Prudential helps redefine retirement

Dawn Kelly, VP and account team leader for global communications at Prudential, explains that the economy severely impacted 401(k) retirement plans and prompted Prudential Retirement to create a new model to help ensure retirement security.

Company: Prudential Retirement (Hartford, CT)
Campaign: “Redefining Retirement”
Duration: Oct. 17 – ongoing
Budget: $73,717

Dawn Kelly, VP and account team leader for global communications at Prudential, explains that the economy severely impacted 401(k) retirement plans and prompted Prudential Retirement to create a new model to help ensure retirement security. Her in-house team launched the “Redefining Retirement” campaign on October 17 to promote the company's thought leadership, as well as detail the new model's products and services. 

“Prudential Retirement wants to be the leader in transforming the US retirement system,” Kelly says. “Retirement plans weren't set up to withstand the market volatility [of the last few years]. We redefined the approach.” 

Strategy
The team positioned Prudential Retirement as a thought leader to analysts, government leaders, and media. It also leveraged a white paper “Redefining Defined Contribution Plans to Enhance Retirement Security” to helpraise awareness of products and services. Prudential.com houses educational materials for all audiences, including financial advisors, plan sponsors and participants, and potential clients. The team also communicated the new model information to internal audiences.

Tactics
The launch coincided with “National Save for Retirement Week” (October 18-24), when senior company leaders discussed issues and solutions with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Company executives and product specialists briefed financial analysts on a conference call. The team reached out to personal finance outlets, retirement and HR trades, national dailies, and consumer outlets. In-house retirement specialists conducted an RMT on October 22. 

The company created a “Redefining Retirement” page on Prudential.com to house the white paper, additional information, and tools, such as a retirement calculator.

In addition, it added materials such as radio interviews and video podcasts with executives to the insurer's online newsroom.

Kelly and Josh Stoffregen, manager of global communications, also spread the word on their personal LinkedIn pages, and Stoffregen tweeted information from his personal Twitter account.

The team informed Prudential employees through a number of vehicles, including a daily electronic newspaper.

Results
Kelly reports that various PR efforts, including this campaign, contributed to an overall Prudential Retirement earnings increase of about $33 million year over year (2008-2009).

To date, the white paper downloads total 2,391. Kelly says that's an increase of more than 30% over downloads of a September Prudential white paper (“Managing Retirement benefits Amid Capital Market Disruption”). The “Redefining Retirement” landing page has gotten more than 7,400 visits since October.

Media impressions exceed 721,000 in outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, and Fox Business News.

Collectively, Kelly and Stoffregen reached nearly 500 people on LinkedIn.

Future
Kelly expects the campaign to continue through 2010. The team will also promote a retirement plan product for small businesses this year.

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