The Rwanda Development Board long faced a public relations challenge: the country was often overlooked as a premier East African travel destination, and instead, remembered for the genocide that occurred there decades ago.
Because of this, it sought out a U.S.–based public relations agency to raise the country’s profile, highlight its conservation efforts, and promote tourism.
The small nation has done a great deal to rebuild itself and is very special–notably, it is one of three countries where mountain gorillas thrive and can be safely observed in the wild.
In addition, Rwanda has an epic safari route, spectacular beachfront resorts, educational bird-watching tours, thrilling canopy tours, miles of beautiful caves to explore, and a rich cosmopolitan life with gourmet restaurants and a fashion scene.
In June 2015, the Rwanda Development Board hired Rubenstein Public Relations to spearhead its “Remarkable Rwanda” initiative to drive awareness of and enhance the country’s overall reputation. To launch the campaign, RPR focused on Rwanda’s impeccable and unique wildlife conservation efforts. With worldwide mountain gorilla numbers dwindling down to near extinction, the country worked diligently to protect its existing gorilla population and support an environment where they could safely populate. Part of the conservation efforts included the annual Kwita Izina naming ceremony for new baby gorillas, which helped save the endangered species’ lives as it is easier for authorities to track and protect them. Another main facet of the campaign highlighted and publicized the lions that were reintroduced to Rwanda’s Akagera National Park after a 15-year absence following the genocide.
In just a few weeks, RPR secured national and international media exposure in outlets such as TIME, National Geographic, Reuters, Bloomberg, CNN.com, The Guardian, Daily Mail, Mashable, The Independent, and Associated Press, among many others. In addition, RPR secured several national and international top-tier media to visit Rwanda for the Kwita Izina ceremony.