The moment we’ve been waiting for – our zest for PR is celebrated at the Petroleum Economist Awards

Never in my three and a half years at Armitage Communications have I experienced such a build-up of emotions in such a short time. Over the last three weeks, there’s been an underlying tension building. Will we, won’t we? It’s been pushed back slightly from the forefront of our minds as our client’s projects maintained front and centre stage, but all along the suspense was rising in the background. We’d learned of our nomination for Energy Consultancy of the Year (PR).

At the beginning of the month an email was circulated telling us the good news – Armitage Communications had been nominated by the Petroleum Economist to be independently judged by a panel of industry experts. Completely anonymised, our approach to marketing digitalisation to the oil and gas sector would be evaluated by judges from the International Energy Agency (IEA), the organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES). The people that really know their stuff when it comes to energy, oil and gas.

We knew it would be a challenge to impress the experts but something told us we were in with a decent chance. Our strong engineering roots and capacity for thorough research means that all of our campaigns are based on accurate and useful information which will genuinely benefit the sector, such as how to meet new safety regulations and lower production costs. We decided it was worth shouting about the nomination, taking time to create an e-signature which encouraged our clients and suppliers to begin to root for us too.

We spread our news on our social media pages as well, using gifs to illustrate both our enthusiasm…

 

…and growing anxiety.

 

Before long the evening we’d all been waiting for had arrived. Suited and booted and glammed up to the nines, the Account Directors made the trip by taxi from our PR hub Mill House in Beddington, Croydon to One Great George Street in Westminster. Upon arrival the guests were treated to glasses of champagne before retiring to the Great Hall where a scrumptious feast of seared tuna with lime and ginger dressing, followed by braised lamb shank and a dessert of elderflower mousse, was served. Soft jazz music was performed on stage to quieten the nerves of the awaiting audience.

I waited restlessly at home for the news.

Around 9.45pm, Helen Robertson, Managing Editor for the Petroleum Economist took the stage to introduce the awards presenter of the night, Stephen Sackur. Presenter of HARDtalk on BBC World News, Stephen Sackur had just returned from Libya and cycled his way to the event in a black tie. “I am very committed to phasing out the combustion engine. Is that a terrible thing to say at a Petroleum Economist Awards Dinner?” he joked, breaking the ice.

As the awards began to be read out, the Account Directors were almost falling off the edge of their seats in anticipation. Ed couldn’t contain himself any longer and began eating all of the chocolate on the table to try and calm down.

My phone was silent for a few minutes as I stared at the blank screen.

Then the news broke…”Energy Consultancy of the Year (PR) goes to…Armitage Communications!” followed by loud applause and our exuberant team jumping up in excitement. David Armitage, Managing Director and Tim Haines, Account Director, took to the stage to receive the award – a proud moment for both men as they started the company together over thirty years ago.

 

I saw the tweet posted by @PetroleumEcon shortly before I received the many texts from my colleagues and an image of the award itself. Screaming with joy, I was just as thrilled as if I had been there sitting at the table with the team. A great moment for us – a fantastic night for a company that has worked together closely, using its understanding of automation, instrumentation, electrical, control and telecommunications technologies to communicate and raise awareness of the benefits that these technologies can bring to the world.

In other words, we are champs.

It’s not often that we sing our own praises but I think in all fairness, we deserve to make the most of this one.

And our story doesn’t end there. We have also been nominated for Comms Team of the Year at the Energy Live Personality Awards. Taking place on the 7th December, we’ll be sure to keep you updated. ;)

Got a new technology which could transform the industry? To find out how we can help you get your message across to the people who matter, email [email protected] or tweet us at @ArmitageComm.


Our fave five tools for marketing digitalisation to the O&G industry

A world without oil is a world without transport, buildings, laptops, cosmetics, clothing, medication and more. Vitally important in our day-to-day lives, oil has become the most important source of energy since the mid-1950s. Yet prices fell dramatically in June 2014.

This poses a problem for the Oil & Gas (O&G) industry as a whole – with prices remaining so low, how do these companies maintain their competitiveness?

The answer is with increasing difficulty unless they embrace the new technologies which support better insights, quicker decision-making and greater efficiency within day-to-day operations. Such advanced technologies allow operators to manage performance remotely and will transform the productivity of oil and gas plants around the globe.

But just how many O&G companies are prepared to change? How many are willing to embrace digitalisation?

Solution providers are embracing the challenge of turning O&G companies from technology-shy to committed participants with our help. 30 years of experience serving some of the world’s biggest blue-chip companies have given us an in-depth understanding of a range of technologies from automation and robotics through to telecommunications. Our experience has also taught us the best ways to reach the right customers, those who are likely to benefit from those technologies the most.

This experience has led to a number of successfully executed campaigns for a leading O&G supplier over the years and, most recently, to our nomination for Energy Consultancy of the Year (2017) in the Petroleum Economist Awards, alongside PR giants Edelman and Hill + Knowlton Strategies.

As an expression of gratitude for this award nomination, we have decided to share with you our favourite five tools for marketing new technologies to the O&G sector:

1) Whitepapers: A whitepaper engages the audience due to its rich, substantive content which educates the reader about the challenges and how the client’s products can overcome them. This leads the customer to grasp an understanding of their need for the product which proves far more effective than a direct sell. Combining innovative ideas with thought leadership on issues which are highly relevant and timely resonates with the reader.

Tip: Whitepapers must be thoroughly researched and planned. Without taking the time to do this, whitepapers simply won’t be effective.

Our O&G whitepaper has been referred to as the ‘Bible’ on digitalisation for the industry. It received substantial downloads via our client’s website and through advertising in industry leading titles. Why? Because we spent time extensively interviewing and researching the subject with clients, their customers and industry experts. Readers need only turn to page three to find pull quotes from an O&G player and a specialist in digital technologies.

2) Animations: Compelling content tells a story. This may seem simplistic at first and a more appropriate tip for a journalist, but the same rules apply when marketing to businesses. Animations provide the easiest visual way of accomplishing this. They enable us to get the message across within the right context and, when scripted correctly, provide a thorough understanding of a product’s features and benefits. It’s also worth noting that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text (Source: Hubspot). Many people prefer the quick and easy method of absorbing information through video rather than words.

Tip: Write the script first and then decide the images that you want to use to promote that message.

Our animation maps the upstream oil and gas plant and the digital technologies which, applied to each area, enable plant managers to maximise production and uncover hidden profits. Shared across our client’s website and social media platforms, the animation has received a total of 23,065 views and 119 likes on YouTube.

3) Positioning documents: A positioning document communicates exactly how a client’s product fills a consumer need in a way that its competitors don’t. For example, our client needs to convince the oil and gas industry that their products and services are going to support the transition from industry 3.0 to industry 4.0.

Tip: Use persuasive techniques such as emotive language and personal pronouns as well as graphs, flowcharts and imagery to engage the reader.

The opening pages of a key positioning document we developed keep it simple. ‘Turning chaos…into clarity’ provides a strong juxtaposition of the industry’s potential before and after digitalisation. From ‘dumb data’ to ‘analytic intelligence’ and ‘growing complexity’ into ‘simplified processes’ the highly contrasting language positions our client as the leader of the pack.

4) Infographics: Sometimes new technologies and their applications need to be communicated in a visual way to explore the benefits which are found at each stage of the process over the coming months and years. In this way, customers gain an insight into the long term advantages and improvements of installing our client’s products and services within each area of the plant.

Tip: Where possible, use real-life success stories explaining the products in action at existing customers’ businesses.

An infographic we created, available in static and interactive form, maps the journey from the upstream oil and gas pollution plants through to the downstream petrochemical plants. Mapping the benefits of digitalisation at each stage using case studies from ‘lowering costs by up to 30%’ at a FPSO to the control of ‘1850km of Europe’s gas demand’ at a natural gas pipeline gives the prospective customer a more in-depth understanding and belief in the success of our client’s solutions.

5) Microsites: As an agency we also endeavour to understand the most complex topics affecting today’s oil and gas operators. For example, Functional Safety, whereby analysers and instruments perform demands which prevent hazards occurring, has often confused industry participants.

Tip: Express your expertise loud and clear to position the client as a thought-leader.

In order to ensure that operators understand the role that our client’s products play in maintaining process safety, we created a dedicated online resource. This microsite includes information about our client’s safety management and training services as well as many PDF downloads for guides explaining the many aspects of Functional Safety from safety requirement specifications (SRS) through to industry good practice. Encouraging prospective customers to visit this website as a reliable source of educational information, not only promotes a growth of trust in the brand, but increases the likelihood that it will be our client’s products that the operator chooses to purchase when the time is right for them.

Our fave five tools for marketing to the O&G industry can, in theory, be applied to any other business market. Executing a marketing strategy which uses in-depth industry analysis as a foundation for content is a sure-fire way to get products and services in the limelight. The next challenge is to decide what mixture of collateral to use. We believe our multi-channel approach, such as the promotion of whitepapers, positioning documents, animations, infographics and microsites, linked with aligned traditional advertising methods, is the only way to ensure that your prospects are reached at all levels.

To find out more about how we successfully market new technologies, simply drop us an email at [email protected] or tweet @ArmitageComm.


The Armitage Easter Egg Hunt Begins..

We couldn’t let you leave for Easter bank holiday without at
least a smidgeon of egg-cellent fun. Before you rush off to peel back the foil
and indulge yourself in the luxury of chocolate for four days, how about a
quick game of spot the Armitage Easter egg to exercise your brain one last
time? Our brains need a holiday too, but we’d like to know how you’ll all fare
trying to spot our purple eggy logo in the maze-like jumbled-up wonder that is the
classic oil and gas plant (see image below).
 
Download the image, open in paint, circle the eggs and send to [email protected] to receive a
copy of the answers. Don’t forget to include your address and send by 20:00 on Tuesday 7th April to be in with the
chance of winning yet another Easter egg to add to your towering collection.Terms & Conditions
1) In the event of a tie, the winner will be selected by raffle. 2) There's only one entry per person. 3) There is no cash alternative to the prize offered.