The lines between marketing and PR are blurring, as social media and content marketing continue grow in importance. The reasons for these changes are many, including the evolution of the media environment, changes in how people find and consume information, how search engines index and serve up results and the swift adoption of mobile devices and tablets by both consumers and business decision makers.
Communications tactics have evolved, and a great example of a blended approach that reaches audiences in new ways – and achieves new outcomes for the brand – is Sodexo’s use of PR Newswire’s ARC engagement platform to reposition the brand as a quality of life provider, reflecting the company’s expansive portfolio of services.
To capitalize upon the publication of the company’s annual “Workplace Trends Report,” the Sodexo team worked with PR Newswire’s MultiVu division to create and host a variety of content elements within an ARC.
The ARC is essentially a custom microsite, albeit with an important twist. Dynamic, multi-channel distribution of the content housed in the ARC is built into the platform. The result? The Sodexo ARC provided an in-bound microsite, designed specifically for the brand’s target audience. But with content distribution built into the platform, the ARC also provided strong outbound traffic to Sodexo web properties.
“The ARC functioned much differently in this respect than our corporate web site,” noted Stacey Bowman-Hade, director of public relations for Sodexo. “I think the ARC is a great tool for combining your marketing and public relations efforts. If you have similar goals in marketing and public relations for pushing out different pieces of content, the ARC is a very good tool for the collaboration of those departments in achieving the same goals.”
And in an interesting twist, the company’s sales team found another application for the ARC, using it as a ‘mobile app’ enabling them to engage customers with highly visual thought-leadership content.
The ARC delivered a variety of results for the company, including increased awareness of the company’s new positioning, and even more importantly, engagement and conversation around those efforts, in addition to significant media visibility.
“To date, we’ve seen 56 million impressions that the ARC has given us just in content, and that is across many media outlets,” said Kevin Rettle, director of marketing at Sodexo. “I think more importantly, when you look at traditional strategies, the quality of the content that we’ve delivered is much higher; for us, it is so much more about the ability to stay top of mind with a client with research and true thought leadership rather than just flat and static advertising.”
Read the full case study, along with interviews of the Sodexo team and view Sodexo’s ARC here: Using a Campaign Microsite Presence to Establish Industry Thought Leadership
Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, and is the author of the newly-published ebooks New School Press Release Tactics and Driving Content Discovery. Follow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik.