Manufacturing B2B public relations - comms from WPR

Corrosion, Cracking and Downtime

WPR was briefed by our client, Spirax Sarco to launch its new heat pipe product, a revolutionary technology for users of industrial steam.

The potential audience was highly niche and difficult to influence, not least because of the significant investment required to transfer to the new technology.

The subsequent campaign not only delivered media coverage, but also through a highly targeted LinkedIn campaign, we delivered more than 25 sales leads from senior engineering personnel with a potential value that outstripped the cost of the campaign by more than 50:1.

Brief and Objectives

WPR was tasked with launching Spirax Sarco’s latest technology, heat pipe – a never-before-seen technology capable of revolutionising the way heat is transferred by industrial users of steam.

Bringing an entirely new concept to a market reliant on traditional boiler economisers, which are habitually dirty, challenging to maintain and prone to failure, would require WPR to:

  1. Emphasise how conventional heat transfer equipment is causing an unnecessary drain on British industry
  2. Make plant managers and operators aware there is a cleaner, more effective and reliable alternative to their economiser
  3. Gather customer data to allow the sales team to make direct contact


Output targets

To deliver, over three months:

  • 12 press cuttings in relevant trade media
  • Two in-depth editorial features – full page or more (or online equivalent)
  • >50% of press coverage achieved on online channels (thus generating an active URL to campaign landing page)
  • Four blogs hosted on the Spirax Sarco website

Outcome targets

  • >500 LinkedIn clicks to Spirax Sarco branded information/content
  • >40 Twitter clicks to Spirax Sarco branded information/content
  • >60,000 social media reach/impressions
  • >25 quality sales leads from senior engineering personnel

Strategy and Research

During the campaign planning stages, WPR attended a detailed briefing and product demonstration with Spirax Sarco’s Emerging & Innovative Technology Manager and business development managers. The session offered an insight into the benefits of the new product and, more importantly, highlighted some of the failings of the conventional equivalent – showing real-life examples of boiler plants which had experienced downtime or financial penalties as a direct result of corrosion, failure or complete breakdown. When these challenges were taken into account, it became evident that a new heat pipe heat exchanger would be capable of paying for itself in as little as three months.

In short, the campaign’s appeal would rely on harnessing this negativity towards conventional heat transfer equipment (economisers) in order to make plant managers and operators aware there is a favourable alternative.

WPR’s strategy was therefore to:

Harness the frustrations industrial steam users have with their unreliable economisers to encourage them to consider heat pipe as their only cost-effective solution.


WPR used a combination of anecdotal evidence, technical data and real-life case studies to create a report on the failure of heat transfer in industrial applications. This white paper sat at the heart of a content marketing campaign, with the targeting capabilities of social media used to ensure the relevant stakeholders identified during planning would feel compelled to download the report.

Upon reaching the report’s landing page, a value exchange would be key; offering plant managers and operators a solution to a major headache in return for their contact details.

Creativity and Originality

While the original campaign brief was simply to launch a new product, WPR was aware that a simple ‘Spirax Sarco launches new product’ announcement would fail to grab the attention of its target market. For this reason, the news hook was flipped on its head, stressing that conventional technology is failing British industry, before introducing the new product as a solution.

Aside from negative bias of the report itself, WPR was keen to make sure a variety of different news hooks were used – all with the sole aim of driving interest in, and traffic to, the report.

Implementation of Tactics

Corrosion, Cracking, and Downtime Report

  • 12-page problem-solution report written by WPR and designed in-house
  • Report hosted on the Institute of Engineering & Technology website, behind a data capture form & with e-shot sent to segmented portion of the IET membership
  • Report hosted on Spirax Sarco website, behind a data capture form

Social Media

  • Targeted series of organic posts across LinkedIn and Twitter directing relevant traffic to Spirax Sarco report landing page
  • Targeted series of promoted posts across LinkedIn and Twitter directing relevant traffic to Spirax Sarco report landing page


  • Series of issues-based press releases, feature articles and blogs covering various aspects of the problem-solution heat pipe approach targeting online industry channels to drive traffic to campaign landing page

Test & Learn

  • For the duration of the campaign, results were measured against campaign targets each week. One of the most notable observations during this period was that the IET landing page attracted and converted over ten times the visitors of the Spirax Sarco equivalent a fortnight into the campaign. This enabled WPR to shift the allocation of the social media spend accordingly. In addition, WPR also identified that the specific nature of LinkedIn targeting was driving more traffic than Twitter, which again allowed budget to be reallocated

Results and Evaluation

Output targets

  • 12 press cuttings, we achieved 13 (8% ahead of target)
  • Two in-depth editorial features, we achieved two (on target)
  • >50% of press coverage achieved on online channels, we achieved 77% (27% ahead of target)
  • Four blogs hosted on the Spirax Sarco website, we achieved four (on target)

Outcome targets

  • >500 LinkedIn clicks, we achieved 865 (73% ahead of target)
  • >40 Twitter clicks, we achieved 34 (15% below target)
  • >60,000 social media reach/impressions, we achieved 105,826 (76% ahead of target)
  • >25 quality sales leads from senior engineering personnel, we achieved 72 (188% ahead of target)

If you’d like help creating your own B2B marketing campaign, please contact us.

The Author: Tom Leatherbarrow is a Director at WPR specialising in B2B PR and marketing.