CAMPAIGNS: BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS; Focusing on the eye of the Tigers

nullClient: WorldCom UK PR Team: In-house team and Handel Communications Campaign: Tiger Talk Timescale: May 1996 Budget: pounds 65,000

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.

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