ground stunt with powerful messaging. Photos were taken online to be swept away and kickstart a conversation with the help of pre-planned influencer collaborations. A Twitter storm erupted at a specific hour as influencers tweeted about GBV data we’d previously shared with them. Our co-marketing with a contagiously opinionated Insta duo caught their audience’s hearts, driving home the key message. We matched three mega influencers to three different communication angles in our YouTube pre-rolls, which further spread our social reach- post launch. The conversation on women’s safety picked up again at the campaign’s end as the Arab world’s most famous influencer offered her online platform for GBV survivors’ voices to be heard.

Describe the PR execution (20% of vote)

On day one of UN’s 16 Days of Activism, women survivors stood in front of key Beirut locations holding banners with messages hammering the dichotomy of women in Lebanon choosing between death and another kind of death. In parallel, big names in the Arab world triggered a hurricane of Tweets with hashtag #دايما_وقتها (#Prioritytoo). We kept the conversation alive by pairing up with 2 Insta influencers whose wittiness aligns with the campaign tone, allowing us to speak to an audience who already enjoy satirical humor while discussing issues plaguing Lebanon. We created (un)skippable YouTube pre-rolls with famous Lebanese figures to play on the idea that many skip past the importance of discussing women’s safety. The campaign went out with a viral bang as the most famous Arab influencer used her own platform to capture the audience’s attention and spread greater awareness that women’s safety is a priority too.

List the results (30% of vote)

A change in behavior stems from a change in mentality, and the campaign’s ability influence the latter was an anticipated challenge. However, with over 10M views on original campaign content, over 160M people reached online and $2.5M in earned media, it’s clear that the target resonated with women’s safety becoming a priority too. The Twitter storm we triggered shot our #Prioritytoo campaign to Lebanon’s number 1 trending hashtag in a couple of hours. With a 200% increase in call logs using Abaad’s safety hotline, we simultaneously influenced gender-based violence survivors to speak up. Over 5000 direct messages flooded our mega social influencer’s inbox, all filled with survivor stories and cries of encouragement to remain vocal about the issue. All of the above indicate stronger consumer awareness about GBV and a willingness to speak about the issue in parallel to the country’s dire state, creating a safe environment to survivors.


Name Company Role
Malek Ghorayeb Leo Burnett Beirut Campaign Supervision
Natasha Maasri Leo Burnett Beirut Campaign Supervision
Rana Khoury Leo Burnett Beirut Developed initial idea & led overall campaign execution
Nada Abi Saleh Leo Burnett Beirut Campaign Supervision
Farah El Beaini Leo Burnett Beirut Developed initial idea & led overall campaign execution & Led Media & PR amplification
Selena Jammaz Leo Burnett Beirut Campaign Execution support & PR amplification
Nour Hazzouri Leo Burnett Beirut Main Lead on Campaign Execution
Tracy Houeiss Leo Burnett Beirut Led on Arabic Writing
India Arida Leo Burnett Beirut Design Lead
Maia Sahyoun Leo Burnett Beirut Offline Analytics
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