The Manila Electric Company (Meralco), the country’s premier electric distribution utility, continues to exude excellence beyond providing stable and reliable power in its franchise area. Recognized for its initiatives centered on customer service excellence, communication, and transparency, it recently bagged three (3) golds, three (3) silvers, and three (3) bronzes at the 2021 Stevie International Business Awards (IBA). It commanded superiority in the field of communications in the global scene as it bested 3,700 nominations from various organizations from different industries in 65 countries.
The prestigious Stevie International Business Awards is an annual awards program started in 2002 and joined by top corporations to showcase professional achievements and compete for various awards. It honors and generates public recognition of these achievements and positive contributions of organizations and working professionals worldwide and is one of the world’s most coveted prizes.
Awarded Gold were the One Meralco Foundation (OMF) program “One for Trees: Helping Farmers Survive the Pandemic through Sustainable Reforestation;” the “Meralco Annual Report,” which was recognized as the best annual report among utilities in 2021; and the “MVP The Man and His Art,” a book that showcases Filipino artistry that graces the halls of Meralco, PLDT, First Pacific, and MVP’s residence. The “Meralco Sustainability Report,” “Energizing off-grid schools in the Philippines,” and “Powering-up Communities Amidst the Pandemic” were given Silver awards. Meanwhile, “A Back to School Program to support Teacher-Frontliners during the Pandemic,” the “Meralco Advisory,” and the “Meralco Facebook page” each bagged a Bronze award.
Furthermore, Meralco was recognized for its initiatives in customer-centric innovations in the 8th Annual Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards—an awards competition open to all organizations from 29 nations in the region, focusing on recognizing innovation in all its forms.
Awarded Gold was the “Meralco 2019 Sustainability Report”, an all-inclusive discussion of Meralco’s sustainability agenda. This is the third international recognition received by the said publication. Two (2) entries, “Fitting The Bill: Meralco Makes Paying Bills Easier With The Customer Account Number (CAN)” and “Safeguard the Economy at All Costs: Meralco Waives Energy Demand Charge” both received Silver, while “Safety first: Empowering Enterprises to fight an invisible enemy” was awarded Bronze.
According to Meralco President and CEO Atty. Ray C. Espinosa, “Excellent customer service and communication are at the core of what we do in Meralco, and transparency is a value we’ve long adhered to. To be recognized internationally for campaigns focused on these is definitely an honor, and a feat for the many men and women of Meralco who have been toiling relentlessly for the fulfillment of these programs, despite adversities brought by the pandemic.”
Consistently showing excellence in communications, the One Meralco Group also received various citations from different award-giving bodies in the country. It recently topped pandemic response communications in the 18th Philippine Quill Awards, an awards program organized by the International Association of Business Communicators – Philippines (IABC Philippines). Its entry “Meralco Digital Press Conferences: Keeping Close with Media and Public Despite Social Distancing” was awarded the Top Communication Award for COVID Communications. Alongside this are 31 Excellence and Merit Awards for various programs. Meralco was also named Company of the Year 2nd Runner Up in the event, which was held via livestream due to the pandemic.
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.
Among Meralco’s programs that won Excellence Awards were the following internal and external programs in various categories: “Meralco Goes Green”, “CovidComms 2020: Keeping the Lights On in the time of Pandemic”, “Laging Handa: The 2019 One Meralco Foundation Back-to-School Program”, “Meralco Advisory: Informing, Educating and Equipping Customers with Knowledge through Innovative Communications”, “Meralco Advisory: Informing, Educating and Equipping Customers with Knowledge through Innovative Communications”, “Ensuring our Stakeholders are Informed: The 2019 Quarterly Meralco Operating and Financial Media Briefings”, “CovidComms 2020: Green Transport for Frontliners”, “Kaisa sa Kabuhayan: Aplaya Sardines Enterprise with Atimonan Fisherfolks”, “KKK Towards a Green Future”, “MVP Academic Achievement Awards 2019 “Builders of the Future”, “Meralco is Ready: Hosting of the 2019 4Q Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED)”, and the “2019 Meralco Sustainability Report: Sustaining the Future”.
Meanwhile, the following internal and external programs were given Merit Awards in various categories: “2019 One Meralco Cool-tural Festival”, “One For Trees: Engaging Employees in Sustainable Reforestation”, “Araw ng mga Lineman: Pasasalamat sa IDOL naming Lineman”, Meralco Integrated Reporting Management System: A Big Leap Towards a Safer Work Place”, “Una sa Lahat, Safety”, “Power Up Forum – Sustainability Edition”, “MakaBayad”, “Bayanihan at Malasakit: Meralco’s Taal restoration and CSR response”, “Covid Comms 2020: Enlightening the public on ECQ months bill spike issue through media engagement”, “Meralco’s revitalized renewable energy push for solar microgrids”, “Household Electrification Program”, “The Good Store: A Commitment to Sustainability”, “Meralco’s proactive supply procurement communication campaign”, “Typhoon Tisoy Response: Managing crisis communications during 2019’s strongest typhoon”, “COVIDComms 2020: From Farmers to Frontliners”, “No School Left in the Dark – Energizing the farthest public schools in the Philippines”, “CovidComms 2020: Flattening the Curve by Flattening the Fear – One MERALCO COVID-19 Online Awareness Roadshow”, and the “Meralco Liwanag Park Digital Tour”.
Another award-giving body that recognized Meralco’s excellence in communications is The Anvil Awards, an awards program annually held by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP). Meralco and OMF received eight silver awards for their various programs in the 56th Anvil Awards, which was also held via livestream. The Anvil Awards, dubbed “the Oscars of Philippine Public Relations,” recognizes outstanding external and internal programs, campaigns, and tools that exemplify the highest standards of PR practice in the country.
Meralco also received a nomination for the “Company of the Year” award as its flagship program, Meralco Advisory, winning for the 6th time since 2013. Meralco Advisory has been one of the company’s longest-running communication programs and has effectively provided its customers with technical information presented in a simplified and creative manner that a layperson can easily understand. The company also received a Silver Anvil award for its program “Keeping the Lights On in the Time of Pandemic” in the newly added category for COVID-19-related programs and tools. The said program is a communication management program on keeping its employees safe and well informed of matters related to the pandemic. Meralco was also recognized for “Meralco Goes Green Internal Communications,” a campaign launched in 2019 to empower its employees to do their part in living sustainably through various programs and initiatives.
Other programs that received recognitions were the following: “Meralco Digital Press Conferences: Keeping Close with Media and Public Despite Social Distancing”, “Share A Leave/A Day To Give”, “From Farmer to Frontliners,” “No school left in the dark-School Electrification Program” energizes the farthest schools in the country, and “Household Electrification Program.”
All these awards and recognitions serve as a testament to Meralco’s customer-centric, goal-oriented and impactful programs 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 critical programs and services are well understood and appreciated by its customers and stakeholders.