Engaging local audiences through media relations to participate in a hybrid event

Hong Kong International Literary Festival 2020
Challenges

Creating awareness and maximizing participation for a hybrid event

Hong Kong International Literary Festival (HKILF) is an annual event that is held in autumn, inviting authors from around the globe to share with audiences in Hong Kong through a series of public programmes to promote literature and support the publishing industry. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, HKILF pushed ahead with its 20th edition festival, with a new hybrid format of live and online events.

Sinclair was appointed to raise awareness that the HKILF was going ahead, generate excitement amongst the public to participate resulting in ticket sales, and ensure understanding for the new hybrid format.

Approach

Narrative Developed strong key messages to communicate: 1) HKILF was more accessible for audiences than ever before due to flexibility of a hybrid programme of events 2) virtual events allowed for a wider selection of international authors to participate in HKILF 3) HKILF provides an uplifting, educational and enriching experience, at a time when people are looking for enjoyment and things to do when social distancing is place.

Strategy Distributed press releases in a timely manner, including announcement that HKILF was going ahead in a new format; announcing authors participating; sharing booking information and deals; and a post-event/highlights round-up. This strategy helped build anticipation and prolong the momentum of HKILF.

Thought Leadership Secured high-quality in-depth interview features in top-tier publications with participating authors, and the new Festival Director. These interviews shared on the importance of literature and literary festivals in the digital age. We also invited relevant media from lifestyle and culture beats to attend the festival.

KOL Engagement To reach a wider audience we engaged highly targeted KOL’s in the reading sphere, such as local independent bookstores, to share about the Festival on their channels and run competitions with their followers.

Outcomes
+478 million
through publications and influencers
100% positive
all coverage tonality was positive across local and regional features
12
secured in key APAC target publications within six months

Secured coverage and interviews in local and international publications including The Financial Times, South China Morning Post, Hong Kong Economic Journal, Tatler Hong Kong, China Daily and Wen Wei Po.

Achieved social media endorsement from seven influencers who collectively shared 23 posts.

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