Case Study | PR and Trade Show Support

Pelco

We helped this B2B tech company revitalize its brand image with a coordinated global communications strategy.

Overview

Pelco by Schneider Electric is a global leader in the design, development, and manufacture of predictive video security solutions including cameras, recording and management systems, software, and services.

Pelco serves customers through a worldwide reseller channel in sectors as diverse as education, corrections, oil and gas, gambling, retail, healthcare, and airports.

Our Challenge

For several years prior to 2018, Pelco had not received media attention that was commensurate with its ranking on the international video surveillance market. They also went through a major organizational restructuring in 2017 that included a relocation to Fresno from Clovis, the city where it had opened a major manufacturing facility over two decades prior. That restructuring dominated the company’s news coverage and even led to many questions and conjecture about the company’s diminished status in the industry.

There was no planned PR outreach strategy designed to offset the organizational restructuring, rather the efforts were in reaction to the breaking news. The coverage that Pelco did receive separate from the restructuring tended to be product driven and often came in the form of shorter-form articles. In short, the absence of a well-executed media strategy only reinforced its image as a brand in decline among key stakeholders that included the media, a reseller channel, and end customers.

Pelco came to Swyft in order to change the prevailing media narrative about it, one that cast it as a former leader in the video camera and security surveillance industry that had since lost market share and now struggled to keep up with the competition. The company wanted more favorable media coverage both in the number of articles about it as well as the quality of the coverage (e.g., longer-form articles with pictures, multiple quotes, and SEO-friendly backlinks).

The company also wanted to reorient its media messaging away from cameras toward one based on solutions designed for key industries and functional needs (e.g., airport security, predictive surveillance using AI, smart cities, school safety, etc.).

Finally, Pelco wanted a more coordinated approach to media relations and outreach across its international markets. It needed Swyft’s help developing a process that would bring multiple regions under the corporate communications umbrella to ensure both a consistency of messaging and a coordinated go-to-media strategy. Pelco looked to Swyft for help in creating the necessary internal company-wide communication infrastructure that would support a seamless global communications initiative capable of being deployed in any of their international markets for trade shows, road shows, reseller channel conferences, etc.

Our Answer

To help Pelco achieve its desired results, Swyft charted a strategic course over several months that involved multiple meetings with key Pelco stakeholders:

Comprehensive Media Audit

Swyft performed a comprehensive media audit to determine the effectiveness of the prior agency’s media outreach activities and help establish a baseline for our future performance.

Solutions-Based Approach

Swyft shifted the communications messaging from a product-focused approach to a more solutions-based approach, consistent with the company’s growing emphasis on vertical solutions sales involving a mix of hardware and software technologies.

Quality Press Releases

Rather than write a large quantity of press releases with marginal news value, Swyft focused instead on developing story pitches with more perceived significance in the eyes of the trade media and their audiences.

Highlight Expertise

Swyft found ways to highlight Pelco news and industry expertise by turning them into story pitches, expert insights, and case studies that spoke to what was top of mind with media and end-buyers alike.

Global PR Support

Swyft quarterly calls with key regional and country managers throughout the world to better align company communication objectives with actual media outreach. With the support of members of First PR Alliance, our worldwide partner agency network, we executed the media outreach across all key markets and managed media relations on behalf of Pelco’s in-country staff.

Trade Show Support

Swyft took control of planning for Pelco’s two largest trade shows: ISC West, held annually in Las Vegas, Nevada; and Intersec, the influential trade show held in Dubai; Swyft collaborated closely with Pelco staff to translate its key marketing initiatives into media outreach campaigns at both trade shows.

Build Brand Awareness

Swyft also advised Pelco on paid media opportunities to boost the impact of earned media outreach, build greater brand awareness, and stem the tide of past negative media coverage.

Content Creation

Swyft wrote articles for Pelco’s blog as well as white papers, some of which was repurposed into content accepted by media outlets.

Media Training

Swyft provided media training for Pelco’s executive leadership team in advance of its attendance at ISC West.

Measurable KPI’s

Finally, to better determine how effective Swyft was in helping restore a favorable image of Pelco in the eyes of the media, we came up with measurable objectives and defined a series of key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure our progress toward them over time.

Proven Results

Over our initial 12-month engagement, Swyft managed to help Pelco turn the tide on the negative publicity while at the same time increase the volume and quality of media coverage in the U.S. and around the world.

At the engagement launch meeting, Swyft created message maps that aligned with Pelco’s new focus on solutions-based marketing and began developing relationships with key Pelco stakeholders responsible for supplying key marketing content needed to bolster our media outreach.

Swyft provided on-site staffing for ISC West in Las Vegas in order to better coordinate journalist interviews and coach Pelco spokespersons on key talking points. We also provided media training to the company’s executive team to prepare them to handle all manner of interview formats and question types. In addition to working with Pelco stakeholders, we liaised with the communications team at IBM to announce a strategic alliance between the two enterprises involving machine learning and predictive analytics in security surveillance applications. As a result of our media outreach efforts, we secured 11 interviews and a 400% increase media coverage year-over-year. In fact, we helped Pelco match the media coverage results of the recognized industry leader and also outperform its other key competitors.

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