GONG Communications
Making some noise about Gong   |   Issue 9   |   April 2016
Award news
2016 has certainly started with a bang for Gong with new client wins, a brand refresh coming up, new members of the team and awards. 

We’re delighted to reveal that Dive In, the insurance market’s first ever industry wide diversity and inclusion festival - an initiative of our client, Lloyd’s, has been shortlisted for no less than five awards this month. It’s a finalist in the diversity categories for the Guardian Sustainability Awards, Marketing Week awards and the British Insurance awards, for Insurance Event of the Year at the Insurance Marketing and PR Awards and for cause related marketing at the Sabre awards (EMEA).

Last year’s festival was the culmination of months of brainstorming, creative thinking, detailed implementation and continuous evaluation – a fantastic collaboration between the Gong and Lloyd’s teams and we’re already hard at work on this year’s festival being held 27th-29th September. Lloyd’s new report on diversity and inclusion which was researched, written and produced by Gong can be found here.

More congratulations, this time to Gong Kenya, winners of The Asian Weekly Achiever’s Award 2016 for Best Product/Brand Launch for the opening launch of Garden City in Nairobi; the mixed use development which also featured in this month’s Economist.
A slick succinct video can often be a powerful tool for effective storytelling but getting it wrong can be costly both for reputations and budgets. 
We’ve successfully created many videos for clients, such as the legacy educational content from the Lloyd's Insurance Dive In Festival and the Longitude thought leadership event with our video production partners, Striker Productions.  So we asked Striker’s MD, James MacKinnon, to share some of his top tips when it comes to producing quality video content.
  1. Before launching into a project, clarify the purpose - what you are trying to achieve; is video even the best way to do this? If so, what type of video would work best?
  2. Understand your audience - specifically who do you want to watch the video? And what do you want them to feel/think/do when they watch it?
  3. Keep it short, two minutes is usually enough, because we're all busy, and it's possible no-one cares about what you're saying as much as you. 
  4. If you don't keep people engaged they won't keep watching, and they probably won't remember it afterwards - so keep it interesting, informative; useful and engaging. 
  5. Making funny videos is really difficult. Approach with extreme caution!
  6. People can sniff a lack of authenticity a mile off; your audiences are sophisticated consumers of media and you won't be able to fool them, so make sure what you're putting on screen is authentic to you or your brand.
  7. Find the right production quality - it's not always necessary to go high-end on production values. If it's intended as an of-the-moment video most likely viewed via mobile, you probably don't need to spend a ton of money on high production values.
  8. Have a distribution plan - if you make a great video, you want to make sure lots of the right people can and will see it, so figure out at the beginning how you're going to make that happen.
  9. Whether formal or anecdotal, try and get some independent, unbiased feedback. It can only improve your video.
  10. And finally: produce something amazing! With so much video available, try and produce something that cuts through that noise by being utterly brilliant.
To see some the videos we’ve jointly produced, take a look here. 
On 8th March, the indomitable Dr.Elin Haf Davies agreed to share her seafaring adventures with a Gong invited audience to mark International Womens’ Day (IWD).
We gathered early to hear Elin’s inspiring story of her journey from children’s nurse to health-tech entrepreneur punctuated by gruelling ocean crossings under oar and sail power. As the theme of this year’s IWD was gender parity, she touched on the challenge of raising comparable sponsorship for women’s sporting endeavours. If anyone out there does know of a company who could be interested in sponsoring Elin’s planned solo Vendee Globe round the world yacht race, do please get in touch.

Staying with the theme of women, the FashionUp event on 22nd March in aid of Concern Universal, helped showcase the charity’s work with a focus on the flowerpot cookstoves initiative. Communications Director, Knot founder, and CSR supremo John O’Brien mobilised a steering committee who helped raise £10,000 on the night. We jumped at the chance to get involved and we’ll share news of the next event in due course. It was a great evening in the company of some generous companies including PZ Cussons, Aduna, Clerkenwell London and OSTC.
Team news

The warmest of hellos to Nikki and Mathilde and a welcome back to Amanda who’ve all recently joined Gong.


Former BBC business journalist, Nikki Francis-Jones joins as an associate director bringing 20 years’ comms experience in East Africa and the UK.  Amanda Lyons returns as associate director with 13 years of B2B and corporate communications experience, working with multinational companies across Asia, US and Europe, while fluent French and German speaker Mathilde Marcoux  will be supporting our events management team. And with another two account manager level and one account executive positions now open,we’re looking for great minds, natural writers and enthusiasts who care about their clients making a positive impact on the world to join our growing team. The job specs are here so please feel free to forward this on to your talented and creative contacts.

Ziwa, Kiko, Mbegu, Ololoo, Wendi – not the names of more new Gong recruits but of orphaned elephants we’ve adopted from Nairobi’s  David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust  as a result of our ‘Eat for Elephants’ CSR initiative.
Through our monthly sponsored lunches we’ve raised enough money to adopt, and thus support, eight orphaned elephants and one giraffe from this inspirational Kenyan charity a few miles down the road from Gong’s Nairobi base.

Testament to the speed of passing time, Sarah Nicholas has already returned from her secondment in Kigali with the African Entrepreneur Collective – a partnership with the innovative social enterprise we trailed in our October newsletter.  She’s back invigorated and impressed by the level of imagination and entrepreneurial spirit she discovered in Rwanda. You can read more about her experiences here.
Client wins
Serial tech entrepreneur, John Paleomylites is working on a new start-up after selling his last company, - another Gong client - to Google.
Gong Creative is developing the new brand identity. We have been appointed by Lloyd’s to work on the 2nd diversity and inclusion festival for the insurance market, Dive In, which is going global this year. We are also supporting the enhanced Lloyd’s Learning Week, which sees the LMA and the Corporation of Lloyd’s join forces for the first time on this event in July.  And in East Africa, we’re delighted to have been appointed as corporate communications advisors to East African construction firm, Spencon, and we will be supporting AVCA in its annual conference in Addis Ababa on 25-27th April.