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Global consulting firm, Hitachi Consulting, wanted to raise awareness of its services for the retail sector among people in roles such as chief information officers, head of customer services, head of marketing and more. It wanted to demonstrate its Smart Customer Experience (SCX) proposition and disrupt the status quo by differentiating Hitachi from existing, more established competitors to attract more retail prospects to engage with its services. In 2018, it appointed Firefly to help deliver on this over two campaigns, during a six-month period.
Firefly researched the media trends in the retail and hospitality industry and found there were a number of hot topics it could target for Hitachi Consulting’s campaigns. The use of data and technology were two of the most widely covered topics, with a significant proportion of coverage focusing on how they enable retailers to increase sales, deliver an improved service and enhance the customer experience. Firefly knew these conversations could form the base of a highly effective PR campaigns to educate – and, in some cases, shocks – the target audience.
Firefly wanted these projects to target a wide range of media, including business, technology, national, and retail to ensure the best chance possible at reaching the C-level executives that Hitachi Consulting wanted to target. Firefly also knew that research would need to be a core component of both retail campaigns, in order to generate strong statistics around these themes that would engage editors and their readers.
Based on this background, Firefly proposed two different retail campaigns for Hitachi:
The first retail PR campaign of the year saw Firefly conduct research into the attitudes of consumers towards technology in retail – for example, around forthcoming technological developments such as LiDAR, touching on themes including privacy and theft reduction – producing content based around statistics that would surprise journalists covering retail and retailers themselves.
For the second campaign, focusing on cost and operations, Firefly conducted research into how effectively retailers were managing their omnichannel operations and where they were on the digital transformation journey as well as looking at how technologically advanced the top high street retailers are.
To secure coverage across the projects, Firefly used a number of PR tactics to disseminate the research findings to media and in turn the target audience, including press releases, bylines, case studies, comments and issues hijacking.
Across both campaigns, Firefly secured more than 24 pieces of coverage for Hitachi Consulting, placed in a broad range of retail and business publications, and reaching a potential audience of more than 1.85 million readers in these industries.
In addition to the media activity, the coverage allowed for the materials and information created to be repurposed and reused by Hitachi Consulting’s sales and marketing teams, giving statistics and information for sales and marketing assets (sales brochures, blogs, social media, etc) going forward.
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