Part 3: Focusing with Our Clients on the Critical Issues of our Time — VIEWPOINT

Racepoint Global

Written by: Peter Prodromou – President and CEO

In Part 1 of this The Five Year Imperative series, I outlined the significant downward pressure our industry is facing today and the steps Racepoint Global has taken in response. I described how Racepoint has blurred the lines of advertising and PR into an integrated offer. In Part 2, Thinking Differently, I described the content-driven, issues-based era in which we all operate. I talked about the importance of having a clear-eyed understanding of our clients’ audiences, and how those audiences consume information and prefer to have it delivered to them. I described the multi-year Racepoint investment in our media mining and audience analysis tool, FieldFacts, and with it our ability to know what our clients’ key stakeholders are thinking and how this thinking can be informed and influenced.

Several years ago, a top-notch engagement team and a neat technology may have been enough. Today, however, our industry, the clients we serve, indeed the entire economy, are all in the midst of massive change brought about by advances in technology. It is happening in information businesses. It is happening in manufacturing. It is happening in healthcare and life sciences. It is happening in the way business is capitalized and goes to market. It is happening in the way companies expand internationally as well. Today, our clients need more than the traditional offer. They are looking for a deeper understanding of the industries in which they compete, how those industries are evolving, and how and where they can best compete. They are looking for a strategic context to the campaigns we deliver. They understand that companies today have an important role to play alongside government in addressing the needs of society. They are asking us for our help.

To respond to these needs, Racepoint is once again changing the paradigm. We are building on our communications and integrated delivery foundation to develop and deploy a thought leadership practice – VIEWPOINT – focused on developing and implementing innovative ideas around our business and the businesses of our clients, and deploying these ideas through Racepoint’s integrated offer.

The practice is comprised of members of our leadership team and professionals from Racepoint offices around the world. We are augmenting the practice with strategy consultants, policy wonks and a network of industry experts and others all organized to help us think and work differently.

The VIEWPOINT practice and client teams are looking at the critical issues of our time. We are examining the implications of this huge transformation brought about by technology now underway across the country. We are focused on the responsibility technology and media companies have in a fake news/social deteriorating information era and how these companies can regain trust. We are looking at ways our clients can help address the opioids epidemic, and ways the healthcare and life sciences companies can reclaim their integrity and restore the public’s trust. We are looking at cybersecurity. We are studying national and regional competitiveness and how to best understand Washington today and implications our clients’ businesses. We are looking at the ongoing recapitalization of the US economy and ways the major players and other companies can support skills development, job creation, and workplace diversity. We are studying how industry, government, and academia can collaborate to boost innovation and entrepreneurship as well.

With four Racepoint offices in China – Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Shenzhen, we are addressing ways to support the international expansion efforts of both Chinese and U.S. companies. Topics such as how China might make the shift from manufacturer to innovator, how China might build trust with business and government and successfully locate and evolve in the United States, and how, in turn, U.S companies might best locate operations in China and prosper, are part of the mix as well.

The research and the content VIEWPOINT creates will include presentations and reports, videotaped conversations with clients and industry partners, social media and all the attributes of Racepoint’s integrated offer.  While a good amount of work and insights will be proprietary to our clients, there will be material that our clients and we will want to share broadly. We will do that through our VIEWPOINT platform and blog posts on TRENDSCOPE so that our clients and we will have a voice in our industries, voices around which key constituent groups can rally.

We are ingraining thought leadership into our client campaigns and we are asking our clients to be part of formulating topics affecting their businesses so that we can be honest and true with them and they can do the same with key opinion leaders, customers, investors and other constituents. We are developing casework supporting company and brand reputation, and we are excited that a number of our clients are looking to Racepoint to provide them with the strategy and related communications frameworks so that they can establish a leadership voice in their industries.

Through VIEWPOINT, Racepoint has put its thought leadership stake in the ground. If we are effective we not only will have done some good, but we will have innovated a path forward for our own business, and our clients, provided an added source of competitive advantage for the firm, and the clients we serve and exploited an important opportunity for growth.

At the end of the day, however, given the massive economic and societal transformation underway, and the pressures and the imperative we all face, this may very well be one of the only real growth opportunities for our industry that is out there.

 

Coming Next, Part 4: It’s About Our Talent and the Teams