Nissan Visits Elite Blue Angels for Future Sports Car Innovation

Challenge

Like most organizations, Nissan North America desires favorable media coverage, and to foster strong relationships with media. The goal, of course, is to help create favorable brand awareness to ultimately drive sales. During a two-year period, the company engaged in a full-scale product offensive, launching five all-new core models in 15 months. With 75 percent of its product portfolio entirely new, Nissan generated good momentum in the marketplace with fresh product featuring the latest technology and fuel efficiency consumers demand. At the same time, Nissan invested in the U. S. With a growing workforce at an engineering center in Michigan, the opening of the U.S.’s largest electric vehicle lithium-ion battery plant in Tennessee and launching an advanced technology lab for autonomous driving in Silicon Valley, Nissan has solid economic, tech and sustainability stories to tell.

To help Nissan strengthen its media coverage and media relationships during this critical time, the company engaged Stratacomm as a key partner for corporate and product communications strategy and support. As Nissan’s agency of record, Stratacomm’s work spans areas ranging from strategic communications counsel to tactical implementation.

Our Approach

The communications team at Nissan has the overarching goals of increasing the company’s media share of voice and raising the public’s overall opinion of the brand through positive media coverage. As part of its engagement, Stratacomm is working in partnership with Nissan to achieve this through focused efforts with the following agency goals:

  1. Generate strong media coverage through continuous outreach, new media outlets and robust story telling
  2. Further relationships through an enhanced understanding of the media’s needs and wants to ensure what Nissan is saying is seen and heard

Stratacomm has deployed a variety of media relations tactics to help bolster Nissan’s media coverage and build on the automaker’s relationships with media. Keys to success include:

Generate Strong Media Coverage

  • Monitoring media trends and proactively identifying opportunities to insert Nissan into the story
  • Extending media coverage beyond just the transportation-focused media
  • Leveraging local initiatives to raise Nissan’s profile with local community media
  • Identifying creative ways to tell stories by leveraging broadcast media and infographics

Further Media Relationships

  • Regularly communicating with key media outside of story pitching
  • Providing an improved experience at all touch points from major media events to simple media inquiries

Results

Stratacomm successfully helped position Nissan and its messages proactively with media. Additionally, media in Detroit, in top media markets and in select trade and lifestyle categories recognize Stratacomm as a consistent resource for Nissan news and information.

Key highlights include:

Generate Strong Media Coverage

  • Leveraged National Tire Safety Week to promote Nissan’s Easy Fill Tire Alert technology on the all-new Nissan Altima in 2012 and again in 2013 featuring the newly-launched Nissan Versa Note
  • Arranged a “CBS This Morning” piece hailing the Nissan NV200 taxi
  • Inserted Nissan into Bloomberg coverage on the monthly jobs report by proactively offering a spokesperson for comment
  • Supported multiple local market programs including a Habitat for Humanity home build with former Heisman Trophy winners in Dallas, Nissan Titan donation to the Greening of Detroit, electric vehicle charging station donations in California through Adopt-a-Charger, free gasoline giveaways in Nashville and Atlanta on National Plug-in Day 2013, and concierge service on Black Friday in Denver
  • Coordinated a satellite media tour positioning the Nissan Pathfinder as the ultimate tailgating vehicle
  • Secured one-on-one interviews with Nissan’s top designer with non-automotive design and architecture outlets during the 2014 New York International Auto Show

Further Media Relationships

  • Executed the first-ever “Nissan Journalist Express” hosting New York-based media on a train with Nissan executives to travel to Washington, D.C. for exclusive access to the Washington Auto Show
  • Coordinated a volunteer day at a local Detroit food bank for media, Nissan communications team members and Nissan executives to donate time together during the holiday season in lieu of a holiday party
  • Developed plan to further relationships with the outdoor media community in anticipation of a major product launch that speaks to their consumer base