Results Get Social

Velvet orchestrates comprehensive coverage for Results International’s advisory role in Chinese acquisition of We Are Social


When Velvet client Results International briefed us on the forthcoming acquisition of leading social media agency We Are Social by fast-growing Chinese marketing group BlueFocus (highly confidential until officially announced on the Shenzhen stock exchange), two things were immediately apparent.

First, this was a big, ground-breaking deal. And second, the media would need careful handling to ensure Results’ role was clearly articulated and communicated.


The Challenge
It’s not every day that an acquisitive and ambitious marketing services group based in China seeks to buy one of the stars of the UK/global social media scene. With BlueFocus’ acquisition of We Are Social, advised by Results, careful and meticulous planning was required to: coordinate the deal, given regulatory requirements across different time zones; communicate the news in a timely and considerate way to We are Social staff and clients (managed by We Are Social management teams globally); and then inform a knowledgeable and news-hungry media.

The Solution
Working with the Results and We Are Social teams, Velvet played a key role preparing background media information and commentary about the significance and relevance of BlueFocus’ acquisition and setting the deal in a wider context, focusing mainly on the Chinese connection.

It was vital that media covering the story knew as much about BlueFocus as possible, reinforcing Results’ expertise, knowledge and unique insight into this relatively new player on the global marcoms stage. It was this that would elevate the story from run-of-the-mill acquisition to a significant industry development.

The Approach
We Are Social decided to offer leading advertising industry trade ‘bible’ AdAge an exclusive on the story, once the deal was signed and had cleared the necessary regulatory hurdles in China. As soon as We Are Social had briefed AdAge on the news, Velvet contacted the journalist to offer an interview with Results, emphasising the valuable perspective they could add to the story.

Once AdAge ran its exclusive (which included coverage for Results) Velvet swung into action. Our consultants pitched the story to their close contacts across the marketing, business and national press, reinforcing its importance and relevance and offering Results’ perspective on the transaction. It was vital that we continued to work closely with We Are Social’s head of comms, targeting agreed media sectors in a coordinated fashion.

The Results
The nature of the deal, the interest in all things social and the involvement of a large but little-known Chinese marketing services business combined to generate substantial interest in – and coverage of – the We Are Social acquisition, in most cases including a perspective from Results.

As well as AdAge, The Financial Times, The Independent and The Evening Standard covered the story, as did key trade titles PR Week, More About Advertising and The Drum, which all ran follow-up analysis pieces.

Results International partner Jim Houghton, who led the deal, commented:

“The PR results on this deal across the world were awesome. We were fortunate enough to have a first rate marketing team to convert it in milliseconds into the right story through the right channels.  After all our hard work it feels amazing to have the whole world take notice.”

Robin Grant, founder, We Are Social kindly mentioned us in this brilliant piece in PR Week