Digital design PR: The bITjAM Innovation Qube launch
1st December, 2012
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Brief and objectives:
As part of a three month digital design PRcampaign for technology firm bITjAM, Stone Junction organised the launch of the bITjAM Innovation Qube (IQ) – a space for young people to investigate modern technologies in Stoke-on-Trent. The brief involved the invitation of education providers, students, parents, education journalists, local and business media and the wider business community. The presence of a high profile member of the local community was also needed for a ribbon cutting ceremony on the day.
bITjAM uses disruptive innovation to provide marketing and business solutions for companies from a variety of sectors. The team also works within the education industry to boost young people’s STEM skills.
Before the campaign, bITjAM had a limited media profile, despite having a good network of contacts in the local community. The company’s biggest challenge was gaining awareness in a straightforward and rapid manner - not everybody would know what disruptive innovation is if it appeared on the front page of a newspaper.
The key role of Stone Junction’s IQ launch campaign was to make bITjAM’s work easy to understand and build brand awareness in Staffordshire.
Stone Junction suggested two events on the day: a student competition award ceremony in the morning and a business networking event in the afternoon. The first aimed to generate media attention. Both were meant to generate sales from two core sectors: education and local business.
Media relations in the run up to the event were crucial. Stone Junction generated over 40 clippings in print, broadcast and online media over the course of the three month period. Live tweeting on the day was handled by a member of the Stone Junction team to drum up online attention to the launch.
Strategy and tactics
Before the launch of the IQ, bITjAM had a reduced presence in the business community, focusing on short-term projects with local schools and charities. The company didn’t attend networking events and was more or less unknown to the top 100 companies in Staffordshire. Stone Junction addressed this problem by confirming attendance from companies like Phones4U, JCB and Bet365 at the IQ launch.
Summary of the campaign’s outcomes:
• £235,000 worth of sales leads with £131,000 already converted
• 333,136 Twitter impressions using 196 tweets
• 1,168.75% increase on bITjAM website views
• 1,666.67% increase on Twitter profile views
• 1,550% increase on Facebook page views
• Visit from Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Tristram Hunt
• Relationships built with all major education providers in the region
• Business networking opportunities
Summary of the campaign’s outputs:
• 12 print clippings generated with a total circulation estimated at 771,263.
• 27 online clippings, two newsletter clippings and two broadcast clippings
• Four press releases and three blog posts
• Two e-mail marketing e-shots
• A Flickr account containing over 80 professional images
To get schools involved, Stone Junction suggested a student competition that allowed participants to win a specialised workshop in the IQ, as well as £200 worth of tech kit. Sponsorship from Farnell element14 was secured.
Stone Junction used e-mail newsletters and follow-up phone calls to target local schools, colleges and universities. This resulted in multiple entrants from the University of Birmingham, Birches Head Academy, Congleton High School and Sir Graham Balfour School.
The event also saw an awards ceremony for the competition judged by Staffordshire University, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Lord Mayor Sheila Pitt and Farnell element14.
Press release campaign
Stone Junction created a schedule of carefully-crafted press releases:
1. The announcement of the launch, the student competition and Farnell element 14’s sponsorship
2. A second call for student competition entries
3. A review of the launch day
4. A final press release about the visit of high profile education representative and local MP, Tristram Hunt.
Ribbon cutting ceremony – the photo opportunity:
A photo opportunity was set up on the day specifically for local media. Lord Mayor Sheila Pitt was invited to open the IQ with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Throughout the day, Stone Junction handled bITjAM’s Twitter account, posting updates and pictures of the space, kit, awards ceremony, winners of the competition and other general networking shots. A story of the event’s hashtag - #QubeLaunch can be found here.
Stone Junction supported the logistics of the event, ensuring everything ran smoothly on the day. Stone Junction created a guest list, name badges and coordinated the attendance of journalists, businesses and students. This process included an intensive plan of calling local schools and following up to confirm attendance.
Stone Junction secured attendance from The Sentinel, The Business Information Portal, Stafford FM and Signal 1 radio. A total of 20 clippings were generated discussing the opening of the IQ.
A total of 43 press clippings were generated as a result of the three month campaign across print, online and broadcast media. A total circulation of the print clippings is estimated at 771,263.
Stone Junction co-ordinated opportunities for bITjAM to network with higher profile members of the community such as Azhar Mobin, CEO of the Staffordshire Education Trust, and Tristram Hunt, as well as organising sponsorship of the Staffordshire Marketing Academy’s Action for Business Live! 7.