Having been associated to great names such as Goethe, Schiller, Bauhaus and Bach over the centuries, the federal state of Thuringia is still nowadays considered as indissolubly related to the historical and cultural heritage of Germany.
The area of Thuringia is well known in Europe for preserving an important part of the traditional and cultural patrimony of Germany while, at the same time, offering to its visitors green sceneries and medieval architectural gems.
Yet, the region lacked of an established public image across the Gulf with most of the Arab tourists generally opting for the better promoted Southern areas of Germany when planning their vacations.
bridge:media's challenge consisted of structuring a PR strategy aimed at shaping for the first time a public image of the federal state of Thuringia across the GCC countries. The challenge involved improving Arab audience's awareness of this area, both, as touristic destination and potential investment partner.
The consulting strategy provided by bridge:media worked towards building a public image for Thuringia with a PR campaign that targeted the major regional and national media of the Gulf.
The angle adopted for tailoring an image of Thuringia suiting the Gulf region's demand, firstly emphasized the cultural, artistic and natural richness of the region. The broad offer of UNESCO Heritage Sites, museums, theatres and cultural events was highlighted and associated to the great names of the German artistic and historical heritage, who contributed to its flourishing.
A description of the unique scenery provided by the green countryside and the medieval architecture of the cities was employed to complete the tailor-made touristic proposal targeting the Gulf. Cultural richness, outdoor activities and historical traditions are indeed aspects of proved appeal for the family-oriented tourism characterising the Gulf countries.
After a strategic selection of the focuses to be adopted in the campaign, bridge: media worked on the media relations plan, which included the conceptualisation of press releases in Arabic and English and their dissemination to selected media across the GCC region.
Secondly, a media event featuring the participation of the Economy Minister of the Free State of Thuringia was organised. The objective was to build closer ties between the beneficiary of the campaign and the local media through direct involvement of high-level representatives of the Thuringia's government in press events.
Moreover, the venue was an opportunity to present Thuringia not only as ideal tourist destination for travellers seeking culture and relaxation, but also as reliable and valuable investment partner for Gulf investors. In support of this point, the satisfying results of Abu Dhabi investments in the solar energy resources of Thuringia were used as practical example to appeal to media and reassure interested investors.
Throughout all the different phases of the campaign, bridge:media took care of the contact lists and liaisons with journalists as well as of procurement and placement of interviews on press, radio and major TV outlets.
By broadly targeting national and regional media through ad-hoc publications, a press event and several arranged interviews, bridge:media managed to create a new public image for the federal state of Thuringia in the Gulf countries.
For the first time, the attention of travellers and investors from the Gulf was drawn on the touristic offer and the investment potential of Thuringia. The awareness of the targeted public was consistently tackled by the broad coverage that the campaign received on press, radios and TV.
Encouraging a direct engagement of Thuringia's government representatives with local media, proved very effective in raising journalists' interest and obtaining live and published interviews with Thuringia's officials. The Minister of Economy of Thuringia was invited during his visit to the UAE to appear on Al-Arabyia, one of the major TV broadcasters of the whole Arab world.
On the one hand, presenting Thuringia through labels, such as 'cultural hearth of Germany' or 'the place where history comes to life' shaped a touristic image of the region responding to the specific market demand. On the other hand, its investment potential was also highlighted by employing already successful attempts of other Gulf investors in the Free State of Thuringia.