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Say Communications - Technology Campaign

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2016, Click to Enter The 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer service

Company: Say Communications, London, United Kingdom
Company Description: Based in London, Say Communications is a top 35 UK Technology and top 20 UK Healthcare Consultancy. In recognition for the agency’s performance over the last 12 months Say has jumped 15 places in this year’s PR Week Top 150 PR Consultancies report, following a 16% increase in fee income against an industry average of 11.5%.Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Technology

Nomination Title: ThruVis - Little-Known Technology to Public Safety Solution

Tell the story about this nominated campaign since 1 January 2016 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.


In early 2016 Digital Barriers was an unknown technology SME. Whilst possessing proven technology, its brand positioning was incorrect and with an exclusively technical led approach it was not engaging with relevant stakeholders.

This failure is illustrated by ThruVision, one of its key products. ThruVision was a unique highly sensitive camera capable of non-invasively detecting objects concealed under clothing. Designed for retail loss prevention it was not gaining the traction in the marketplace that management felt it should.

The company’s USPs were buried in its website and marketing collateral. Limited brand exposure and a failure to properly position the company meant that the company was isolated from decision makers and from key public safety conversations in trade and mainstream media.

Objectives & Strategy

Say Communications was engaged in order to rebrand and launch Digital Barriers’ products, raise awareness amongst security stakeholders and to deliver the public safety message to relevant media.

Say’s strategy was to rebrand the company, evaluate its messaging and reposition its solutions - shifting from a technical-led model to a customer-oriented business case approach. To achieve this a clearer brand persona and product narrative was needed to resonate with public safety stakeholders. How the media reported Digital Barriers was analysed – the language used, and equally, the narrative not used. These findings fed into messaging workshops conducted in-house. At the same time, media discussion of major public safety issues (such as terrorism) was closely monitored to identify the focus of the conversation and to ascertain gaps in public understanding.

Based on this work an integrated communications approach was then developed. All channels were used to launch the revised brand, messaging and positioning.

Tactics & Execution

A new website was produced to reflect this revised positioning. Stand-alone products with technical names were consolidated into solutions. ‘Vis’ was used as the suffix for names because ‘visual intelligence’ was the common denominator. This was tested across all relevant media channels, who were being engaged with for the first time. Applying the new messaging, all spokespeople were rigorously media trained for print and broadcast media. A presence on relevant social media channels (Twitter, LinkedIn) was established and used to provide comment on relevant news and to highlight ThruVis at moments when attention was focused on issues it was placed to solve.

After the Brussels terror attack the team felt it was important to raise awareness to save lives, but were mindful of sensitivities. Website and marketing collateral were adapted to deliver a public safety message. Say targeted national press generating rolling news coverage on Sky News, BBC, Agence France Presse, etc. On the day of filming at Sky, on the fly Say adapted the website content to resonate with this audience - additionally the Public Safety website page went live ensuring a powerfully consistent message across all channels. This provided the momentum for Digital Barriers’ entry into international media, with further coverage in the US and APAC including coverage on and in The Manilla Times.


Over 2016 Digital Barriers evolved from a little-known start-up to being perceived as a significant player with the technology to counter major public safety challenges, thereby turning ThruVis into a rising star.

As a result of the rebrand, repositioning and a consistent elevator pitch underpinning all communications, Digital Barriers is invited to bid for much larger projects. Instead of smaller deals they are working with strategic multi-million pound projects. This culminated in the deployment by the TSA of ThruVis during the 2016 Christmas travel surge and at major public events in early 2017.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief features and results of this nominated PR program since the beginning of 2016 (up to 150 words).

-183% increase in web traffic
-278% increase in sales leads;
-An OTS of 645,380,690 was achieved;
-1037% increase in Twitter followers;
-843 LinkedIn followers gained (+35%);
Frost & Sullivan award for Best Technology for ThruVis and IFSEC Security & Fire Excellence award for Counter Terrorism Innovation of the Year, also for ThruVis;
-Over-achieving sales targets for a product that was previously too hard to sell – turning a potential dog product into a star;
-125 pieces of business, national and international media, and TV coverage: Daily Telegraph, Wall Street Journal, BBC Newsnight, CNN, Sky News, The Sun, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Fox News and The Metro;
-Sales expectations are growing and not a day passes without an enquiry
-A combination of good PR principles, creativity and strong execution superseded KPIs and expectations.