HighGround, a talent solutions platform, needed a stronger PR program to increase brand awareness and target prospective enterprise buyers. Walker Sands developed a content-driven strategy that leveraged expertise and industry knowledge to produce compelling thought leadership pieces. This marketing strategy quickly gained media traction and landed HighGround hundreds of placements and millions of social shares, yielding 1.795 billion impressions overall.
Read the full project overview
HighGround offers a talent solutions platform that empowers managers to make coaching, feedback and recognition easy, encourages employees to highlight achievements and share opinions, and highlights real-time data about organizational health.
With a mission to help businesses produce their best work and celebrate successes, HighGround’s product led to rapid growth of the company and a transition from serving mid-size brands to enterprise-level businesses. The brand realized an increasing need for a robust marketing strategy with integrated public relations, brand awareness strategies and lead generation efforts.
HighGround reached out to Walker Sands to strengthen a budding marketing program and further its digital strategies. On the PR side, HighGround sought to generate buzz in top-tier and trade journals while also targeting prospective enterprise buyers, including vice presidents of HR, talent and training. While HighGround’s PR presence grew at a relatively successful rate, its PR firm at the time was not delivering the results it needed to gain the most meaningful media coverage.
At the same time, HighGround’s leadership realized that to keep pace with competitors, they needed to focus their digital strategy. To do this, they needed a digital marketing approach that worked in tandem with PR and content efforts.
Additionally, the notoriously crowded HR space makes it difficult for brands to stand out. HighGround needed a PR team that truly understood the ins and outs of the space to craft a strategy that elevated its messaging above the rest.
As Anna Burke, HighGround’s vice president of marketing, explained, her company was looking for an agency with expertise in HR tech that seamlessly merged PR and digital. That’s where she and her team found Walker Sands.
The Walker Sands team began the engagement by reviewing high-level goals. HighGround identified a lack of awareness as its biggest pain point. Despite its highly successful platform built upon deep industry knowledge, HighGround was having difficulty communicating that expertise to its intended audience.
Based on an analysis of HighGround’s key concerns, Walker Sands began to develop a strategy geared toward landing key placements in the business press.
Where many PR agencies need time to familiarize themselves with a space like HR tech, Walker Sands knows the industry far beyond surface-level trends and concerns. This knowledge positioned the team to dive deeper into HighGround’s unique offerings. By tying the platform itself more firmly into pitchable messaging, the team secured timely top-tier placements in publications including The Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review.
In addition to top-tier media placements, the HighGround PR team also tapped into Walker Sands’ internal content department to produce thought leadership pieces that quickly gained media traction. The team created a successful data study on the state of performance management as well as a downloadable tip sheet that generated real leads for HighGround.
Notably, Walker Sands leveraged the combined talent of HighGround thought leaders and the agency’s own industry experts to gain results driven largely by expertise, not data alone. Walker Sands drew from the experiences and insights of HighGround’s forward-thinking leaders to create compelling content that genuinely informed audiences.
As Burke explained, one of the biggest reasons the program succeeded is that it never felt like a vendor/client exchange, and instead “felt as if Walker Sands was part of the team.”
- Total placements: 230
- Top-tier placements: 50
- Impressions: 1.795 billion
- Social shares: 45,000 Facebook / 44,000 LinkedIn
- Total downloads: 403
- Revenue: $406,800 in pipeline opportunities just from paid Linkedin since November 2017
Data Report: “Beyond the Annual Performance Review”
- Revenue: $2,400 in LinkedIn spend and $65,000 in pipeline opportunities