Story about numbers

In the first post, I’ve mentioned that there is a story behind the huge numbers of reports on philanthropy in the region. As a reminder:

“in app. 2,5 months there were over 1,100 reports on donations, actions and on giving…”

So what is the story about numbers, if we already counted reports?

Well, it turns out that all philanthropy is equal, but some is more equal than other :). That is, some actions/donations have repeated coverage, and number of reports ‘hides’ actual number of actions/donations presented. Chart shows the number of reports vs no of unique actions/donations that were presented in media.


Though these numbers are smaller – in Montenegro and Serbia practically half of the number of reports – given the relatively recent ‘revival’ of philanthropy in this region, as well as general economic situation, number of actions/donations is higher than one may expect. Number of actual actions/donations goes from an average of 28 per month in Montenegro, 49 in B&H, 80 in Croatia to 91 in Serbia, which is not at all bad.

But, since this is still story about media let’s look at the repeated coverage. Most repeatedly covered actions/donations are presented in the range of two or three reports; however, a number of them is covered between 5-10 times, some up to 20 times to the almost absurd 49 reports on the humanitarian concert of a famous singer in Serbia.

However, absurdity aside, what gets higher media attention?  

For one, companies – that is – corporate donations! Across the region, the vast majority of corporate donations are covered on average in between 3-5 reports; while many are presented up to 20 times. So, I would dare say that maybe – just maybe – professional PR agencies, although never explicitly mentioned, are important player in getting the news out there!

Celebrities/public persons also tend to attract attention: actions/donations where sportspersons and singers either provided donations or just joined the effort tend to be covered from at least three to over 20 times. This seems to be especially true in Serbia, particularly if we are talking sports! (And large number of Serbia reports is not actually due to B92… The printed media such as Blic, Vecernje Novosti, Press, Pravda, novosadski Dnevnik are among those with highest number of reports, and, though maybe difficult to believe, RTS (state TV) actually had more reports in this period than B92!)

Then, interesting/unusual events or unusual donors/organizers are also a factor: i.e. in B&H students from gymnasium that organized concerts for public kitchens; NATO and Bosnian forces organizing concert for Japan; cafe in Sarajevo that invites celebrities to become waiters for a few hours, and all income made in such way donates to various charity causes; auction of private paintings in Serbia; a culinary competitions in both Croatia and Serbia and series of really unusual events – like high-heels race, or race of brides to be with their wedding dresses (!) seems to get media excited!  

Finally, if it is about particularly high amount of money donated by one donor (a person or a company) that is also bound to attract attention! For example in Montenegro, really large donation by a private foundation got one of the highest coverage in the period of monitoring.

Other examples of repeatedly covered actions certainly include those when media is in the position of donor and/or organizer; there are then always repeated reports, though, of course in that particular media.  Croatia is a good example – one action organized by HTV got covered over 15 times, and not only on HTV!  

Croatia is the only country where actions by local associations involving citizens are on average covered more than once – app. 2.5 times. This probably comes as a result of high number of regional and local media that naturally reserve ‘place’ for local events.

So it seems, that if you want something covered, you could a) find a good PR agency (they may be even ready to work for you pro bono); b) get someone well-known in your community to be your promoter; if you can get a celebrity, even better; c) create an event interesting enough to attract media or d) get a donor to give you a really large amount of money!  

What is your experience?

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Aleksandra Vesic