The “green” company that came up gold (Moloka‘i)
A seven-person consulting company headquartered on Moloka‘i is one of the nation’s top firms in the “green” field. However, it had not received much recognition even though “going green” is a red-hot topic. How to get this small company’s story out to a larger audience was the challenge the company brought to CommPac.
CommPac researched the company and its core services and held strategy meetings with the company’s CEO to determine his goals and objectives. CommPac then developed an aggressively proactive, yet economical, media campaign. The CEO was also introduced to editors, producers and reporters in meet-and-greet situations to position him as a “good quote,” someone they could turn to as a third-party expert when writing “green” stories. CommPac meticulously documented the company’s story and presented it to the state government as an example of a leading local innovator.
The aggressive media plan led to the company being featured in local television news programming, both in live interview situations and news packages specifically produced for themed segments. Industry publications also started seeking out the CEO for quotes on sustainability issues in which the company was not involved. The company was honored with the Governor’s Innovation Award in July 2008 for, as then- Gov. Linda Lingle put it, its “ingenuity and commitment to developing creative ways to improve Hawai‘i and help the state meet the challenges of the 21st century.”
Positioning a builder (O‘ahu)
A leading national, mainland-based construction company has a strong reputation going back more than 120 years, including more than a quarter century in Hawai‘i. Much of its traditional work in the Islands has been big infrastructure projects, like highways, which has led to it being branded as a “civil construction company.” Yet for more than a decade, the company has also been involved in Hawai‘i’s “vertical construction” industry, working on commercial projects, e.g., hotels, hospitals and shopping centers.
Civil construction is generally seen as a “low-bid” industry, while commercial construction tends to be more relationship-driven. So in 2005, the company created a subsidiary to be positioned as a “vertical construction” unit of its parent, distinguishing the Hawai‘i commercial-building operations from the “civil construction” brand.
CommPac was asked to position the subsidiary as a locally focused, commercial builder while still leveraging the equity of its traditional reputation, both as a national industry leader and as a firm that has helped “build Hawai‘i” for over 25 years.
CommPac planned and implemented a media relations and executive positioning program that built awareness of the subsidiary as a leader in vertical construction in Hawai‘i, informed target audiences about the company, and demonstrated its community involvement.
The plan included the following:
- Key message development and message training for spokespeople.
- Relationship building with reporters.
- Media pitches on company news/events, employee features and industry trends and issues, including “exclusive” feature story ideas.
- Leveraging charitable giving and community involvement, when appropriate, for media opportunities.
- Positioning company executives as subject matter experts who are responsive to media inquiries.
- Collaborating with partners to promote construction projects.
- Speaking engagements with business groups.
- Facilitating placement of company executives on appropriate volunteer boards so as to expand relationships with business leaders around the state.
A number of highly visible stories were placed in the media, conveying the company’s key messages. The company also achieved greater visibility in the Hawai‘i marketplace through strategic charitable giving, its executives’ involvement on well-known charitable boards and their addressing key business groups.