Intelligent Buildings (IB) provides Smart Building advisory, assessment, and managed services for organizations in commercial, corporate, campus, and government real estate. IB joined forces with MHP/Team SI as our client in March 2021 to increase its brand awareness, generate leads in niche verticals, and position its experts as thought leaders in smart building technology and security to both media and c-suite executives.
The agency recommended a series of digital campaigns, content development, public relations strategies, and special events in order to engage target audiences and achieve client goals.
Insights & Analysis:
Research into current news topics and media needs revealed a surge of media coverage surrounding cyber attacks impacting both IT and OT technologies in buildings, as well as an ongoing workforce shortage in journalism as more and more media professionals were being fired.
High-profile cyber attacks, such as the Colonial Pipeline and JBS seemed to open the floodgates to nearly-constant news on the topic of security threats. Nearly 20,000 journalists lost their jobs in 2020, stretching each hard-working professional thin in terms of available resources, as well as time and attention. How do we interject IB into this national conversation and reach these strained journalists? The solution had to be a targeted, media-focused approach.
With this data in hand, the agency recommended IB create a virtual webinar geared toward media specifically. This would provide a “one-stop-shop” for the media to learn the background of how these attacks happen, why this matters to every American, and who is leading the charge to find and execute a solution (positioning IB as an innovative leader).
MHP/Team SI worked closely with the IB team to create a webinar that was short (30 minutes with time for Q&A), media focused, and easy to understand (avoiding extremely technical jargon). Together, the teams also identified two partners who could serve as added panelists in the webinar to avoid seeming too self-promotional or sales-focused. Next, the agency identified national and regional media members with a focus in smart buildings, security and technology, and/or cybersecurity. This list was provided to the client for approval and contained more than 500 names.
The agency’s PR team made individual pitches to the approved list of media members to join the webinar. The agency also provided bios and headshots for each of the panelists, underscoring the value of their expertise and the specificity of the webinar itself.
Not only did the webinar gain twice as many media attendees as the client desired, but also the media connections resulted in a high profile earned media placement in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). A journalist who the agency connected with (and was unable to attend the webinar) utilized two IB experts in a piece titled “Why Hackers Love Smart Buildings.” This piece was made available to the outlet’s estimated reach of 994,600 audience members. It was also posted on the publication’s Twitter account, receiving 16 retweets, three quoted tweets, and 42 likes.
The client now had both an extremely valuable third-party endorsement, but also high-value content for its owned channels. The client got feedback from the article that it was “the first time people were able to easily understand what they do,” which was incredibly important to increasing its brand awareness and executive visibility. Within six weeks of the campaign, the subsequent WSJ article-based social campaign reached 140 pageviews, performing better than expected for the campaign’s KPIs.