Like most highly-specialised experts, Panton McLeod faced a major challenge to make a splash with its niche services.
The respected water quality engineering company supports the UK drinking water industry by inspecting, cleaning and maintaining drinking water structures, including supply pipelines, water treatment works and service reservoirs, which are virtually unknown among the public they serve.
The drinking water sector is more heavily regulated than the nuclear power industry, so professional reputation is vital to the specialist firms which have access to the public supply.
In a sector often seen as uninteresting and heavy with technical jargon, it is incredibly difficult to cut through with mainstream audiences.
When Panton McLeod approached Holyrood PR in 2004 it was a last throw of the dice, having worked previously with two other PR agencies which failed to achieve any media coverage.
The target was to raise the profile of the company among a very niche audience – professionals in the drinking water sector who commission cleaning, inspection and maintenance services.
While it was clear that earning coverage in the specialist drinking water media would be crucial, it was also agreed that reputationally-sensitive water companies were responsive to positive coverage in the regional and national media.
From a standing start it was agreed to begin an immediate profile-raising in trade media – while also trying for the ‘Holy Grail’, by achieving positive coverage in the general media, widely seen as indifferent to water utility stories.
And we also agreed to do everything we could to raise the profile of Panton McLeod’s credentials in other sectors, where water quality – particularly in water cooling towers – is important.
What we did
Instead of focusing on Panton McLeod’s cleaning products and services, we differentiated the company by catching the public imagination.
We launched a “mission to inform” about the nationwide network of water tanks hidden underground – including some the size of cathedrals.
We focused on the remotely controlled robots which allowed Panton McLeod to clean drinking water structures without switching off supplies to homes and businesses.
And we pointed out how one of the robots – the only one if its kind in the UK – resembled popular Disney-Pixar character Wall.E.
This refreshing approach yielded extensive coverage, creating a platform for other stories, including contract wins, emergency jobs, fresh water mussel infestations, and profiles of key staff.
Coverage helped Panton McLeod to diversify into new sectors, generating business leads from the nuclear, petrochemical and food processing sectors.
Panton McLeod’s executive team credited positive media coverage as a vital element in its growth with water companies across the UK.
Results we delivered
What we did
Holyrood PR showed an early, superb grasp of our business and with excellent communication skills, then explained it to a much larger audience then we could have hoped for.
That has helped hugely in bringing our clients in to us, generating new business, expanding us into new markets and helping everyone in the business feel much more positive.
They are highly flexible, adaptive and personable and I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending their services.