Client: WorldCom UK
PR Team: In-house team and Handel Communications
Campaign: Tiger Talk
Timescale: May 1996
Budget: pounds 65,000
WorldCom claims to be the UK’s third-largest carrier of international
business calls. However, when Handel Communications were hired in
January 1996 to raise the company’s UK profile, they conducted a media
audit and found that smaller players in the market were more readily
Research into WorldCom’s client base also indicated that increased
revenue was from traffic between the UK and the the Asia-Pacific region.
To steal a march on rivals a new tariff structure for these Tiger
countries was launched at the beginning of May.
To raise WorldCom’s profile, generate more sales leads and publicise
the new tariff.
WorldCom and Handel hit on the idea of presenting information to
existing and potential clients that would be useful to their business
dealings in the Asia-Pacific region.
Telephone research was commissioned from Gallup International
Association and Audience Selection of British expatriate executives in
200 British companies in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan Thailand
and Hong Kong.
The research, conducted in March, covered the difficulties of business
communications in the Tiger countries, from language and economic
barriers to social and cultural differences.
The results were published as an eight-page report entitled ‘Tiger Talk’
highlighting ‘Tiger Traps’, such as never allowing your business
associates to lose face and never showing the soles of your feet during
a business meeting - highly insulting.
The report was launched on 8 May when radio interviews were set up with
Sebastian Coe MP and Meril James of Gallup International. Coe, chosen
for his image as a good communicator and his knowledge of the Asia-
Pacific region as a former international athlete, appeared via ISDN
telephone link on drive-time/business shows for stations from BBC Radio
5 Live to BBC Newcastle. Promotions were organised on Piccadilly Radio
and Newstalk 1152 AM with competitions with prizes of pounds 50
WorldCom Calling Cards.
Press coverage was gained nationally from the Daily Telegraph and the
Daily Express, with regional coverage from the Oxford Guardian to the
Newcastle Evening Chronicle.
Radio coverage included stations from BBC Devon to Radio Tay in Dundee
and the radio competition maintained interest on Piccadilly Radio until
24 May. WorldCom has received over 300 calls to date on their freephone
number requesting further information.
Radio and press coverage in areas where WorldCom has local dealers
appears to have been quite successful. However, Tiger Talk only gained
three write ups nationally and two of these were from the Daily
Tony Sharma, marketing director WorldCom UK, says the benefits of the
campaign were: a closer relationship with their customer base, a greater
awareness of the WorldCom brand and an increase in sales leads.
However, he admits that the campaign may not have generated as much
awareness as he had hoped and at present they have no means of
quantifying sales leads.