For companies in business for more than 15 years, taking the leap to using PR and social media isn’t always an easy transition. Established companies often find it difficult to use PR and social media because they've never done it that way before, so they don't know where to start. Often they believe they already have a following, so they don’t see a need to create those social media platforms.
When new leadership joined Service America, an A/C and water heater sales, repair and home service plan company, they recognized the need for the company be a thought leader in the industry. They wanted Service America to be relatable to customers, to maintain a presence on social media and to uphold the standard of service the company had provided its customers for more than 40 years.
Headquartered in South Florida, Service America sought to expand with a PR partner that had relationships throughout Florida as well as national contacts. The company also sought reputation management and crisis services from its new PR agency of record.
Axia Public Relations recognized that having an exceptional PR outreach campaign that positioned the CEO and its executives as thought leaders was important. Axia felt it equally important to launch a social media campaign and manage Service America’s customer reviews, which were often negative.
Upon being hired, Axia immediately began the work of responding to customers’ online feedback, both positive and negative.
With new regulations in the A/C and water heater industries, Axia opted to position Service America as a thought leader through bylined articles and interviews on the new regulations. Axia also recognized the opportunity to seasonally pitch stories about caring for and repairing A/C units and other home appliances.
The PR firm quickly sought to create a blog featuring tips and acting as a resource for consumers on topics such as cleaning your dishwasher and maintaining air conditioning services as well as other appliances. Axia knew that the creation of the blog would help drive traffic to Service America’s website and position the company as a thought leader.
Axia also saw an opportunity to provide Service America with a customer review management tool through Axia’s ReviewMaxer software, which assisted Service America in capturing its online reviews, both negative and positive.
To position the company and its executives as thought leaders in the local community and industry, Axia reached out to its contacts at outlets like the American City Business Journals, Miami Herald, South Florida Business Journal, Sun Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel, South Florida Cooperator and CraveLocal.
On a national level, Axia reached out to its contacts at publications like IE3 (Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency), Build with Propane, Real Simple and Univision.
Through their contacts, Axia positioned Service America’s CEO as a thought leader in the industry. He became a bizjournal.com expert columnist with columns publishing across the U.S. and in 41 cities where the America City Business Journals operate local business journals nationwide.
Axia’s relationships with reporters and its ability to secure multiple bylined articles for Service America lead to more than 155 articles within the first six months of the PR campaign. According to Nasdaq Media Intelligence, the coverage reached approximately 25.9 million consumers, valued at $1.2 million in publicity.
Axia also gained earned media coverage for the company by highlighting their corporate social responsibility initiatives, especially in the area where the company was headquartered. The earned media coverage showed prospective customers that the company was dedicated to the community, and making it better.
Axia also developed a first-class blog that covered home appliances, maintenance and other home questions. Axia updated the blog frequently with at least two blog posts published each week.
When Axia started working with Service America, the company only had profiles on LinkedIn and Google+, both of which weren’t frequently updated. Axia designed and created a social media campaign to give the company a presence on the most popular social media channels. Axia optimized each platform for search engines with target keywords.
Social media channels enabled the company to respond to reviews in real time and to publicly display its commitment to customer service, which has improved public perception of the company.
Axia’s social media campaign took the company from absolutely no presence on Facebook and Twitter to more than 70 likes and more than 150 followers respectively. Within six months, the company saw an increase of followers on LinkedIn of 50 percent and Google+ followers more than doubled. During the campaign, the company’s Google+ account had more than 18,000 views in 30 days.