Dunstan Thomas Holdings is a fast-growing IT software and consultancy business. It has more than 25 years of expertise in the pensions market, and has built a highly sophisticated suite of front and back office software tools under the umbrella brand of Imago.
Dunstan Thomas’ original expertise was in providing calculation engines and pensions illustrations capabilities to providers. However over the last few years it had built a much wider range of solutions, helping providers and platforms to meet specific challenges including modernising legacy systems, engaging customers and creating modern, yet highly secure online servicing portals.
As the company expanded its range of offerings there was an urgent need to inform the market about its new tools and the increasing depth of expertise that the business now offered, particularly following Dunstan Thomas’ acquisition of Digital Keystone in late 2015.
Agility PR, which up to that point had been basing Dunstan Thomas Holding’s PR on one single annual PR campaign theme, around which all outputs were focused; now recommended a multi-campaign format in which quarterly mini-campaigns, each with different messaging, were worked up and collateral built around them.
During November 2015, Agility PR developed a Campaign Dashboard which was hardwired into quarterly Go To Market strategies which were by then confirmed in its Business Plan 2015/16. The Campaign Dashboard offered key messages and provided recommended tactics for disseminating those messages in a compelling manner.
The plan included ideas for market research, industry topics for discussion and thought leadership pieces. It linked each quarter’s activity into specific product offerings, also citing key audiences for each mini-campaign.
Two key Dunstan Thomas spokespeople were loosely assigned roles. Adrian Boulding, now working with Dunstan Thomas as its Head of Retirement Strategy, was to focus on workplace pensions and macro changes in the pensions market; while Natanje Holt, then Managing Director, was to focus on more technical changes demanded by tax and other regulatory change.
Putting the planning into action, Agility PR decided to switch its focus to offering Dunstan Thomas’ regular twice monthly blog post-style articles which it wrote, to publisher Incisive Media which has a wide portfolio of relevant titles in its stable (including Professional Adviser, Professional Pensions and Retirement Planner) and was intent on strengthening the online presence for these titles.
A relationship with the new Editor of both Retirement Planner and Deputy Editor of Professional Adviser was built through face to face meetings, leading to an agreement to publish all Dunstan Thomas articles, given high quality levels promised.
With two strong spokespeople active, it became possible to improve the quality of DT’s thought leadership articles so that with the same number of pieces as the last two years (18 in 2015/16), it was possible to more than double coverage levels from an average of 14 per year to 35. More importantly, the articles provided regular, at least twice monthly ‘opportunities to see’, building brand awareness and engagement through coverage in Professional Adviser Online, Retirement Planner Online and associated eNewsletters promoting these sites.
In addition to this work, Agility PR helped Dunstan Thomas communicate the merits of its first acquisition to the media, in early 2016 and went further to help articulate the acquired firm Digital Keystone’s (DK) skill-base and core offering – Adaptive Portal – by writing a case study and producing a video case study of the work that DK had recently completed for investment services firm Multrees.
Articles were also used by the CEO of Dunstan Thomas, Chris Read, sharing them with Dunstan Thomas’ highly active Twitter and Facebook channels.
“Agility PR has been our media relations partner since its inception in 2003, more than a decade ago. Their power comes not just through their ability to garner great coverage for us; but increasingly to go deeper – showcasing the knowledge and expertise that exists inside the heads of many of the people who work within Dunstan Thomas.”
“We are now building a consistent thought leadership position in the markets we serve. And now that we have expanded our suite of offerings by acquiring Digital Keystone and building new digital customer engagement tools under the Imago brand, we can begin communicating even more insightfully thanks, in large part, to Miles Clayton and his team at Agility PR.”