Development of the communication strategy started with a large-scale analytical work. Its results allowed to elaborate an approach to organization of communications and to put together communication instruments. Several insights had to be taken into consideration during the development of the communication strategy.
Lottery players trust the media
According to VCIOM, the level of trust in the Russian federal media remains at a rather high level. 75% of the population trust federal TV channels, around one in two trust federal press (54%) and radio stations (52%). Thus, the media form opinions and impact the level of trust of the target audience in the lottery business in general and “Russian Lotto” in particular. That is why it was important to work just with these communication channels.
Lottery players only trust what they see themselves
Players consider fair and transparent only draws that are broadcast live. That is why we communicated the message about the live draw in every material.
Storytelling as the best way to raise trust among the target audience
Lottery players trust the drawing results only if they see real people and know the history of their wins. That is why it was important in the shortest term possible to find winners and to begin procedures related to award of the prize, as well as receiving consent for declaring their identity.
Silence would turn into a tsunami of negative coverage
The win of 506 mln rubles in 2017 showed that we could not afford to have a pause in communication with opinion makers. Taking into account the past negative experience (over 30% of the coverage of Natalya Vlasova’s win was negative), as well as the fact that most of the campaign fell on the New Year holidays, it was important not to allow any vacuum in the media landscape, to conduct continuous communication and to generate as many positive news stories around the event as possible. That is why the decision was taken to launch five large-scale information waves. It was also important to engage all available types of the media: starting with the federal TV channels and finishing with local online media.
Wrongly formed opinion = negative comments
During the implementation of the campaign, it was found that the audience has a wrong opinion about taxation. Many Russians were sure that multimillionaires would have to pay a tax of 35% instead of 13%. Managing this situation, we carried out an information campaign.
Not everybody understands the goal of organizing lotteries in Russia
Not all players and opinion makers know that all lotteries in Russia are state-run and that a substantial part of the revenues is used for the development of sports. This message was integrated in the media materials.
The key element of the strategy was not just the timely delivery of messages but also engaging journalists in the search operation. For two weeks we were searching for the winners together with the media. Journalists received daily updates on the search operation, and thus every day we had positive or neutral media coverage with comments by speakers and partners, that were engaged by us during the search for the newly-made multimillionaires.
Continuous communication with media enquiries was carried out, new positive articles and stories were generated in the media, blogs and comments to media posts. We have become the only reliable source of information. The key delivered messages were: the draw was broadcast live, the draw was fair and transparent, the winners are real people (not actors or stand-ins), anyone can win by just buying a lottery ticket, the tax rate on lottery wins is 13%, revenue from ticket sales is used to fund development of sports in Russia.
Having the negative experience of winner relations in the past, at the strategy development stage it was important to elaborate and arrange systemic and quality work with the winners and their families, including psychological support and assistance of a financial consultant, and media relations training for the families of each winner (after receipt of consent to use personal data). Later, a system of media relations was built to set up the right context for the coverage and to integrate the key messages in every piece.