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AECOM’s Hyperloop Texas – Increasing Local Awareness to Infinite and Beyond

Situation

AECOM is a premier, fully integrated global infrastructure firm, and although AECOM is designing and managing many high-profile projects across the region, it did not have the brand recognition it desired. AECOM’s goal was to build credibility for its business line leaders and executives by raising visibility of the firm’s most challenging, notable projects.

One such project is the Hyperloop. AECOM participated in a global challenge to show Hyperloop One (now Virgin Hyperloop One) that Texas should be home to this first-of-its-kind technology. Part of the global challenge entailed obtaining support from key stakeholder groups including local government agencies and partners, as well as eliciting positive sentiment and support for the project from the general public and media.    


Dala Communications Solution

Dala Communications was tasked with amplifying AECOM’s national communications strategy and applying it at a local and regional level in order to increase awareness of AECOM and its involvement with Hyperloop Texas. Dala worked with AECOM to create messaging that would resonate with media, showcasing the firm’s expertise and leadership in the project, as well as its leading-edge innovation capabilities. The Dala team conducted extensive research of the current media landscape reporting on Hyperloop and created a targeted strategy to follow up with key media including those reporters in the cities that would be impacted by the route. Dala spent time prepping the Hyperloop Texas team lead for media interviews (which he had never before previously conducted) to ensure each resulting media placement incorporated AECOM’s key messaging, underscoring the firm's ability to lead innovation through implementing public-private partnerships. The end goal was ensuring the media coverage we secured correctly positioned AECOM as a leader in transportation innovation, showcasing the firm’s ability to think ahead on autonomous vehicles, smart roads and other innovations such as Hyperloop.

Results

The results were almost immediate and quickly snowballed into interviews and press coverage across the state with countless feature stories about AECOM’s forward-thinking innovative transportation solutions. Not only did the Houston Chronicle run a front page story (above the fold!) about AECOM’s proposal and the technology, but we also secured stories with KVUE in Austin, The Dallas Morning NewsDallas Innovates, the Dallas Business Journal and CultureMap, to name a few. In fact, the Austin Business Journal Hyperloop article was the most-read story in 2017.

Over the summer of 2017, AECOM’s Hyperloop Texas team was named a winner of the competition and Dala continued to coordinate in-depth feature stories and broadcast news segments highlighting AECOM’s innovative transportation strategies beyond Hyperloop. More features appeared on DFW’s Fox 4’s Good DayNBC 5, a front-page story of the Fort Worth Star Telegram, front-page business story in The Dallas Morning News, and more.

AECOM took note of our success and pulled us in to assist its Denver office with media outreach for its winning Rocky Mountain Hyperloop proposal. Though the market and team dynamics varied, we utilized our strategic approach to secure a broadcast story during a prime time TV spot (right after the highly-viewed Denver Broncos football game) as well as several stories in local media to help build upon the Texas team’s momentum.

In just 2017, the Dala team secured more than 130 media hits for AECOM’s Hyperloop teams in Texas and Colorado and the media interest continues into 2018. The extensive coverage also helped draw more attention to AECOM’s Texas Hyperloop lead as a thought leader - he was invited to speak at SXSW 2018 and was positioned alongside Uber as one of the featured speakers. The extensive media placements effectively positioned AECOM's team as industry experts and thought-leader yielding increased business opportunities and speaking engagements and increased overall awareness of AECOM.