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Predictions

We take an analyst's approach to monitoring the media so that we can best advise our clients on:

  • The stories getting covered
  • The tone of the articles: positive, skeptical, etc.
  • The elements: who gets quoted: Customers or competitors? Financial or industry analysts? Or, increasingly, which regulatory officials?
  • Approaches being used: does the article focus on the CEO, an employee or customer to make its point?

But we realized that while our clients knew about our expertise, the general marketplace did not. We've been tracking these trends for several years but never drank our own kool-aid or ate our own dog food (two phrases that were very popular, circa 1999).

The challenges

  • How does a small agency highlight its expertise in a very competitive marketplace?

The opportunity

We decided to take our annual list of predictions and do more than just post it on our website in order to:

  • Increase awareness of Birnbach Communications, Inc. and its expertise within the PR industry by distributing an annual list of predictions to influential online sites and by securing one placement of the entire article.
  • Generate new business leads.
  • Identify potential partners.
  • Produce additional, fresh content for the Birnbach Communications, Inc. website: www.birnbachcom.com.
  • Drive traffic to the Birnbach Communications, Inc. website.
  • Develop story/perspective library to highlight agency's expertise to be used to respond to media queries.
  • Leverage the annual list of predictions to build relationships with influential online trade sites to place future articles..
  • Merchandize our success by providing links to all our placements.

The activity

  • Monitored key publications and analyst firms, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, The Economist, Forbes, Fortune, c/net, Gartner, Forrester, etc. for news, trends and technology developments.
  • Brainstormed an extensive list of predictions, covering a range of client-focused and general-interest sectors, including technology, media, healthcare, and travel/transportation. While we made sure to focus on client areas, such as technology, healthcare, telecommunications, security and transportation/travel, we also developed predictions for timely business-related topics, including the economy, war, media, environment, education and food.
  • Drafted, edited and finalized the article, "Predictions for 2003."
  • Identified influential online PR and marketing publications and determined which ones accepted bylined articles.
  • Distributed the predictions in various formats to key PR and marketing sites in Dec. 2002.
  • Distributed healthcare predictions to healthcare sites.
  • Posted the placements on our website and distributed them to clients, partners and prospects.

The results

We exceeded expectations in terms of interest in our predictions, pick-up of the article, website traffic and new business/partnership referrals.

We generated five placements, the article was reposted on four additional websites (tvnewz.com, iwantmedia.com, mediabistro.com, and mediasurvey.com). Our predictions were highlighted in at least three opt-in media/PR newsletters, including as the lead story in MediaPost's "MediaDailyNews" and Media Bistro's "Media News Feed." We saw a significant increase in website traffic across several key variables, which helped us learn which vehicle had the most impact. We secured an assignment on a client-related topic for another publication on a related topic that we can merchandise on our website and in our collateral materials. Best of all, we secured new business referrals and identified new partners based on our predictions.

Placements

  • Advance for Health Information Professionals: "Health Care Predictions for 2003" (Feb. 17, 2003)
  • Advance for Health Information Executives: "Health Care Predictions for 2003" (Feb. 1, 2003)
  • NewsBio: Media Predictions for 2003 (Jan. 29, 2003)
  • TVNews.com: "Media Predictions for 2003: The State of the Media" (Jan. 17, 2003)
  • MediaBistro.com: "Media Predictions for 2003: The State of the Media" (Jan. 17, 2003)
  • MediaDailyNews: "Predictions for 2003: The State of the Media" (Jan. 17, 2003)
  • MediaSurvey.com:"Forward Thinking Predictions for 2003" (Jan. 10, 2003)
  • ExpertPR: "Forward Thinking: Predictions for 2003" (Jan. 9, 2003)
  • Opt-in e-mail newsletters: MediaPost's "MediaDailyNews," Media Bistro's "Daily Media News Feed," and MediaMap's "ExpertPR Newsletter."

    Media Relationships

  • Secured positive feedback from reporters and influencers at a number of key PR, marketing and technology publications, including c/net, b2b, Mermigas on Media, leading to a pending bylined article in IABC's Communication World that enables us to highlight additional experience and expertise.
  • Offered a spot on a special panel sponsored by PR Newswire and MediaInsider.com, "Future of News, PR & Marketing," that can provide us with an additional means to promote our expertise.

    Website Traffic

  • Single-day hits increased the most due to the MediaDailyNews placement and only slightly less due to the ExpertPR placement, generating 2,578 hits on Jan. 17 vs. 706 on Jan. 16. Jan. 17 accounted for 8.09% of all hits for the month, followed by Jan. 10 with 2,248 hits and 7.05%.
  • Total hits increased jumped 50% in Jan. 2003 over Dec. 2002: 31,879 vs. 21,370, showing that users were interested in the articles to learn more about the agency.
  • Jan. 2003 saw more hits than any other month over an 11-month period, representing 17.63% of all monthly hits. Feb. 2003 represented 12.08% of all monthly hits. By comparison, Dec. 2002 generated 11.82% of all monthly hits.
  • Total referred sessions increased nearly 240% in Jan. 2003 over Dec. 2002: 754 vs. 223, indicating that users were directed to the site from links attached to the placements.
  • Usage in terms of time per session increased at the 2-5 and 6-10 minute levels in Jan. 2003 over Dec. 2002: 8.73% vs. 5.05%, demonstrating an increased interest in the agency.

    New Business

  • Received a dozen e-mail inquires.
  • Identified new business partners, one who specifically cited the predictions, saying, "I really liked your website and especially your trends analysis. Very smart. It takes a lot of work to do that and I loved the level of commitment you showed by doing this."
  • Produced at least one new business opportunity.

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