IStructE PR case study

The Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) retained long-term PR agency partner The Think Tank to promote the 52nd edition of its flagship scheme, The Structural Awards 2019.

As always, IStructE wanted to raise awareness of the important role its members play in keeping the public safe and secure within the built environment.

The primary objective of the campaign was to achieve extensive global coverage for the award’s summer shortlist and autumn winners’ announcements, in Tier One and Two international trade, consumer, news and broadcast media.

Particularly, IStructE expected The Think Tank to surpass the previous year’s impressive results by 40%.

The Think Tank worked strategically on a shoestring budget. Merely announcing the shortlist during the annual peak season for construction and architectural awards would not be sufficient to cut through the considerable noise.

Building on previous experience handling 2016-2018 award schemes, the campaign was flipped from a ’news’ focus to concentrate on thought leadership. This would further compensate for the substantial four-month gap between the announcements of shortlisted and winning projects.

Working with the scheme’s expert judging panel to create, and place, a bank of evergreen editorial and newsjacking relevant news proved a more effective way of securing coverage than a straightforward news release. Importantly it also maintained campaign momentum.

For the winners’ announcement, a region-specific approach was adopted, involving nuanced releases, individually profiling each of the winning projects. Locally-targeted distribution encouraged massive interest from national and international print, online and broadcast media.

Surpassing the objectives, The Think Tank achieved 106% increase on 2018’s results. With 1.66 billion online readers, print circulation of 821,000 and 9.69 million coverage views, IStructE was understandably delighted.

“This is the fourth year we have worked with The Think Tank to promote The Structural Awards and each time they have surpassed themselves in terms of coverage and reach. What they achieved in 2019 on a modest budget is impressive. It perfectly showcases their PR team’s tenacity, creativity and ability to secure quality editorial both in the UK and internationally. We look forward to working with them again on some exciting projects in the future.”

(Jason Dudley-Mallick, Head of Marketing & Communications, The Institution of Structural Engineers)