Materialise, one of the oldest and largest 3D printing companies in the world, requires PR solutions that can amplify, and keep pace with, its sector-leading advancements. As the company develops additive manufacturing technology into one that enables a better and healthier world, it uses the Meltwater Suite to cement its position as a thought leader within the industry and beyond. With data-rich platforms featuring AI-powered solutions, Materialise can remain a prominent driver of global excitement around 3D printing technology.
With Meltwater, Materialise can:
Centralize global PR operations
Grow corporate and brand share of voice
Prove ROI and automate reporting
“If you want to elevate the conversation, you need to understand the conversation. Through Meltwater, we are able to not only identify but also understand those conversations.”
Kristof Sehmke, Global Communication Manager, Materialise
Consolidated comms for multinational needs
Established in Belgium in 1990, Materialise has since grown to be active in 21 countries with more than 2,400 employees. Its communications team relies on Meltwater to run PR operations for all of those markets straight from its original headquarters.
“We are a multinational company, but we don't have dedicated PR people, let alone media expertise or knowledge or agencies, in all of these countries,” says Kristof Sehmke, Global Communication Manager at Materialise. His team found what it needed — a holistic way to understand Materialise’s brand health over time — in the Meltwater's media intelligence platform. Features like unlimited keyword monitoring and automated summary reports keep them in the loop any time Materialise is mentioned in media outlets based in their markets across Europe, the Americas, and the Asia-Pacific regions. “We use it for tracking and any coverage on a day-to-day basis through news digest reports. But also if there's any ad hoc projects, I can draw insight reports out of that.”
Materialise uses Meltwater's media relations solution to amplify its own news and messaging. Our centralized media contacts database lets the communications team find and reach out to key journalists and outlets across all of its markets. At the same time, the solution’s real-time PR dashboards keep track of the results of their efforts via data visualizations of media exposure, share of voice, and other metrics.
With Meltwater, Materialise keeps its communications operations consolidated and centralized even as it continues to grow. Case in point, Materialise uses our platform’s press release distribution feature to fulfill its requirements as a publicly-listed company, easily issuing newswires to key publications whenever acquisitions, earnings-related items, partnerships, or other relevant developments arise.
Solutions to amplify thought leadership
In 2020, Materialise embarked on a five-year corporate plan to establish the company as a sector-wide champion of sustainability. And part of fulfilling that plan would involve challenging the common assumption that 3D printing is inherently sustainable. For example, its life cycle assessment study found that the technology isn’t currently the most sustainable option for large-scale manufacturing. Instead of ignoring those results to boost a favorable but false narrative, the company used them as inspiration to find a way to challenge those perceptions and make 3D printing more eco-friendly.
Sehmke and his team use Meltwater to monitor media coverage of 3D printing and sustainability. That analysis lets them uncover the major topics, themes, and messaging styles within relevant global and local conversations. They also use the platform to pinpoint their peers within that discussion and benchmark Materialise’s media coverage against them.
Using our media relations solution, Materialise identified the top journalists covering sustainability and 3D printing who could help amplify the company’s ambitious mission. With those insights, Materialise was able to join the global conversation with a new assumption-challenging PR strategy.
“Thought leadership is not just joining the conversation but elevating the conversation,” Sehmke says. “By reading about what other companies were saying about the nature of sustainability of the technology, we were much better informed to counter them. Otherwise, it would just be me putting stuff out there blindly.”
Thus, with strategic PR outputs, Materialise has become a thought leader in the 3D sustainable printing space, successfully changing the narrative around sustainability for the entire industry.
Measurable, shareable PR analytics
The company’s thought leadership evolution became clear qualitatively as more journalists began seeking the company out for coverage and quotes. But the communications team was also able to prove this evolution quantitatively with the Meltwater media intelligence platform’s streamlined reporting solutions.
Using a database (custom-built by Meltwater analysts) of 99 target media outlets, from niche trade websites to legacy media institutions, the communications team tracks its share of voice over time on both the brand and corporate levels. It can then automatically benchmark those evolutions against those of its top competitors, all via easy-to-read data visualizations, shareable reports, and real-time PR dashboards. Those features are invaluable for Materialise, making it easy for the communications department to stay in sync with executive stakeholders, supplying them with relevant insights to inform their decision-making.