PR today: case study at Bosch
People at the office still love to have a giggle about my charging pole event at Bosch. Having said that, it is a lovely example of how PR can be approached differently and more broadly. Bosch gives high priority to e-mobility, which explains why a charging point was installed at the end of August 2014 at the Bosch premises of Robert Bosch N.V. in Anderlecht.
They timidly asked the question whether or not we “could do something with it in the press”. “Yes, if we take it a step further and not only target journalists,” was my answer. And so we turned it into a PR event, welcoming not only journalists but also stakeholders (mobility organisations, academics and federations). And the leading role was given to the local mobility councillor, who was allowed to cut the ribbon.
The initial reaction to my proposal was one of scepticism: who on earth will come to the ceremonial opening of a charging pole? However, we made sure that this was surrounded by some good strong content and the aspect of networking and knowledge sharing was emphasized. To everyone’s amazement no less than 30 guests turned up on a rainy morning in August, including a number of journalists. Yet, even more importantly for Bosch, good contact was made beforehand and afterwards with the municipality of Anderlecht and many new people involved in mobility societies and federations. The fact that a few nice articles were published later on was just a bonus. We were even more delighted with the interaction on Bosch’s then newly launched Belgian LinkedIn page. A few months later we also published an interview on the Bosch website with one of the participants at the event, within the context of the PESO mix.
It also inspired us (Bosch and Outsource) to take a new look at things. Each year we are given the instruction to organise a press event. News or no news. Last year it was added that we should ‘make contact with bloggers and new online media’. Our solution: a ‘connected lunch’. We invited the IT press and bloggers in an informal atmosphere to find out about Bosch’s extensive (IT) knowledge. This did not immediately lead to lots of articles. However, now they know that Bosch is also involved with connected cars, smart homes and Industry 4.0., we see many more mentions appear. For example, during CES Las Vegas, where Bosch took part once again.
It’s a different story when it comes to electric tools at Bosch Power Tools. Here the emphasis lies on products and lifestyle. We are therefore often contacted to donate ‘prizes’ for competitions or to take part in odd job or DIY events. However, this was no way to achieve Germany’s objectives of promoting step-by-step plans in DIY. So we also took a look at how we could approach this more creatively. This is why for every media deal or event, we try to apply the entire PESO mix. A competition or event is not enough on its own, so we wish to achieve our goals using various channels.
That’s how we ended up at the Libelle Winter Fair at the end of November. There was a pleasant atmosphere at our booth: the emphasis was not on the tools, but on the fun things that you can make with them. Our workshop “make your own wooden Christmas tree ” was also a great success (although that might just be down to the handsome handymen). Anyhow, we achieved our objective: to teach women about electrical tools in a fun way. The inspiring book that we made for the occasion was sent later on – as inspiration – to both journalists and bloggers. And this was inspiration enough for the blogger Curly Red to roll up her sleeves. The result is this lovely blog!