In 2009, Telstra Enterprise & Government (Telstra’s largest sales and service division, which provides services to more than 1,500 large organisations) launched a three-year thought leadership campaign to re-position the brand from transactional supplier to trusted advisor and differentiate it from its competitors.
For the third year, Howorth worked with Telstra Enterprise & Government to launch the “Telstra Productivity Indicator” – a commissioned research report
surveying more than 300 directors, senior executives and managers around their attitudes and behaviours to productivity. This year, the research focused on traits that successful businesses had in realising productivity improvements, a group Telstra labeled ‘Productivity Leaders’. Over the last three years the campaign has successfully been integrated into TEG’s sales and marketing initiatives, meaning that besides media relations activity, Howorth has been integral in developing internal collateral including sales materials, customer brochures and website copy.
The challenge in 2011 was in launching findings that would still continue to be relevant and interesting to Telstra’s target audiences and the media. As has worked well in previous years, embargoed media briefings were conducted with tier one business and technology media to maximise the amount of quality media coverage. Following the briefings, a general news release was distributed.
PR drove positive results with more than 40 pieces of traditional print and online media coverage achieved, with 31 articles appearing on launch day.
Key highlights so far this year have included:
- Paul Geason, TE&G Group Managing Director, was interviewed under embargo by eight national newspapers, news wires and business television programs including The Australian, AAP, Business Spectator, Sky Business News and ABC Lateline Business;
- 23 articles appeared in Telstra’s core media list (The Australian, iTWire, Business Spectator, BNET, Communications Day, Exchange, Sky Business News, BRW), doubling 2010’s day-one coverage;
- The Telstra Productivity Indicator continues its influence and reach to TEG’s key audiences – in April, the 2010 report was referenced in the Federal Government’s draft paper on its information and communications technology (ICT) strategy. Previous reports have also been referenced by Australian public policy think tank The Grattan Institute and in a speech by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
To create a versatile thought leadership platform relevant for finance and information executives. To create a robust platform for Telstra to communicate its ‘productivity’ value proposition and expertise to the corporate sector.
The key benefit of Telstra’s ICT solutions is achieving more with less resources, so Howorth identified an opportunity for the client to become a thought leader on the topic of productivity.
To bring the topic to life, Howorth recommended Telstra commission independent research to investigate how productivity is viewed by decision makers in Australian business and government organisations. The report, The Telstra Productivity Indicator, identified the phenomena of the ‘productivity gap’, where senior managers place high value on productivity but don’t have tools to effectively measure or manage it. The report was complemented by a white paper commissioned by ACIL Tasman, looking at the role of ICT in delivering productivity benefits.
The research was launched to media via a series of high level media briefings supported by third party case studies demonstrating productivity initiatives. The Howorth team also reached out to social media to ensure Telstra was associated with the productivity conversation.
Telstra took public ownership of the productivity debate and the term “productivity gap’ become part of the media vernacular during the first news cycle. The innovative idea also became the foundation for all of Telstra’s employee and customer communication. Impressively, Howorth achieved 75% of the annual coverage target in just four weeks