Raising awareness of international diplomatic and trade opportunities
The Belgian Economic Mission is a diplomatic and business delegation visit ran to highlight the import and export opportunities of strengthened trade ties between Belgium and other nations. In 2022, following pandemic-induced delays, the Mission came to the UK in May.
Presided over by HRH Princess Astrid, Belgian Ministers and over 400 business leaders – from sports technology to life sciences – visited the UK. The two countries share not only similar values, interests and geographic proximity but also a historic trading relationship and an innovative spirit. The economic ties between Belgium and the UK are historical, intense and deeply intertwined.
The Belgian Embassy in the UK were looking for a local PR agency to generate media excitement around this first Economic Mission since the COVID-19 pandemic, and secure press attendance at key trade events.
Strategy and Outcomes
Upon appointment, the Mission organisers highlighted a number of key trade events where UK press attendance was encouraged. Whitehouse worked closely with the Embassy and individual organisers of the trade events to identify hooks which would entice journalists to attend the events in London, Oxford and Cambridge. It was imperative to ensure that invitations to the media reflected the learnings and insights that could only be gained by attendance at the events.
Pre-Mission, Whitehouse pitched op-eds and thought leadership articles from Belgian Ministers and key business leaders. We also worked with event organisers across the food and beverage, logistics, life sciences, sports technology, environmental and human rights sectors to encourage UK press engagement. In order to maximise coverage and share insights with journalists who were unable to attend, Whitehouse also created and issued individual press releases for each event.
Of key importance was security: HRH Princess Astrid attended many of these events, and therefore Whitehouse had to ensure that each journalist was given and returned a specialist local press pass, in line with the Royal security team’s requirements.
Whitehouse secured interest from national press to interview Belgian Ministers, attended and liaised with journalists at 9 events over 3 days, and secured coverage in key political and trade media (such as Politico, Freight Business Journal and New Food Magazine).
“The team from Whitehouse Communications provided us with valuable insights into the UK media landscape allowing us to target the most relevant media outlets for each event. Whitehouse Communications delivered quality, both on the content as on the logistical aspects of organising the press coverage for our trade mission.”