Thursday, February 7, 2008

Marketers rally public to donate blood - 2/07/2008

Story by NATION Correspondent

Publication Date: 2/7/2008

Kenya’s marketers have joined corporates helping victims of post-election violence, by rallying the public to donate blood, as a way to lower ethnic tensions.

The move is a Brand Kenya initiative of the Marketing Society of Kenya (MSK), spearheaded by multi-sectoral associations, as well as the National Blood Transfusion Service and Bloodlink Foundation.

The two-day event starts on Thursday in Nairobi, next to the August 7 Memorial Park, and on Mama Ngina street and the Kencom bus stop opposite the Hilton hotel. It will then move on to other towns.

“The objectives (of the blood donation campaign)
are twofold – to provide blood to those who need it
and offer a forum to counter tribal divisions in our
country,” said MSK council chairman, Tom Sitati.

He was accompanied by general manager, Francis Wachira.

The Brand Kenya initiative, established in 2003, has started a series of programmes aimed at marketing the country locally and abroad.

Originally, the main objective of the initiative was to ignite national debate on Kenya as a brand of its own, and converge all the different efforts on national branding under one coordinated programme.

This time around, wary of repeating past mistakes, MSK has adopted an all-inclusive approach, with various organizations being included in the initiative. Among them is the Media Owners Association, Public Relations Society of Kenya (PRSK) and the Advertising Practitioners of Kenya (APA).

“We want to market Kenya, not just as an industrial hub but as a tourism hotspot as well,” said Mr Sitati. Other industries and Kenyans in the diaspora will also be called upon to help, as well as the government.

“We are determined to move on as a country, and no sort of bureaucracy will derail us,” he noted.

“We have faith in Kenyans, and we are sure they feel more strongly about Kenya than any political party, since the main thrust is for them to feel together again.”

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