ACT-IAC

Situation

The American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC) is a non-profit public-private partnership dedicated to improving government through the application of information technology (IT). Its mission is simple yet, bold: provide a vendor and technology-neutral forum where government and industry exchange information and collaborate to improve government through technology. Despite ACT-IAC’s sterling reputation, general awareness of the organization’s mission and value among key stakeholders and influencers in the public and private sector was lacking and undifferentiated compared to competitors.

Objectives

ACT-IAC contracted Sage to develop a differentiated brand, raise awareness for the organization’s mission, benefits to members, and market impact among government and industry executives and increase government participation in the organization.

Our Process

Sage worked closely with ACT-IAC to develop a comprehensive marketing communications program that included branding, strategy, marketing, media outreach, and social media. The cornerstone of the campaign was revising ACT-IAC’s core messaging to reflect the organization’s strategic objectives: elevate public relations and communications strategy to the next level of professionalism; increase awareness and participation in the organization’s programs and events — particularly from government members; and generate positive external exposure within the government IT community.

To that end, Sage launched an aggressive media outreach, marketing, and social media campaign to ensure maximum effectiveness. We focused our communications efforts on: building influencer relationships and conveying refreshed brand messages to the marketplace; positioning ACT-IAC as the go-to organization and model for public-private collaboration to a national audience; generating unprecedented media and social media exposure for the organization and its programs and events, including its Executive Leadership Conference (ELC).

Results

Sage’s integrated PR and marketing strategy resulted in an unprecedented quantity and quality of coverage for the organization in top tier publications, national media and broadcast outlets, such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Politico, Bloomberg News, CIO, The Washington Post, Washington Business Journal, InformationWeek, Ars Technica, ComputerWorld, WJLA, and NBC-4 Washington. Over a four years period, Sage garnered over 700 key media placements for ACT-IAC totaling over 216 million impressions.

Sage also developed and implemented an integrated social media strategy to increase ACT-IAC’s digital word of mouth by supporting key platforms including Twitter and LinkedIn, which included growing Twitter following by over 50 percent and holding a 49 percent share of voice across digital platforms when compared to its competitors. Our two-year effort increased ACT-IAC’s reach to more than 10 million accounts online and engaged with key C-Level influencers among the government and industry audience.

We also negotiated, expanded, and managed media agreements to achieve parity and gain year-round exposure for ACT-IAC in support of conferences, the Academy, and membership recruitment. The marketing and PR results contributed to ACT-IAC’s differentiated and growing brand and thought leadership in the marketplace. The integrated approach has also contributed to the organization’s growing membership base, sponsorship support, and strong government involvement, which are critical to the long-term sustainability of the organization.

Sage supported the successful launch of the inaugural ACT-IAC Institute for Innovation Igniting Innovation Awards program, attracting over 700 attendees from government and industry and garnering 25 media placements with top outlets including POLITICO, The Washington Business Journal, and CIO Magazine. We also supported and secured media coverage for other new ACT-IAC forums, covering topics including Shared Services and Health IT, with coverage appearing in many top outlets, including The Wall Street Journal and ComputerWorld.

Coverage