APR

Asiatic Public Relations Network (Pvt.) Ltd. Karachi – Lahore – Islamabad


CASE STUDY 2

MEDIA ADVOCACY


‘Imposition of 20-paisa tax on SMS’

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ISSUE

  1. In the Federal budget 2009-2010, the government announced the levy of a new tax of 20-paisa per SMS in addition to the rate specified for the telecom sector
  2. In pre-budget negotiations with the telecom stakeholders, the Government had put forward a condition of reduction in taxes by asking telecom operators to increase SMS rates
  3. The finance ministry offered telecom industry the reduction of SIM activation tax, on the condition that as a quid pro quo, the operators will increase SMS rates
  4. Reportedly, this move was being pushed by the largest mobile phone operator
  5. Generally 40 billion SMS are sent in Pakistan every year by the subscribers of cellular phones
  6. With a tax of Rs 0.2 per SMS, the government was expecting to earn Rs 8 billion per annum (US$100 million)
  7. Since bulk SMS deals were to become very difficult to operate, the telecom industry was expected to curtail them from the current levels
  8. This had the potential of absolutely discouraging the users to send SMS freely thus resulting in lesser numbers of SMS exchanges

SUCCESSFUL CASE STUDY IN MEDIA ADVOCACY – TAX ON SMS

  1. ZONG (CMPak Ltd) and its PR agency, Asiatic Public Relations Network decided to plan and launch a media campaign for withdrawal of the new sms tax, after it was announced in the new Budget
  2. The strategy was to build a lot of pressure on the government in a short time frame, through the mass media
  3. It was important that the tax was shown up to be highly unpopular in the general public

WHAT ADVOCACY MEANS HERE?
Provoking concern about a problem, with the aim of generating an appropriate response

MEDIA STRATEGY

  1. Building pressure – Breaking the news to media one week before the budget announcement
  2. Strategic favorable news placements in major newspapers
  3. News placement at blogs and discussion
  4. Letters to the editors
  5. Public survey

PRE-BUDGET NEWS STORIES

AFTER BUDGET GENERIC NEWS

AFTER BUDGET GENERIC NEWS

No mention of tax in headlines

AFTER BUDGET NEWS PLACEMENT BY APR

ELECTRONIC

LETTER TO THE EDITORS BY APR

WEBSITES / BLOGS

GENERIC NEWS PLACEMENT

IN FAVOR OF TAX IMPOSITION

FOLLOW UP NEWS STORIES BY US

EVEN PUBLIC PROTESTS

WITHDRAWAL OF DECISION

RESPONSES AFTER THE DECISION

Leave a Reply