META Group, a leading information technology research and advisory firm, needed to raise its profile in tier-one media in order to generate new business. Not only was competition among IT research firms such as Gardner and IDC heating up, but the rules of the New Economy were also transforming the marketplace. Greater visibility for META's research and consulting practices in Tier One media was a key goal of the firm's global marketing efforts.
To meet this challenge, M Booth & Associates created and executed a media relations campaign that helped generate an increase in new business leads for META Group by 27 percent over the previous year and more than 400 million media impressions, primarily in top-tier outlets, doubling the results for 1999.
The campaign was designed to help trigger new business leads by creating greater visibility for META Group in “A” level business media while increasing overall media impressions and to position META as a key source for comment on breaking news stories and industry trends.
Booth crafted an aggressive media relations campaign that “reintroduced” and positioned META spokespeople as key sources for comment on industry trends, breaking news and quarterly earnings reports.
To “re-introduce” META Group to the media, the agency developed and distributed a comprehensive information kit for media that highlighted the company’s top analysts who could provide commentary on key business/IT issues. Detailed bios were created, matching each analyst with the names of the companies that s/he tracks. Background on META Group and its future conferences was also included.
The agency arranged a total of 58 in-person backgrounder meetings for these top analysts with editors/reporters at key outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Fortune, The Economist, Financial Times, AP, Reuters, Bloomberg, CNN and CNBC. The agency followed up to encourage ongoing relationships and contact.
The agency monitored breaking news on a daily basis and offered META spokespeople as experts on the news of the day. META analysts provided commentary on top stories such as the Microsoft/Department of Justice lawsuit, the AOL/Time Warner merger, and eBay’s “distributed computing” hacking incident. Publicity was secured on a regular basis in top outlets such as CNN, CNBC, BusinessWeek, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, AP and Bloomberg.
Each quarter the agency developed a list of the dates that 40 leading public IT companies would announce their quarterly earnings. Working with targeted top-tier business media, the agency then arranged interviews for META analysts with reporters who were covering the companies’ earnings announcements. Each analyst was able to provide commentary on the overall operation of the targeted company. Between 60-100 interviews were arranged on a quarterly basis.
Additionally, META Group research was promoted on an ongoing basis throughout he year.
During the campaign META Group registered a large increase in new business leads and a significant increase in tier one media mentions. Highlights include:
- META Group’s client contracts increased 27 percent.
- More than 410 million media impressions generated in 2000, doubling the 1999 results.
- META Group analysts appeared on CNBC and CNN 10 times in 2000.
- META Group now averages more than 150 media inquiries each month.
- Consistent coverage in the wires and New York Times raised META Group’s profile nationally.
- META Group analysts provide regular columns in publications such as InternetWeek and NetworkWorld as coverage in information technology trade continues to increase.