Winning the race against competitors

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The Challenge

Before a PR firm starts helping a client, they need to show the client’s PR manager how they can help. That process starts by defining where the client stands in its own competitive landscape, which is a prerequisite for devising a game plan, developing metrics, and gauging success. One huge problem: In the rapidly evolving auto industry, things are moving fast. Tomorrow’s competitors may not even exist today. So when global auto-parts manufacturer Faurecia asked Airfoil to perform a competitive media analysis to measure its share of voice in the industry, the task was far more complex than it seemed.

The Airfoil Solution

Analyzing media coverage goes well beyond counting a company’s media mentions in a week, month, or quarter. There are essential qualitative aspects to the analysis, such as whether each story is positive or negative, which business division each story focuses on, and the trending topics in the media landscape. In addition to tracking coverage on all these parameters for Faurecia’s direct competitors in the auto-parts industry, Airfoil analyzed coverage of aspirational competitors in the market. This wasn’t just for curiosity’s sake; Faurecia and Airfoil used this extensive, real-time pool of data to determine where Faurecia’s story fit into the future of the auto industry, then crafted messaging and story pitches with precision.

The Results

Since Airfoil’s competitive analytics work for Faurecia began, autonomous vehicles have become a top focus for the mainstream press. While Faurecia doesn’t make self-driving cars, its products include displays, seats, and connected features that will help define the passenger experience of the future. By developing storylines around the “car cockpit of the future” theme and pitching them to the mainstream press, Airfoil pushed Faurecia coverage beyond trade and car publications. The company’s tech was the focus of an Ars Technica story and multiple Reuters pieces. Airfoil used quantitative research to inform its qualitative media strategy, using data to support the art of storytelling.

Media Strategy, Competitive Analysis and Analytics

“Airfoil does a brilliant job of converting messaging to data so that we understand where we’re meeting our objectives and where we need to focus our attention.”

Tony Sapienza, Communications Director