#PRAwards 2021 highlight: How Tricor Group found its voice through a regional PR relaunch

Tricor Group, a business expansion specialist in Asia, walked away with the bronze award for Best Regional PR at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's PR Awards 2021 for its Tricor Story campaign.

This Hong Kong-headquartered brand underwent the most disruptive marketing communication efforts in the firm’s 20-year history with the Tricor Story, gaining better media relations, improved brand exposure, increased engagement as well as conversions through monitoring news trends, introducing original themes, and pioneering research that were all closely aligned with its forte of providing global companies with the local expertise they need for effective business expansion.

Challenge

The obstacles seemed formidable. Tricor’s global marketing and communication team had to frame its core professional services – often considered bland and uninteresting – in such a way as to appear relevant and appealing to its target audiences.

These audiences would be tough to persuade: new clients and potential investors, which could range from individual investors to large investment and venture capital organisations. The story would have to resonate with the media as well.

On the plus side, the team represents a new breed of marketers committed to helping businesses better connect with Asia Pacific consumers and overcome their challenges in a fast-evolving marketplace.

Strategy

The team decided to focus on three key PR objectives to increase awareness of Tricor’s brand and elevate its brand reputation:

1. Leverage social media to amplify brand awareness, tell the Tricor story and raise its credibility.

2. Generate positive, impactful share-of-mind through thought leadership pieces.

3. Raise Tricor’s profile in key target markets as a customer-focused firm, a trusted partner, and an industry thought leader.

To raise Tricor’s profile among the various target audiences, the Tricor PR team decided to work with tier one finance and business media, industry media, as well as influencers in core target markets, identified as Hong Kong, mainland China, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Japan.

The resulting holistic content strategy and targeted media outreach were coupled with an insight-driven media relations approach and narratives carefully tailored for each market segment. Each content asset demonstrated differentiated expertise and was enriched with practical guidance as well as actionable advice.

Working on a modest budget, Tricor developed all thought leadership content, built up media relationships and pitched to media in-house, leveraging on their PR agency partner as needed to optimise spend and maximise ROI.

The strategy also included social media content (LinkedIn, Facebook, WeChat, and YouTube), a Tricor Content Hub that included blog posts, newsletters, a dedicated COVID-19 Resource Center and microsite, as well as engaging video content.

The Tricor PR team also amplified the impact of media activities with multichannel, multiplatform, trilingual content across paid media and owned channels. This gave Tricor better control of messaging, enabling the company to customise its message across different media and expand the types of audiences the brand typically interacts with.

Execution

When it came to driving earned media, Tricor joined the most pressing conversations and captured media attention around the hottest topics from December 2019 to  2020:

1. Rapid IPO market shifts

2. Global trade and US-China trade tensions

3. Business resilience amidst the economic uncertainty posed by COVID-19

Original compelling storylines that would stand out in crowded media conversations were also developed:

1. Coronating Hong Kong’s IPO Queen

Tricor drew on its strengths as the IPO market leader to create a new Tricor brand ambassador, Pamela Chung, Tricor Head of IPO, as Hong Kong’s IPO Queen. Pamela’s coronation was complemented with IPO insights as packaged as research guides and forecast reports, with an eye to positioning Tricor as the go-to source for IPO market information in Hong Kong.

2. Becoming the leading subject matter expert on global trade and investment in the Asian Century

Tricor gave prominence to the concept of 2020 as the beginning of the Asian Century, a time when Asia Pacific economies are collectively larger than the rest of the world combined.

Tricor discussed business trends impacting Asia Pacific trade and investment against this opportunity in global trade reports and investment guides. Its Global Trade Analysis report and accompanying media showcase presentation series was launched in December 2019, and provides a blueprint for companies looking to expand in Asia Pacific while positioning Tricor as the go-to Asian business expansion specialist.

3. Assessing business sentiment amid the pandemic

As COVID-19 swept across Asia Pacific, Tricor quickly assessed business sentiment and identified key pain points which the company published in the Asia Pacific Business Resilience and Sentiment Barometer Report. This deep dive showed how the pandemic impacts business continuity planning, operational decision-making, business restructuring and expansion strategies. Many local media wrote about the report, and all 18 pieces of coverage were factual and positive.

Tricor also developed research-driven, branded whitepapers and guides which provide insights to businesses when facing uncharted waters.

Result

The "Tricor Story" has been wildly successful, with Tricor seeing a significant increase in the number of people who have been exposed to its brand.

Tricor has become the go-to expert for Hong Kong’s IPO market with its ambassador as Hong Kong’s IPO Queen. News of the IPO Queen was widely covered in English, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese, including media interviews, quotations, by-lined articles and feature stories in Tricor’s core-focused target markets.

Additionally, Tricor strengthened top-of-mind awareness among journalists between December 2019 and December 2020 as an expert in business continuity due to its COVID-19 Barometer Report and COVID-19 Business Resilience Series. As one of the first companies to publish COVID-19 research, Tricor solidified its position as an industry thought leader and subject matter expert that could help companies navigate uncertainties with confidence.

The company also welcomed more new clients from December 2019 to December 2020, and saw its social media communities on LinkedIn and WeChat expand over the same period.