Healthcare and medical technology are sectors in which Dubai confirmed as prime hub for the GCC region. With large-scale projects like the Dubai Healthcare City and the Dubai Biotechnology Park accomplished in the last few years, many international companies operating in these areas have arrived and established their regional branches in the Gulf metropolis.
Accordingly, Maquet, a global market leader in medical systems decided to open its regional sales office in Dubai in 2007. Maquet is a German-based firm specialized in operating room systems and intensive care units. With offices in thirty countries and nearly three thousands employees, Maquet wanted to display a better proximity to a new important market extending from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates to the neighbouring countries Egypt, Iran and Yemen.
The Gulf countries indeed represent growth markets with considerable volumes in medical technology. Therefore, all the world's leading providers of medical services and technology have been seeking to secure their market share in the region.
bridge:media's challenge consisted of supporting Maquet's new business in the very competitive market of the Gulf through a communication campaign targeting potential clients across the GCC and in the Dubai medical hub. Dozens of major players from the medical industry were entering the GCC market at that time.
Moreover, the approaching Arab Health Exhibition, the Middle East's largest health fair, placed the campaign in a particularly challenging context. Indeed, most of the leading international companies operating in this field were contemporarily seeking to promote their services among the same target audience.
Finally, a PR strategy with such a technical subject implied a thoughtful and creative approach able to address a very specific thematic area and target audience. The market specializations of Maquet represent indeed a generally uncommon subject for a communication campaign which therefore required a specifically tailored strategy.
bridge:media led Maquet's PR campaign in the run-up to and the weeks following the Arab Health Exhibition in January 2007, in parallel with the opening of its regional sales office in Dubai. The provided consulting strategy had two main targets: the general news and business media for promoting the launch of the new Dubai office and the specialized magazines and publications for supporting awareness of Maquet's services among a more specific target audience related to the medical infrastructure of the region.
The messaging was developed to convey two specific key elements: At first, the reliability that is generally attributed to the 'Made in Germany' code was underlined within this sector and secondly, the excellence offered by a company with renowned international reputation and continuous efforts in research and advancement was emphasized.
The conceptualised press releases in Arabic and English were therefore distributed to the national and regional press, including both print and online media. In particular, journalists from sectors such as general interest, business, healthcare, life science and sourcing were the focus of the liaising activity carried out in concomitance with the publications.
Secondly, a first event with Maquet 's management, media and relevant personalities of the Dubai business environment was organized on the occasion of the launch of the Dubai regional office and before the opening of the Arab Health Exhibition. bridge:media managed and coordinated all the organizational aspects related to the venue as well as of the invitations and contacts with guests and media.
Moreover, at the opening day of the Arab Health Exhibition bridge:media organised a press conference event with Maquet's high-level representatives. Finally, interviews with many leading special interest publications were arranged on this occasion and throughout the rest of the campaign.
The campaign was particularly successful in gaining the attention of the specialized press both in the UAE and the rest of the Gulf region. Special interest magazines broadly reported on the opening of Maquet's regional sales office and on its participation in the Arab Health Exhibition.
The relevance of the health and medical sector in the Gulf as well as the messaging and media relations strategy adopted by bridge:media secured remarkable results also with business and general news press. Either print media or on-line business websites featured news items related to Maquet's regional launch.
The two official events organized in coincidence with the opening of the Arab Health Exhibition managed to obtain significant media participation. Furthermore, the arranged interviews with Maquet's management were published in the targeted press and Maquet obtained the front page cover of the official magazine of the Arab Health Exhibition.
In conclusion, bridge:media successfully carried out Maquet's PR plan for its entry into the new Gulf market. Despite the business competitiveness, which characterizes the medical sector in the region, the opening of a new regional office and Maquet's participation in the Arab Health Exhibition achieved an outstanding coverage in the specialized and business press. This, in turn, fulfilled Maquet's expectations to maximise the outreach amongst companies operating in the field of medical infrastructure and services in the UAE and GCC region.