How do you raise your Clients’ profile as a leading developer of applications ?
Active PR has been successfully supporting Prototype Interactive, digital marketing Agency based in Dubai, for the past three years with strategic media relations and reputation management, thought leadership campaigns and creative media events. More recently, the companydecided to raise its profile as a leading developer of applications, including web and mobile apps. The Agency’s task was to develop a creative media campaign that would leverage the company’s new business interests with the regional trend moving fast towards app development and usage.
The timing was perfect. The UAE has registered the highest mobile phone subscribers in the world at a whopping 74% in 2013. In addition, mobility is highly supported by the Dubai Government with its many initiatives including mobile apps development, mobile payment gateways and the creation of dedicated mobile portals and mobile SMS gateways.
The challenge for Active PR lied in identifying the right time, based on the regional trends to pitch the right angles to the right media, with the right creative input. Although there is a ‘regional buzz’ on the subject, no journalist likes to tell the same story over and over again!
Active PR quickly identified the media titles which would respond to the topic of mobile apps and whose audience was a perfect fit for Prototype Interactive’s objectives.
Active PR was able to deliver to the Client’s needs by:
- Proposing creative headlines with play-on-word: i.e. “App-solutely digital”, “Positive App-titude”
- Identifying relevant market trends and regional statistics
- Recommending a wide variety of story angles, according to the media outlet targeted
- Sourcing top-end media opportunities
The results were great as the Agency was able to source top-end media opportunities in some of the leading publications in the UAE and the region:
- Dailies – Gulf News
- Onlines – Zawya
- Business – Gulf Business
- Men’s lifestyle – U Men
- Vertical – Hospitality Business ME
- Marketing – Trends
“With Active’s undeniable pro-activeness and knowledge of the regional media and trends, I had no doubt they would manage the campaign successfully. They exceeded our expectations, delivering valuable opportunities with some of the best publications in the region, even sourcing a couple of two-page spreads which was definitely impressive. Keep up the good work!” – Alex Rauser, CEO of Prototype Interactive
How to prep a Client for the biggest IT trade show in the Middle East and increase their brand awareness.
Riverbed Technology was very keen to aggressively increase its brand awareness in the lead up to and during the biggest IT trade show in the Middle East.
The main challenge was the fierce competition from the multiple IT and technology companies active in the region for attracting the interest of the same limited number of targeted journalists. GITEX is a key networking event for the industry hence huge efforts are made by all key technology players in the Middle East to communicate their latest innovations and solutions offering to customers and partners in the region. The biggest challenge faced by all is cutting through the noise…
Creativity and Process
The Active PR team kick-started preparation and planning work early – 3 months ahead of the trade show – to ensure strong results in the lead up to and at the trade show. Priority was communicating Riverbed Technology’s latest news and key messages to target media at GITEX 2013, the world’s third largest IT and technology exhibition. In addition to taking care of logistics, event preparation and more, the Agency managed a holistic PR campaign thus allowing the Client to focus on their business objectives for the show.
Active PR was keen to go into the show well prepared and targeted.
- Recommending a strategic communication plan with focused & relevant topics of discussion for GITEX 2013-related interviews
- Briefing the Client on main topics of discussion & areas of interest for the media at the show
- Advising on how to approach competitor news, industry news, regional market facts and figures
- Updating the Client on the latest coverage achieved as well as competitor activity at the show
- Promoted the company’s participation at GITEX 2013 via social media channels
- Sourced targeted Tier 1 media opportunities across various segments of media in the lead up to and during the event
The Agency exceeded the Client’s expectations by delivering 4 interviews in the lead up to the show and 8 interviews with target media during the 5 day-event (four more than initially targeted for the whole campaign) which resulted in a total of 19 articles and still counting.
Riverbed Technology successfully discussed key products and services, IT market trends and forecasts for the Middle East region with key target media thus positioning its spokespeople as thought leaders.
“PR is a key weapon for any vendor to succeed in what they want to do. I am very pleased with the amount of coverage we have achieved and I look forward to capitalizing on that. From someone who has been working with various multinational companies in the region, I am thrilled this year as we had the best experience working with our PR agency, Active PR, at GITEX 2013. The Agency did a fantastic job by keeping me very busy with the media. I do not think we would have been able to have a better year than this year. Everything is fantastic for us.”
Taj El Khayat, General Manager, MENA, Riverbed Technology.
With only 4 weeks at our disposal, a ‘reasonable’ budget, highly specific technical requirements for the Gitex 2013 stand, Ruckus Wireless’ project posed the Agency a few challenges.
With a reputation of excellence among Clients and media alike, Active PR has been successfully supporting Ruckus Wireless over the past two years with their communication campaign including – strategic media relations and reputation management, regional social media campaigns, targeted ad placements and events.
More recently, the company decided to also test our project management capabilities at GITEX 2013, the world’s third largest IT and technology exhibition.
With only 4 weeks at our disposal, a ‘reasonable’ budget, highly specific technical requirements for the Gitex 2013 stand, Ruckus Wireless’ project posed the Agency a few challenges. Challenges that Active PR tackled head on to ensure smooth project completion and timely delivery.
Active PR quickly identified the Client’s exact needs in order to deliver on the design and functionality requirements for the Ruckus Wireless Gitex 2013 stand.
End-to-end project management included EVERYTHING:
- Selecting customized water
- Electricity specifications
- Managing graphic design development and process
- Overseeing the construction and dismantling stages
As it usually happens in a fast paced industry we find ourselves in, additional challenges surfaced, but this time our team’s work ethic and 24/7 commitment managed to ensure successful project completion.
With a focus on providing strategic communications consultancy (360 degrees) to our Clients in the Middle East region, we take pride in our work and delivering on our Client’s ROI.
“I was confident about the whole process of having a booth at Gitex 2013. We left the organization of this stand to Active PR from A to Z on short notice. Despite there being many requirements and technical specifications, I was impressed with the results which exceeded my expectations. For the whole week of Gitex, all our customers and prospects felt very comfortable on our booth! A huge thanks to Active PR team!”
Arnaud Le Hung, Marketing Director, EMEA, Ruckus Wireless.
How do you turn a Client’s attempt at breaking a world record into worldwide viral news?
Skydive Dubai was looking to raise its profile as a global progressive centre in skydiving and chose Active PR as their communications partner to realize this objective. The first activity the Agency was briefed on was an upcoming world record-breaking event, XCF, scheduled for the 5th of April 2014. Project XCF, Extreme Canopy Flight, was Skydive Dubai’s vision of making skydiving history by setting new limits for human flight by breaking the Guinness World Record for the smallest parachute jump. With the support of Emirates Aero Sports Federation and Skydive Dubai, Project XCF’s training and record attempts are going to take place at Skydive Dubai the Palm Dropzone in Dubai.
The Agency was tasked with driving an impactful and far reaching media campaign – targeting a diverse media landscape and geographies (local, regional and international) – to raise Skydive Dubai’s profile and the ‘centre’ where amazing fetes are achieved and world-wide records are broken.
- Time – The time frame in which the Agency received the brief to execute the PR plan was tight. The Agency achieved organizing this event within a timeframe of two weeks.
- Weather conditions – Due to the unexpected strong weather conditions, the jump we and the media were waiting for by Ernesto Gainza was pending. We had to manage the media during the event as they were waiting to shoot footage/photos and speak to the jumper, Ernesto, who was supposed to jump at 5PM, but didn’t do so until after 6PM that day. Due to the delay we had to act fast to provide the media with the content they needed to meet their deadlines for the morning papers.
- Managing the media – Soon after the announcement of the event, the volume of media requests received that had to be handled by the Agency was high.
- Crisis communications – Due to high risks involved with Ernesto’s jump, which could possibly end up in him failing the jump and losing consciousness, we had to factor in that we had to manage and liaise with the media on site.
- Strong media attendance at the event
- Solid set of interviews conducted with daily, monthly and broadcast media
- Targeted & creative media outreach to communicate the energy and excitement in the lead up to the event
- Consulted with Client on key messaging and approach/delivery
- Responsive to all media requests during and post event
The communication objectives were met and far exceeded by the Agency.
In addition to the objectives being met, Skydive Dubai’s target reach was achieved as well – with the XCF Guinness Record breaking news receiving worldwide coverage & interest.
- Pre – event
- 8 local pre-event interviews with dailies, weeklies, monthlies and broadcast (Radio)
- 1 International online interview
- During the event
- 3 interviews with local dailies
- 2 international broadcast interviews
- 13 media attended the event at Skydive Dubai
- Post – event
- 2 interviews with an online and a monthly publication
- 1 broadcast live interview
- 90 pieces of coverage and clippings were secured
On 5th April 2014, coverage spread all over the world as soon as Ernesto (record holder for jumping with the smallest 35” parachute ever) was handed over his plaque from the Guinness Book of World Record chairman. The news had far-reaching impact: Brazil, France, Germany, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, The Netherlands, the UAE, the UK, the USA, and Venezuela.
“Active PR’s pro-activity and professionalism ensured excellent delivery and international success for the XCF event. Active PR delivered on key media opportunities with tier one dailies, monthlies and broadcast, both radio and TV, regionally and international. Not only did Active PR manage to raise awareness surrounding the XCF event locally but got the word to spread internationally as well, engaging media throughout Europe and ensuring great positioning coverage in print and broadcast. We look forward to working with them again on upcoming Skydive Dubai big news and exciting campaigns,” said Javad Khoramifar, Head of Marketing Services at Skydive Dubai.
How do you manage media outlets from all over the world with viral worthy footage?
Skydive Dubai constantly strives to push the boundaries of extreme sports and this time was no exception. Active PR was briefed on a highly confidential jump that was to take place off the Burj Khalifa. The highest base jump in the world off the highest building in the world. Skydive Dubai and Active PR worked together to promote Skydive Dubai as an innovator and leader in progressive sports while simultaneously promoting Dubai as one of the world’s top destinations.
Fred Fugen and Vince Reffet, a French base jumping duo, was set to write history with a base jump from the highest man-made building in the world, the Burj Khalifa in downtown Dubai. The project was under strict embargo until the big reveal to the media, Wednesday 23rd April 2014.
Skydive Dubai wanted to reveal the highest base jump through a YouTube video documenting Fred & Vince’s jump breaking a world record. The footage was one of the first to be shot in 4K, a new standard of high-definition. This feature was one of the main reasons a lot of the media, local and international showed great interest in this breaking news story. One of their main objectives was to have this YouTube video go viral locally as well as internationally.
Active PR’s scope was to drive an aggressive PR communication campaign by targeting a wide and diverse set of national and international media. The big reveal was scheduled for Wednesday, April 23rd 2014. The Agency was briefed by the Client on the 7th of April, culminating in 12 working days in total until the news was scheduled to break.
- Time– The time frame in which the Agency received the brief to execute the plan was 12 working days, which was a great challenge for the Agency to prepare all activities until the big reveal. During this 12 day period, the plan went through a number of revisions due to scheduled activities going through last minute changes, this meant that the deadlines we had to work against were even tighter.
- Embargo – Due to the platform being built on top of the Burj Khalifa, there were lots of speculations from the media, with several publications making assumptions around a new world record ahead of the release date. However, we had to make sure that the news would break on the same day by all media outlets without being leaked. We could only go ahead once the Guinness Book of World Record auditor had confirmed the record had been officially broken.
- Managing media requests from all over the world – Soon after sending out the news announcement of the base jump along with the video being uploaded onto Skydive Dubai’s YouTube channel, media requests came streaming in from all over the world. We had to make sure to attend to all media requests, in a timely manner. Managing all the media required 24/7 availability, including weekends as we had to be responsive across different time zones and ensure we would not miss out on any opportunities.
- Footage rights – The Agency was carefully briefed by the Client concerning the terms and conditions related to sharing of the video footage. There were 2 types of footage, the YouTube link which had to be embedded into every website and it could not be downloaded, changed or edited and the raw footage which was not allowed to be shared with any media unless they signed the use of footage agreement. Furthermore, the media had to agree and ensure that the use of any footage was accredited to Skydive Dubai and Dubai Films.
- 9 interviews were conducted with local dailies, weeklies, broadcast; TV and radio, and international media. Throughout the entire campaign the Agency was required to respond and close continuous interview requests, which kept coming through one month post the news being announced.
- As initially agreed with the Client prior to the launch of the campaign, we ensured to set clear and concise key messaging, which was to highlight and guarantee Skydive Dubai was mentioned in each piece of coverage in addition to focusing on the innovative and creative angles of Dubai as an Emirate. As a result, Skydive Dubai was mentioned in every piece of coverage and Dubai as an Emirate was portrayed as forward thinking.
- Soon after breaking the news, the Agency received & dealt with over 50 media requests within the first 24 hours from all over the world.
The communication objectives were met and were far exceeded by the Agency:
- Raising Skydive Dubai’s profile internationally – The PR campaign launched Skydive Dubai as the world’s best and most progressive skydiving center.
- Throughout the campaign, Dubai was portrayed as a city that aims to constantly push boundaries, a city of the future, at the forefront of breaking world records.
In addition to the objectives being met, Skydive Dubai’s target reach was surpassed – with the base jump Guinness World Record breaking news receiving worldwide coverage & interest.
- Total number interviews conducted: 9
- Including: CNN live, Discovery Channel Canada, Virgin Radio and Dubai One – Studio One
- Coverage in tier 1 International broadcast media including CNN live (online), BBC Worldwide (UK), Fox News and Bloomberg to name a few
- 174 pieces of coverage and clippings were secured (local and international)
- A viral YouTube video – the video went viral within 2 hours of being posted online, hitting 7 million views and still counting. Active PR contributed in the video going viral as it was our responsibility to ensure it was shared with all the relevant media, who in turn embedded the link on their websites. We have been able to get the desired media traction through pitching it as a video that not only documented a world record being broken, but also being shot with the latest technology in filming extreme sports with 4K cameras.
On 23rd April 2014, the news had spread all over the world within an hour with the Youtube video being shared by several popular international news outlets via social media such as Mashable, the Daily Mail, The Huffington Post, The Verge, Buzzfeed and Elite Daily add more.
The news successfully traveled world-wide: Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Ghana, Hungry, India, Ireland, Italy, Kuwait, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, The Netherlands, UAE, Uganda, UK, USA.
“Active PR did it again, not only did they achieve great coverage, they exceeded our expectations once more. Having previously worked with Active PR on the XCF event we were confident they would be able to successfully deliver valuable coverage locally and more importantly for this campaign internationally. Media outlets throughout Europe and the States, such as Bloomberg, ESPN, Fox News, BBC and CNN all covered the Burj Khalifa base jump and they were managed by Active PR in a very timely manner. We were working on tight deadlines with a number of last minute changes and I was impressed with Active PR’s flexibility and productivity. A big thank you to the Active PR team,” Javad Khoramifar, Head of Marketing Services at Skydive Dubai
How can a Multinational Corporation make a difference with their CSR campaign in an engaging way?
- What was the client’s problematic?
- XEM wanted to do something different & more engaging than donate money, for Ramadan.
- The challenges
- Find a creative campaign idea
- Find an idea differentiating enough to give XEM a voice of its own and stand out in the profusion of CSR initiatives launched during Ramadan
- Our strategy
- Active PR suggested that instead of donating money, XEM could donate time to support a charity, by allowing staff to dedicate a few working hours to support a cause they believed in and that tied strongly to the company’s values
- Active PR looked around, did some research and selected 5 charities including XEM’s final choice Make-A-Wish Foundation – a non-profit organization that grants wishes to children diagnosed with life-threatening conditions like leukemia or cancer.
- Make-A-Wish made these children’s wishes come true with the backing of XEM
- Why Make-A-Wish for Xerox Emirates?
- US-based organization with a regional presence through its GCC offices was coherent with Xerox Emirates, as the regional office of the US-based corporate Xerox.
- The region has specific life-threatening diseases affecting millions of children like Thalassemia, which is relatively unknown locally as well as internationally. This campaign would offer a unique opportunity to raise awareness of the disease and help prevent it while making affected children happy.
- Make-A-Wish is as unique an organization as each of the individual children they help. Additionally, the established reputation of the foundation promised to constitute a fantastic platform for XEM to transmit the company’s values and maximize visibility towards target-audiences.
- Key results
- Over 40 pieces of coverage achieved within the month in national/regional dailies, both English & Arabic, print/online & leading trade publications like: Gulf News, Khaleej Times, Al Khaleej, Al Bayan, Gulf Today, Go Dubai, AMEInfo, Al Bawaba, Zawya, ME Printer, Xpress and more.
- Strong brand awareness & recognition, local visibility, employee engagement & commitment, strengthening of social media community