FOCUS LLC provides a range of middle-market investment banking services with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions (M&A), divestitures and corporate finance in a broad range of industries including aerospace, construction, health care, media, professional services, retail and technology. Headquartered in Washington D.C., FOCUS is a national firm serving entrepreneurs, corporate owners and investors from offices across the United States, including Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
FOCUS partnered with Arketi Group to increase news flow in key local markets where its offices are located, and to position the firm as a thought leader on middle-market M&A. The ultimate objective of both the awareness and thought leadership campaigns was to increase quality leads and deal flow, specifically businesses with transactions or revenues in the $5 million to $300 million range.
“As an aggressively growing company, we needed a proven PR partner able to build and execute a communication strategy designed to help expand our business, and Arketi more than fits that bill,” said Doug Rodgers, CEO of FOCUS. “Arketi’s proven track record in delivering smart and strategic PR impressed us throughout our decision making process.”
Rodgers points to two aspects that set Arketi’s PR approach apart from others: first, the firm’s ability to craft and deliver a compelling message that resonates with the market, and second, how Arketi’s PR strategies create an environment ripe for selling.
To increase local news flow and build a thought leadership platform, Arketi developed a comprehensive public relations program that identified the FOCUS campaign objectives, target media audiences and tactical timeline. To determine the PR roadmap, Arketi polled FOCUS bankers for a pulse on mid-market M&A trends, and worked with the company’s in-house research department to secure statistics and third-party data on trends to use in white papers, op-eds, bylined articles and media pitches.
Arketi distributed at least one press release per month in a different market where FOCUS was located, starting in Washington D.C. In each key market, Arketi secured at least one interview with the local business journal or trade publications to position FOCUS bankers as the “new, untapped experts.”
After building name recognition in the key markets, Arketi architected and executed a PR thought leadership platform through the creation and release of white papers, guest columns, podcasts, and media meet-and-greet sessions. To proactively address key issues on the outlook of the industry, Arketi developed “The Middle-Market M&A Forecast” white paper, along with a companion guest column discussing one of the white paper’s main topics – the importance of the emerging global economy.
The FOCUS integrated public relations campaign significantly surpassed its objectives in both brand awareness and lead generation—and more importantly, enhanced the company’s bottom line.
Media placements secured by Arketi in The Deal, InvestmentNews, Washington Business Journal, Atlanta Business Journal and Growing Wealth Magazine, delivered FOCUS media coverage in all five key markets, and exceeded local media objectives by 300 percent within six months of the PR campaign’s launch. In total, media coverage reached more than 2 million impressions, from 58 positive stories, generating a cost-per-contact of $0.019 within the first nine months.
Additionally, Arketi secured 16 thought leadership articles from the “Middle-Market M&A Forecast” white paper and companion guest column. Arketi’s PR efforts paid off, with media relations delivering more than half of all the sales leads FOCUS received during the campaign period.