We’re delighted to report that Praxity’s programme of industry-shaping debate and commentary has won Campaign of the Year at the Accountant & International Accounting Bulletin’s Awards 2018.
Over the year, Praxity’s tailored and targeted communication strategy – aligned with business goals to build reputation and effectiveness – featured a wide range of topical online and print articles, more insightful thought-leadership features, blogs, publications and conferences. As well as informing debate, activity showcased collaboration and strengthened the resources available for Participant Firms.
What made the programme distinctive was how it addressed broader issues of interest, not just accounting. Although Praxity, as an alliance, faces regulatory constraints on how to present opinion, it has nevertheless been at the forefront of commentary on global developments and enabled Member Firms to contribute to debate.
These are the ‘insights’ that form the core resources at the heart of the fully-redesigned Praxity website that’s due for launch later this month.
This is the first time that Praxity has won this particular award, having been named Association of the Year in 2017, 2016 and 2014, and Rising Star Association in 2013.
The awards celebrate the best among the accountancy market globally – those that are successfully serving their clients through innovation and thought leadership, as well as those that are strengthening the profession’s relevance in its mandate to serve the public interest.
“This award testifies to the work we’ve done to build the capability of our Executive Office – expanding in-house resources with a copywriter, marketing executive and a webmaster,” said Praxity’s Chair, Hilton Saven. He also celebrated the widespread talent that was available from Participants within the Alliance: “From the ranks of Praxity’s best-in-class independent firms who deliver international services and professional leadership, inevitably comes some of the most insightful thinking in the profession”.
This year, contributors from a wide range of both established and new Member Firms enhanced the 70 online articles and the 24 magazine features that Praxity published.
As an alliance with a relatively small team managing communications when compared with those of its competitors, Praxity prioritises the reinvesting of membership fees to develop services that empower Participant Firms as champions for global business success, rather than focussing on costly high-visibility promotions.
What won it for us?
Issues of interest
Online and HUB magazine features addressed topical issues and challenges – like human rights, sustainability, trust, the sharing economy, GDPR, think tanks, artificial intelligence, blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Amongst Member Firms sharing regional or specialist knowledge, new Alliance Participant Nanjia & Co contributed a feature on the Indian tax landscape, and Moss Adams offered insight for a feature about Praxity Members helping not-for-profits overcome accounting challenges – they collaborated with Praxity
Participants in Vietnam, Kenya, Uganda and India.
The article was also used in Participant Firm William Buck’s The Real CFO, bringing it a far wider readership.
In the middle
Praxity is the world’s largest alliance, with Member Firms uniquely placed to offer insight from their own experience to those of their clients, as well as share expertise with like-minded international Praxity colleagues.
Praxity Participant Aronson’s 360° Cybersecurity Report was showcased on Praxity’s website homepage, distributed to firms across the Alliance and promoted publicly with reposts of Aronson’s social media. Their cyber specialists helped develop a further online feature about the key cyber challenges that mid-market firms are facing, with a companion HUB article on the state of cyber-readiness of such firms across a range of industries.
HUB also addressed the other distinctive challenges facing the middle market, with commentary from Praxity Participants FALK, Moss Adams, Mazars, William Buck and BKD.
Trust the experts
Considering fears that financial scandals have damaged confidence in the profession, Praxity’s campaign to build credibility and reputation also involved researching how accountants are successfully fighting corruption. Individual features covered building trust, corruption, money-laundering, reporting standards, governance, multi-currency accounting and the Panama papers.
While content evolved, engagement grew, as Praxity extended the reach and effectiveness of the social media and digital channels it uses to share news and insights and update Member Firms on Praxity’s services.
Praxity’s digital newsletters now reach 29% more readers than last year and its Twitter following has grown 10% since an outreach campaign began in September 2017. Engagement rates have doubled to 1.45% – far greater than industry averages for professional services and exponentially higher than for those with far greater marketing resources. The average for the 25 most engaging brands is 0.07%.
Numbers following Praxity’s Facebook page have grown six-fold since September 2017, and the LinkedIn profile audience has increased by more than 50% over the same period.
Unique website views have increased by 56% since previously Member-only content has been made public, and Participant Firms are now able to share that content on social media and in email campaigns.
Looking in and out
Not all insights have been outward-facing, and Praxity continued to support innovation within Participant Firms through masterclass and case study features – on branding, marketing, research, social media, conferences, cybersecurity and data security – and by widely-sharing Participants’ webinars.
The insights programme informed engagement through all Praxity channels and services, notably at the popular Praxity conferences, for which attendance has been swelling year on year – 250 delegates for June’s Global Tax & Fiscal event in Barcelona represented a 15% increase in take-up, and delegate numbers grew 25% for the NA Tax Conference 2017, with 38% more clients attending.
The ICAEW-facilitated New Horizons for Accountancy panel at autumn’s Global Conference in San Francisco shared a range of disparate views from differing professional, non-accountancy, perspectives, about what challenges the future might bring – voices that are not often heard, challenging assumptions and provoking new thinking. And evaluations continue to place insight from Member Firms across the globe as a highly-valued outcome. The high overall ratings for this years’ conferences reflect Praxity’s focus on the quality of content – the average satisfaction score for Barcelona was 8.2 out of 10.
Praxity is keen for communications to be stimulating, relevant and useful and keeps a constant eye on how media developments are changing people’s expectations. Feedback has already helped shape the overall approach to sharing insights, and a Praxity Brand Committee worked with a strategic communications agency this year to refresh its brand positioning – all to support even more effectively the ever-evolving services available from Participants in the Alliance.