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From Russia with Love: Tribulations of a Digital Marketer

St Basil's cathedral in MoscowBy - Head of Digital Marketing. 

At Orantec, we want our clients to be happy and we like to work with them as closely as possible, for our digital marketing campaigns to be the most successful possible. This is why we sometimes travel to accompany our clients to important events and to live update their social media platforms and websites 'on the go'.

Introducing our client: the IEF 

We’ve been working a few years now for the International Energy Forum (IEF), a gathering of energy ministers and other energy players, and a neutral platform to facilitate energy dialogue between energy actors. Our team of web developers have created a few websites for them over the years (the new JODI website being the most recent), and when we launched the latest version of the IEF website in November, it made sense to offer our Digital Marketing services to help promote their brand-new responsive website. Nowadays, it is difficult to promote dialogue without a social media presence, which is why we set up social media accounts for the IEF and we help them to update their social platforms. Updating social media for such a high-profile organisation is a challenge, as appropriate wording is of the utmost importance to avoid diplomatic incidents!

The 14th IEF Ministerial Meeting 

Medvedev at IEF14

I want to believe that a job well done will bring you some reward, be it just the knowledge that you've done a good job, the satisfaction of your clients or gaining your clients’ confidence. We are very lucky at Orantec as we have managed to nurture great relationships with all of our clients, who trust us to help raise their online profile, knowing that we are doing our best to help them reach their objectives. To represent a client online, you need to understand them, understand their goals, their company policy, and, as much as possible, to put yourself in their shoes, become one of them.

Every two years, the IEF invites Energy Ministers from around the world but also heads of international organisations (such as OPEC), energy experts, etc. to discuss energy issues freely over two days of talks, roundtables and bilateral meetings. Each biennial meeting has a different host country, and this year the meeting took place in Moscow, Russia. Events such as these are the perfect occasion to live-tweet and post live updates on other social platforms, as only a handful of people will attend (well, around 340 people from 101 delegations in this case), but the topic can interest anyone who works in the domain and who could not attend or was not invited.

Our participation at the 14th IEF Ministerial meeting 

Orantec's team at IEF14Our clients know their strengths and weaknesses, so when we advised them on the different ways to make the most of the meeting on social media and on their website, they invited us to Moscow to help. For 3 days I attended the conferences, live-tweeting, retweeting updates and generally scouring the web and social platforms for mentions of the IEF and of the event. Due to the political aspect of the job and since most sessions were not open to the media, each post had to be approved, which made the job particularly challenging; it’s a good thing I love a challenge!

The benefits of attending 

My experience in Moscow was quite extraordinary, for so many reasons: I got to discover a different world in a country I’d never visited before, I had the chance to witness first-hand the organisation of a ministerial meeting from the organisers’ point of view, and I even found myself dining feet away from energy ministers. I also had the unique opportunity to attend a world summit and listen to talks which will help shape our national energy policies, and I believe (or hope!) my efforts helped make the highlights of the discussions public and reach a wider audience; from a more general point of view, I supported my clients’ main goal which is to enhance energy dialogue and transparency. But what matters most to me is that I acquired a better understanding of the IEF and of the environment they operate in, and for 3 days I was an integral part of their team, bonding with them professionally and personally in a way that is just not possible through e-mails and phone calls (did I mention the IEF is based in Saudi Arabia?).

However paradoxical it may seem to have travelled over a thousand miles to do digital marketing, I believe that it was really worth it for all parties involved, and that it was the best way to achieve maximal results. The main issue we face when working in a digital marketing agency is accessing the expert knowledge that our clients have, as they are experts in their field, and you can’t be expert in everything from plastic surgery to outdoor furniture, can you? For 3 days, I was a member of the IEF, doing the same things they did and listening to the same talks they listened to, obtaining first-hand information I then shared online while they were busy with their own schedule. I think this shows once more how important it is to work hand in hand with clients and to understand how we complement each other. If you’re interested in gaining online visibility, feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help you reach your goals; no border will stop us!

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