Greenough, a leading independent public relations firm in Boston, and its client Virtusa Corporation (NASDAQ: VRTU), a global IT services company that offers a broad spectrum of business consulting and outsourcing services, have developed a successful social media program that has recently been recognized by leading analysts from both Gartner, Inc. and Forrester Research. Greenough and Virtusa began their partnership in September 2009 and, in less than a year, implemented a program that has increased Virtusa’s visibility, connected the company with market influencers and positioned its executives as go-to thought leaders within their respective industries.
The program is based on Greenough’s unique FUSE™ (Focus, Understand, Strategy, Engage) methodology, which employs active listening and measurement techniques to determine the highest value social media channels and activities for a company. The prescriptive and iterative process includes a major emphasis on educating and involving a company’s thought leaders, extending social media engagement far beyond the marketing department.
Gartner recently published the, “Case Study: Virtusa's Social Media Plan Begins With Purpose Definition and Employee Education,” which examines how Virtusa’s program allowed the company to capitalize on social media opportunities without incurring an unreasonable amount of risk. In the case study, Gartner VP and distinguished analyst Carol Rozwell writes, “To keep the Virtusa brand strong both online and offline, the company needed to define how it wanted to utilize social media, develop working principles to give it a collective online voice, and create a social media training plan that would educate employees about opportunities and risks.”
Greenough helped Doug Mow, Virtusa’s senior vice president of marketing, meet these challenges by:
- Creating a program timeline that focused on one industry group at a time, allowing Virtusa to roll it out in increments and achieve some early wins;
- Developing a robust set of company-wide social media guidelines;
- Creating and leading a comprehensive training program, including getting started guides for each industry group;
- Launching new social media channels including the Virtusa blog and Twitter; and
- Identifying key social media influencers in Virtusa’s industries and guiding experts on where and how to engage with them.
Mow was recently asked to speak about Virtusa’s program to Forrester’s Technology Marketing Executive Council, sharing the best practices the company has employed and lessons learned along the way. During the session, he emphasized the importance of choosing the right partner, creating a plan that includes a pilot program, gaining buy-in from the entire executive team, and giving thought leaders the tools and training they need to be successful.
“We chose to work with Greenough because of their extensive social media experience and proven FUSE process,” said Mow. “Their ‘teach-a-man to fish’ approach gives our employees the tools, education and initial support they need to quickly succeed in social media, and eventually engage independently. This has allowed us to rapidly roll-out social media activities across our various business units and make an immense impact with minimal investment in additional resources.”
“Virtusa’s success is a direct result of their team’s enthusiasm and willingness to try out our integrated approach to social media program development and then take some planned risks for jumping into online conversations,” said Phil Greenough, president of Greenough. “Doug and his team understand that successful social media programs can’t be done in a vacuum but rather rely on the support of the entire company to become fully engaged as an organization. We’re thrilled to help Virtusa make its mark on the market and look forward to expanding and evolving our efforts in the near future.”