The Manila Electric Company (Meralco), the largest electric distribution utility in the country, continues to exemplify excellence in the fields of business and communications as it received multiple recognitions from reputable local and international award-giving bodies this year.
Recognized for its initiatives centered on customer centricity, sustainability, transparency, and pandemic response, Meralco and its subsidiaries amassed wins at the Stevie International Business Awards (IBA), the 2022 Asia Pacific Stevie Awards, the 2022 Gold Quill Awards, the 19th Philippine Quill Awards, and the 57th Anvil Awards.
“The Meralco Group has always been steadfast in its commitment to implement meaningful initiatives that help empower our customers and the public, even in the midst of challenges like the pandemic. The recognitions we receive from local and international prestigious awards programs serve as a testament to the Group’s customer-centric, goal-oriented, and impactful programs that not only improve customer experience and promote sustainability, but also contribute to nation-building, ” Meralco Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications Joe R. Zaldarriaga said.
Recognitions in business excellence
The Meralco Group shone brightly in the global stage as it bagged 12 wins for its customer service initiatives, corporate social responsibility, and thought leadership.
The Group won two (2) golds, four (4) silvers, and one (1) bronze at the 2022 Stevie International Business Awards (IBA), which received over 3,700 nominations from organizations from 67 nations.
Besting other nominations in the Best Use of Social Media – COVID-19-related Information category, the “Meralco Corporate Partners Viber Community: Engagement when connectivity is a must” was given a gold award. This Viber community served as the Company’s channel in providing relevant updates to its enterprise customers that may impact their business operations.
Another gold went to the “One Meralco Foundation’s (OMF) School Electrification Program: Energizing the country’s off-grid public schools during the COVID-19 pandemic”, which was recognized as the Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year among nominations from Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Meralco’s social development arm OMF, in partnership with the Philippines’ Department of Education, has been implementing the school electrification program in public schools located in unserved and underserved areas in the country.
Meanwhile, OMF President Jeffrey O. Tarayao received a silver Stevie under the Thought Leaders for Government or Non-profit Organizations category. Tarayao, who has been leading OMF since 2011, has been instrumental in deeply developing a consciousness where “inclusion” and “inclusive development” became fundamental principles of the design, implementation and sustainability of community and sustainable development programs of OMF.
The other programs that won silver international Stevies were: “Meralco’s 2021 Annual Reports: “Bayanihan,” “Malasakit,” and “Kalinga””, OMF’s “One for Trees: Empowering People and Communities to Nurture our Forests” program and “One Meralco Foundation’s Household Electrification Program: Powering-Up Communities in the Pandemic”; while OMF’s “From Farmers to Pantries: A COVID-19 initiative-Inspire Hope Amid the Pandemic and Economic Crisis in the Philippines” received a bronze award.
Besides winning at the Stevie IBA, the Meralco Group also received two (2) golds and three (3) bronzes at the 2022 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, which extends to organizations from 29 nations in the region, focusing on recognizing innovation in all its forms.
Besting various companies from different industries in the region in the Award for Innovation in Annual Reports category, Meralco won gold for its “2020 Corporate Reports”. OMF’s “Teacher Frontliner: A Back-to School Program to support Filipino Teachers as frontliners during the Pandemic” was also awarded gold as it was recognized as the most valuable non-profit COVID-19 response in the Awards for COVID-19 Response category.
Another Meralco nomination that merited a bronze award was “Pay it Forward: Online Payment Options for Meralco Customers” under the Award for Innovation in the Use of Social Media category. Likewise, under the Award for Innovation in Brand Renovation / Re-Branding category, “Meralco Advisory: Evolving for the Digital Audience” and “Meralco’s Bayad Center to Bayad: How a traditional bills payment brand authority in the Philippines adapted to the digital age” also received bronze citations for the proactive response to the evolving communication landscape.
The prestigious Stevie International Business Awards is an annual awards program started in 2002 and joined by top utilities and corporations to compete on professional achievements.
It honors and generates public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of organizations and working professionals around the globe and is one of the world’s most coveted prizes.
Consistency in communication excellence
The Meralco Group also emerged as one of the top companies at the recently concluded 19th Philippine Quill Awards, taking home 22 wins, and the Company of the Year 1st Runner-up award.
The Quill Award is bestowed to companies, organizations, and institutions for the use of excellent communication programs, research, learning and development, and skills to achieve business goals and make a difference in society.
None other than IABC President Belle Tiongco expressed her high regard for Meralco’s consistent excellent performance in the Philippine Quill Awards, saying: “For as long as I have been involved with the Quills, Meralco has always been a beacon of communications excellence. Meralco is a communicator that prioritizes its role as a mover, a force for good, in Philippine society. That’s a mindset, I believe, that organizations should emulate so that communications can really be a platform for national development. Mabuhay Meralco, for your performance in this year’s Quills.”
Among Meralco’s campaigns that received Excellence Awards include those that ensured customers, stakeholders, and employees were protected, healthy and equipped with helpful information against the COVID-19 pandemic such as “#AyokoMagViral: A Meralco internal campaign against COVID-19” under the Internal Communication category and “Safety First: Empowering Enterprises to Fight an Invisible Enemy” under the Safety Communication category.
Meralco’s initiative to make customer payment process more convenient via the “Fitting the Bill: Meralco makes paying bills easier with the Customer Account Number”, and its relentless efforts to ensure its external stakeholders remain safe and informed despite the pandemic through the “Meralco Power Up Live: Empowering Business Customers Amidst the Pandemic” both won Excellence Awards in the Customer Relations category.
Also recognized with an Excellence Award under the Customer Relations category was the “Safeguard the Economy at All Costs by Waiving Energy Demand Charge” program, which demonstrated Meralco’s efforts to support its business customers amid the global health crisis. On the other hand, the Company’s push towards sustainable transportation through “Electric Motorcycle Deployment for Meralco Business Center Field Representatives” campaign likewise earned an Excellence Award in the Change Communication category.
Meralco PowerGen Corporation subsidiary Atimonan One Energy, Inc. (A1E), meanwhile, received two (2) Excellence Awards under the Corporate Social Responsibility category. “Kaisa sa Kabuhayan: Aplaya Sardines Enterprise with Atimonan Fisherfolks” and “Kaisa sa Kalusugan radio health program” are both pandemic response programs that benefitted A1E’s host communities in Quezon province.
One Meralco Foundation (OMF), the company’s social development arm, bagged four (4) Merit awards for “Household Electrification Program: Powering-Up Communities Amidst the Pandemic”, “Meralco One for Trees: Helping Farmers Survive the Pandemic through Sustainable Reforestation”, “COVIDCOMMS 2021 Farmers to Frontliners and Marginalized (F2FM) Project: Invigorating the Livelihood of Farmers”, and “Stronger Together-The 2020 MVP Academic Achievement Awards Virtual Ceremony”.
Other Meralco initiatives that received Merit citations were the following campaigns: “Unwavering Service and Malasakit amid the Pandemic and May-June 2021 Power Shortage”, “Providing Consumers the Power During Summer”, “Meralco Corporate Partners Viber Community—Engagement When Connectivity is a Must”, “Ensuring our Stakeholders are Informed Despite Social Distancing: Quarterly Operating and Financial Media Briefings”, “Putting Things in Perspective: Meralco Communicates the Upward Trend of Power Rates 2021”, “Meralco’s 2020 Corporate Reports (Power On, Live Life and Give Hope)”, “Biyaheng Meralco: A Virtual Townhall with our CEO”, “Customer Experience Index (CXI): The Case of Meralco Business Centers”, “COVIDCOMMS2021: Meralco’s Facebook Page Keeping the Lights On in the New Normal”, and “MVP: The Man and His Art—A Visual Inventory of Filipino Artistry Gracing the Halls of Philippines’ Major Companies”.
Furthermore, Meralco also received two (2) recognitions from the Gold Quill Awards, an awards program organized by IABC that distinguishes excellence in strategic communication worldwide.
The company won an Excellence Award for Communication Skills under the Publications category for its “Meralco 2020 Corporate Reports”, and a Merit Award for Communication Skills under the Social Media Category for its initiative, “Meralco Corporate Partners Viber Community: Engagement when connectivity is a must”.
Meralco gets top award for demonstration of transparency
Another award-giving body that recognized Meralco’s excellence in communications was the Anvil Awards, which is organized annually by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP).
Dubbed as “the Oscars of Philippine Public Relations”, Anvil Awards recognizes outstanding programs, campaigns, and tools that showcase the highest standards of PR practice in the country.
“Meralco’s 2020 Annual Report, “Power On,” won a Gold Anvil under the category of Public Relations Tool. In its Annual Report, the company reinvented its visual vocabulary, turning constraints into something fresh and new. Its writing was crisp in its narration of the challenges that brought out the grit and heroism of the company, its employees, and its partners.
In addition to Power On’s Gold Anvil, Meralco also won four (4) Silver Anvils for its various campaigns that demonstrated customer service excellence and transparency. These are the “#AYOKOMAGVIRAL: A Meralco Internal Campaign Against COVID-19”, “Meralco: Providing Consumers the Power During Summer”, “Give Hope: 2020 One Meralco Foundation Annual Report”, and “Life Life: 2020 Meralco Sustainability Report”.
All these awards and recognitions serve as a testament to Meralco’s purposeful and impactful programs and initiatives that not only promote sustainability, but also prove to be beneficial for customers and industry stakeholders during the pandemic. Excellent and clear communication is essential to ensure that Meralco’s programs and services are well understood and appreciated by its customers and stakeholders.