2016 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards Gold Winner - Strategic Public Relations Group (SPRG)
Company: Strategic Public Relations Group, Hong Kong, China
Category: Award for Innovation in Investor Relations
Entry Title: Maximising the Potential of Sinomax
SPRG assisted Sinomax in its primary listing and fund raising exercise in Hong Kong. Among the challenges to overcome included the lacklustre economies of the PRC and US, concerns over the quality of listed companies rose following a spate of profit warnings issued by several new listings and the competition with numerous companies for media and investor interest, with 47 IPOs launched between Jun-Aug 2014 and six IPO media conferences held on the same day. Moreover, Sinomax’s former management was found guilty of smuggling common goods into China in 2004, this incident casted a shadow on the new management, and jeopardised the company’s listing plan.
Our strategy centered on Sinomax’s effective engagement with different stakeholders, corresponding with the three stages of our communications campaign.
Stage 1: Pre-listing – Building momentum
- Media training, help management prepare for the flotation.
- Crisis management guidelines, prepare management to deal with all possible contingencies, particularly to respond to the incident involving its predecessor and former management.
- Launch event to celebrate the grand opening of a new shop, served as a vehicle for generating favourable coverage and to catch the attention of the general public and investors.
- Collaboration with Sinomax’s marketing team led to the implementation of campaigns that showcased the company’s origin as well as wide product range under the healthy living concept. The campaigns included the use of advertisements via traditional and online mediums, as well as promotional discounts and giveaways.
Stage 2: Global offering – Arousing widespread interest
- Exclusive meetings were organised with opinion leaders in the investment community to promote Sinomax’s investment value.
- A media conference with celebrity appearances and a large-scale investor presentation were held, which attracted financial and entertainment media as well as a wide spectrum of investors. Both events were instrumental in promoting the company’s strong investment value.
- Favourable information was disseminated through PR channels. This included Sinomax’s excellent financial performance, i.e. its track record over the last three years and the company’s leading position in the market, which piqued investors’ interest and highlighted Sinomax’s growth potential.
Stage 3: Post-listing – Sustaining positive sentiment
- To generate media coverage during and after the listing, efforts were made to promote the company’s share performance, as it reflected the investment community’s immense confidence.
- Marketing campaigns were extended so as to maintain positive investment sentiment towards Sinomax. This included arranging media interviews, promoting discounts that make reference to Sinomax’s stock code and further efforts on advertising.
- Sinomax was successfully listed on SEHK on 10 July 2014 despite a retreating financial market and fierce competition.
- The company’s share rose from HK$1.04 (offer price) to HK$1.10 within two months (3%), highlighting investors’ confidence in the company.
- The first trading day achieved high liquidity, with around 83 million shares traded, which is equivalent to US$13.8 million (HK$108 million).
- 292 news spots from print, online and broadcast media (on both financial and entertainment pages/channels) were generated, equivalent to PR value of US$2.8 million (HK$21.7 million). In particular, the media coverage generated after media conference was substantial, plus photos of Sinomax’s management was posted despite of its small fundraising size, without any negative comments. The significant turnaround in perceptions can be credited to the exceptionally high subscription rate. Worth to note, a total of 17 news spots on Sinomax with positive news headlines on the company’s prominent position were generated during the public offer period.
- Effectively conveyed key message to enhance the “healthy living” concept among the general public and to differentiate it from its peers, as such key opinion leaders including stock commentators also recommended Sinomax based on their positive brand experience, thus echoing the sentiment of the investment community.