Although the German company launched the global “Answers” campaign in 2007, Siemens is applying the same messaging in this effort, which launched September 15, said Jim Whaley, VP of communications and marketing for the company.
Whaley said he could not disclose budget but noted that the campaign is the company's largest marketing campaign in the US ever.
“The company has restructured itself in a way the last couple years that really puts us at a competitive advantage to provide solutions to the nation's toughest problems,” he said. “Now is the perfect timing for Siemens to tell its story in an amplified manner.”
Long-time AOR Weber Shandwick is providing PR support, said Jennifer Risi, EVP of the global strategic media group for the firm.
“We're trying to really educate businesses and consumers alike what Siemens role is and what they're doing, really taking all of the experience they have internationally and bringing it to the United States,” she added.
The PR component of the ongoing, integrated campaign includes traditional media relations at the national and local level, online and social media outreach, and high-level speaking opportunities for its executives.
Because Siemens has business interests in certain US regions, it plans to develop media relations programs specific to areas like Chicago, Los Angeles, Texas, Florida, and Pittsburgh, as well as policymakers in Washington.
“All of those things help tell the story and help position Siemens so it's more part of the common knowledge in the US,” said Whaley.
The company also seeks to stress its current role in the US economy – it employs 69,000 people in the US and has a presence in each of the 50 states – despite its German parent, said Bill Stabile, senior director of brand and marketing communications for Siemens.
He noted that Siemens wanted to ensure that the company's voice was heard on topics that the company has expertise in, like electronic medical records, public transportation, and sustainable building,
“Despite the recession, the competitive environment has gotten tougher,” he said. “The competitors that we know and peer companies have been very, very aggressive.”
The company plans to launch smaller PR campaigns around US executives who will begin to speak out as experts about issues relating to healthcare reform, infrastructure, and energy, said Whaley.
“It's a very smart business decision to have this global campaign with the very big emphasis on the US,” said Risi, “because right now the US is really leading the charge of what needs to be done to improve infrastructure, not only here but globally.”