Sep 21, 2023 / by Stephen Erhorn

Moutai coffee, anyone? Recently, Luckin Coffee joined forces with Kweichow Moutai to roll out an unusual offering - alcoholic lattes.  The surprising partnership has taken social media by storm! Images of coffee enthusiasts enjoying the unique new flavor have been circulating and appearing on the feeds of many. Hence, organically boosting consumer recognition for both brands. 

In fact, unique collaboration stories like this one have been a recurring theme on the wire. Successful cross-industry collaborations offer brands the benefits of increased reach, credibility and enhanced storytelling, which provide valuable opportunities for brand promotion and business growth.

We have seen a host of collaborations between brands from different industries covering some hot topics which gained great attention and provided a sense of positive change for readers to take away. Here is our take on what works!


#1: Make It Clear: Why Does This News Matter?

According to Cision's State of the Media Report 2023, the primary issue that journalists need support with to make their jobs easier is - Understand the target audience and what they find relevant. This was cited by 75% of journalists as a way for communications professionals to make their lives easier.

No cash? No problem! Mastercard’s collaboration with Alipay is great news for those traveling to China. Digital payment method is highly popular and widespread in China. This collaboration has allowed users to link any Mastercard to their Alipay digital wallets, thus allowing international visitors to enjoy a seamless and cashless payment process.

Someone has clearly done their research! One of the main problems travelers may face, is navigating the scene of local payment methods. By opening with the headline starting with “Pay Like a Local," the release does a superb job of referencing realistic consumer experiences.  This is spot on, as international travelers would certainly want to breeze through payment processes while overseas, just like how a local would, and not fumble in this area.

The infographic provides an intuitive step-by-step guide for consumers and is paired with a clear call to action – the download link in the text body. This release earned a wealth of media coverage from outlets like CNN and Reuters reporting on the ever-trending topic of benefits for consumers.


#2: Integrate Brand Stories from the Audience’s Perspective

Collaboration between brands from adjacent industries could bring innovative and unique experiences for customers. All of which would further highlight their individual strengths. 

The operations of airlines and tourist attractions are intricately linked.  Xiamen Airlines did a great job of creating a positive buzz through their collaboration release with Universal Beijing Resort.  

Xiamen Airlines X Universal Beijing Resort themed aircraft took its first flight, which has IP elements from “Universal Beijing Resort Jurassic World Isla Nublar” reflected on its exterior. For travelers heading to Beijing staying at Universal Resort, stepping aboard an aircraft that integrates IP elements from the theme park would definitely complete the experience! Such a unique end-to-end experience would leave quite an impression on consumers.


The release was well-written from the passenger’s perspective. The provision of an immersive experience was highlighted in detail as readers learn about the strategically integrated pre- and in-flight themed activities.


#3: Achieve Narrative Transportation Through Storytelling

Hisense and Discovery launched a creative cross-sector campaign, "Find Your Mission X", which seeks to evoke emotions in readers by invoking stimulating imagery, and referencing the mindset of a cave diver to the reader as an individual.

Hisense's Partnership with Discovery campaign encourages consumers to "Find Their Mission X" by inspiring a spirit of exploration and curiosity. The two companies have produced a content series documenting the adventures of an underwater photographer. 

Through the engaging narrative of a cave diving exploration to uncover the secrets of the mysterious caverns in Mexico, Hisense puts their new product benefit of offering, what they claim to be "picture perfect quality," on display. They seek to captivate audiences with vivid images and videos that were captured and displayed using their technology in the documentary video.


#4: Draw Readers In with Engaging Multimedia

Eye-catching photos used in releases allow readers to immerse themselves further into the stories, while building an emotional connection. This was exactly what The Saudi Tourism Authority did!

They worked with football icon, Lionel Messi, to showcase the charm of Saudi Arabia as an exciting tourist destination. Messi’s family pictures surely did add a significant pull factor to the press release from fans and general audience alike. After all, he is one of the world’s most famous athletes, so naturally, a spike in engagement rates could be anticipated.
Furthermore, Baby Shark teamed up with Sesame Street for an Earth Day-themed YouTube playlist. Characters from the popular kids' TV show appeared in the viral song Baby Shark, which is currently the most viewed YouTube video to date. All of which has created an iconic shared experience that might just possibly transcend generations.

There is nothing small or baby-like about Baby Shark, for it made quite the splash with their release on a one-of-a-kind family fun experience at Fairmont Jakarta! This collaboration served as an open invitation to families to book a Baby Shark theme room for an unforgettable time.



In Cision’s annual media survey, there was an overwhelming response from journalists, who indicated that press releases are still their top choice when it comes to receiving new intel. Besides press releases, quality content that is compelling, easy to digest, with multimedia, and shareable on social media are also valuable to journalists. 

Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines appreciates high levels of Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T). As such, now, more than ever, high quality content is critical to engaging existing and expanding potential audiences.

How can we build brand value from a cross-sector collaboration?  

Aim to tell an interesting, relevant story to engage readers and make some noise in the daily marketing content! Here are some takeaways that we can learn from the above examples:

  • Make it Clear: Why Does This News Matter? Readers need to know why they should care and carry on reading, so make the consumers’ benefits obvious. Hook readers by sharing the heart of the story in your headline and news lead. 

  • Integrate Brand Stories from the Audience’s Perspective. Incorporate more owned content into your news from the point of view of consumers.

  • Achieve Narrative Transportation Through Storytelling. Engage readers emotionally, on a personal level.

  • Draw Readers in with Engaging Multimedia. This is a great way to bring each release to life! If the focus of the news centers around people, do include images of them to aid readers in connecting with the mentioned subjects.


We hope these tips have provided some ideas and inspiration for when you would need to communicate any cross-sector collaboration success stories!


About Stephen Erhorn

Stephen Erhorn is an editor at Cision, based in Beijing. He uses his communications and PR expertise to support clients in refining and distributing their press releases.