Raising the Visibility of an Established Trade Association

Challenge

The National Contract Management Association (NCMA) is a 54-year-old institution with over 22,000 members who work in government contracting and related fields. Having minimal internal resources devoted to strategic communications, the organization was looking for a partner that could provide expert counsel, as well as tactical support. NCMA enlisted Hillenby to help increase credibility for the contract management professional and raise awareness for the association with key audiences. 

Solution

After discussions with NCMA principals, we provided expertise and execution in two areas. First, we worked with the organization to review and refine its comprehensive annual communications plan and establish streamlined, standard protocols for media engagement and crisis communications. Our efforts included reviewing NCMA’s existing public relations strategy and providing specific feedback, guidance and recommendations, including creative ways to engage with current and prospective members, the media and other target audiences. Our objective was to provide the organization a sustainable blueprint to help them achieve their goals.

We also researched and identified reporters influential in the contract management field and began working with NCMA to build relationships with those journalists through a series of desk-side briefings. Leading up to each of these meetings, our team created detailed background briefing documents and prepared the executive director for the meeting with information on the reporter and outlet, as well as key messages to be delivered. We also identified potential stories and news hooks to form the basis of a proactive editorial calendar.

 Results

  • NCMA began the year with a comprehensive strategic communications plan with creative ideas for reaching their organizational goals and clearer protocols for addressing communications issues, including crisis situations.
  • NCMA’s executive director was established with influential media as the go-to resource for information on the industry and related trends.
  • Secured briefings with the most sought-after publications in the industry, including Bloomberg Government, Federal Times, Government Executive and Washington Technology, resulting in immediate positive news coverage for the association.
“NCMA had minimal press exposure before engaging Hillenby, but we’re now frequently contacted by a number of our target publications. They also provided strong strategic counsel to help us put together an effective communications plan for our organization.”

Jessica Friedman, Director of Marketing, NCMA

Expertise

  • Strategic Planning
  • Media Relations
  • Media Training
  • Message Development

Industry

  • Government Contracting
  • Trade Associations