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Experian awareness raising PR campaign

Experian awareness raising PR campaign

Best practice from Hotwire PR.


Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 65 countries.  The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index.  Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2009 was $3.9 billion.  Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; Costa Mesa, California; and São Paulo, Brazil.


The company was keen to grow its retail consultancy offering in the UK and asked Hotwire to support this goal by raising awareness amongst UK retailers, property developers, analysts and investors. 

Research revealed that while not completely unknown, most national business journalists had very low awareness of the scope of retail consultancy offered by Experian and many associated Experian instead with credit services.  Experian needed to increase its share of voice compared to several fairly vocal competing retail consultancies and opinionated industry bodies.

The journalists needed to see the value of speaking with or quoting Experian when reporting on the UK retail market.  Offering something different and newsworthy was critical if Experian was to stand out from competitors and become a 'go-to' organisation.


Previously, Experian’s various retail client-facing businesses put out their own separate communications.  But to really stand out Hotwire worked with Experian’s Bruno Rost to devise a PR campaign that leveraged all Experian’s retail insight capability into a series of coordinated communications that provided the UK media with a clear 360 degree view on the state of UK retailing, both on and off-line.

The campaign included three main tactics:

Monthly retail insight reports.  These provided national, broadcast and trade media with the latest stats and trends in retail accompanied by expert analysis and economic comment.

Christmas retail insight.  The run-up to Christmas and the Boxing Day sales is the busiest time for retail, so during December Hotwire issued daily retail insight updates and analysis so that key media could track how the sector was performing.

Issues jumping.  The team monitored the news every day and provided media with rapid comment and opinion on the latest hot topics impacting retail – from the Olympics to eco-towns.


Expert spokespeople were identified and made available to media, and because the communications were frequent and regular, Experian quickly became a ‘go to’ source for information and commentary.  The insight reports became a regular feature in many of the trade and national targets while the broader economic issues jumps generated significant thought leadership opportunities.


The 12 month campaign successfully resulted in shifting journalist perceptions and saw Experian being quoted far more frequently as a retail consultancy than its competitors.

At the peak of the campaign in December more than 400 pieces of national and broadcast coverage were achieved – equivalent to six per day!

Over the whole year the campaign brought in 836 coverage items including multiple interviews with all major national newspapers and broadcasters as well as titles such as The Economist and even the GMTV couch!

As a direct result of the campaign, Experian has seen a dramatic increase in the number of customers wanting to talk to the company about its retail analysis and consultancy offering.

According to Jonathan de Mello, director of retail consultancy at Experian, “We’ve already had some sales leads come in as a direct result of coverage in the past year and are close to securing some significant deals.  This is a tremendous achievement.”

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