by Amanda Mohar
July 23rd, 2013

Honghua, a manufacturer of large-scale equipment and drilling service provider, sought to maximise its presence at the oil-and-gas industry’s premier international event: the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas.

Over the last decade, Honghua’s innovative products have driven the company to becoming one of the leading manufacturers of drilling equipment in the oil-and-gas industry. The DBS-series of land-based electric drilling rigs is one of Honghua’s best-selling products, with more than 400 in operation all over the world. Despite global success, Honghua’s leaders recognised the need for a similarly innovative approach to successfully establish the company’s reputation in the US.

The competition for attention at the annual convention is fierce: Honghua would be competing with 2,500 exhibitioners for the attention of 104,800 attendees from more than 100 countries. Weber Shandwick’s challenge was to set Honghua apart from its competitors and communicate its message to media and stakeholders.

Weber Shandwick drew on its extensive experience in the upstream energy sector to identify topics of interest to US media attending OTC and pitched interviews for Honghua CEO Zhang Mi to a combination of mainstream national, business and trade outlets. The team provided bilingual media training to Zhang ahead of the interviews and facilitated interpretation during meetings with journalists. Weber Shandwick also produced Honghua’s first corporate video targeted specifically at US audiences and designed and wrote a case study for the popular DBS-series drilling rigs.

The campaign resulted in high-profile media coverage on a calibre that Honghua had not previously achieved. The press release was syndicated in 140+ outlets including CBS Moneywatch, Marketwatch, Oil & Gas Journal, Newsday and Yahoo! Finance. Weber Shandwick secured one-on-one briefings for Zhang with journalists from seven media outlets including the Wall Street Journal and garnered in-depth coverage in such publications as Bloomberg News, Drilling Contractor, E&P, Energy Intelligence, Houston Business Journal, Houston Chronicle’s “FuelFix” (the newspaper’s popular energy section), OilPrice.com, RT, San Antonio Express-News and Upstream.

OTC 2013 was just the beginning of Honghua’s new approach at establishing itself in the US market. Weber Shandwick is now working with the company to determine future goals.

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