Ricoh is a leading global technology company specialising in print and managed document services.
It employs 100,000 people worldwide, has annual revenues of €15 billion and has been at the forefront of technology innovation for 70 years. In Ireland, Ricoh’s client base includes many leading indigenous companies and also most of the world’s top ten ICT providers who are based here.
Comit has been providing Ricoh with fully integrated PR and marketing communications services since 2008. The service was extended recently to include proactive digital marketing services under Comit360, which helps Ricoh to provide a clear and consistent voice across all media.
In 2008, Ricoh recognised that its brand profile was low in Ireland despite being a global technology leader. This was complicated by the fact that Ricoh had recently integrated two additional businesses (IKON and NRG) into its Irish operation. While most production print providers were very aware of Ricoh’s credentials and capabilities, Ricoh wanted to substantially increase its profile and appeal among the wider business and IT community in Ireland.
Ricoh’s key business and marketing objectives were:
- Increase awareness and demand at the C-suite level in Ireland;
- Ensure Ricoh’s global messaging is being leveraged and localised for an Irish audience;
- Generate significant levels of local news in Ireland to earn mindshare, credibility and ‘thought leadership’.
Irish agency requirement:
- Need for a local agency with proven technology expertise, in-depth market knowledge, excellent media relationships, and a focus on Ricoh’s brand and business growth;
- Ability to provide additional marketing support to improve external and internal communications;
- Digital marketing expertise also required to enhance Ricoh’s online brand profile and customer engagement across digital platforms and social media in Ireland.
Following an extensive pitch process in 2008, Comit was chosen to manage Ricoh’s PR and marketing communications activities in Ireland. It provides Ricoh with a dedicated and experienced senior account team which is fully focused on growing brand value and sales for Ricoh’s Irish business.Comit also supports Ricoh’s international business by ensuring strategic global communications and messaging are delivered clearly and distinctly to local audiences.
Comit’s integrated PR and digital marketing service - Comit360 - provides Ricoh with a content driven communications platform which delivers multiple touch points for all marketing communications. It’s highly measurable and fully focused on creating growth opportunities.
Comit’s initial activities included running workshops with Ricoh’s marketing communications team in London and also with the local management team in Dublin. These were held to gather information, understand Ricoh’s objectives and build a strategic communications plan for Ireland. While the primary focus was on PR, there were also a number of integrated marketing communications activities built in.
Once the communications plan was agreed, the senior account team at Comit hit the ground running with a highly proactive set of activities and deliverables. Weekly updates, monthly conference calls and quarterly business reviews are all held to ensure targets are achieved and value is being added to Ricoh’s Irish business and brand.
- Working with the Ricoh team and customers, local press releases are identified, written and issued by Comit. These cover a wide range of news stories including customer wins, growth announcements, surveys and new product launches in the Irish market. Comit also localises international press releases for an Irish audience.
- Press briefings are regularly arranged with key Ricoh spokespeople to ensure media understand Ricoh’s key messages. Regular feature interviews and opinion articles are also facilitated across tier one media, cementing Ricoh’s position as a ‘thought leader’ in the Irish market
- National coverage is achieved consistently in major titles including the Irish Times, Irish Independent, Irish Examiner and the Sunday Business Post. Leading business publications such as Business Plus and BusinessandLeadership.com regularly feature Ricoh. Technology media such as ComputerScope, Irish Computer and SiliconRepublic.com also frequently cover Ricoh news and commentary.
- Comit reviews and edits international marketing collateral, including brochures and whitepapers, to ensure relevance for Ricoh’s customers and prospects in Ireland;
- A number of successful customer, partner and prospect events have been successfully organised and managed by Comit at unique Irish venues such as the historic National Print Museum;
- Comit takes care of local media buying for key print and online titles;
- Development of direct marketing collateral which has been used by Ricoh to generate new sales;
- Comit also helps positive internal communications, through a program of meetings and events with all relevant internal stakeholders. It includes sharing company news and market information with colleagues and the dealer community.
- Comit proactively manages Ricoh’s online brand profile in Ireland;
- Online PR enhances Ricoh’s digital reputation, SEO and ensures more prospects are directed to the Ricoh Ireland website;
- Local blogs are developed for Ricoh’s highly successful UK and Ireland blog site;
- Ricoh Ireland Twitter feed and LinkedIn company profile launched, delivering up-to-the-minute news and views to a growing number of influential followers;
- Ensure the Ricoh Ireland website is updated frequently with current news and offerings.
Comit provides monthly reports on all activities to Ricoh, and results are analysed and discussed at quarterly business reviews to ensure consistently high returns on investment are being achieved. Key performance metrics are also provided by a global media monitoring agency employed by Ricoh. Comit’s real focus is business growth figures that demonstrate true business value-add.
Ricoh Ireland growth stats:
- In 2010, became the No. 1 provider of print and imaging solutions in Ireland for the first time;
- In 2011, won managed print + document contracts with 7 major ICT companies in Ireland;
- In FY 2012/13, Ricoh grew its direct sales revenues by 21% in Ireland.
Key metrics from 2012/13:
- 680% increase in annual press coverage compared to the year before Comit came on board;
- 44% of all media coverage in national and business publications;
- 97% of all media clippings in Ireland were ‘on message’;
- 6.9M impressions from print circulation and unique visitors to Ricoh news stories in Ireland;
- 1.2M people likely to have remembered Ricoh news this year in Ireland.
What the client said
Chas Moloney, marketing director, Ricoh UK and Ireland
Why did you choose Comit?
“We realised that our UK PR agency could not support our Irish business as they didn’t fully understand the local market and didn’t have strong relationships with key media.We met with four leading Irish agencies, and were most impressed by Comit’s B2B technology specialism, and also their motivation to see clients grow and succeed. We also immediately sparked a great relationship with the Comit team which is crucial.”
What’s impressed you most about working with Comit?
“In terms of pure metrics, Comit is consistently one of our best performing agencies in Europe. Since coming on board press coverage has increased by 680% in our most recent financial year compared to the year before they started. Comit’s deep knowledge of the market combined with great relationships with national, business and tech press allows us to get our key messages out really effectively. Results improve each year.
“Comit also delivers great return on investment by proactively managing our brand and reputation across a wide range of marketing and sales platforms. With online communications becoming increasingly important, Comit is also helping us to further engage key decision makers through digital media channels such as our blog, Twitter and LinkedIn."
Any good examples of Comit’s work?
“Ricoh recently accelerated its shift to a service-oriented business model. This provided us with a communications challenge to ensure the wider market no longer see us as just being a print and imaging vendor. Comit understood what we were looking to achieve and successfully delivered an integrated and innovative mix of PR and marketing communications activities to convince the market. This culminated in a hugely positive article in the Irish Times which clearly articulated our successful new business model and the benefits for customers.”
What does this all mean for Ricoh?
“Putting it simply, Comit helps us to build our brand credibility, increase our sales pipeline and ultimately close more deals in Ireland. Their enthusiasm and proactivity to see our business grow is both refreshing and rewarding.”