How They Did It – Q Communications

TMN sits down with Elsa Roodt, Managing Partner at Dubai-based communications agency, Q Communications, to get an in-depth look into one of their highly successful PR campaigns…


Project Overview:

Hosted at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), China Trade Week UAE is a comprehensive trade event that showcases high-quality Chinese products from a variety of industries. China Trade Week UAE was seeking an agency to handle all PR operations for the fourth annual edition of the exhibition that was due to take place from December 5-7, 2016.


To develop and manage an integrated PR campaign for the fourth annual China Trade Week UAE.

The Pitch:

China Trade Week UAE approached us through a request via our website following the recommendation of several stakeholders of the event. Once we received the request, a meeting was set up to discuss the brief and Request for Proposal (RFP) for the project. Based on inputs from the meeting, we put together an elaborate proposal, which was then pitched to the client. Q Communications was one of the five agencies that pitched to handle the PR account for the fourth annual China Trade Week UAE.

We were thrilled to have won the PR account for such a reputed exhibition that holds great value in the Middle East trade market. Abu Dhabi has been a big segment of Q Communications’ growth for the past 18 months, and securing large corporate accounts such as China Trade Week UAE has been an integral part of the company’s expansion process.


We started work on the account in October 2016 and as the official PR representatives of the event, our key focus was to provide pre-event exposure and publicity to secure media attendance at the launch event. Aiming to attract maximum visitors to the exhibition, our brief included managing all PR aspects for the 2016 edition across the GCC − drafting and distributing press material, bespoke media and interview pitches as well as research into key publications for relevant interview opportunities.
One of the key factors that we always consider before launching a campaign is the team that will be working on the account. The right team member in terms of media relations and expertise plays a huge factor in how successful the campaign will be. This is not just limited to the category of content and media, but also depends on the region.
An initial press release was issued in early November announcing the event and highlighting statistical data on the current value of the bilateral trade between the UAE and China. Following the announcement press release, we brainstormed and ideated more ways and angles for maximum media coverage. All ideas were generated with the sole purpose of boosting the event, while making sure that the stories and angles pitched to each publication were relevant to their area of interest.

In the case of this particular client, once we had the content locked in, we split the campaign across three PR Managers for each category – trade, business and consumer. Two of the PR Managers were based in Abu Dhabi and one was based in Dubai. The content is equally important and before we engaged with the respective campaign managers, the content team worked on pitching angles featuring facts and figures to give the story more weight and credibility.

For trade, our focus was primarily on the B2B segment that included outlining the importance of China trade agreements with the UAE as well as the impact of the same on both nations. This was supported by key quotes from the client who had extensive insight on the meeting between Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the President of the People’s Republic of China, President Xi Jinping.

Through extensive research and liaising with our client as well as China Customs, we sourced key information relating to bilateral trade figures as well as the top 10 trade industries between the two countries. This factual information was then used to pitch a new and refreshed angle to relevant business-related media outlets.
Lastly, to generate maximum consumer interest and footfall at the event, we opted for a more lifestyle-relevant angle, by highlighting what the exhibition had to offer to its visitors, focusing on the fact that it was a family-friendly event that featured various art and craft installations and attractions.
Along with our efforts to spread awareness about the exhibition through various media channels of different categories, we leveraged additional coverage by shedding light on the fact that China is the UAE’s largest trade partner and by providing key insight and stats on the two countries’ trade relationship. The participation of UAE’s Ministry of Economy further invoked curiosity and interest, which in turn resulted in wider media reach and coverage as well as higher attendance at the event itself.
Since the December 2016 event was the fourth of its kind and hence was not a brand new launch for the region’s media, we worked on building a strong press release that focused on and highlighted the numbers and facts to attract more media attention.


Over the two months of dedicated PR operations, we secured a total of 74 editorial clippings across 46 media outlets that included print, digital, broadcast and social media coverage as well as the attendance of 13 media entities at the event. The campaign was highly effective with measurable results of 25,465,023 impressions and a PR value of $802,063.
Client feedback:
“I could not be happier with the team’s dedication to the project and the results of all their hard work,” says Michelle Meyrick, International Events Director, MIE Events DMCC. “In the initial stages of development, Q Communications organised regular meetings with us and made an effort to find out all details about the event, including the history. We know we made the right decision because while some PR companies would send out a generic press release, Q Communications compiled a comprehensive press pack for the journalists and made sure that each relevant publication received it.”
Michelle adds, “The team was always on site for interview opportunities and constantly kept us updated with clear reports and analysis of the coverage secured. They were very regular with their updates, I didn’t have to constantly follow up and had peace of mind from the moment we had our first kick-off meeting. I’m sure the agency was working on many other simultaneous projects, but they always made us feel like we were their first priority. I hope that we can work together on all of our upcoming China Trade Week events.”