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smart Automobile’s rapid international expansion by ‘Thinking Global, Acting Local’

The automotive industry with so many opportunities in the field of electrification and connectivity globally, is an industry where developments are rapidly expanding. smart Automobile is committed to developing into a world-leading, premium, all-electric automobile and technology brand seizing these developments. The company is a 50/50 joint venture between Mercedes-Benz AG and Geely Automobile Group Co., Ltd, combining German design and advanced technology. It was established in 2020 and has recently completed a comprehensive renewal of its brand, products, and business model. smart Automobile creates synergies to turn smart into a leading provider of premium and connected electric vehicles, and uses Presspage for their global media platform.

Rapidly expanding organization: ‘Think global, act local’

Gunjan Khandelwal was one of the early joiners of smart Europe and joined as a Specialist PR and Communications two years ago. The international communications team manages all digital marketing, advertising and PR activities across Europe. When Gunjan joined the rapidly expanding organization, her first task ahead was to manage the global media site via the Presspage platform. Most of the news that is managed through the media site is about product Launches, important News and announcements, requiring a proactive approach. With sales points across 11 European markets, media relations for smart Automobile can therefore be challenging.

The international newsroom of smart was formerly based in China (in both Chinese and English). As the company expanded, so did the need for local newsrooms. As 13 different local newsrooms were set up via Presspage, users were trained across Europe to work with the system. It is imperative that the standards of the news are managed on a global level, so centralized control is still essential. For Gunjan, having one central platform through which all content is managed makes life much easier. As creating more local news is encouraged within the company, she can easily access local items to align with the global communication strategy. Gunjan sees that indeed, markets are already using it to post local news.

smart colourful village

Sharing is caring

Besides being the go-to place for media relations, Presspage is often also used internally as a single source of truth where up-to-date information can be found. Gunjan confirms “Even I use the platform sometimes when I need a specific asset, it is so easy to find things and to have a single source of truth for all approved assets.” For the communications department, it is indeed very convenient to have one location to work with, to keep updated and to refer relations to for information. Instead of requesting information from Gunjan via email, people now know where to find the information. And in case they are not able to find it, it is very easy to share a link with them so they can download the information from Presspage.

Internal audiences also use Presspage as their central source of information and proactively search on the platform for information. It is the central location for new information, new partnerships, new processes and new features: “We don’t really have an internal communication tool, so some parts of our organization may not always be fully aware of all the latest updates. It is very helpful to use the Presspage platform for internal audiences as well. We always post a link on Linkedin, so anyone can connect” says Gunjan. “Additionally, many employees share our content as well now, which really helps us in spreading information.”

The Presspage team’s readiness to help is amazing. Working with Presspage has been (and still is) a very positive experience for me.

Gunjan Khandelwal
Specialist PR and Communications 

Good content is a great attraction

As smart Automobile is a product-based company, visual content is required to enhance the messaging. Presspage allows for all sorts of visual files to be shared via the platform, which offers extreme convenience for users. It makes it very easy for the media to collect the news; they can navigate directly to the media site. Gunjan proudly explains: “Getting media to be able to serve themselves was our target, and we reached this last year. We are dedicated to keep content up to date, we always add the latest photo shoots and information. Recently, our new model #3 was launched. This attracted many visitors, as we made all the content available on the media site. We can now say we have established a good connection between the media and our media site, as they now automatically reach out to our webpage to start with.”

450% growth: Increased subscriptions and engagement

Another major achievement was the increase in newsletter subscriptions. Gunjan sees that more people are looking for information from the company. All pages see increased footfall and more engagement on each article, which was also one of the targets for the past year. To attract their audiences, smart increased the efforts to add more relevant content. “As a result, the number of visitors has been constantly increasing,” confirms Gunjan. And the statistics are clear: the number of views has increased from roughly 50,000 in 2021 to almost 225,000 in 2022, which is an incredible 450% growth. Recently, the company started a blog section. “This section is helpful for people who work in media but also for people who are just interested, and who would like to know more about the brand. It has been a good attraction. We have to keep content interesting to keep them coming.”

Working with Presspage

When asked if she has any advice for other companies about working with Presspage, Gunjan is very clear: “Presspage is so easy and intuitive to use. Even if you have no clue how general websites work, it is easy to manage. And customer support is amazing, they have been prompt, fast, helpful in supporting me. Whenever I reach out, response is immediate and helpful.”.

Even as smart Automobile requested a layout solution that did not exist yet, Customer Success was happy to immediately create the solution for them. “When I shared with our customer success manager, they were able to create what I wanted immediately. The readiness to help and to develop is amazing. Working with Presspage has been (and still is) a very positive experience for me.”

Looking ahead, smart will continue to explore the best solutions for low-carbon urban mobility hand in hand with customers and the industry, and Presspage is proud to contribute to their purpose: to design a smarter future together!

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