Messaging development


How to solve a problem like… brand visibility and engagement

How to solve a problem like… brand visibility and engagement

How to solve a problem like… brand visibility and engagement

For companies, particularly SMEs, looking to break into new territories for the first time, opening those doors, grinding the gears, and building the relationships will be time and resource intensive; often made even tougher due to a lack of brand visibility and familiarity. This is particularly the case in hyper-competitive, or emerging market segments – finding your voice and ‘cutting through the noise’ can be a make-or-break challenge.

This can be even more challenging in an environment where we can’t necessarily rely on as much face-to-face time with clients and prospects as we used to.  The challenge with digital communications channels is that they can be ignored, they have ‘delete’ and ‘decline’ buttons, so the first battle you must fight is getting engagement in the first place, rather than focussing your energies on delivering your messaging, your USPs and why you deserve to be ‘in the room’.

A game of business Wackamole?

If you’re a growing company or you’re new to an industry and you have limited brand visibility, how do you drive this engagement without prospects simply dodging your meetings, deleting your emails, and declining your calls? A strategic communications approach can help businesses to find their voice and ensure they are heard. You need to be able to demonstrate expertise in your target customers’ field of interest, quickly, without waffle and in a way that will spark engagement. And, in this new post-Covid world, businesses need to be able to get their position across increasingly via digital channels.

achieve brand visibiliy with stand out positioning statement

‘Beige is Bad’ is not a positioning

Within any given sector, companies need to consider the issues and topics in which they want to have a voice – and be a thought leader. Take an exceptionally crowded space like ‘Digital Transformation’ where everyone seems to want a position, and the chances are the bigger players already hold the lion’s share of the conversation. What have you got to say that advances the conversation and enhances the quality of the debate? When you identify this, you hold the key to being heard.

Use proven approaches because they work

Businesses need to take a structured and highly targeted approach – to focus effort and resources – just like a building needs a robust framework, so does your business. This can be achieved most effectively by developing a communication strategy which comprise five key components anchored in your commercial requirements.  These five components are: value proposition, industry prioritisation, target personas, positioning statements and messaging which serve to make all your efforts more focused and aligned. Essentially, the comms strategy creates consensus across the business determining what you need to achieve, where your lowest hanging fruit lies and what you need to say to persuade your target audience to buy from you so you can meet your commercial goals.

2i testing logo

An example of an effective communication strategy

2i is one example of how effective a communication strategy can be when executed well. The company was a successful assurance and testing business enabling large organisations such as Aberdeen Standard, Virgin Money and the Scottish Government, to successfully manage their digital transformation journeys through the provision of expert delivery knowledge. 2i delivered a high-quality service, but not enough client organisations in the marketplace were aware of 2i and getting those meetings and securing those introductions was proving challenging. Despite working with some large, credible, well-known brands and delivering great work, 2i was competing for airtime in a crowded space and was getting lost in the noise.

Through the process of working through the communication strategy, 2i was able to define what it is they offered to their target market that was unique and different. They were able to understand not just how they delivered but why, which in turn led to the creation of a compelling value proposition and purpose for their business. Specifically, they captured and developed a unique delivery methodology which they called AssureRMF – something which clearly differentiated them in the market and gave them a conversation piece which set them apart from their competition. This, combined with a thorough understanding not only of their customers and prospects but also critically, what makes them tick, allowed them to define their value proposition in the context of what customers are worried about, what’s keeping them up at night, and how 2i can help.

As a result of putting a comprehensive communication strategy in place that allowed 2i to clearly identify and communicate why their customers should be interested in what they had to say, the company was able to break down those barriers to initial engagement, and then convert that engagement and new relationships into new business. In fact, the business started using the embryonic communication strategy to engage and convert new clients even before it was officially completed.

with brand visibility you can cut above the noise to reach the right audiences

Many companies are doing interesting and valuable work and they have a right to have a voice in their industry, no matter how crowded. By unlocking the power of communications through a well thought out strategy, organisations can cut above the noise to reach their audiences, they can get straight to the point, and they can achieve their aims and grow the relationships that will in turn grow their business.

EC-PR are experts in strategic communications and PR. Please get in touch today and find out how we can help you.

Or you can read the 2i case study in full here, and discover what a communication strategy comprises and why your business needs one.

Your 8-Step Communication Strategy

8-Step Communication strategy guide

A comprehensive guide to delivering your business goals using intelligent and relevant messaging.

Download

Subscribe to our updates

Stay up to date with the latest insights, case studies, and PR guides.

AzteQ – IT Services PR Case Study

AzteQ – IT Services PR Case Study

AzteQ - Pedal to the metal

How EC-PR helped AzteQ achieve focus with a communication strategy that has resulted in better client relationships and winning more business.

Context

When EC-PR approached AzteQ in 2019, it was operating as three separate technology businesses, comprising a managed services element, user adoption specialist and an ICT support provider. The three companies had been merged just before the outbreak of COVID-19, in the firm belief that together the company had a powerful, yet still undefined, market offering.

Challenge

Operating in the highly competitive technology market, the newly formed company lacked a clearly articulated value proposition – a compelling reason to choose the AzteQ brand – and as a result, the brand lacked purpose and visibility. The natural desire to chase all available sales opportunities meant the business needed focus regarding who it should proactively target, and messaging was poorly defined and inconsistent. Nevertheless, the business benefited from visionary leadership, in-depth senior expertise and a resolute commitment to doubling the size of the business over the next two years.  AzteQ is a small business and any investments, internal or external, must work hard and deliver outcomes which drive business growth.

Approach

EC-PR facilitated two Messaging Lab workshops, the output of which was the communication strategy, which comprises five key elements: the value proposition;  industry prioritisation; target personas; positioning statements and messaging.

In addition and to evidence the company’s commitment to its customer-first approach, EC-PR helped the company to document its unique approach to client solutions in a clearly defined, and therefore repeatable, step-by-step, method statement. The result of this collaboration is AzteQ CUBe, the user-first framework for digital transformation strategy.

EC-PR interviewed a cross section of AzteQ customers to obtain feedback to shape the business’ priorities and refine the communication strategy.  The final version of which was used to brief both the branding agency and web designer so that all the marketing assets, including the website, are aligned moving forward.

Separately, in preparation for the PR delivery stage, a Media Lens competitive benchmarking process was undertaken to identify the topics on which an AzteQ editorial narrative could be developed.

OUTCOME

The Communication Strategy has provided clarity and unity of purpose, across both the leadership team and the entire business.  After just a few months AzteQ has emerged with a strong value proposition, new brand identity and clear, compelling messaging with which to approach the marketplace. It is winning business, having more interesting conversations and its already motivated workforce is now focused, engaged and turbo-charged!

Its unique delivery model, AzteQ CUBe, has received excellent feedback from employees and customers. The step-by-step guide, “Building a User-first Technology Framework”, has been well received by AzteQ’s integrators and resellers, giving rise to powerful, new alliances.

AzteQ CUBe logo

“AzteQ has seen an incredible transformation, with return on our investment in EC-PR within months, particularly in building more depth of business with our current clients. From the messaging labs to the launch event, EC-PR has taken success way beyond what I thought possible.”

Pip Thomas

Customer Experience Director, AzteQ

Results

AzteQ identified the following business benefits because of the work with EC-PR:

  1. Our tenders are more comprehensive, targeted and relevant
  2. Prospects are more interested in what we have to say
  3. Starting conversations is easier and we get to the issue quicker
  4. We are clearly differentiated from our competitors
  5. Our leadership is aligned
  6. Our people are more engaged with the business and understand where they fit
  7. We are more consistent in the way we all talk about AzteQ
  1. We know exactly who we should be targeting saving time and resources
  2. We know what we should be saying to secure interest
  3. We feel we are now presenting the best version of AzteQ to the wider world
  4. There is less ambiguity in our communication internally and externally
  5. We are more visible, valued & understood in our marketplace
  6. We understand what is required by our customers is a speedy process
  7. The assets we are building are future-proofed
technology pr

Technology PR

EC-PR is a B2B PR agency specialising in Technology PR and STEM industries. Read more about our Tech PR offering here.

 

Related PR services

GUARANTEED PERFORMANCE

Being in the right place at the right time… We will deliver feature length coverage to your target press… or your money back.

Seven steps to creating a strategic PR plan

Seven steps to creating a strategic PR plan

Seven steps to creating a strategic PR plan

A strategic PR plan can help you move beyond rushed press releases and piecemeal media placements to get real results from your PR efforts.

To get started, simply follow these seven steps:

Step one: Set a benchmark for your strategic PR plan

The first step in the strategic PR planning process is to set a benchmark and review why you are where you are in terms of brand awareness and marketing performance. Start by benchmarking the strength of your brand in the marketplace with a brand audit, and ensuring you have a clear communications strategy in place.

From here, you can map out previous media coverage, take note of successful story pitches from the past, and consider the strength of existing relationships with journalists, bloggers, and other media figures.

Aside from editorial media, analyse the strength of your web content and social media to get a sense of what is working and what needs to be changed. Platforms like Google Analytics and Hootsuite can help you pinpoint content that is performing well and determine the qualities that helped it to appeal to your audience.

Step two: Define your PR goals and objectives

Setting your PR goals and objectives will be more effective with a clear idea of how previous campaigns have performed and you can decide whether you want to extend PR activity in a similar direction, or find a new approach.

Your overarching goals should be firmly aligned with a business and marketing plan — be this supporting the introduction of new products, expanding into a new area, establishing your expertise, raising brand awareness, or just boosting your bottom line.

These goals should then be distilled into specific and measurable objectives, such as increasing web traffic, getting coverage in top tier publications, or boosting your social media presence by gaining a certain number of engaged followers.

Consider tying your goals to the SMART framework – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.

To set measurable goals, you will need to consider how to track the results of your campaign. This might mean looking to specific metrics like the number of articles placed in top tier media publications, orders for a new product or service, mentions on social media, website traffic, or the amount of press clippings that mention your company.

PR Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning
Your complete Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning

Including example PR campaigns, content calendar templates, and audit checklists.

Download

Step three: Determining the target audience for ‘this’ PR campaign

Determining who the target audience is for your PR campaign is a critical decision.  With your goals and objectives in mind, consider the decision-makers that can turn the tables of fortune in your direction — the individuals, groups and communities that have the power to choose your product or service.

Examine the demographics, psychographics, and digital behaviour of your ideal buyer, and create buyer personas. The more you know about your target audience, the more you can tailor your strategy to be effective.

strategic pr plan target audience
Depending on the nature of your business, you might consider these aspects of your target audience:

1 Location

Are they city slickers or country bumpkins? Knowing where your audience resides will help you pitch stories to the right publications, and tailor online content to the right locality.

2 Media habits

Do they read specific paper publications, or prefer to digest content online? Understanding the type of media your target audience engages with will tell you which media figures are worth pitching stories to.

3 Characteristics

What interests do they share? Knowing what makes your target audience tick can help you identify what sort of messages are likely to resonate with them.

Step four: Create key compelling messaging

With a clear idea of your target audience, you can craft compelling messages to provoke thoughts, words, or deeds.

The brand voice, language, and approach of your messaging will form the backbone of your campaign and guide all the content you create — whether that’s a pitch, press release, or social media campaign.

This messaging needs to reflect what the PR campaign is trying to achieve, and it should be concise, easy to understand and memorable. The messaging should also mesh with other marketing and communications activity including advertising. 

strategic pr plan media channels

Step five: Match your message to the media channel

You need to match your message to the media channel to secure the greatest impact. Once you have your key messaging, you can determine the type of content and preferred distribution platforms.

Find the paper publications and the digital stomping grounds of your target audience, decide which ones you will use to disseminate your message, and begin to build a media list.

Your choice of channel should be based on your target audience. Bear in mind that demographics can change, with audiences across social media channels constantly in flux as the services evolve, and traditional magazines pivoting over time to attract different groups of people.

Thought leaders are respected for their depth of knowledge while Influencers are generally admired for their celebrity.

Step six: Distribute your editorial

You need to distribute your editorial to named journalists who have an interest in your subject matter.  Once you have a small number of focused channels, check the editorial calendars of your target publications — whether mainstream media or digital creators — and consider the pitching deadlines in advance to create a content schedule.

The ideal schedule will consist of content published at regular intervals throughout the year. Consistent media coverage is more beneficial than singular events, creating a steady stream of engagement that draws more leads into the top of the funnel and boosts growth.

Step seven: Measure the success of your strategic PR plan

Don’t forget to measure the success of your strategic PR plan! The final step of a PR plan is very similar to the first: reviewing your objectives and measuring the results of your efforts. Compiling analysis of media activity across different platforms into a single report will then form a clear foundation for the following phase of strategic PR.

To start forming your strategic public relations strategy, reach out to our specialists today. And if you found this article valuable, read our guide to PR Campaign Planning or download the complete guide here.  

Or, if you’d just like to stay in touch – sign up  to receive regular insights on how to make your PR work harder. 

PR Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning

Your complete Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning

Including example PR campaigns, content calendar templates, and audit checklists.

Download

Subscribe to our updates

Stay up to date with the latest insights, case studies, and PR guides.

Blu Wireless Tech PR Case Study

Blu Wireless Tech PR Case Study

Blu Wireless - Tech PR

How EC-PR built brand visibility in key target markets for Blu Wireless and achieved #1 Share of Voice in the UK amongst competitors

Context

Blu Wireless is disrupting the market with ultra-fast and seamless 5G mmWave solutions engineered for emerging connectivity needs – from smart city networks to connected vehicles and high-speed transport. Blu Wireless works with integrators, manufacturers and service providers to deliver the superior reliability and speeds of connectivity needed for the data-intensive applications of the future.

Challenge

Blu Wireless’ awareness in its key market segments was varied. In high-speed transport, it had a relatively high level of recognition but wanted to build strong thought leadership in key target publications. In other key target markets, such as defence, the brand needed visibility and wanted to gain recognition for their expertise in this field.

Approach

EC-PR proposed a 12-month media campaign titled ‘Leading with intent’ aimed at ensuring Blu Wireless becomes visible, valued and understood amongst its target customers (C-suite executives and technical experts such as Senior Engineers) across three core segments – public safety/smart cities, defence and high-speed transport, in both the UK and USA. The main objectives of the campaign were to increase brand visibility through thought leadership and establish a dominant share of voice on key messages.

The campaign was centred around a highly targeted proactive media outreach. This was underpinned by strong customer proof points/case studies, partnerships (Blu Wireless’ collaboration with Liverpool 5G Create), thought leadership content (an insight paper) and carefully crafted media narratives that highlighted the disruptive effect of mmWave technology on the future of the three vertical markets and the pioneering expertise that Blu Wireless could offer. 

OUTCOME

Within a year, Blu Wireless achieved #1 Share of Voice (61%) in the UK among its key competitors, with the next best competitor recording just 16% of the UK Share of Voice. The campaign generated tier 1 press coverage in key verticals, particularly in transport and defence-focused publications, such as Global Railway Review and European Security & Defence.

Blu Wireless’ partnership with the Liverpool 5G Project has also garnered a steady stream of coverage in key IT and telecoms publications, such as Computer Weekly, Government Computing, and UK 5G Innovation Briefing.

The ‘Public Safety Beyond Covid-19’ insight paper featured contributions from five authors, notably from the University of Liverpool/Liverpool 5G Create Project Lead and Connectivity Technologies Ecosystems Manager at Facebook, helping cement Blu Wireless’ authority and visibility in the 5G space.

Blu Wireless logo

EC-PR has become our strategic communications partner that delivers not just robust advice but also challenges us as a business. Their ability to create outstanding thought leadership is complemented with a highly professional, tenacious and transparent approach to campaign delivery.

Ciara Barron

Head of Brand and Communications, Blu Wireless

EC-PR’s in-depth understanding of the telecoms and transport industries has strengthened our thought leadership in these markets. What was particularly valuable to us was EC-PR’s strategic recommendation onto how to build awareness in the defence sector where we have started to see some positive results.

Mark Barrett

Chief Marketing Officer, Blu Wireless

Results

#1

Share of Voice in the UK against its key competitors

61%

Share of Voice compared to its nearest competitor who recorded 16%

Tier 1

Press coverage, such as Global Railway Review and European Security & Defence

Share of Voice in the UK against its key competitors

Share of Voice compared to its nearest competitor who recorded 16%

Press coverage, such as Global Railway Review and European Security & Defence

Scroll up to read case study
technology pr

Technology PR

EC-PR is a B2B PR agency specialising in Technology PR and STEM industries. Read more about our Tech PR offering here.

 

Related PR services

GUARANTEED PERFORMANCE

Being in the right place at the right time… We will deliver feature length coverage to your target press… or your money back.

Socura Cybersecurity PR Case Study

Socura Cybersecurity PR Case Study

Socura - Cybersecurity PR

How EC-PR transformed the Socura proposition into a compelling media narrative, delivered outstanding thought leadership and valuable marketing outcomes.

Context

Socura offers a Threat Detection and Response managed service, often referred to as MDR. The service acts as an extension of clients’ in-house capability and is operated by a team of highly experienced security experts. Socura’s analysts work in partnership with the customer to detect and defend against cyber threats.

Challenge

Socura was a new entrant to the highly competitive cybersecurity market looking to establish its share of voice and make its brand visible, valued and understood amongst target customers.

approach

EC-PR proposed a comprehensive PR launch programme that spanned the development of a Brilliant Ideas Bank – a repository of engaging ideas for thought leadership and comment, and an insight paper titled ‘Cyber Security in a Post-Pandemic World’, providing the business with an ‘in’ to discuss with the media and provide the brand with relevance.

The launch campaign also consisted of a highly targeted proactive media outreach that was looking to secure thought leadership article placements, media interviews and brand mentions in cybersecurity and health and care press – two key sectors for Socura.

OUTCOME

The Socura insight paper launch had an immediate and powerful impact on the brand’s share of voice and visibility, including SEO rankings. Coverage in tier 1 tech publications such as Information Age and PCR was accompanied by influencer recognition on social media by the likes of Lisa Forte, a high-profile UK cybersecurity influencer.

The campaign continued with a steady stream of high-quality article placements, including in CISO Mag, Infosecurity Magazine, HealthTech Digital and Tech Native, firmly positioning Socura as a cybersecurity thought leader with a strong focus on health and care.  

Socura logo

EC-PR’s in-depth understanding of the cybersecurity industry has helped secure internal buy-in among our key executives and position them as thought leaders in the market. EC-PR’s strategic counsel has added great value to our PR function and empowered us to become more strategic in our approach to communications.

Andrew Kays

CEO, Socura

We have been totally sold on the value of PR. EC-PR’s expertise, dedication and the ability to transform our proposition into a compelling media narrative has not just built the foundations for our brand awareness and delivered outstanding thought leadership but also generated additional marketing outcomes, such as propelling forward our SEO ranking and social media engagement.

Anna Bancroft

Marketing Manager, Socura

Results

Visits to the
Socura website
increased by

Web-page engagement increased by

Engagement rate per session increased by

Visits to the
Socura website
increased by

32%

Web-page engagement increased by

54%

Engagement rate per session increased by

89%

Scroll up to read case study
Cybersecurity PR

Cybersecurity PR

EC-PR is a B2B PR agency specialising in Cybersecurity PR and STEM industries. Read more about our Cyber Security offering here.

 

Related PR services

GUARANTEED PERFORMANCE

Being in the right place at the right time… We will deliver feature length coverage to your target press… or your money back.

ITPEnergised Environment PR Case Study

ITPEnergised Environment PR Case Study

ITPEnergised Environment PR Case Study

Energy and environment technical advisory company worked with EC-PR to create a blueprint for all their marketing communications with stand-out success

Context

Founded in 2013, ITPEnergised is a world leading consultancy providing energy, environmental, engineering, technical advisory and renewables asset management services on thousands of projects at all scales, in more than 150 countries.

Challenge

Lack of clarity and consistency in marketing communications with energy and environment target audiences

With an ambitious and visionary Managing Director at the helm, Jonny Clark was focused on growing the business but recognised that to do so, there were aspects of the business that required attention. Particularly, the absence of a clearly defined communication strategy meant that there was a lack of consistency across the organisation when communicating with its target audience both in how it differentiates itself and why customers should care.

Approach

Communication strategy, stakeholder research and B2B PR campaign planning

Through the facilitation of its Messaging Lab workshops and in-depth engagement with the senior leadership team, EC-PR developed a communication strategy which included five key components:

1 the value proposition;
2 industry prioritisation;
3 target personas;
4 positioning statements
5 and messaging.

This strategy now forms the backbone, to inform and guide all marketing communications moving forward.

To ensure the communication strategy is aligned with customers’ perceptions, EC-PR also conducted validation research amongst a small group of ITPE’s external stakeholders.

 

ITPEnergised ITPE logo

“Thanks to EC-PR’s support, we now have a blueprint which clearly defines how sales and marketing are going to assist us in delivering the business plan, providing us with clarity as to where we need to invest our resources for greatest impact.  We now feel a sense of empowerment and it has renewed passion and pride in what makes the ITPE brand so special.”

Jonny Clarke

Managing Director, ITPEnergised

environment pr

Environment PR

EC-PR is a B2B PR agency specialising in Technology PR, with a proven track record working within the Energy and Environment industries. Read more about our Environment PR offering here.

 

Related PR services

GUARANTEED PERFORMANCE

We are a PR agency with a difference. Being in the right place at the right time. We will deliver feature length coverage in your target press... or your money back