Best thought leadership campaign: Kite Hill PR showcases source expertise for award-winning work

by | Nov 25, 2019 | Public Relations

Goodway Group was flying under the radar as a leading company in the digital advertising industry, and as they endeavored to be seen as experts on all things programmatic but got little results after previously working with a generalist PR agency, the brand began working with tech and advertising specialist firm Kite Hill PR in 2016.

Kite Hill PR As part of a new brand-awareness campaign, Goodway turned to Kite Hill to step in as an extended partner of their team, and to position President Jay Friedman as a thought leader, and Goodway as industry experts taking charge in the marketplace.

The campaign team ultimately met and exceeded its initial goals by targeting top-tier outlets such as Adweek and Digiday, and securing more than 100 placements. More importantly, Kite Hill secured editorial opportunities that promoted the company as a high-level leader with key initiatives such as enhancing Goodway’s award wins, with achievements including securing the top honor for The Drum’s Digital Trading Awards.

Read on to see how Kite Hill PR executed this brand-boosting campaign, and why the firm was chosen as a Gold Award winner in the “Best Thought Leadership Campaign” category in Bulldog Reporter’s 2019 PR Awards.

Campaign Strategy

Kite Hill developed a program that centered on newsjacking and industry commentary to not only introduce Friedman and Goodway Group to the media, but encourage a steady flow of coverage. Rather than make a one-time splash, Goodway was seeking a strategic and insightful PR program that resulted in a constant “hum” of media hits.

Kite Hill laid the groundwork and introduced the company to the media, highlighting the unique viewpoints that Friedman could speak to specifically, and how such topics would resonate with each outlet’s key audiences.

Tiffany Guarnaccia

Tiffany Guarnaccia

“The Kite Hill team found a strength in Jay Friedman’s ability to break down complicated digital marketing topics in interviews,” says Tiffany Guarnaccia, Founder and CEO of Kite Hill PR. “Honing in on this ability, the team scheduled one-on-one meetings with key industry reporters and consistent bylines authored by Friedman to gain more consistent coverage. Through utilizing his ability to communicate easily to a wide audience and also be relatable, Jay has earned Goodway Group significant recognition within the tech industry.”

By offering Friedman as a resource to beat reporters covering the industry, booking him one-on-one meetings and having him contribute regularly to key trade publications such as Ad Age and AdExchanger, his profile with the media was masterfully built, and within a few months’ time, industry press began coming to him for commentary for their stories.

Implementation & Execution

Through Kite Hill’s strategic approach to communications and proactive outreach, the team was able to not only create brand awareness, but also establish Friedman as an industry thought leader, forging the way for other professionals.

As Kite Hill began to share his expertise and insights with a few key media outlets, the industry took notice. Through a combination of Kite Hill’s strategic approach with Friedman’s unique expertise, the team was able to successfully execute and build up his professional profile alongside the company’s reputation. Friedman was able to establish face-to-face relationships as well, which is becoming a rarity in today’s digitally-connected world.

Goodway GroupThe team strategized the best way to reach out to industry reporters to gauge their interest to engage with Friedman, which can be challenging for a company with no previous brand awareness. After securing a few opportunities in reputable outlets, the team was able to build on his expertise to secure even more opportunities. The biggest challenge was establishing both the company and Friedman’s reputation from the ground up. Just a few years later, reporters now seek his thoughts and opinions on industry trends before reporting on it.

The Results

“Kite Hill’s work has significantly increased Goodway’s brand awareness and industry recognition, while also solidifying Jay as a sought-after industry executive for insights on all things adtech,” Guarnaccia relates.

Since Kite Hill and Goodway originally partnered in April 2016, Kite Hill has worked to generate nearly 500 pieces of media coverage, including features on company announcements and initiatives, in addition to bylines, Q&As, and expert commentary from executives, to name a few. Kite Hill’s work has significantly increased the company’s brand awareness and industry recognition, while also solidifying Friedman into a sought-after industry executive for insights on all things adtech. Key publications, including Ad Age, The Drum, Digiday, eMarketer and more, all turn to him for his expertise.

One important development in the campaign was to generate awareness beyond the adtech community to the broader advertising and marketing sectors. Kite Hill accomplished this in 2018 by working with Goodway on messaging and positioning to the broader market and securing coverage in publications like AdExchanger, Business Insider, Digiday, eMarketer and The Drum on topics uncovering the issues that marketers are the most concerned with.

To further this goal, Kite Hill opened the door to publications outside the adtech space, particularly Business Insider. Friedman keeps active on Twitter, connecting to a wider audience and keeping the conversation current and flowing in real-time. Through expert pieces, Goodway has been kept at the forefront of the field. Kite Hill’s ambitious media initiatives have produced positive business results for Goodway, allowing them to lead the conversation in adtech and beyond, while also bolstering overall sales.

Creativity & Innovation

As strategic partners to Friedman and the entire Goodway team, Kite Hill has encouraged him to use his authentic voice. Friedman has taken this advice to heart, and always expresses raw and genuine insights. He is not afraid to shed light on less favorable topics, such as what is holding back adtech overall, or what he believes is next in the industry and how it will impact the greater ecosystem.

“When Goodway initially partnered with us, Jay was eager to gain exposure in the industry and increase overall brand awareness while also promoting himself as a thought leader,” Guarnaccia explains. “The biggest challenge faced by the team was gaining recognition for Goodway in a crowded marketplace. Jay’s strong views and eloquence was instrumental in catapulting the brand. To date, Kite Hill’s efforts have earned Goodway nearly 500 pieces of coverage in both industry and business press.”

While he’s at the forefront of breaking trends, he does not hesitate to share his thoughts on the future, and how professionals should prepare. While some market leaders are a bit more reserved, Kite Hill encourages Friedman and Goodway to embrace their opinions and share them in a professional, uplifting way.

Kite Hill’s approach to thought leadership with Goodway has sparked innovation throughout the company, which has had a trickle-down impact to many team members. His insights have also encouraged other professionals that follow his thought leadership pieces.

“We love working with Kite Hill because they understand our business, our objectives and our industry. It’s fast-paced, and Kite Hill has changed course in step with us. The team is also very results-oriented and has a keen ability to identify trends, which has been a big contributing factor to our successful thought leadership program,” said Friedman.

Secrets of Success

Guarnaccia offers some terrific tips and insights that can help you with your next brand awareness or thought leader campaign—demonstrating why Kite Hill PR was a Gold winner in Bulldog’s 2019 PR Awards:

  • The value of authenticity and opinion: “One key PR lesson we have learned from working with Goodway Group is the value of authenticity and opinion. It’s something we hear from editors all the time. They’re looking for unique POV’s on timely topics. When you work closely with a spokesperson who has an authentic voice and a strong opinion, the PR impact is powerful.”
  • The impact of newsjacking: “Coupled with a strong POV, staying on top of developing industry news and offering commentary is an important element of a successful thought leadership program.”
  • The importance of availability and accessibility: “Another key element to a successful thought leadership program is availability. Reporters are always on deadline and value sources who make themselves available for commentary on short notice.”

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter