Gordan Turković at KOMferencija: “Knowledge must be used to help the most vulnerable groups of society”


CTA komunikacije CEO Gordan Turković held a lecture called How to turn the impossible into possible: communication campaigns that change lives at KOMferencija, the most important PR conference in Croatia. Organised by the Croatian Public Relations Association, the topic of this year’s KOMferencija is crisis, and Gordan spoke of socially responsible campaigns, more precisely – fundraising campaigns. 

The first one was Nešto zbilja važno. This is the campaign on which the CTA team collaborated with Brački pupoljci Association. The goal of this action was to urgently amend the then-current Law on Line and Occasional Coastal Shipping in order to provide a free ferry transport for island children with disabilities and provide them with unhindered access to therapy on the mainland.  

Namely, children with difficulties had to go to larger mainland cities as frequently as four times a month, which meant that their parents had to pay theirs and their children’s ferry tickets cca. EUR 450,00. Thanks to united forces of Brački pupoljci and CTA komunikacije, the visibility of the Association and its demands increased, forcing the ruling party to propose amendments to the Law and vote on them in the Parliament. In addition to this, the campaign succeeded in involving associations in drafting of the law amendment proposal, and to increase the organic reach on the Facebook page to 10,000 users per post, as well as the number of comments, likes and shares.  

“In one evening, we managed to vote on something failing to be voted for ten years”

“When I told people what we were planning to do, they told us “No way, bigger players than you tried and failed”. We have created a sort of a movement on social networks by making the government feel an additional pressure of the people demanding that the law be amended. User created content is the best sort of content you can get. Numerous associations and have become involved, and everyone wanted to support these children and their rights. We were not even aware of the amount of marketing happening in the background, which increased the visibility of the subject in public space. We reacted to government’s promises, sent notifications, and this is how the media recognised the subject and started writing about it. In three months, we created a story out of nothing and made it top news in Croatia, followed by the national and local media. The impossible turned out to be possible after all. In only one evening we succeed in getting a unanimous vote on something that could not be voted on for ten years” said Gordan Turković.

komferencija gordan turković
komferencija gordan turković

Gordan continued by presenting their campaign 1,100 kilometres for 1,100 therapies. Two mountaineers from the island of Brač, Ranko Dragičević and Daniel Lončar, passed 1,100 km, 14 mountains, 12 rivers, two lakes, 18 protected areas, seven counties and 52 municipalities on foot in order to help the parents of children with disabilities association Brački pupoljci. Ranko Dragičević wrote a book about it, called Srcem kroz planine / With your heart through the mountains, and our own CTA team made sure the action resounded with the public and get the largest possible support.

“I do not know of any other PR campaign-turned book except for this one. The book is still in sale, and the money is used to finance Brački pupoljci to this date. The core value persists and helps on”, Gordan concluded.

“Our job is to fit into a narrative that people will recognise as their own”

The Gold Ribbon – 7 marathons in 7 days campaign was also a subject  of Gordan’s lecture. This fundraiser was devised as a race where all interested donors could buy kilometres of the route; The price of one was HRK 100,00, with 295 kilometres available for donations. All gathered funds were donated to the Clinical Hospital Centre of Split’s Children Oncology Department. Thanks to this action, HRK 212,664.00 were gathered for Split’s Hospital.

“In the pandemic year, when all the money was directed at COVID departments, the children of Split’s Clinical Hospital Centre were deprived of indispensable equipment – volumetric pumps. Our challenge was to retain the media attention for seven days in order to spread the news and to keep the donations coming. Announcements, talks, wishes, calls, we did everything possible to keep Croatia informed. Our job was not to run, but fit this situation into a narrative that the people might recognise as simple and close to them, and we have succeed to do so thanks to emotional testimonies of these people“, said Gordan.

komferencija gordan turković
komferencija gordan turković

“When someone asks for your help, help them”

Finally, Gordan commented on the campaign Kaftrio – udah života /Kaftrio – breath of life that the CTA team joined only recently. The members of the Croatian Association of Cystic Fibrosis Patients have applied themselves daily so that the difficulties they have been experiencing be heard in public, all in hope that three drugs be put on the Selection of Essential Drugs by the Croatian Health Insurance Fund, thus saving their lives. After more than two months of the media pressure, the goal of the campaign has been fulfilled and the drugs Kaftrio, Kaydeco and Orkambi have found their place on the essential drugs list.

“We turned the whole story around, we filed petitions and put pressure on the government. If you own the ways and knowledge, then you can be of help. When someone comes to you and says “help me” – help them. The money you will spend in a bar, on new clothes is not worth of a human life. These people got a new life at that moment”, said Gordan whose lecture is available on our Facebook page or by clicking the video below.