With challenging economic times ahead, improving productivity is now more important than ever as Australian organisations focus on optimising their investments to stay one step ahead. This issue has been at the forefront of Telstra Enterprise and Government’s annual thought leadership campaign: the Telstra Productivity Indicator.
Now in its fourth year, the 2012 Telstra Productivity Indicator surveyed over 700 senior decision makers from enterprise and government organisations across Australia, looking at their attitudes and behaviours towards productivity. The research this year found that productivity in Australia has continued to decline, following a ten year trend in the region as outlined by a recent report from the Grattan institute (Productivity – the Lost Decade, August 2011).
Consistent with last year’s report, there are a number of organisations bucking that trend. Referred to as ‘Productivity Leaders’, they are organisations that use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) or other metrics to measure productivity, and have reported a significant productivity gain in the last 12 months.
The campaign was completely integrated into Telstra’s internal sales and marketing initiatives, meaning that besides media relations activity, Howorth and Impact played an integral role in developing an internal communication campaign consisting of launch messages from leadership, targeted sales presentations, GM briefings and printed TPI sales conversation starters. An end to end integrated internal rollout was dovetailed with the external launch of the campaign and included enlisting the support and expertise of industry executives to support sales conversations and provide a wider business perspective for the relevant sectors.
The main challenges facing this year’s campaign were maintaining relevance to Telstra’s traditional technology audiences while extending into the business and economic spheres, as well as ensuring that Telstra’s voice was heard in a crowded productivity space, with several media outlets having already covered productivity extensively in the weeks leading up to the campaign.
By raising the level of Telstra’s discourse, Howorth worked with Telstra’s media relations team to secure interviews with tier one business and economics media, including The Economist, ABC World Today, AFR, The Australian, AAP, The Global Mail, News.com.au, Canberra Times, and Business Spectator. Within a month of launch, the Telstra Productivity Indicator secured 45 media clips, surpassing the annual KPI of 35 within one week. Through media alone, the campaign has a reach of approximately 29,000,000 people through coverage in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
These results have been reflected in Telstra Enterprise & Government’s Cubit measurement, as the company recorded its highest share of voice figure since its current analysis began two years ago – registering 40% share of voice for the most recent quarter.
• Senior TE&G spokespeople were interviewed under embargo by 11 national newspapers, news wires and business publications including The Australian, AAP, AFR, Business Spectator, ABC World Today, The Canberra Times, The Economist and Global Mail;
• 45 pieces of coverage were generated across a variety of publications, including The Australian, AFR, Business Spectator, Daily Telegraph, Sun Herald, Adelaide Advertiser and ABC World Today.
• Paul Geason and Antony De Jong were both widely referenced in news articles, with over 20 quotes appearing; and
• Cubit analysis noted that TPI was the leading topic of TE&G coverage for the most recent quarter, during which the company saw a 40% share of voice compared to its main competitors.
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.
At last Monday night’s national PRIA Golden Target Awards in Darwin, Howorth received more recognition for its excellent public relations work.
This time, hot on the heels of the its Commended Award in PRIA’s New South Wales state awards, the Telstra Productivity Indicator campaign went one better and received a Highly Commended award in the Business-to-Business marketing category. This campaign, which was in its second year, reinforces Telstra’s Enterprise & Government position as a thought leader in technology, business and productivity. The campaign has successfully positioned the company as a trusted advisor, offering strategic advice, industry insights and world-class technology to enterprise and government.
This campaign has been Howorth’s most awarded, having previously scooped PRIA awards when first launched in early 2009, and going on to get international recognition.
Last night at the Public Relations Institute of Australia’s (PRIA) annual NSW State Awards for Excellence event, Howorth was the proud recipient of another award.
This time, we received a Highly Commended award in the Business-to-Business marketing category for the “Telstra Productivity Indicator” campaign, launched for the second consecutive year in February 2010. The goals of the campaign are to demonstrate Telstra Enterprise & Government as a leader in technology, business and productivity , as well as successfully position the company from a transactional leader to a trusted advisor offering strategic advice, industry insights and world-class technology to the C-Suite across public and private enterprises in Australia.
Highlighting how tough it is to win a PRIA Award, Howorth was the only winner in the Business-to-Business category. As a result of this award, the campaign is now in the running for PRIA’s Golden Target national awards, which will be unveiled at the national conference in Darwin on 25 October.
Congratulations team and fingers crossed for more recognition!
Underlining the findings of the Government’s Intergenerational Report, the Telstra Productivity Indicator research found that improving customer service and productivity are the key priorities for Australian organisations, ranking 78 per cent and 76 per cent respectively
The Productivity Indicator also found that only 42% of decision makers measure productivity, have a target and know what that target is compared with 49% in last year’s report.
The Telstra Productivity Indicator was the brainchild of Howorth and sister agency Parker&Partners and is now in its second year. The report has already received widespread media coverage in Australia.
For more information please visit http://www.interactivemediarelease.com/back/productivity
Having picked up two awards from the New South Wales event earlier in the month, Howorth was once again picking up more accolades. In the Business to Business category, we were Commended for Identifying the Gap: The Telstra Productivity Indicator commissioned by Telstra Enterprise & Government.
In the Health Organisations category, we were Highly Commended for Social Network is Livewire for Sick Kids commissioned by Livewire.
Our trophy cabinet just got a whole lot bigger. Next up are the PR Week Awards in November, where the Telstra campaign is a finalist once again.
What are the opportunities and gaps in business productivity? The Telstra Productivity Indicator sought to provide insights into this question. Howorth’s strategy of selected top tier media pre-briefs under embargo paid off in nearly 30 pieces of quality coverage for the launch of Telstra’s groundbreaking research on business productivity in Australia.
Coverage highlights included:
• An interview on Sky News
• A fifteen minute podcast on BNet
• Full page article in the Australian Financial Review
• The Australian IT section
• The Age
• The Sydney Morning Herald online
• Business Spectator
• Communications Day
The successful strategy
Howorth’s strategic approach involved inviting senior, key media to interview lead Telstra spokespeople under embargo, one week prior to the launch:
• David Thodey, group managing director of Telstra Enterprise and Government
• Geoffrey Sims, chief economist.
Importantly, this helped journalists gain a deeper understanding of key Productivity Indicator drivers and implications before results were revealed to all media.
This approach facilitated Telstra’s priority journalists taking ownership of the report and covering it.
Bridging the productivity gap to reach your productivity potential
Telstra commissioned an independent study that was conducted by Sweeney Research, in an effort to find out more about business productivity in Australia. The report surveyed 300 Australian directors, senior executives and managers of medium to large organisations. It found that while 78 per cent of Australia’s largest organisations say improving productivity is a high priority, only half have any systems in place to measure improvements or set targets.
Addressing this ‘productivity gap’ and understanding Australian organisations’ productivity potential involves accurately measuring and managing productivity, as well as leveraging ICT tools to deliver benefits, according to Telstra’s report.
Howorth successfully bridged the ‘media gap’ by securing superior coverage of a landmark study into business productivity through a strategically planned campaign.