The Communications Section faced many challenges over 2014, notably as two high-profile safety incidents relating to MH370 and MH17 brought a global media spotlight onto ICAO and its work. Hundreds of media information requests were fulfilled during this period, and two very successful press conferences brought international news outlets to ICAO’s doorstep. Overall, the coverage of ICAO relating to both of these events was very positive and largely characterized by descriptions of a global organization responding with uncharacteristic speed and efficiency. Follow-on coverage retained this viewpoint as the year progressed.
Communications resources were also relied on heavily with respect to the planning, sponsorships, logistics and realization of the inaugural Council Retreat, as well as ICAO’s 70th Anniversary celebrations in Montréal and Chicago. Very positive feedback was forthcoming on all related deliverables and from all participating dignitaries, governments and agencies.
In terms of its overall production on core activities, the Communications Section either produced or coordinated and finalized 68 executive office speeches and video presentations, originated 51 press releases and six media statements, more than doubled ICAO’s Twitter followers, and improved Facebook page likes by 27 per cent. Four ICAO Journals were generated, and additional editorial and design assistance was furnished for ICAO’s MRTD and Training Report periodicals. COM also originated or finalized 18 magazine articles relating to ICAO and its work across a range of sectoral and government publications, and while work was also progressed on ICAO’s rebranding priorities, unplanned special event and major media commitments hampered efforts to finalize a number of related brand deliverables.
Despite it being structured and counted on primarily as a corporate communications resource, the Communications Section also continued to be looked to by ICAO’s Bureaus, product managers (RPM) and event planners over 2014 with respect to a wide range of print-, video- and web-based marketing communications and advertising materials.
The Communications Section was supported during this period by a tendered external supplier, Wagram Communications. It assisted with respect to media monitoring services, local media coordination for major news events, liaison with local governments on various ceremonies and proceedings (metro plaque installation; National Assembly recognition), social media planning and support, and minor speechwriting assistance for the Office of the President.