Demystifying RPA for the SA audience

With the RPA industry still in its relative infancy, the challenge facing UiPath was to demystify the technology.

UiPath, a Bucharest-founded business now based in New York, is a leading robotic process automation (RPA) vendor with a global footprint. The client wished to drive expansion in South Africa with a new head of sales who was appointed in January 2019. They approached Red Ribbon Communications to launch UiPath in South Africa and increase brand awareness of the company to boost sales.

With the RPA industry still in its relative infancy, the challenge facing UiPath was to build awareness and understanding by ‘demystifying’ the technology in order to reach a wider African audience.

In addition, South Africa’s unemployment rate currently sits at 29%, raising concerns among people that the introduction of RPA could result in further job losses. However, education around RPA could combat this misapprehension.

When comparing fist half of 2018 to fist half of 2019, there is a 183% increase in search interest for UiPath.

Objectives
UiPath launched in South Africa during a period of explosive growth for the company both globally and in the EMEA. However, it was much less well-known in South Africa. The company has only recently established a physical presence in the region – and so it wanted to reinforce the brand in South Africa and take a more strategic approach to media engagements.

As its South African PR agency, our primary objective was therefore to build brand recognition of UiPath and help to drive adoption of RPA in the region. Red Ribbon also needed to educate the market on the benefits of RPA and address the negativity around potential job losses.

Approach
Our approached centred on applying storytelling to all our PR activities, thereby making RPA as relatable as possible.

This was achieved through three key pillars: education around freeing up human capital to become creative problem-solvers, showcasing the solutions being developed and inspiring journalists, influencers and potential customers by presenting an engaging vision of the future.

Through a combination of content creation, a media rountable discussion and executive interviews we focused on educating people about RPA, such as the benefits of harnessing RPA (no job losses and instead the ability to free up staff for new roles that were less mundane and made better use of employees’ IP).

We created additional content to promote an international leader’s visit to South Africa and increase customer engagement. This included:
● Social media content
● Client video testimonials
● Professional photos of client dinner

UiPath spokespeople were pitched to key publications as thought leaders in the RPA industry and made accessible through a combination of one-on-one briefings, a media roundtable and offline meetups.

Overall Results
UiPath’s market presence in South Africa increased significantly during the 6-month campaign. This was driven by effective press office activities and a focus on educating both media and potential customers with engaging and informative content.

High level coverage: More than 10 pieces of media coverage in top-tier publications. This included the likes of Sunday Times, Business Report, Fin24, Netwerk24, The Star, IOL, TimesLIVE and Die Burger – Sake, Brainstorm and Engineering News.

Influencer relations: We motivated and secured a lunch date with one of South Africa’s most well-known analysts and IT personalities, Arthur Goldstuck. Goldstuck is ya columnist for The Sunday Times, the Editor-in-Chief for the online magazine Gadget, and has a social media following of over 58 000 on Twitter.

Increased brand recognition: When comparing H1 2018 to H1 2019, there is a 183% increase in search interest for UiPath.

Industry education: We achieved strong message penetration by developing engaging storylines for briefings and written content, such as educating the market – while also raising UiPath’s profile in South Africa.

183%
Increase in local Google search interest
28
Total pieces of coverage