All posts by gavin_doult




Some examples of our work with ECP:

ECP invests in Nairobi Java House

When ECP took a stake in Kenya’s leading café and casual dining company, Nairobi Java House (NJH),  Gong provided communications support at national and international level.

In Nairobi, we helped the ECP team on the ground to manage how the story played out in the local press by working closely with NJH’s CEO, Kevin Ashley. In anticipation of the news breaking, we advised on the internal messaging for the wider NJH team in Nairobi. In tandem, we worked with the international business and private equity press to tell the story of this exciting deal resulting in ongoing print and broadcast coverage.

Work hasn’t stopped there: Since the deal was announced, we have helped craft award entries resulting in ECP being named Africa Investor’s ‘Private Equity Deal of the Year’ winner at its annual awards.


International press coverage for ECP portfolio company

When Wananchi Group, one of Emerging Capital Partners’ portfolio companies, successfully closed an investment round, Gong promoted the news in the global business press.

Working closely with the Wananchi team we drafted a comprehensive press release and messaging after liaising with a number of stakeholders and investors. To ensure that coverage in the East African media and telecoms market was as objective and informed as possible, we interviewed the company’s CEO and wrote the story in a way that appealed to a global audience. This was pitched to international business journalists with the aim that the messaging would filter through to positively influence the tone of the local African media coverage.

We succeeded in gaining widespread coverage for Wananchi’s story. The BBC featured Wananch whilst further print coverage appeared in the Financial Times, Reuters Africa, Bloomberg, Dow Jones and a number of other top tier international publications. Coupled with the local African coverage that contained favourable messages, we contributed in creating a strong pipeline for further global investment.



Lloyd’s Dive In Festival



The Challenge

Inclusion@Lloyd’s, the committee for governance and strategy for D&I in insurance, challenged Gong to develop a brand platform to bring diversity and inclusion alive in the Lloyd’s market in an inspirational and engaging way that people would be motivated by, primarily for the business case to practice better diversity and inclusion in their companies. The result was Dive In – what began as an initiative of Lloyd’s in just one country in 2015 has become a global initiative across the entire insurance sector, attracting support from firms in financial services, recruitment and law.

The Strategy

Gong developed the brand concept for Dive In and ran logistics and communications for each festival in a composite multi-stakeholder environment with a global reach of 1.8million.

This involved developing the website and app on both Apple and Android, curating marketing collateral including a 40-page festival programme, sponsorship offerings, organising a wealth of video and photography capture, running the press office and creating buzz through launch events, branded coffee cart, street facing branding of the iconic Lloyd’s building, stakeholder communications in each of the 32 countries, and running global steering committee meetings from London.

The Outcome

Described as a ‘brave and bold event’ by Marketing Week, the success of Dive In has been widely recognised by awards in the insurance sector, marketing and PR experts and employers’ networks. Dive In has won or been shortlisted for 11 awards, won 7, and been widely praised and acknowledged across the industry.

A post festival survey revealed its impact with 99% attendees agreeing diversity and inclusion was good for business.

Gong secured positive and extensive media coverage across the globe, reaching stakeholders throughout the insurance sector and beyond. Dive In 2019 had a footprint across six continents with over 130 events in 65 cities.

Economist Events



The Challenge

The Economist sought increased interest and online conversation for its highest profile conferences to provide additional value to sponsors and business leaders speaking at the events. Gong was tasked with reinforcing the high calibre brand of Economist Conferences capable of attracting the highest level speakers, delegates and sponsors; increasing media interest and to create an online buzz on the issues raised at these conferences.

The Strategy

Gong initially supported The Economist’s marketing teams with social media strategy and implementation. This has expanded over five years into providing media relations and social media support for specific high profile conferences, 22 so far, covering retail banking, energy, natural resources, human capital, emerging markets and innovation. We have recommended promoting the use of blogs, online opinion pieces, Twitter and LinkedIn by speakers and delegates at these events to complement a broadcast media strategy. To kick-start online conversations, we created many of the talking point opportunities ahead of time and matched these to the appropriate audiences.

The Outcome

We have secured opportunities on media such as Reuters and CNN for guest speakers to contribute guest blogs; targeted the most relevant and popular specialist LinkedIn groups; seen a 400% rise in Twitter followers in the three week run up to certain events and developed comments for spokespeople to post to generate discussions around the conferences.

Olam International



Some examples of our work with one of the world’s leading agri-businesses.

Showcasing global breadth

Gong was tasked with raising the profile of Olam’s global presence through the launch of new state-of-the-art processing facilities in West Africa.

Our role was to help bring Olam’s African-centric stories to the attention of the international press. We helped introduce a new corporate theme across the organisation’s PR activities, and ensured the message was consistent across all platforms by working closely with local agencies. In addition, we pitched interviews with Olam’s CEO, Sunny Verghese, to leading Africa-focused publications.

Forbes Africa and The African Report carried out in-depth interviews with Verghese which were followed by editorial pieces. The prestigious launch, which demonstrated Olam’s commitment to Africa while reinforcing its international leadership in agri-business, was inaugurated by the Presidents of Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.

Convening thought leaders: A Portfolio of Perspectives

To celebrate Olam’s 25th year, Gong developed a ‘Portfolio of Perspectives’, an anthology of short essays from business leaders and other visionary thinkers on transcending boundaries (the meaning of Olam) on the macro issues linked to global food security.

The 2015 series featured contributions on topics such as what it takes to be a 21st century commodity trader by WWF’s Jason Clay, why investor Jim Rogers believes the farmers of the future will be driving Lamborghinis, and the role of national trade policies in ensuring food security by author Paul McMahon.

The Portfolio of Perspectives was run as a mini-series on global development and sustainability platform Business Fights Poverty, featured in a contributed article on the Guardian Sustainable Business network and in Singapore business media The Business Times and Straits Times, with Twitter activity spiking around the publication of eachpiece.

Featuring contributions from recognised global leaderssuch as Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, this portfolio showcases Olam as a convener of debate and catalyst for change on global issues ranging from food and water security to inclusive development and sustainable growth, celebrating the spirit of collaboration that has been a hallmark of Olam’s success to date.

Communicating insightful research

Olam commissioned research looking at the social impacts of female employment among the women working in its processing plants in emerging markets in support of International Women’s Day.

Gong helped to design the survey that was conducted among 6000 women from rural communities. Results from Côte d’Ivoire, India,Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania and Vietnam were analysed and a set of insights were developed to identify the personal and social benefits of employment beyond the obvious financial reasons.

The results, underlining the significance of confidence and choices among women, and why businesses growing in emerging markets should recognise the value of empowering female workers, were communicated through a global news announcement supported by broadcast interviews and opinion editorial. News and feature coverage was secured in BBC’s Africa Business Report and Voice of America’s Africa News Tonight as well as featuring on the IWD blog site. Tailored material was also created for local outreach in thecountries where the survey was conducted and the initiative fed into an internal communications campaign as well as providing content for social media activity.