Manufacturing consultancy turns to Financial Times to build international profile

Advanced Technology Services wanted to raise its profile in the national and international tier-one business press read by decision-makers at manufacturing companies.

Name: Alice Robbins, AE, SS/PR (Chicago)
Placement: Financial Times, September 9, 2011
Timeline: Two weeks

Who is your client and what are its media goals?
Advanced Technology Services (ATS) is a manufacturing consulting services firm that makes factories run better. Its clients include high-profile entities such as Caterpillar, BorgWarner, and Honeywell. They turned to us to raise their profile in the national and international tier-one business press read by decision-makers at manufacturing companies.

What made the Financial Times such a good target for this campaign and how did you pitch reporter Hal Weitzman?
The Financial Times is well read by executives on both sides of the Atlantic, which made it an ideal target. ATS has been looking to grow its business in both Europe and the US, while manufacturers on both continents face similar challenges.

Our agency had worked with Weitzman in the past, so we offered him an exclusive on a new survey done by Nielsen on behalf of ATS on the aging manufacturing workforce and the skill gap companies will come across as those Baby Boomer workers begin to retire.

Was the Nielsen survey on its own enough of a hook? What other information, including background on the company and art, did you provide to clinch the placement?
What really strengthened our position was our ability to position this as a Labor Day-themed story. Jeff Owens, CEO of ATS, is very comfortable with the media, but we did sit-down and briefed him on some key message points before he was interviewed by Weitzman.

We didn't have to come up with any art to run with the story, but we did provide Weitzman with additional background on the company, along with the full results from the survey.

What was the hit's impact?
The piece ran in both the print and online versions of the FT and subsequently triggered additional media interest. Crain's Cleveland Business did a piece and Weitzman was interviewed on Chicago's NPR affiliate, WBEZ, about the results and their potential impact on the US manufacturing sector. ATS also reported a boost in online traffic to their website following the FT piece.

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