Materialise, (NASDAQ:MTLS) is a leading developer of software for the 3D printing industry with its headquarters in Leuven, Belgium and U.S. headquarters based in Plymouth, Michigan. Materialise has an established brand in Europe. The company, however, did not have an ongoing relationship with a communications agency in the U.S. nor had it recently utilized the services of one in support of its U.S. operations. Swyft was hired on a project basis to support the Belgian company by crafting and managing its announcements around RAPID, the largest additive manufacturing conference in North America.
We developed three media announcements in preparation for RAPID. All communications were written clearly and concisely to make the tech-heavy content easily understood by all manner of media. We collaborated with essential marketing and communications stakeholders in Materialise to ensure we maximized the news value of the three main announcements.
Due to the competitive share of voice, we had to accurately time each release. Our first recommendation was to push the announcement of Materialise Magics 3D Print Suite, the newly bundled suite of pre-existing apps, into the week before the start of RAPID. Our rationale? Since HP was announcing the launch of its first-ever 3D printer for the additive manufacturing market, the media would in all likelihood pay scant attention to announcements that were not in some way or another a breakthrough in their own right. We also felt we stood a better chance of standing out the week before the trade show.
Our concurrent announcement was the call-to-action we developed for Materialise’s CEO. This served as a call to the rest of the 3D medical printing industry to commit resources and resolve toward improving clinical trial efforts. The adoption of 3D medical printing has been slow and typically limited to advanced research hospitals in part because there is a lack of reliable, predictive clinical data surrounding 3D printing technology, which is in itself partly due to the highly fragmented nature of the market. Our goal was to make Mr. Vancraen’s announcement visible in advance of RAPID to draw interest in a panel he planned to host on the topic.
The third announcement planned was to announce Materialise’s participation in the development of a key software component for its brand new Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer. HP placed an embargo on the announcement and required its partners to adhere to strict branding and announcement protocol.
For a span of three weeks, we took over the pitching of the announcements. Our pitching efforts were deliberate and carefully selected in order to gain the most traction.
In conjunction with the development of communications and pitching, we coordinated all press relations including interview scheduling, booth visits, interview follow-up and media reporting.
We provided a media coaching session to Mr. Vancraen and Bryan Crutchfield, Vice President and General Manager of Materialise. This was done so that they were prepared to handle their respective interviews and so the resulting articles written were highly effective at communicating the company’s key messages.
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