Q&A with Foggies Campaign of the Year winner, Walker Sands
We sat down virtually with our 2021 Foggies winners to get to know them better! This year's Campaign of the Year award went to Walker Sands for "Navigating the 2020 Holiday Shopping Season," a program on behalf of their client, Iterable. Read on to learn more about the Walker Sands team!
Tell us more about yourself.
Walker Sands is a full-service B2B marketing agency with core capabilities in public relations, demand generation, branding, creative, marketing strategy and web. The firm’s integrated approach to marketing drives awareness, credibility and conversions for 100+ clients around the world. A nine-time Inc. 5000 honoree, Walker Sands is one of the fastest-growing B2B marketing agencies in the world, with offices in Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston and Atlanta.
Annie Gudorf, who led the winning campaign, is a Managing Director and Partner at Walker Sands. Annie started in Walker Sands’ Chicago office in 2013 before she moved out west in 2016 to help establish and grow the agency’s West Coast presence. Annie has worked with some of the most successful B2B technology companies ranging from stealth start-ups to publicly traded companies, delivering outstanding results, building strong client relationships and generating some of the agency’s most successful PR and marketing campaigns.
Tell us about your winning campaign/entry. How did it come about, what were the highlights, how much work went into it, results, etc.
In the summer of 2020, Iterable was looking for an opportunity to have a bigger share of voice in the upcoming holiday season media conversation. Given how crowded that space is, we knew we had to get creative and do more than conduct thought leadership outreach.
So, our team developed a data-driven campaign that would provide insight into consumers’ holiday shopping plans. Once data collection was complete, we developed a blog post, infographic and media outreach strategy to promote the findings, which were based on survey responses from 1,000 U.S. consumers.
The campaign launch was planned for two months before Cyberweek (starting Nov. 30), enabling Iterable to enter the holiday conversation early and get the data in reporters’ hands right when they were starting their holiday reporting. Once launched, we conducted media outreach through the end of 2020 targeting a mix of relevant top-tier and industry vertical media.
We secured a total of 26 media placements for the campaign, nine of which were in top-tier outlets and six of which were feature placements. The team also secured a contributed byline in Independent Retailer highlighting the data.
Thanks to the team’s creative thinking and planning months before the holiday season began, we were able to stay ahead of the competition and provide timely, unique data that allowed Iterable to stand out in the media. The campaign was such a success for Iterable that we replicated it again in 2021.
What does it mean to your team to take home this win? How will you celebrate?
Our team was thrilled to have their work recognized by the PRSA Foggies. This was a campaign our team really enjoyed working on and is extremely proud of, so to take home the Campaign of the Year award was incredibly rewarding. We celebrated the win as an agency by sharing the news on our blog and social media channels.
What should the Bay Area know about you/your team?
In 2016, Walker Sands expanded to the West Coast to explore the burgeoning San Francisco tech market. Since then, we’ve built strong relationships with B2B tech companies, with a focus on high-growth clients. Our team loves to bring creativity and innovation to B2B tech while working with leading Bay Area brands.
How has the pandemic affected your approach to communications?
Today’s media landscape is crowded and constantly changing. And like many other industries, the media industry has been drastically impacted by COVID-19. Between fluctuating staff, fewer resources and shorter reader attention spans, journalists are pressed to consistently create new, quality content.
Since the pandemic has made the news cycle move much faster than it has historically, it’s essential to be on the pulse of what reporters are covering. And in order to keep our PR efforts timely and relevant, we’re doing more planning in sprints, paired with long-term strategizing.
What advice do you have for handling PR during the COVID-19 pandemic?
During the pandemic, it’s important to be willing to follow the tide to where the media is focused. Being agile is more critical than ever, so think creatively about how you can fit your story into the news landscape.
It’s also important to remember that reporters are people too and are going through the pandemic just like we are. There’s been a lot of shifts and turnover in the media industry, so treating reporters as people first will go a long way in building strong relationships.
Anything else to share?
We are incredibly grateful for the recognition from PRSA Foggies — thank you!