Client’s Challenge: The Phone Rings Again – with a Request for Strategic Communications Support

“We’d like to engage you again for some follow-on work,” the executive said. One year earlier, this global industry leader – accelerating its shift in focus from manufacturing to services – had tapped Hillard Heintze to help define the strategic messaging and communications positioning critical to this major transformation in its global strategy and business model.

Our Solution: Defining the Messaging for a $6 Billion Subsidiary

Working with a very small, elite, board-commissioned client team, Hillard Heintze interviewed 22 senior executives and technical thought leaders responsible for the performance of a $6 billion subsidiary. Next, we authored an integrated set of Strategic Communications Plans – at three levels of the enterprise: (1) for the multi-billion dollar enterprise as a whole; (2) for one of its largest subsidiaries; and (3) for three of the subsidiary’s fastest-growing business opportunities.

Hillard Heintze designed these communications plans to be (1) vertically integrated from enterprise down to divisions, and (2) horizontally balanced across the three opportunities to produce cascading tiers of consistent messaging tailored by opportunity and audience. These plans addressed high-level messaging elements that “told the company’s story” in a compelling, graphically rich way.s

Impact on the Client: Communications Roadmaps for Executive, Sales and Marketing Teams

Each of these deliverables defined and articulated the strategic communications elements. They included brief statements of strategic context at the appropriate level, i.e., enterprise, business and division. They also incorporated overall narrative, value propositions, differentiators and key messages for both external and internal audiences – from executives in sales and business development to key business and channel partners. Each plan featured competitive messaging analysis, definitions of the target audiences and sample quotes voicing their expectations. These elements are dynamic: they will continue to evolve as the enterprise learns about its audience and refines its communications.

Unplugged: The Project Manager's Post-Engagement Perspective

“Consider an orchestra – and how the violins lead the narrative. That’s what we had to do here.

In any massive organization, there are so many departments and internal agendas. Let every one of them play their own instrument, and the outcome will be terribly discordant.

In this case, other instruments started the show. Think of the second movement in Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. The board makes a set of high-risk but game-changing decisions. Those are the oboes and clarinets. At some point, the violins begin the story. Then, as the other instruments draw you more deeply into the story, you are transformed.”

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