Friday, 16 December 2011

THINKING IN A NEW WAY


It’s easy in the world of PR to fall back on tried-and-tested methods over and over again. Which is fine when they work 100% and you can be absolutely sure that you’re offering your client full value for their spend.
But what when they want something different – radical even? Or they think they do, but don’t actually know what it is? That was what we encountered with our new client Pemberstone.
Pemberstone is a well-established and successful business investment company based in Worcester. Their exciting portfolio ranges from ethical goods through to plastic mouldings through to an indoor winter sports centre. At first glance, the portfolio had absolutely nothing in common with each other, but the directors were keen to put all their businesses in touch to try and maximise inter-company business opportunities. After all – they’d never know what opportunities there were, if they didn’t at least get everybody chatting.
We saw this as a really interesting challenge – essentially one of  PR and internal communications. After some brainstorming, we created an online Corporate Social Network, ‘Pemberstone Communicate’ -  rather like an extranet. Here, the companies can be ‘virtually’ introduced to one another, share latest news and participate in an interactive forum,  posting and commenting on topical issues, concerns or  suggesting opportunities for group benefit.
DDPR initially populated the site with director profiles, stories and forum comment, but our input was just the beginning. Things took off on their own immediately after launch and before long, employees were communicating, generating ideas between themselves and really taking ownership. People are getting to know each other, making recommendations and referrals, and really getting value from the site.
Pemberstone is thrilled with the results, and so are we. It proves not only the effectiveness of a multi-channel interactive corporate social website as a method of communication, but also that DDPR’s digital offerings are comparable and as effective, as those on offer with any of the bigger agencies nationwide.