Long-term PR strategy puts Sika Roofing on top
A long-term PR relationship between Sika Roofing and OneAgency has helped Sika secure its reputation as market-leading in the UK, establishing a clear strategic direction for its messaging, successfully launching new products and reaching millions of Sika’s target audience.
Sika Roofing has a reputation for excellence, and it’s one that we were instrumental in building alongside Sika’s expert team.
Globally renowned Swiss chemicals manufacturer Sika is one of the most recognisable names in construction, with a strong presence in over 100 countries.
With a huge product portfolio, cutting-edge R&D department and exceptional technical support, Sika has earned its place as a top provider of high-quality flat roofing solutions. To help them cement that position in the eyes of potential customers and the wider industry, OneAgency has delivered a strategic PR campaign that has consistently strengthened Sika’s reputation in the UK over time.
Sika Roofing has spent 60 years growing and expanding the business to become market-leading – for 15 years of that history, OneAgency has supported Sika with PR strategy, campaigns, blogs, case studies and award entries. At this stage, what we don’t know about roofing isn’t worth knowing.
The latest innovation in a long line of new technologies to receive the OneAgency treatment, was a sustainable single ply membrane, Sika Sarnafil AT. It was our task to announce its arrival with a bang in a competitive market, while reinforcing the overall message that Sika Roofing is a specialist that architects, specifiers and contractors alike can rely on for support and the latest product innovations.
A new product launch: Sarnafil AT
Sustainable products are the gold standard when it comes to specification. For Sika, a sustainable breakthrough in single ply came in the form of Sarnafil AT, a Cradle to Cradle Silver certified membrane that was both environmentally friendly and quick to apply.
We took the opportunity to craft an impactful launch campaign targeting architects and specifiers, positioning the product as a solution to the challenge of sustainability certifications and client demands for environmentally-conscious construction.
We needed to raise awareness of the brand and product – particularly among the previously mentioned target audience – and we nailed down a strategy to make the launch a memorable one. Using press releases, features, media partnerships and even a webinar event, we rolled out a campaign that would quickly establish Sarnafil AT as a product worth consideration in the minds of architects and specifiers.
Coverage for the launch of Sarnafil AT appeared in several publications, including:
- Specification Magazine
- Architecture Today
- Roofing Today
- Total Contractor
Reaching architects and specifiers through media partnerships
Partnering with a respected media title that aligned with Sika’s target audience was key to the campaign; Architecture Today ticked all the boxes. With sustainability an important USP for Sarnafil AT and a regular point of discussion at the publication, we identified Architecture Today and opened discussions to organise an event that would appeal to architects and specifiers.
A webinar was agreed as fitting for an event centred on sustainability – working with Architecture Today, we secured a panel of expert speakers and respected industry figures that would draw in our audience. Richard Aldred represented Sika, discussing Sarnafil AT.
The webinar, Applying circular economy principles to achieve net zero, was a massive success with 580 registrations; Sika received all the high-quality registration data to use for future follow-up campaigns. The first email follow-up to this database had an impressive 34.6 percent open rate and three percent click-through rate.
A double page spread featured in the next issue of Architecture Today, distributed to 13,000 architects and specifiers. Through this partnership, Sarnafil AT was placed front and centre to a notoriously hard-to-reach audience of architects and specifiers. Our messaging was carefully considered to address the pain points of this audience; for features targeting architects, sustainability and environmental certifications were invariably the focus, for contractors, the speed and efficiency of installation.
After launch, we followed up the campaign with features in Greenscape magazine and FC&A, further establishing the benefits of Sarnafil AT to our target audience and keeping the product front of mind. This sustained exposure raises the fame of the new technology, while the consistent messaging reinforces its USPs and familiarity.
Covering a full spectrum of flat roofing technologies
Sika has the technical expertise to advise on projects at specification, giving a neutral view on flat roofing solutions thanks to a comprehensive range of technologies.
This flexibility in flat roofing solutions and technical support was a clear selling point to specifiers; Sika could recommend the perfect roofing system to fit the most complex of requirements, rather than making the project fit a certain product. Each flat roof type – single ply, liquid, green and later bitumen – had to be considered in our messaging. Balancing the different technologies, and, where possible, showing how they could be combined in a single project was vital.
We communicated this message through a series of features and case studies. In a feature for FC&A magazine, Is your green roof as sustainable as you think?, for example, we highlighted how different technologies – here, single ply (Sarnafil AT) and a green roof – could be combined to great effect.
In 2022, we secured Sika a total of 112 pieces of coverage in key target media titles, with a total circulation of 2,197,061.
Establishing authority and raising profiles – thought leadership
Raising the reputation and technical prowess of key figures at Sika was another focus. Sika Roofing wanted to be seen as a thought leader, an educator and a supporter to contractors, architects and specifiers, and to build trust and emotional connection with the brand.
We pitched editorial features that would provide bylines for these key spokespeople in a series of leading industry publications. Highlighting that Sika is more than just a manufacturer and supplier, we illustrated the excellent technical knowledge, sector expertise and market-leading certification/compliance work of the company – through thought leadership, we established several key figures at Sika as industry experts.
While continuing with pitching features to magazines, press releases and case studies, blogs for Sika’s website were another part of our remit. Blogs provided the opportunity to discuss Sika – and the people who worked there – more directly, sharing company news to engage staff alongside topical content. These blogs could be shared on LinkedIn by Sika employees and garnered engagement and click throughs to the website.
Award winning project entries
Award entries are another important consideration for a well-rounded PR strategy. It’s one thing telling potential customers how great you are, but awards really prove it. Our team has a fantastic track record for getting results at awards, with years of combined experience in crafting entries.
For the Single Ply Roofing Association (SPRA) Awards in 2022, two entries won their categories, including BEST REFURBISHMENT, while another two were shortlisted. In 2023, we followed up this excellent performance with three wins out of a potential six – taking home awards for half of the categories available.
“I wanted to say a huge congratulations to you for your efforts with the Awards. We won 3 out of 6 categories. Not only great projects, but also great submissions.”
Cheryl Douglas, Head of Marketing – Roofing at Sika Limited.
A PR campaign for Sika Roofing that’s anything but flat
Thanks to a carefully considered PR campaign, the launch of Sarnafil AT was a success, with 310.34% ROI for the overall integrated campaign. Alongside the launch, the team helped raise profiles and establish Sika as market-leading experts in flat roofing through a series of thought leadership pieces, award wins, blogs and case studies.
Our work with Sika shows the value of a long-term relationship in the world of PR. Nurturing relationships with the trade media, working closely with them to provide great content for their readers for several years, is key to getting the best value for your business (being known for high-quality content is especially important when pitching editorial features) and for forming partnerships and starting projects that are truly influential.
Working as an extension of Sika’s in-house marketing team, we provided support with strategic direction, crafting compelling narratives that resonated with our target audience, and integrating our efforts with Sika’s overarching marketing objectives. Our commitment to Sika extended beyond short-term wins to cultivating a lasting brand presence – an effort that has been rewarded with establishing Sika as a market leader in the UK.