The EU Referendum was one of the most important issues in recent years. As a professional services firm, PwC wanted to establish its credentials and reputations as a thought leader that understood all the issues and, therefore, could act as trusted adviser to its clients whatever the result. It also wanted to use the debate to attract new clients.
Establishing a specialist expert reputation meant that PwC had to sow the seeds months before the Referendum, and its result. The corporate communications team worked to assimilate information from internal experts on what was likely to happen in the event of a strong leave vote, a marginal leave vote, a strong remain vote and a marginal remain vote, and what this meant in terms of industry sectors in which its clients work.
PwC’s team created an EU Referendum Hub, and shared this on its newly launched internal communications platform, @PwC, which is responsive, quick to update, mobile and built with events such as the referendum in mind. The Hub laid out the facts rather than taking a stance.
A series of interactive webcasts provided insights into PwC’s experts’ views, allowing clients to develop business and risk mitigation plans. There was also the opportunity to ask real-time questions, as well as request one-to-one discussions. The webcasts were complemented and expanded upon within a series of blogs, which covered topics from the international economic impact to deeper examinations of sectors such as oil and gas. These were shared via LinkedIn and Twitter for months ahead of the Referendum, and in-house experts were on hand to answer questions from clients and prospects.
Staff were also able to draw on the Hub’s insights for their client conversations. PwC, which employs almost 20,000 people in the UK, also provided information on what the vote might mean for them, and highlighted its flexible working approach to help them find time to vote.
The firm ran live blogs on @PwC on both Referendum Day and the following day, when the result was clear, gathering thoughts from staff and also from experts on what it all meant for clients. More than one third of PwC’s employees viewed its internal live blogs, while 15,000 clients joined its webcast, including 1,800 who connected via Facebook Live, asking more than 500 questions. And more than 17,500 visitors looked at its EU pages, averaging a stay of 12 minutes.
The hub also featured in 35 national media sites, both print and online, and 26 regional media sites. There were 3,500 mentions of PwC on social media on results day. More importantly, perhaps, PwC secured ten new clients, who cited the firm’s preparedness and understanding of the issues as their main reason for the appointment.
‘This was a truly excellent campaign, in which social media played a major role, that achieved great results,’ said the judges.