“Strengthening business relations with China”

Enhancing the UK’s global competitiveness and creating market access for member firms in growth markets around the world is one of TheCityUK’s key strategic objectives. The Chinese Premier’s visit to the UK in June was one of the biggest business events of the year and a vital opportunity for TheCityUK to meet this objective. Amongst £14bn of deals and 15 MOUs, extensive media coverage of TheCityUK’s role in an agreement signed with the China Development Bank Corporation was secured. This included breaking news ahead of the formal press conference and an agenda-setting interview on the Today Programme.

Our aim was to break through the noise around the Premier’s visit and gain widespread recognition for TheCityUK’s new partnership with the China Development Bank Corporation and demonstrate TheCityUK’s role in developing Shanghai’s pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ), opening up extensive opportunities for UK business. This needed to be achieved in three days.

We developed a comprehensive communications pack with talking points to add context and colour to the story and clear, objective official statements. Interviews with TheCityUK Chairman Sir Gerry Grimstone and Chief Executive Chris Cummings were secured with four key media outlets, encouraging one leading journalist to break the news before the Prime Minister’s official press conference. We also worked with existing and trusted media contacts, including journalists who write for both China Daily and The Daily Telegraph.

We successfully gained widespread exposure and recognition for TheCityUK’s agreements and role in developing business opportunities with China. Media targets were exceeded by 100%, generating over 100 pieces of coverage, including from leading journalists such as BBC Business Editor Kamal Ahmed, BBC Radio 5 Live Presenter Adam Parsons and City AM Economics Reporter Michael Bird and from a by-lined article from Chief Executive Chris Cummings in The Daily Telegraph. This helped position TheCityUK acclaimed as one of the leading organisations in helping to strengthen the UK’s business relationship with China.

This helped TheCityUK to gain recognition of its role and value among members, many of whom expressed an interest in being more involved in follow-up projects with the China FTZ in the future. TheCityUK’s Advisory Council and Board commended the campaign, with further work in China planned for the coming months. The campaign was commended by the Financial Services Forum Awards in November 2014.

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