Jaime’s recent work has illustrated how to overcome COVID's challenges with creative flair, turning his experience towards helping his adopted home country of Cambodia fight the pandemic.
In 18 months he invented a new sport to promote COVID safety among vulnerable children, helped protect a beloved non-profit's future by masterminding a Guinness World Record fundraiser, supported the UN with Cambodia’s successful vaccine communications, and spearheaded pro-bono social media campaigns reaching tens of millions in 50+ countries while winning 8 international awards.
After 16 years working in London, in agencies and in-house, Jaime moved to Cambodia in 2016. He worked for Havas, described as "an outstanding creative writer and thinker who first and foremost believes in the power of a great idea," by Group Director Anthony Keck, then founded and led a Shorty-Award-winning communications team for non-profit This Life Cambodia.
When COVID struck, most foreign workers left Cambodia for home countries with better healthcare or clung to full-time jobs due to economic uncertainty. Jaime took the opposite path, declining Embassy advice to repatriate and leaving full-time work for freelancing. He wanted the freedom to a) help national efforts to support Cambodians through the emergency and b) work pro-bono for non-profits struggling on COVID's frontlines.
Paid consultancies included working with UNICEF on its Government-supporting COVID response, working on social media message development and scripting vaccine-promoting, myth-busting videos seen by millions. Cambodia now leads the developing world in vaccine take-up.
His first pro-bono project was inventing a COVID-safe sport, Social Distance Football, for education non-profit ISF. A video explainer spearheaded an integrated social/traditional media campaign. 60,000 young Cambodians learnt safety-promoting rules online and media coverage reached four continents, prompting other organisations to adopt the game. He later creatively supported an online gala where ISF raised $300,000. Development Manager, Margherita Chiaranzola, wrote: “positive, creative, enthusiastic, and always a pleasure to work with, able to establish an excellent relationship with staff, beneficiaries and trustees."
His next pro-bono project was masterminding a record-breaking circus fundraiser for Cambodia’s leading arts/education non-profit, Phare Ponleu Selpak. Phare, founded by refugees from the Khmer Rouge, now educates 800+ disadvantaged children while training Cambodia’s future artists. COVID was a financial catastrophe - it lost 60% of income and desperately needed new funds to survive.
Armed with a $500 promotional budget, Jaime recommended centring social-media-driven fundraising on a massive PR moment, a Guinness World Record for Longest Circus Show. He worked with the two-person in-house team on an integrated communications strategy incorporating all major social media channels, livestreaming, corporate sponsorship, influencers, traditional media, and creative use of Facebook Live/Events.
The campaign reached 20 million people, the 24-hour livestream drew 440,000, and 4,000+ people donated nearly $150,000 (triple the target). The event won several international awards, growing Phare’s profile and increasing corporate support. As Lindsay Brown, Phare project manager, wrote: “If it wasn’t for Jaime's ridiculously creative ideas, this world record would never have become a reality!"
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