Newark element14, the North American brand of Premier Farnell, is a supplier of technology solutions for engineers, offering more than 500,000 electronic components, development kits and services across 42 countries. Home to the world’s largest online engineering community – element14.com – Newark element14 also offers purchasers, engineers and other technology enthusiasts the opportunity to connect with more than 750,000 registered peers and experts who provide a range of independent technical information, advice and helpful tools.
Widely considered the original catalog distributor, Newark element14 claims a more than 80-year history in the electronics distribution business and continues to invoke a sense of nostalgia among today’s engineering veterans. Over the course of that history, Newark element14 joined the Premier Farnell family as the North American brand of the business, and the industry expanded to include new players, giving Newark element14 a run for its money as far as customer loyalty, innovation and product offerings were concerned.
As a valuable source of not only technology products, but also information and experts, Newark element14 engaged Walker Sands to help establish and maintain top share of voice among target media relative to its competitors, regain and grow its reputation as a leader in the industry, and develop a unique brand identity in the U.S. while complementing the global one of its parent company.
Walker Sands developed a comprehensive PR program focused on showcasing Newark element14’s expertise, position at the forefront of the latest tools and solutions, and commitment to supporting engineers throughout the entire product lifecycle, from design and prototyping to product development and maintenance. The program featured a number of core elements, including:
Walker Sands also leveraged Newark element14’s existing sponsorship of element14’s The Ben Heck Show to reach their growing customer segment of DIYers and self-taught engineers. Walker Sands rebranded the relationship, promoting it and the show’s episodes more widely through media outreach, social promotion, speaking engagements such as TEDx and coordinating more direct engagement via Reddit’s Ask Me Anything (AMA) series.
In addition to the core program elements, Walker Sands also created customized share-of-voice reporting and metrics for Newark element14 to gauge holistic campaign success, including media coverage, sponsored content and advertising results.
As a result of Walker Sands’ diversified PR program, thought leadership interviews and contributed articles from Newark element14’s top wearable technology and IoT experts appeared in several major publications, including TIME, Forbes, The New York Times, Entrepreneur and The Huffington Post. This was complemented by an average of more than one placement each day, which helped generate 5.7 million impressions, 21k Twitter shares, 85k Facebook shares and 10k LinkedIn shares.
Newark element14’s new site generated 155 original pieces of content and an average of 13,500 unique visitors per month over the course of six months, helping to shed light on the impact of engineering all over the world. This was accompanied by social media activity that produced more than 35,000 likes and shares on Facebook, more than 600 content mentions and 700 uses of #ImAnEngineer.
Through consistent media outreach and social promotion Walker Sands was able to increase exposure to the community and element14’s The Ben Heck Show, raising total community membership by more than 430 percent while helping the show reach nearly 500,000 subscribers on YouTube along with more than 34 million video views. Product launches also proved to be an unquestionable success, as Newark element14 earned 84 placements in the month surrounding the launch of Raspberry Pi 2, resulting in a 67 percent increase in sales.
In terms of awards, Newark element14 enjoyed widespread recognition for its products and expertise. The company received a Distributor Innovation award at the ECN Impact Awards and was named Best Community Development at the Digital Impact Awards. Walker Sands also secured speaking engagements for Ben Heck at Engadget Expand and TEDxNavesink, in addition to Maker Faire and Pacific Design & Manufacturing.
Last but not least, Walker Sands’ SEO program was responsible for a significant improvement in Newark element14’s online visibility. The average Moz Page Authority increased by 2.6 points while Newark element14’s average URL rank rose by 1.31 points, making it easier for engineers and other technology enthusiasts to find Newark.com when searching online.
Overall, the partnership between Walker Sands and Newark element14 not only established the company as a leader in its industry, but it also contributed toward Newark element14’s successful acquisition by a large, well-known brand.