Full of history, vitality, creativity, art, cultural diversity and nature - Berlin is the modern and trendy German capital located in the heart of Europe. In addition to being the political centre of Europe's largest economy, Berlin has much more to offer than besuited politicians and diplomats rushing down the wide streets of the city.
Berlin has always been a favoured tourist destination attracting millions of visitors every year. In particular, after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, people from all over the world flocked into the city to catch a glimpse of its reunification and sense a whiff of its unique atmosphere.
Nevertheless, Germany's largest city has not lured as many visitors from the Gulf region as for example other European cities, such as London, Munich or Paris. Thus, the German National Tourist Office, in association with Berlin Tourism approached bridge:media to address the issue and increase Berlin's popularity as a tourist destination amongst Gulf Arabs.
bridge:media realised that there was a large communication gap between the variety of amenities offered by Berlin, especially to young people, and the city's perception in the Gulf region. Therefore, an integrated long-term communication strategy with the general objective of increasing the reach and exposure of Berlin in the Gulf was developed. In particular, it aimed at building an awareness of Berlin as a 'young city' and creating a positive perception among young Gulf Arabs.
The strategic approach was conceptualised around interests and desires of the main target audience: young Gulf Arabs. It aimed at promoting Berlin's diverse offers, such as nightlife, cafes, typical Berlin cuisine, adventure sports, outdoor activities, historical and cultural sights and the city's vast areas of greenery. Moreover, bridge:media's strategy emphasised Berlin's unique creative and artistic flair, which attracts students, artist and celebrities from all over the world, and contributes to uphold the city's cosmopolitan character.
In addition, specific restaurant and hotel recommendations that suit all budgets were provided along with a large number of high-end accommodations. Another element of the strategy was to underline the easy access to Berlin for Gulf travellers. For instance, bridge:media prepared and disseminated a press release for the launching of the new Air Berlin direct flight connection between Dubai and the German capital.
The provided consulting strategy was followed by an extensive press coverage campaign, which targeted selected media outlets, including newspapers, periodicals, internet, television and radio.
bridge:media created a customised media list for the publication of articles. Hence, several press releases promoting special events and happenings in Berlin were conceptualised along with a series of features targeting local, regional and pan-Arab newspapers and more specialised magazines with a general young reader distribution.
To further increase the exposure of the business consultancy strategy and in order to reach the young target group, the campaign relied on a strong online, TV and radio marketing component.
bridge:media's ongoing public relations campaign, so far, has been exceptionally successful. It achieved significant results in terms of offline and online print coverage. The communicated image of a 'young Berlin' was positively perceived by both the public and the media.
The media coverage was extensive. A large number of Arabic and English articles were printed and published online in a variety of local, regional and pan-Arab newspapers as well as in specialised magazines, covering certain themes ranging from lifestyle, young people and society to celebrities and subjects of female interest. The media outlets targeted by the campaign's publications entail the most influential Gulf and pan-Arab dailies and magazines.
The publications provided the target audience with general travel-related information on Berlin and underlined the city's varied activity options for young people. Moreover, bridge:media secured a remarkable coverage for the launching event of Air Berlin's new flight connection between Dubai and Berlin.
Overall, it can be concluded that bridge:media's long-term communication campaign tailored for Berlin a new positive image of a young, divers, vibrant and cosmopolitan city offering plentiful cultural and leisure solutions, particularly directed to young people. Ultimately, the diversified campaign has significantly contributed to creating a positive perception of Berlin in the Gulf region.