Catapult PR-IR - PR Innovation of the Year

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Company: Catapult PR-IR
Company Description: By blending strategy, narrative messaging, aggressive PR, content marketing and social media, Catapult PR-IR is dedicated to helping companies achieve their business goals. Catapult believes that all winning companies have one thing in common – they are all clear category and industry thought leaders. This philosophy drives Catapult to help each and every client achieve a market position.
Nomination Category: Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Categories
Nomination Sub Category: PR Innovation of the Year

Nomination Title: Catapult PR-IR

Tell the story about this nominated communications innovation since January 1, 2016 (up to 650 words). Describe how the innovation was discovered, developed, refined and/or deployed. Provide an assessment of how the innovation has impacted or will impact your organization, your clients, your industry, markets or/or society.

With “content” now the cornerstone of many social media marketing and public relations initiatives, organizations increasingly need – yet struggle – to say something meaningful and compelling to stand out.

Catapult PR-IR in Boulder, Colo. not only knows this from its 17 years of business – it has done something audacious about it by creating an entirely new approach to positioning and messaging!

Read on . . .

Since September 9, 1999, Catapult has operated within the B-to-B high tech PR trenches, helping companies develop their stories, turn them into narratives and lead their industries. After working with dozens of companies - the number one problem that clients bring to Catapult (then and now) is this, “we are saying the same thing as everyone else.” In a crowded digital world, companies are desperately in need of a messaging strategy that is unique and meaningful. Catapult principals, Terri Douglas and Guy Murrel, realized that the clients who own an industry narrative or category are the ones who stand out as true market leaders. They are the companies that analysts and media are eager to speak with, they have something truly meaningful to say, and they stand for something. After years of perfecting the craft of helping companies identify and evangelize their industry narratives, Catapult decided to offer their approach to the PR industry.

On September 27, 2016, Catapult formally launched a new, higher level approach to messaging and thought leadership - Strategic Narrative Marketing (SNM). SNM is a new marketing approach designed to help lift organizations above the fray and have something compelling to say in their markets. It challenges companies to think outside of themselves, and to avoid typical inward, product and company promotion. Instead, it elevates “what a company does” to an entirely new level by helping establish meaningful awareness, credibility and, in the long run, turns competitors into followers while increasing the overall value of the business.

Typically, an organization can start its journey to SNM by hosting a discovery workshop. Catapult has been conducting these workshops for years and has successfully created many market categories within the B-to-B tech markets, including big data, Agile software, DevOps and wireless security. As organizations work through the workshop process (which is outlined in detail in Catapult’s recently introduced book, A Practical Guide to Strategic Narrative Marketing), several patterns typically emerge – one is the need for an entirely new market category or framework that clients can own, define and drive. Alternatively, organizations can align a company with an existing market category so that when people hear of the category, they immediately associate it with the company.

Once the market category and Strategic Narrative are developed, then it is the PR team’s job to lead all efforts to launch it. To be done correctly, companies need to embrace the narrative and category. They need to make it a corporate initiative that extends all the way through the depths of the organization. It’s valuable to share with everyone inside a company because it gives them a unifying cause to support and promote. Catapult has seen this method work for dozens of clients and now they have offered this unique approach to their fellow PR industry professionals. In 2016, Catapult wrote and now offers to the market a step-by-step book, “A Practical Guide to Strategic Narrative Marketing,” that is available to anyone who wants to learn how to be more strategic with their messaging.

From a PR perspective, SNM provides a tangible (albeit ambitious) goal. It provides themes for endless collateral and high quality content. It elevates the conversation dynamics with influencers and potential customers. It demonstrates true market leadership, and extends an offer to participate in advancing something new and meaningful. Companies become so much more than the products and features they offer, and they start being viewed as true industry leaders.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to 10 (ten) of the chief characteristics and benefits of the nominated innovation (up to 150 words).

-Launched Strategic Narrative Marketing (SNM) as a brand new approach to company positioning and messaging.
-Conducted Strategic Narrative Marketing Workshops that have reshaped and created an industry-level narrative for more than 12 high tech companies.
-Wrote and released the book “A Practical Guide to Strategic Narrative Marketing,” a step-by-step guidebook for any PR professional who wants to help their clients/organizations drive marketspaces.
-Offered a new category for the entire PR industry to own.
-Launched an entirely new way for companies to lead – by taking the focus off of themselves and looking at what is happening in their industry.