We were approached to plan and implement a PR campaign for multi-national energy firm BP, who had just awarded a research project to a UK HR Consultancy. BP wanted a 6 month campaign focusing on PR. The HR consultancy engaged us to manage and direct all their online and offline marketing for 8 months.
BP wanted to promote their new sponsored research project, examining how to inspire and engage young Emirati and Omani nationals to become engineers. Nationalisation is a huge issue for all GCC and Middle East governments. HR managers are tasked to drive up their recruitment of nationals to meet national targets. BP wanted to promote their active research and development in this area, to demonstrate their commitment to the local communities in which they operate.
The HR consultancy wanted to enhance their reputation among and stimulate enquiries from high-level HR managers in the UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Both clients wanted a big impact with a reasonable budget but we had to operate solely from the UK, no regional meetings were possible.
The audience was geographically hard-to-reach so we researched the media they were likely to consume, and how best to secure our message, before delivering our campaign. The full-scale campaign included:
- Planning and delivering a full PR and marketing campaign for widespread offline media coverage (newspapers, radio, tv, magazine and events marketing including design for adverts)
- Planning and delivering a full PR and marketing campaign for widespread online media coverage (newspaper websites, company website, social media, e-newsletters including design)
- Re-designing social media channels, setting up new social media channels, creating content for and posting content to social media channels
- Re-designing the company website and re-writing content, including making the new website Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) ready
- Writing and facilitating magazine articles – a partnership was formed with an international publisher -, website content including case studies, testimonials, e-newsletter content, press releases and all external communications
Our campaign won a huge amount of press coverage from many major media organisations across the Middle East, including major newspapers, radio stations and major news websites. Highlights included winning:
- The front page of The National newspaper (circulation: 100,000, combined readership online and offline: 350,0000, coverage: global. Was confirmed as the most-read online story when published)
- The editor’s comment column in The National newspaper (circulation: 100,000, readership: 350,0000, coverage: global)
- All-day news bulletins on UAE Radio 1, UAE Radio 2 and Hayat FM (combined reach: 15 million listeners)
- Several full-page articles in pages 1-6 in other major dailies including the most-read English language daily Gulf News (combined circulation: 725,000, combined readership online and offline: 5.3 million, coverage: global)
- Active tweeting on revived Twitter channel, re-tweeting by followers rose by 225%, increased followers on Twitter by 87% and 15 customer/media enquiries came via Twitter
- 24 media and customer enquiries were generated from 5 international events
- 12 customer enquiries from newly re-designed website, from former and new clients. Former clients indicated they were impressed with the extensive press coverage and new website design and signed new contracts
We won over £500,000 of media coverage in 10 weeks and the client subsequently hired us to manage their marketing activities for over 8 months. The total media coverage achieved over the duration of the PR campaign is conservatively valued at £2.8 million. Our website re-design drove new client enquiries up by 93% and won new business worth £450,000. New and existing business partnerships were built and strengthened, with former influential clients motivated to contact the HR consultancy to state they were impressed with their extensive media coverage and discuss new work.
Feedback from the Vice President of HR at BP EMEA: Exploration was singularly positive. He congratulated Howl PR and Digital in person, stating:
“You are better than our whole PR team at BP put together.”
The client awarded us the Gulf Talent Advisory Board (GTAB) Award for Outstanding Achievement in February 2014. The client offered us permanent employment, which we turned down.
If you’re looking for a PR agency to deliver a successful campaign in the Middle East – or anywhere – why not contact us? We’d love to hear from you.