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International association for the measurement and evaluation of communication
Category: Most effective B2B PR campaign
Client/Entering Company: Smoking Gun PR
Campaign title: BrightHR: It Pays To Play
Company Name: BrightHR
SGPR delivered a highly effective campaign that propelled its absence management software client, BrightHR, into the headlines of the national and B2B press – generating awareness and driving purchase consideration among HR managers and business owners.
Through expert-led reports, the campaign saw BrightHR leading and generating conversation around brilliant workplace cultures and productivity – giving the brand personality, memorability and making it stand out against its competitors.
Tactics were employed to grow BrightHR’s digital footprint, positively impacting on business objectives.
BrightHR is a people management software company that enables HR managers and small business owners to effortlessly manage staff absence. Launched in January 2016, the brand had one fundamental problem – low awareness.
Low awareness was evident from Google Trends analysis, when compared to a more generic but related search term such as HR Software (see chart on page two of supporting material, the red line shows search in the UK for ‘HR Software’ versus search for ‘BrightHR’, illustrated on the blue line). Search patterns here have been used as a proxy for brand awareness.
The below business objectives were agreed upon between SGPR and BrightHR based on brand tracking of competitors and Q1 sales targets.
Raise awareness among HR managers, SME owners and resellers (specifically accountants, consultants and financial advisors), as evidenced by rising levels of hits to site, by 100% in six months. 20% of coverage to contain a quality backlink. Further KPIs as outlined below
BrightHR’s target consumer is primarily small business owners and HR managers. Bright also has a partner programme of software resellers – specifically accountants, consultants and financial advisors.
Focus groups conducted prior to campaign activation revealed diversity in how our audience consumed its media – be they picking up the latest B2B publication in the office, thumbing through the weekend broadsheets, stealing 10 minutes on the MailOnline over lunch or tuning in to BBC Radio 5 Live on the drive home.
We knew from the outset, therefore, that.. and that we should aim to capture the attention of HR managers and business owners across multiple platforms.
Focus groups also revealed that our audience was more compelled to trust and be influenced by the opinion of experts within their own sectors as opposed to household-name, business magnates such as Lord Sugar or Baroness Brady.
A focus on quality data capture and link building was ingrained within the strategy, with core business objectives in mind.
In a competitive and often, very dry, sector, making BrightHR memorable to achieve cut through was essential. We wanted to make BrightHR stand out against its competitors with a bold and lively, rather than traditional, PR approach.
The strategy focused on:
Outputs: Thought leadership reports
Experts and futurists authored a series of reports with BrightHR:
The reports were hosted as free downloads on the website to capture data and provided a wealth of angles for media.
News-jacking and blogs
Successful news-jacks included:
A series of blogs were crafted to maximise the content further, securing coverage in business press and verticals for accountants, consultants and financial advisors, with backlinks.
Workplace wellbeing, and particularly the demands of Millennials, was sparking much debate in the press. So we created the UK’s first dedicated ‘nap room’ in BrightHR’s offices.
We worked with Silentnight, another client of Smoking Gun, to design the nap room, with temperature, lighting and ambience all created to induce sleep.
A photoshoot, with suited and booted employees taking a nap in the office bed, built a multi-media package including:
A press release distributed to national news, HR and business publications told the story of the nap room, positioning it at the centre of a pioneering new study from BrightHR to test the power of napping on the job.
Further activities included:
Headline outputs and out-takes: Business objectives 1 & 2
Raising awareness among HR managers, SME owners and resellers, positioning BrightHR as an expert on workplace cultures
NB: SGPR affirmed that titles on the client’s wish list such as HR Grapevine were suitable news outlets, as the Google Analytics showed that this source was driving more direct traffic back to the site than other news outlets
Outputs and out-takes: Business objective 3
Outputs and out-takes: Business objective 4:
Out-takes and outcomes: Business objective 5
Simon Dalley, BrightHR’s marketing manager:
“Smoking Gun not only helped us smash our ambitious targets but put BrightHR firmly on the agendas of all important business writers and HR publications.
“In the month the stunt went live we saw a substantial increase in web traffic and new enquiries. What’s more, the nap room fitted so organically with our brand ethos that it continues to be a genuine part of our office”.
Note: The ‘BrightHR: It Pays To Play’ campaign has been audited by an independent AMEC member
BrightHR Supporting Materials
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