Category Archives: Case Study

Crisis support during short seller attack

CRISIS SUPPORT

Our client, a listed global agri-business, was accused of dubious accounting practices by an infamous US short seller.

His previous high-profile targets included a company called Sinai Forest, (with high-profile investors including the legendary hedge fund manager John Paulson) whose shares lost so much value during the reputation crisis that the company ceased trading, leaving only the short seller with a valuable upside.

The Gong team were first ‘to the scene’ when the story was about to break in London. The Financial Times called us with their story and we sprang into action. Our recommended strategy was to retaliate forcefully to refute the false claims, rather than hunker down and try to ‘ride out’ the storm.

After an intensive period of media coverage and speculation and consistent presentation of the facts by the client, it emerged stronger from the crisis with its reputation as a business force for good not only intact, but strengthened by its high profile sustainability ‘next’ practices.

Granger Reis

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP AND DIGITAL INSIGHTS

Granger Reis is one of the leading international executive search firms and headhunters within the real estate, infrastructure and industrial sectors.

Gong was brought on board to build a thought leadership programme, focusing on topics Granger Reis is most passionate about: diversity and inclusion, sustainability, and the future of work.

The resulting digital insights series includes interviews from carefully selected industry leaders, bolstering Granger Reis’ social media channels and also growing its network.

In addition to the thought leadership programme, Gong supports Granger Reis on SEO, social media, and media relations, announcing company news in key industry titles and helping it reach its core sector audiences.

British Council

CREATIVE CAMPAIGN WITH DIGITAL-FIRST STRATEGY

Our brief from the British Council was to encourage a priority audience of 18 to 35-year-olds to want to learn about, protect and value Kenya’s cultural heritage in order to engage and benefit from it more fully.

With tight budgets and a young demographic, who were mostly to be found online, we developed a digital-first strategy which we called #CultureGrows.

To generate engagement, we posed the question ‘Who’s your Cultural Hero?’,  launched to coincide with World Day for Cultural Diversity, with an entertaining  explainer video developed for social media.

Cultural organisations and creative enterprises were invited to input to the  long list of heroes, with the nominees starring in a specially  commissioned photography exhibition held at one of Nairobi’s most iconic  cultural institutions, the McMillan Library. The nominees embraced the hashtag  and shared key messages on their social channels to communicate their place  on the list.

With the winners announced on Mashujaa Day (Heroes Day), we engaged media with a press conference attended by 25 choice journalists, and two media releases generating extensive local coverage.

This work was recognised by the PR industry’s most prestigious global awards, The Sabre Awards 2020, for superior achievement in branding and reputation in the educational and cultural institutions category. Gong subsequently won the pitch to manage communications for the British Council’s East Africa Arts programme across the region.

Stakeholders and consumers who have shown an  interest in cultural heritage will be able to continue the conversation online after the pilot phase, following a series  of digital training sessions we have delivered around cultural heritage.

Danone & B Lab

E-LEARNING AND VIDEO CREATION

Gong worked with Danone and B Lab EU to create an internal learning and engagement tool to educate employees on what it means to be a B Corp.

The challenge was to create an e-learning programme, appropriate for all levels within Danone’s international company, to engage and educate employees on B Corp certification.

Gong designed six bitesize lessons covering key elements of B Corp certification. We worked with our video partners Striker to create engaging video content, coordinating interviews with key spokespeople in the B Corp movement and Danone.

Gong Creative designed the visual identity and illustrations for each lesson interaction. Working with eLearning partners, eLearning Laboratory, we brought it to life with fun and interactive lessons.

The programme was tested by 750 Danone employees in the first few weeks, before promotion began. Gong also created a global comms roll out programme for Danone, which was initiated in October 2020.

Following the successful roll out of the eLearning programme across Danone’s global team (translated into five languages), Gong also created a standardised version that could be used by all B Corps in the UK. The programme was rolled out on B Lab EU for all its members.

Global Parametrics

CORPORATE MESSAGING AND MEDIA RELATIONS

Gong’s brief from Global Parametrics was primarily media relations-focused, with the aim of raising awareness and understanding of the role of parametric products in protecting livelihoods, in response to natural disaster and extreme climate events.

We used our comms methodology to arrive at a ‘Strategy on a Page’ that would drive clarity, support the team in communicating consistently and enable us to refresh the website.

As well as refreshing the web copy, we helped GP to launch a climate-insurance scheme, stewarding the conversation around a highly technical subject matter into a narrative that was accessible to a range of media, including business, insurance, sustainability and development outlets.

With a modest investment we have delivered outsized results, securing coverage in top tier international titles such as the Financial Times, The Economist and Reuters, as well as regional African broadcast channels and key vertical media targets like Development Finance and Insurance Day.

Third party engagement with the media coverage across social channels from funders such as FCDO and KFW has highlighted the opportunities for further investment within this field.

GP coverage

Visionable

ACCELERATING GROWTH WITH MEDIA RELATIONS

UK healthcare technology company Visionable retained Gong to build the company’s profile in business media, initially in the UK and the US. The company is on an accelerated growth path due to the impact of coronavirus and the need for socially distanced healthcare provision. 

To ensure targeted visibility amongst priority audiences we developed a comms strategy and key messages for the company by working with the joint co-founders and directors.

This involved reviewing competitor messaging to guarantee that Visionable’s messaging was fresh and differentiated. We proactively engaged target international business and trade media via press releases, wrote op-eds and conducted background briefing calls.

Gong has successfully increased Visionable’s coverage within business media titles including Forbes and Health Business. In its first six months on retainer, Gong reached over 1.3 billion estimated readers through its proactive media outreach and briefing sessions with targeted journalists, including the Financial Times and TechCrunch.

The End Fund

TARGETED MEDIA RELATIONS

Media coverage was an important element of Gong’s deliverables to ensure its client The END Fund was visible to national leaders, finance and health ministers as well as potential donors.

This meant targeting ‘tier one’ international business publications including The Economist and Financial Times (pictured). On a geographic basis, we targeted pan-African media to reach business leaders across the Continent. We also gained coverage in the development and philanthropy specialist media.

To make the best use of time, we targeted events including a sanctioned WEF side event and a SKOLL global meeting as opportunities to meet journalists with pre-agreed key messages.

To learn more about our media relations work, contact us.

GARDEN CITY

BRANDING AND CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS

Garden City comprises East Africa’s largest retail mall, residential and office space, plans for a hotel and grounds. The Garden City investors and developers wanted a reliable partner for all of their marketing and communications needs to support the property sales teams, position the mall to attract high footfall and manage all aspects of the launch.

The initial part of the brief focused on strengthening the visuals and straplines, through a new website design and setting up social media channels and a digital newsletter to win local buy-in to the project.

We event managed the launch, including a gala opening for 500 people. Billboards were arranged and erected well in advance, adverts placed and marketing materials redeveloped and distributed.

In addition, we ran the Garden City press office (securing 20+ articles in targeted media in just one week) and managed crisis communications (through an unsuccessful terrorist attack). Gong won the Best Brand launch award from The Asian Weekly for its successful management of the opening of Garden City.

Now in 2021, we are still working with Garden City across its portfolio of assets.

 

Garden City design

True Office

BUILDING VALUE FOR ENTREPRENEURS

Gong was appointed to launch True Office in the UK and the US after the successful exit of the founder’s previous company, Fifty Lessons, another Gong client.

Gong was tasked with building True Office’s profile and illustrating the relevance of its innovative game-style training to financial services.

Gong focused on linking True Office’s compliance training proposition to the news agenda, leveraging its participation in the FinTech Innovation Lab. This strategy evolved to include an invitation to build and host a bespoke mini game on the FT’s Alphaville website.

Gong achieved international media coverage in the Fortune 500 issue, Forbes, Sunday Times, Reuters and American Banker, while the FT’s Alphaville blog generated 400 new business enquiries from its target audience and created a storm of Twitter discussion. True Office was bought by the NYSE.

Secrets of CEOs Book Launch

BRAND POSITIONING AND BOOK LAUNCH

Heidrick & Struggles, one of the world’s leading executive search firms, asked Gong to create a campaign to reposition and reinvigorate the CEO & Board Practice in the UK under its new leader in order to support the development of more board-level search work.

Gong helped devise and refine a plan to interview FTSE 100 CEOs by teaming up the practice leader with city journalist, Andrew Cave. Their fascinating interviews yielded material that was good enough to be published as a book. Gong ran the process to find the right publisher and the resulting book, Secrets of CEOs was trailed in The Daily Telegraph pre-launch over a week.

Gong secured worldwide coverage for the book’s publication in top broadcast and print media. The book topped Amazon UK’s Business and Finance list in its first week of publication and its author, who had engaged over 70 FTSE 100 CEOs in one-to-ones, was invited to present at a host of business events. The Board Practice won half a million pounds of new business as a direct result. This campaign was a finalist in the best B2B section of the PR Week awards and led to Gong being asked to launch Heidrick & Struggles’ new global alternative energy practice.