West Monroe Partners, a business and technology consulting firm, needed to elevate its national reputation. To accomplish this goal, Walker Sands developed a PR program composed of media relations, publication outreach, data-driven campaigns and more. Walker Sands’ efforts helped establish West Monroe Partners as a credible thought leader with over 100 media placements.
Read the full project overview
West Monroe Partners is a North American business and technology consulting firm focused on guiding organizations through fundamental business transformation. With more than 700 employees and 11 locations across the U.S., West Monroe Partners is a consultancy known for providing clients with a unique blend of approach, ability and attitude.
When West Monroe Partners engaged Walker Sands in 2013, the growing consulting firm needed to build brand awareness and credibility to elevate its national reputation and reach audiences in select local markets. With practice areas in financial services, private equity, insurance, healthcare, manufacturing and distribution, and retail, the firm wanted a partner who could harness its breadth of internal expertise and establish its people as thought leaders throughout these target sectors. But as a thriving organization, West Monroe Partners’ public relations objectives were anything but static. As the consultancy expanded and its business goals shifted, Walker Sands was tasked with evolving its media relations strategy accordingly – without losing sight of the client’s core messaging and ethos.
To generate media coverage that promoted West Monroe Partners as an industry expert, Walker Sands needed to gain an in-depth understanding of the company’s industry offerings, complex processes, emerging market trends and client pain points very quickly.
Walker Sands began with extensive competitive research of West Monroe Partners’ direct competitors. The assessment identified competitive PR messages and helped highlight key differentiators that would set the West Monroe Partners apart from these other consulting firms.
Since Walker Sands specializes in supporting technology and business-to-business clients, the team already had an understanding of the consulting industry and verticals West Monroe Partners operates in, significantly lowering the learning curve and ramp-up time.
Walker Sands crafted a strategic PR plan consisting of a mix of B2B media relations, trade publication outreach, data-driven campaigns and an executive pitching series that highlighted the top expert perspectives at West Monroe Partners. This included the creation of an exhaustive media list comprised of local market, trade and national business reporters.
The PR plan was based on several “Tips of the Spear” that included themes covering all of West Monroe Partners’ important industries such as private equity, mergers and acquisitions, and distribution and operations excellence.
Walker Sands’ use of the “Tip of the Spear” idea meant crafting stories at the intersection of West Monroe’s capabilities and focus industries. For example, discussing how retailers and distributors are using robotics to sort goods in a warehouse. After sharing the story idea with relevant reporters that reached West Monroe Partners’ target audience, Walker Sands arranged interviews with consultants and ghostwrote executive bylines on the topics.
Additionally, Walker Sands generated placements through pitch angles that showcased West Monroe’s corporate culture, company news, hiring and growth. This included an important acquisition announcement at the beginning of the year.
Since generating local coverage in Seattle, Columbus and New York City was also a top priority for the company, Walker Sands had to develop unique angles that appealed to these local audiences. To achieve this, Walker Sands conducted both primary and secondary research to understand the local economies, issues and pain points. One effective story angle for the Northwest region proved to be, “Are Northwest consumers harder to please?”
To reach target verticals such as banking, Walker Sands worked with West Monroe Partners on an original data-driven study that examined consumers’ online banking experiences. Known as the Customer Effort Score Study, the study analyzed the banking experience of consumers aged 49 to 67 – the largest customer segment for institutions assessed in the study – and found that these consumers were plagued by difficult help interfaces, unwieldy security challenges and generally unfriendly sites. The results were used to pitch the trade media and general business press.
West Monroe Partners’ PR program was wildly successful, effectively positioning the organization as a thought leader and subject matter expert in key practice areas. This included significant national press coverage as well as media placements in every one of West Monroe’s target local publications.
The PR program vastly exceeded expectations by generating nearly 50 contributed articles, more than 40 interviews with key journalists and more than 100 media placements. This resulted in more than 96 million unique media impressions and 30 of West Monroe Partners’ executives quoted or represented in the media.
Additionally, Walker Sands conducted extensive pre-interview media training sessions and created talking point memos. The team completed an in-depth competitive analysis of five different consulting firms, provided editorial support for six white papers and more than 20 contributed bylines, and designed and placed an infographic about resharing trends.
For West Monroe Partners, PR plays a significant role in the company’s growth and marketing efforts. Supported by a team at Walker Sands specializing in professional services and technology companies, West Monroe Partners will continue its robust PR program moving forward this year and beyond.