Hong Kong: “The key competitive advantages for the shipping industry are service levels, safety, quality, CSR and personnel,” argues PR specialist Russ Green in today’s Maritime CEO interview. Green, an ex-journalist who founded RTG Communications (RTGC) 12 years ago, says many shipping companies are now using the maritime industry media as a platform to deliver these messages and working with specialist PR companies to help them craft, plan and deliver targeted campaigns that help to differentiate them in the marketplace.
RTG Communications is focused on the shipping, maritime and logistics industries and handles everything from press releases, media interviews to roundtables and organizing speaking opportunities at leading industry events.
“We tailor our services to meet the needs of each client, working closely with C-level management and marketing teams to maximize the impact of our services,” says Green.
RTGC can also offer marketing and branding, speechwriting and web content using its in-house staff and partners.
In terms of a unique selling point among myriad PR companies, Green is quick to stress: “We are the only public relations firm in Asia that specifically and only covers the shipping and logistics sectors. We are totally focused on the industry – and have been for more than two decades, 23 years in fact.”
Green has been based in Hong Kong for 23 years, spending the first decade covering the industry from a journalism viewpoint, when he worked for Cargonews Asia as its publisher and editor and for Hutchison Port Holdings in its Logistics Information Network Enterprise as SVP for corporate communications.
“I’ve also got a solid network of media contacts throughout Asia, people I’ve known and met and worked with for 20 years,” he says, adding: “and haven’t just Googled at the last minute to cover an event or press conference.”
RTGC also has a group of translators it uses, nine languages covering 16 Asian countries.
While RTGC is firmly based in Asia, the company is not just about Asia – it also has a well-established global network that covers Asia, Europe, Latin America and the US through a network of partners.
Being also involved in promoting logistics and air freight companies gives Green a chance to step back and identify how shipping can learn from these other industries.
“I think the main difference,” he says, “is the dynamism of the logistics and airfreight sectors. Many of our clients in these sectors are working with global brand name customers and they have developed sophisticated marketing programmes of which PR is an important part. There is a greater understanding of the value of PR and what it can deliver.
“I think that if shipping lines can look beyond the traditional channels of promotion and work with professional specialist PR companies they can significantly elevate their profile within the industry.”
Looking ahead Green wants to extend RTGC’s Tradepartners Worldwide network of specialist PR companies into new regions, working with specialist PR professionals from the shipping industry. [28/01/14]