The expansion of the Panama Canal, completed by a consortium led by Sacyr, was inaugurated one year ago. To share its story and the story of those who have made this great infrastructure possible, a comprehensive communication campaign was created which has won award after award. The most recent of these, the Stevie Award, received in August this year, takes the total to seven.
On 26 June 2016, after less than seven years of construction, 112 million on-site man hours and two million design hours, the Third Set of Locks was inaugurated as part of the Expansion of the Panama Canal. This megaproject needed a special communication strategy, aimed at the workforce and its stakeholders, in order to increase awareness about and highlight the success of the consortium led by Sacyr in designing and building the largest engineering project in the world in the 21st century.
In collaboration with the Llorente & Cuenca consulting firm, an extensive communication and marketing programme was established which included a series of markedly digital and educational activities: a party in Madrid Río to celebrate the inauguration in Spain; a website featuring interviews with workers on the project; videographic material with the most noteworthy aspects of the project; viral research with the most significant data about the construction; a 360⁰ video showing a bird’s eye view along the Panama Canal; visits from various stakeholders to see the finished work and the operations; the reprinting of the book “El Nuevo Canal de Panamá”; and travelling exhibitions using photographic material from the book and talks.
A large number of activities which, in addition to serving to demonstrate all that was entailed in the expansion of the Panama Canal, have received recognition from different organisations from the world of communication and marketing in the form of awards.
Awards for exemplary communication
Over the past year, the history and the stories of the Panama Canal have already earned seven awards around the world.
Silver for the Marketing Campaign of the Year in the Agricultural/Industrial/Building category of the Stevie Awards; these acknowledge business achievements and are one of the most highly-regarded competitions in the communication sector worldwide.
- Award in the Marketing and Social Networks category of the Second Edition of the Awards for the 50 Best Ideas organised by Expansión Economía Digital. These recognise the best technology-based initiatives in Spain.
- Award in the Brand Digital Platforms category of the SABRE Awards EMEA, which aim to highlight the best work in social media, branded content, innovation and knowledge.
Bronze award for The Major Engineering Work of the 21st Century, in the “Brand Management: Business-to-Consumer” category of the Innova Awards, thanks to Stories of the Panama Canal.
Prize for the Best Global Communication Strategy at Fundacom 2017; this acknowledges excellence and good practice in public relations and organisational communication in whatever form, rewarding the world’s best communication projects produced and broadcast in Spanish and/or Portuguese.
- Silver as an Integrated Campaign in the Marketing Effectiveness category at the 23rd Annual Communicator Awards. This event, organised by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, honours the most creative and innovative work in marketing and communication.
- Silver Mercury award in the Video-DVD/Online, Special Project category of the Mercury Excellence Awards, which promote excellence, quality and creation in the field of public relations.
Moreover, this project has also received other recognition, including being a finalist for the PRWeek Global Awards in the Corporate Branding category for its “new communication methods for sharing information about a major engineering project of the 21st century”.