PR & LinkedIn: Promoting CEO Thought Leadership & Competitive Advantage
OPPORTUNITY: How does the CEO of a management consulting startup differentiate her company and position it as the go-to service provider in a highly competitive sector? This was the case with Inspirant Group, the disruptive management consulting firm started in 2017 by Meighan Newhouse and her two co-founders. In their fourth year of business, the company had begun winning industry awards but it needed to increase stakeholder awareness and further promote its value proposition.
APPROACH: With goals of attracting new business and employee talent, our strategy was to position the CEO as chief brand ambassador. Positioning her as an expert on21st century leadership, emotional intelligence and company culture, we bolstered her presence on LinkedIn and in B2B media. Using the PESO Public Relations model of Paid-Earned-Shared-Owned media, we identified both paid and unpaid editorial opportunities where the CEO could share her thought leadership on hot button topics including emotional intelligence, mental health, remote work and company culture. We leveraged LinkedIn (shared media) as the platform for building the CEO’s fans and followers, fostering new business connections and reigniting relationships. Initial program success led us to work with other Senior Leaders across the organization to develop their LinkedIn presence and thought leadership in industry trades specific to their areas of expertise including Human Resources, Learning and Development and Agile technology.
RESULTS: Quarterly byline articles were produced for the Forbes Business Council on the benefits of remote work, 21st century leadership and empathy and community building in the workplace. We developed content and managed the relationship with the technology trade, BuiltIn featuring various senior team members which showcased their people-centric company culture. We secured the prestigious Great Place to Work employee certification which led to guest blogging opportunities on that platform on company culture, creating a people centric workplace and mindfulness.
Media Coverage: With a focus on content contribution opportunities, coverage included: Forbes, NJ Law Journal, Thrive Global, Great Place to Work, Authority, BuiltIn, Talent Management, HRD Connect and DevOps among others. LinkedIn: Our strategy was to post original content on three consecutive days per week on transformative leadership, company culture and mental health. Followers: +38%Engagement Rate ranged between 1.39% - 3.01% over the course of the program. Note that on LinkedIn, when impressions, engagement % decreases, Aggregate Comments, Likes and Shares almost doubled. Impressions +193%, Likes: +50%, Comments: +190%.
Speaking Engagements: Our LinkedIn content acted as a magnet for both media interviews including podcasts as well as speaking opportunities including Toyota/Chicago regional directors conference, Change Management Review.
Industry Awards: Crain’s Chicago - GenX Leaders to Watch in Accounting, Consulting and Law.
LinkedIn: Elevating Executive Presence & Building Community
OPPORTUNITY: How does a Fortune 50 Chief Customer Officer Build Trust With a National Field Team of 40,000+? Seeing employee attrition and burnout rise during the pandemic, a Fortune 50 Chief Customer Officer (CCO) overseeing a team of 40,000+ sought to build a sense of community, boost engagement and motivation by establishing trust on LinkedIn.
APPROACH: We proposed a LinkedIn content strategy that would humanize the CCO as a transformative, forward-thinking leader, one who cares deeply about her people and being innovative. We developed content on topics including collaboration, mental health, motivation, combating burnout, folding in real stories from the field team. To personalize the posts further, we crowdsourced photos showing the leader visiting field offices, engaging with employees.
RESULTS: Within a 12 month period, her number of followers grew by 15% which is now in alignment with her C-level peers. Audience engagement rose from 1.4%-2.0% demonstrated in the rising number of detailed comments, reposts and anecdotal feedback. Stakeholder buzz has been overwhelmingly positive. Now, when the Chief Customer Officer visits a regional office, people show their enthusiasm and say things such as, “I’m seeing you all over LinkedIn,” “I really enjoy and learn from your content,” “I share your content” and “I feel like I know you from your posts.”
Creating News With Data
OPPORTUNITY: What happens when an education technology company begins to fall under the radar as its competitors gain market share? This was the case with Skilled Up (a speciality division of the larger Apollo Education Group), whose professional education courses are designed for Gen Z consumers. The company was feeling the pressure of competitors who were picking away at their market share and more aggressively promoting their similarly positioned online career development courses. As a smaller division of a large global company, they had limited access to the marketing support that other areas received.
APPROACH: I proposed that they create news by fielding a consumer survey. Preliminary search revealed that web developers were extremely well paid. So I identified and collaborated with a market research firm on a survey that asked working web developers about their level of career fulfillment as well as the income levels they had achieved. The results provided the news nuggets we were looking for - that web developers are among the happiest workers who are most fulfilled in their careers while simultaneously earning big bucks.
RESULTS: Based on the survey results, we created an eye-catching infographic which told the story visually, and pitched it to top tier consumer and business media. A storm of results includedUSA Today Snapshots on the front page of the Business section with their own infographic; a feature story in Mashable (shared 6,000+times), America’s Happiest Job Pays Up to $150,000 a Year, and a full page feature in Metro.US New York, Web Developers Are Happy, Earn More Greenbacks. All of this coverage came to a total of more than 75 million media impressions.