Thought leadership campaign spotlights executive

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There’s no shortage of small business technology experts doling out advice to aspiring entrepreneurs. NCR Silver, the small business division of point-of-sale giant NCR, recognized that its president, Chris Poelma, had a unique background and expertise that would set him apart from the crowd. The challenge: how to make his voice heard above the noise generated by numerous other POS vendors and startups?

Enter Arketi Group. NCR Silver challenged Arketi’s public relations team to develop a thought leadership campaign, focusing on Poelma’s years of entrepreneurial experience and showcasing his expertise in new and emerging small business technologies. Rather than directly promoting NCR Silver’s POS offering, Poelma would become a trusted partner for small business owners throughout America.

With a sea of potential media outlets and a highly competitive industry, this meant developing strategy focused on highly-targeted pitching to make Poelma a recognizable face among entrepreneurs.

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“I think there's only one [top measurement] that really matters – and many that are overrated. What really matters is business value. Whether is it defined as a conversion, a qualified lead, an uptick in trust or in your reputation awareness, the defined business value is the only thing that really matters.” 

Katie Delahaye Paine, best known as The Measurement Queen

How We Did It

Arketi’s PR team began with a media analysis to research how competitors were positioning their executives in media outlets catering to small businesses and the payments industry. And we talked at length with Poelma himself, to understand which SMB and payment trends he could speak to and which topics he was most passionate about.

The Arketi team reached out to print and broadcast outlets, developed an extensive content calendar to track monthly editorial opportunities, and followed reporters focused on the payments and small business arenas. We started to build relationships with target publications and to pitch Poelma as a source for technology and entrepreneur-focused stories and thought leadership content.

As the placement opportunities came in, the team helped execute them by developing briefing guides to prepare Poelma for calls with reporters, as well as participating in the interviews. For bylined opportunities, we often ghostwrote the article on Poelma’s behalf, allowing him to review and add his own touch to drafts before submission.

Still, Arketi wasn’t interested in putting Poelma in a corner. The PR team organized a media tour, bringing Poelma deskside with national, small business and payments reporters up and down the East Coast.

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The Results We Achieved

In the first year, this executive thought leadership program netted more than 50 media placements, including some of the nation’s most respected outlets. As a result, more than 250 million people had an opportunity to learn about Chris Poelma and his technology background, as well as his unique insights as an entrepreneur and successful executive.

On TV, Poelma appeared during four separate segments of MSNBC’s Your Business, each positioning him as an expert on small business technology. On CNN, Poelma shared his passion for competitive running in a feature story that attracted more than 20 million viewers. Arketi also leveraged Poelma’s training story as an opportunity with CNBC’s Make It, reaching nearly 15 million people.


“NCR is a powerful name in point-of-sale technology, but there’s no denying we’re in a competitive space. Through Arketi, we’ve worked with some of the most highly regarded small business and payments outlets. We’ve been able to cut through the noise and demonstrate how our expertise makes a difference.”

Chris Poelma, President – NCR Small Business

Poelma also became an ongoing contributor with Entrepreneur magazine, where his articles boast a high volume of web traffic and are regularly picked up by national outlets such as Fox Business. Arketi secured multiple interviews and bylined articles in leading trade publications such as Mobile Payments Today, PaymentsSource, Retail Customer Experience and Digital Transactions. During the media tour, Poelma visited with reporters from national outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Quartz, Bloomberg and Business Insider.

Today, Chris Poelma is regularly sought out by small business and payments reporters for his expertise, and speaks at national conferences such as Money20/20, sometimes even sharing the stage with executives from competitive platforms.

consumers reached

consumers reached

print and broadcast placements

print and broadcast placements

viewers for a single CNN segment

viewers for a single CNN segment


HTTP is Dead

Starting in July, “Not Secure” websites using HTTP instead of HTTPS will be shamed for not having a secure connection.

Arketi did a webinar on how the extra letter in a web address can affect the user experience. Watch our webinar to see how this impacts search results, secure data exchanges and other components of digital marketing.

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