Global webcast spreads Unify's new brand message

Software and services provider Siemens Enterprise Communications prepared for the global launch of its new company name and vision.

Client: Unify (Reston, VA)
Agency:
Eastwick (San Francisco)
Campaign:
The road to Unify
Duration:
August 19 – October 2013
Budget:
$200,000 (for earned media and social during the time frame)

Bill Wohl, founder and president of Wohl Communications, has been serving as defacto head of communications for communications software and services provider Siemens Enterprise Communications since 2012.

Wohl helped select Eastwick in August 2013 to lead content and messaging strategy and earned and social media efforts for the company's October 15 global relaunch as Unify.

“We're a top player in all of the markets in which we operate, but [our old name] didn't allow us to easily and clearly be perceived as delivering telecoms innovation,” says Torsten Raak, Unify's SVP of corporate marketing. “[The name] Unify perfectly describes what we do and who we are – we enhance team performance by unifying multiple networks, devices, and apps into one easy-to-use platform.”

Strategy
The new company name and vision was officially revealed October 15 during a webcast of live events in Munich and New York City. Leading up to it, the team engaged influencers and positioned the company as a thought leader through paid, earned, shared, and owned channels.

“The new brand and the ‘new way to work' [concept that it supports] is very much online and social,” Wohl says. “We needed physical events for audiences including employees, and webcasting it allowed us to reach a very broad audience around the world.” 

Tactics
Freshly created content included infographics, blog posts, customer testimonials, and videos covering the new corporate vision and a new collaboration-as-a-service product called Project Ansible, which Raak says is “inseparable from the rebrand and new vision.”

Most of the content was pushed out beginning October 15 during the webcast and on Unify's new website and new Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages.

To help build buzz, some of the content was released through paid and earned media efforts beginning October 1.

Traditional media and blogs targeted throughout the campaign included global business, trade, and tech outlets, as well as local outlets in the US, the UK, Germany, and Brazil.  

About 1,000 employees and senior leaders attended the reveal event in Munich.

The New York City event and more than three dozen other employee sites around the world were linked via satellite so the webcast, which Wohl says was similar to a 90-minute live TV program, was presented as one event.

Chris Hummel, who resigned as Unify's chief commercial officer in mid-November, led the New York portion.

Reporters attended virtually and in person in Munich and New York.  

Analysts and thought leaders in the telecoms, Millennial, and “future-of-work” areas participated in a live panel discussion during the webcast.

“Bringing influencers into the conversation helped us reach current customers and new audiences,” explains Heather Kernahan, GM and EVP at Eastwick. “[They] brought enormous value to the conversation in the live broadcast and helped spread the message through their well-established social channels before and after the event.”

A tweetchat with 16 analysts followed the webcast.

Results
Raak says the webcast was well attended, but actual attendance is unknown because numerous people watched together at various sites. 

“There were about 35,000 technical connections made to a video hub that people wouldn't have known about unless they were watching the webcast,” Raak adds. 

During the webcast, Wohl says Unify was the number one global trending topic twice on Twitter.

The campaign drove 36.8 million overall Twitter impressions, up from a previous monthly average of 2 million.

October Facebook post impressions topped 25.7 million, up from 109,899 in September, while LinkedIn post impressions were up from 68,990 in September to 135,200 in October. 

Website visits also skyrocketed to 255,000 in October, up from an average of about 180,000 monthly visits prior to the relaunch.

One hundred eleven earned stories ran in outlets including, Bloomberg, BtoB, CRN, and the Wall Street Journal.

Future
Eastwick has been named AOR for corporate communications. Plans include promoting the brand at worldwide trade events this spring.

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