Manila Electric Co., the country’s largest power retailer, announced the promotion of Agapito ‘Joe’ Del Rosario Zaldarriaga as vice president and head of corporate communications effective Dec. 1, reflecting the trust of his superiors in his capability to help steer the company to new heights.
The 56-year-old Zaldarriaga, a broadcast journalist before joining Meralco, rose from the ranks and helped the company reap awards and recognition for its public relations and corporate communications campaigns.
Having been with Meralco since 1989 from his first post as media relations staff, Zaldarriaga is known for his accessibility to fellow journalists, especially during critical times such as typhoons or calamities where information on power restoration is very important to the public.
He is not one to turn down interviews even at odd hours of the day just to make sure that the public is kept abreast of the power situation in Meralco’s franchise area.
Zaldarriaga is also very patient in explaining the role of Meralco and the intricacies of the power sector. “Public service is at the core of my philosophy in life. I firmly believe that one is most fulfilled when he is of service to others,” he said.
His hard work paid off last year when Zaldarriaga became the recipient of the medallion of honor and scroll of commendation from the University of Manila—a testament to his years in public service exemplified by outstanding communication excellence.
At home, Zaldarriaga is a devoted family man and is very proud of his family. He is married to Christina Hermoso, a journalist who works for a newspaper. His son, Dr. Jose Ma. Zaldarriaga, holds MBA and MD degrees who graduated magna cum laude at Ateneo de Manila University and valedictorian in Grade School and High School.
At work, Zaldarriaga is able to bring together his team and create the best campaigns for Meralco. He is a caring leader to his people and very passionate about PR and communications, most importantly empowering the public with information to uplift the lives of customers.
He works 24/7 around the clock, and truly gives his all, not only to Meralco’s customers but also to his friends, associates and contacts in the media.
He is a strong leader not only in Meralco but also in the entire field of PR communications. He chairs International Association of Business Communicators Phils.
Under Zaldarriaga’s supervision, Meralco made a historic back-to-back “Company of the Year” wins at the IABC Philippine Quill Awards—a first in the awards show’s 17-year history.
Meralco is also the only company to have won the said title four times. Last year, it bagged two top awards for communication skills and research—a testament to the company’s strength in business communication excellence.
Zaldarriaga headed the team that won the first-ever PR Team of the Year Award at the 53rd Anvil Awards—dubbed as the “Oscars of PR” conferred by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines.
He also led the country to win several international awards in PR and communications via Meralco campaigns. Meralco was shortlisted for In-house PR Team of the Year at the 2017 PR Awards Asia. It competed against international companies across Asia Pacific in one of the most prestigious awards shows celebrating the most inspired and successful campaigns, companies and individuals in the region. The 2017 PR Week Asia Awards, held in Hong Kong, is organized by Haymarket Media.
Meralco garnered trophies from the 2016 The Gold Standard Awards for Issues Management/ Crisis Communications and for Corporate Citizenship and was a in a shortlist for NGO Engagement.
The awards were conferred in December 2016 in Hong Kong, by Public Affairs Asia—the network for senior government relations, corporate affairs and corporate communications professionals operating across the Asia Pacific region.
The Gold Standard Awards identify and showcase excellence in corporate public affairs, strategic communications, citizenship and stakeholder engagement.
Meralco was given the Gold award for Crisis Communications/ Issues Management Campaign of the Year and Silver for CSR Campaign of the Year from 2016 PR Asia Awards.
Meralco was also a recipient of the Gold Stevie for Community Relations Campaign from the 2016 International Business Awards Stevie Awards, conferred by the Stevie Awards- which is celebrated as the world’s premier business awards. The awards show was held in Rome, Italy in October 2016.
The company was also given the Bronze award for Community Relationship/ Public Service Communications at the 2016 Asia Pacific Stevie Awards in May 2016 in Sydney, Australia.
Meralco was a finalist certificate for Corporate Social Responsibility at 2015 Asia Pacific Excellence Awards, awarded by Communication Director, the magazine for corporate communications and public relations, distributed worldwide with special editions for Europe and Asia-Pacific.
Zaldarriaga, who graduated from De La Salle University in 1985 with a degree in Asian Studies specializing in the Japan studies program, is also busy sharing his thoughts on a variety of issues via his three columns in several publications.
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