Supporting an ambitious growth strategy

What was the brief?

Having worked with national maintenance and compliance contractor Novus Property Solutions from 2013 to 2017, we were contacted by the company in 2020 to refocus its PR provision on key sectors, working as an extension of its in-house marketing team.

As well as increasing coverage and being shortlisted for industry awards, Novus required PR support as it entered a period of significant business transformation – launching a five-year growth strategy aiming to double profits by 2026. The contractor set out several ways to achieve this, including streamlining its service provision and winning more higher value, long term contracts.

What did we do?

Using our extensive knowledge and press contacts across the industry, our team implemented a robust PR strategy to ensure regular online and print coverage across a variety of relevant housing and construction sector, regional and business titles. We worked closely with Novus’ in-house marketing team as well as operational teams to establish newsworthy stories, ranging from corporate announcements to feel-good CSR events – demonstrating the company’s ever-growing success as well as its values as a family-owned contractor.

Coverage also included a variety of thought leadership articles throughout the year, positioning Novus as the go-to expert contractor – with topics varying from fire protection in housing refurbishments to infection control in healthcare settings.

Working with Novus’ in-house team, we also established a robust awards calendar with the intention of being shortlisted – with as many wins as possible – at industry-wide awards attended by potential clients.

What were the results?

Despite no allocated additional budget for paid coverage, we exceeded our target for 2021 – and achieved a fourfold increase on Novus’ media coverage the previous year. All coverage appeared in targeted newspapers and magazines, raising the company’s profile across the housing and construction industries including in the key sectors of healthcare and education, as well as regionally and within the general business sector.

We also achieved a 70 per cent success rate in award shortlisting for Novus within an 18-month period, with the client also winning several of these industry awards.

As an extension of Novus’ in-house marketing team, our PR provision has supported Novus as it implemented its ambitious five-year growth strategy. In its first year, the strategy saw Novus experience its most successful year of winning work to date, in part thanks to an increased presence across the industry and successful tenders for higher value, longer term contracts.

Novus’ head of marketing, Aine Girn, said: “Working with the Harris team feels more like having our own in-house PR function, rather than managing an external supplier. Everyone who works across our account takes the time to really get to know our business and more importantly, our ethos, which is reflected in the quality of the work. This approach also allows the Harris team to think like us and propose strategies that have wide-reaching results both internally and externally. Harris team members are happy to join internal briefing meetings and have established strong ties with senior Novus colleagues so they can communicate directly with the relevant stakeholder rather than bottleneck all communications through our marketing department.

“I have worked with PR and media agencies for many years both in the UK and Asia yet have never benefitted from these relationships to the same extent I do with Harris. I look forward to working with them for many years to come.”

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