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Andy’s Answers: How Raytheon pulled off live social coverage of a highly sensitive air show

2 min read

Brands & Campaigns

When Raytheon wanted to cover one of its biggest events of the year, it faced a variety of challenges. Arms-export laws, diplomatic sensitivities and security fears were among the difficulties of covering the top-secret air show in real time. But according to Raytheon’s Chris Hawley, it was all worth it to get the brand’s biggest influencer group — civilians — talking.

He explains that marketing directly to the folks who could sign contracts with Raytheon — military generals — was the old way of doing things. Now, the company has to focus on the people who would be its brand advocates: military families, veterans, staffers and aviation enthusiasts. At’s BlogWell conference in Los Angeles, Hawley explains how Raytheon brought its stories to these influencers and spread a lot of word-of-mouth by doing live coverage of the Farnborough International Airshow.

Here are some big ideas from his BlogWell presentation.

  • Tons of content doesn’t make up for mediocre content. Even though the company had more content from last year’s show, it saw more engagement with this year’s coverage, which focused on personal stories instead of sales pitches.
  • Plan ahead to keep people on target. Hawley talks about the company’s months of preparation before the air show to let its reporters and featured companies know they were looking for interesting, candid content, not polished news releases.
  • Write the stories ahead of time. For live coverage of such a sensitive event, the company needed many stories approved in advance. To keep these stories interesting and in real time, the company topped the stories off with real interview quotes and details during the show.

You can watch Hawley’s social media case study.

If you like this presentation, see more great social media case studies like it live at’s BlogWell conference April 17 in New York.