Mission Possible: The Accomplished Partnership between A2 News and CNN
Albania in the 1999s. A door opens and politicians walk under the camera flashes. Christiane Amanpour reports from Tirana on some of the most dramatic moments that Albania has experienced. This is part of the country’s past, imprinted in international news as well as collective memory. The promise of the future was unveiled in the same video through the logos of A2 News and CNN, to announce the beginning of an Albanian-American cooperation to establish a news TV channel in Albania. From the beginning of the now-accomplished exclusive partnership of A2 with the media giant CNN, McCann Tirana was selected to provide communication support for the project throughout. A2 News is the CNN affiliate based in Tirana, which from December 6 2018 provides round-the-clock news for Albanian-speaking audiences in Albania and the region. McCann’s key task was to convey the truths behind the project, with a focus on CNN standards intertwining with local excellence. The agency had a first-hand role in establishing and managing the social media channels of A2, as well as generating tailored content. McCann was largely involved in other processes, including the internal branding of A2 offices and studio, amongst an array of services that would respectively fall under the categories of PR, creative, digital, production etc. On the other hand, placing in the spotlight the genuine and close contribution with CNN, was a prerequisite to address some initial yet natural hesitation in believing that a giant such as CNN has a real interest in including Albania as part of its expansion map via its local affiliate A2 News. These needs, which resulted from a wide-ranging analysis, were met throughout a comprehensive communication strategy, implemented in coordinated communications with A2 and CNN’s leadership. This way, McCann’s support unfolded in a series of activities, from high-level events with representatives of local and international institutions, including CNN managers, to tailored communications for diverse audiences and to mass communication through press releases and other tools. McCann Tirana’s involvement as communication partner in this project, from its first announcement in the beginning of 2018 to the moment A2 went live on December 6 of the same year. About A2 A2 News is established as an exclusive partnership between CNN (Cable News Network) and Albanian company Gener 2, with its headquarters located in Tirana and reporting units throughout Albania and in the region. It is a round-the-clock news channel, expected to bring international journalism standards and CNN values in the Albanian media scene, thus having a profound impact on news production in the country. A2 primary produces local news for Albanian-speaking audiences, while closely cooperating with the CNN network in content sharing.