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Case Study – THE PRODUCTIVITY GAP – Winner of Cannes PR Lions 2009

Posted by prnext on September 6, 2009


The Campaign

The ‘enterprise and government’ arm of Australia’s largest telecommunications provider, Telstra, needed a platform to promote information and communication technology (ICT) products and services to finance and information executives at Australian organisations.

Understanding that the key benefit of Telstra’s ICT market offering is enabling companies to work smarter with fewer resources, a ‘productivity’ communication platform was devised. To enable this, an independent white paper investigating technology and business productivity was commissioned along with a survey which discovered 78 per cent of Australian organisations say improving productivity is a high priority, but only half have any systems in place to measure improvements or set targets.

This finding was called the ‘productivity gap’ and provided Telstra with a versatile and thoroughly considered leadership platform. Teamed with Telstra’s Chief Economist and third party case studies, content was created for outreach to traditional and social media, employees, existing and potential customers.

Blanket media coverage was achieved in targeted business and technology media thanks to a strategic use of pre-briefing interviews and embargoed media materials. Telstra took public ownership of the concept, with ‘productivity gap’ becoming media vernacular during the first news cycle. Almost 75% of the annual coverage target was achieved in just four weeks.

Client Brief:

The goal of the campaign was to position Telstra Enterprise & Government as leaders in the productivity space and take ownership of the thought leadership platform. Competitor research showed no telecommunications brand was synonymous with ‘productivity’ in the Australian media landscape, despite the fact it was the main business benefit of ICT investment. Criteria for success was based not only on generating quality editorial coverage in business and technology media, but also developing a platform that was dynamic enough to be used for internal communications, contact with existing customers and strengthening the sales pitch for potential customers.


The key performance indicator was 50 pieces of strategic coverage in 2009. More than 75% of the annual target was achieved in the first month, with the campaign still rolling out. To maximise effectiveness, each story needed to meet the following: – Positive or neutral tone; – Appear in pre-agreed media targets and meet size requirements; – Include campaign messaging.

Coverage highlights included a full page in the Australian Financial Review and coverage in The Australian, major metropolitan dailies, industry websites, was picked up by influential personalities and appeared on business radio and television. A leading commentator wrote an opinion piece in a national broadsheet reporting the spokesperson, “…was everywhere. He was on television, in the papers and the trade rags, promoting new research…” Telstra’s ‘productivity gap’ became part of business and technology media parlance and the messaging was adapted seamlessly for internal communications, existing customer communication and sales tools.


There were five phases of the national campaign.

1. Two pieces of INDEPENDENT RESEARCH were commissioned in October 2008: ‘The Telstra Productivity Indicator: A Report on business attitudes towards improving productivity in Australia’ and a white paper titled ‘ICT as a driver of productivity’.

2. EMBARGOED MEDIA INTERVIEWS accommodated the busy schedules of both Telstra executives and key journalists. This tactic ensured the availability of spokespeople and media to undertake in-depth interviews and achieve cut through in a busy media landscape.

3. Once the embargo passed, a GENERAL NEWS RELEASE was distributed to all media and a TAILORED BYLINE ARTICLE was placed with industry specific publications.

4. A series of SPEAKING OPPORTUNITIES were coordinated for key Telstra executives to share more insights.

5. The research was launched on Telstra’s INTRANET for employees and the SALES TEAMS were furnished with new tools embracing the productivity theme. The campaign ran to plan.


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