A MULTI-AWARDED program to encourage young Filipinos to promote their hometowns as tourist destinations using digital multimedia materials bagged its first international award in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Doon Po Sa Amin (DPSA) of Smart Communications was recognized as the best communications program in the community relations category of the Golden World Awards (GWA) for Excellence, which is considered the world’s most prestigious awards program for public relations.
The GWA has been organized since 1990 by the International Public Relations Association (IPRA), the leading global network for PR professionals.
DPSA is one of only 50 entries that were recognized at the GWA, out of the record number of 447 entries from all over the world. It
was the only winning entry from the Philippines.
“This year the competition was fierce with an impressively high standard of entries. The judges were sometimes struggling to pick the winners,” said IPRA president Amybel Sánchez de Walther.
Launched in 2008, Smart’s DPSA involves a community mapping competition, where students from primary and secondary schools all over the country are encouraged to produce an online presentation, digital flipbook, or video featuring unique hometown stories. These are pinned on an online map in the DPSA website.
Stories can be about a town’s history, traditions, festivals, places to visit, notable people, unique plants and animals, special delicacies, and local products. Apart from crowd-sourced content, the DPSA website also features location-specific articles, listicles, and a calendar of Philippine festivals and events.
“Through the DPSA contest, Smart aims to encourage the youth to use digital resources like the Internet to produce local content and help boost local tourism. This is in line with our goal of using technology for development,” said Smart public affairs head Mon Isberto.
“While we can find many online materials about popular Philippine destinations like Boracay, very little information can be found about other parts of the country,” he added.
Since its inception, DPSA has been able to generate about 1,500 entries from more than 200 schools.
Smart was also invited by the IPRA to present the DPSA case study before delegates of the IPRA World Congress, also held in Johannesburg.
DPSA has won several local awards, the latest of which are the Gold Anvil from the Public Relations Society of the Philippines, and a Philippine Quill merit award from the International Association of Business Communicators-Philippine chapter.