Mott MacDonald is a leading global consultancy, whose work spans the built environment, transport, net zero, digital and economic regeneration sectors, among other areas of expertise.

Leeds had been identified as a priority city for Mott MacDonald’s UK business and a new City Director role had been created with an emphasis on growing the office’s profile and networks to support its pipeline of new work. If successful, the remit of this role would be replicated across other regional offices in the UK.

Mott MacDonald’s Leeds office was delivering major strategic projects across Leeds and West Yorkshire but felt that the depth and breadth of the team’s expertise was not fully understood by all the key regional stakeholders the business wanted to engage.

Social was appointed to deliver a Strategy Sprint for the Leeds team, helping it to shape a communications strategy that would enable the business to tell its story in a compelling, integrated way, strengthen its profile and relationships among key regional stakeholders, and ultimately win more business across the full scope of its activities.

Our solution

We took a bespoke approach to designing a Strategy Sprint for Mott MacDonald that would meet their specific objectives.

We held an initial three-hour virtual sprint workshop for members of the team, aimed at unearthing crucial insights about their target audiences and relationships with those audiences, their value proposition to those audiences, and the effectiveness of their existing communications channels. This was followed by a second, shorter workshop to share our key findings and recommendations.

We also undertook competitor analysis examining the profile of other, similar businesses in the Leeds City Region and their respective communications approaches. We made the most of our Social Leeds team’s relationships with key decision-makers and influencers in the region to assess their awareness and understanding of the Mott MacDonald Leeds team’s work and identify opportunities.

We used all these insights to develop a targeted communications and engagement strategy for Mott MacDonald Leeds. We identified priority audiences and a roadmap to communicating and engaging with those audiences effectively, comprising regional PR, thought leadership content (both through the regional media and the business’s own blogs, events and social media presence) and direct stakeholder relationship-building. It was vital that these channels and tactics were all under the direct control of the Leeds teams since, as a global business, Mott MacDonald’s corporate communications channels are primarily aimed at promoting its national and international impact, rather than its individual regional offices.

Alongside this roadmap, we created a clear set of messages for the Leeds team, focusing on how their work has an impact on both the region’s and individual local authorities’ strategic priorities, and their industry-leading approach to social value.

Our results

The direct outputs of our work included:

  • A deeper understanding of the business’s key target audiences, their interests, motivations, pains, gains and understanding of Mott MacDonald’s work in the region
  • A prioritised list of stakeholders to target through a focused programme of engagement
  • A clear, prioritised and actionable plan that Mott MacDonald’s Leeds team could deliver in-house, with limited resources, to build relationships and profile among the target stakeholders
  • A simple narrative and set of key messages setting out Mott MacDonald’s Leeds and West Yorkshire value proposition in terms that would resonate with the target stakeholders

What was achieved

Following our Strategy Sprint work, the following outcomes have been achieved:

  • The Mott MacDonald Leeds team has put many of the tactics and opportunities set out in the roadmap we delivered into action. This includes organising and delivering a programme of thought leadership webinars that have engaged senior professionals from target organisations and encouraging team members to use their individual LinkedIn profiles to share updates from the Leeds business.
  • Senior members of the team have joined key regional networks and forums, as recommended in the action plan, building their relationships and profile among influential regional figures
  • As a direct result of our stakeholder perception audit, we were able to facilitate an introduction to a high priority stakeholder and the Mott MacDonald Leeds team has subsequently cultivated an effective relationship with other senior members of their organisation
  • Social was subsequently commissioned by Mott MacDonald Leeds to support the delivery of other tactics identified through the Sprint, including securing media coverage and thought leadership articles in key regional publications, and delivering a well-attended breakfast event at the high-profile UKREiiF conference in May 2022.
  • The strategic approach that Social helped the Mott MacDonald Leeds team establish has been recognised as good practice by other regional offices, who are looking into replicating similar activities in their respective cities and regions.