MasterCard’s First Media Engagement in the MEA region using Google Hangouts


Social media engagement with key stakeholders was a major focus for MasterCard’s communications outreach in the MEA region. All news opportunities were being leveraged across available social channels and this had a positive impact on MasterCard’s brand reputation.

The findings of the 2014 MasterCard Online Shopping Behaviour Index for the Middle East region were to be announced, and given the nature of the subject, the MENA communications team was keen on  announcing this first through a virtual platform.


A sizable section of media in the Middle East region are not conversant with social media platforms and are wary to access them.

The online shopping study for Middle East covers 6 countries and the challenge was to get media and influencers from each country online at the same time despite the time difference.


The Google Hangout platform was identified as the preferred tool to announce the findings of the online shopping index in the Middle East.

A select group of 8 journalists and influencers were identified from UAE, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia , Lebanon and Kuwait.

Aaron Oliver, head of emerging payments for Middle East and Africa was chosen as the MasterCard spokesperson to announce the results to the media via Google Hangout.


The hangout session was very well received by the media from across the region. As the word spread, requests from more journalists started to pour in for them to join the session.

The session was a full house. All 8 slots were occupied and the session was highly engaging with a host of questions being asked.

Over 40 prominent articles in print and online space were generated the same day and the day following the session from across the region.

Impressive feedback about the initiative was received from the media.

Influencer Feedback

“Thanks for having me on the hangout. It think this is a great example of how a company can become truly human and mean more than just its product.  It would be great if you had a recording of the hangout for a blog post about this because blogging works best when it is ‘show and tell‘.

If you’d be up for anther hangout I’d be delighted to join. An idea for a topic could be focusing more on the regional mobile dynamics or a more useful topic such as how people can better protect themselves against transaction fraud (that would be very useful and get good attention + put MasterCard in a great spotlight. Just a few ideas”

Baldwin Berges


(Shared over e-mail after the hangout)

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