CASE: TRAVELPERK (Product PR & Thought Leadership)

Business travel, digitally reimagined 

Business Travel for the digital age

TravelPerk offers a booking and travel management platform for businesses. Users can find all means of transport and accommodation in one place, with automatic invoicing. Employees and accounting departments save valuable time while remaining flexible. We were hired in 2019 to put the topic of "digital travel management for companies" on the agenda and to position the start-up from Barcelona as a modern alternative to the conventional corporate travel agency. 

The Smart Challenger

The market for business travel is dominated by local travel agencies on the one hand and large travel management companies serving international corporates on the other. Both have one thing in common: the booking process is cumbersome, time-consuming and not very user-friendly. For this reason, many employees switch to self-booking portals aimed at consumers. The result: loss of control over costs and time-consuming billing and reimbursement procedures. TravelPerk solves these problems with three brand promises:

1
Employees can book their travel themselves. Free support included 
2
All means of transport and hotels worldwide at the lowest price with one easy booking 
3
Travel policies are enforced company-wide. Billing is conveniently done centrally 

PR Strategy: Taking the employees' point of view

In a digitalised market the balances of power are being reversed. The user experience is much smoother for private holidays than for business trips - also thanks to modern technology. As a result, employees are switching to user-friendly booking portals and avoiding unwieldy corporate processes. And let's face it, nobody really likes staying in a boring one-size-fits-all business hotel, or do you?
 For TravelPerk this is a great communications opportunity. By taking the employees' perspective when choosing topics, content and messages, we can open the eyes of decision-makers. Our PR campaign therefore positions TravelPerk as an agent of change in business travel - with a solution that makes both sides happy: corporate travel managers and employees. 

Tactics

1

Start with the facts

At the outset of the campaign, we created urgency for the issue by providing facts on the dimension of compliance problems associated with business travel. One example: Around 40% of all bookings are made outside of corporate guidelines and thus cost companies more money than necessary.
2

Survey unveils controversy over travel expense processes

The employee perspective was provided by a consumer survey, which revealed that only 34% of employees are aware of their employers' travel policy. 55% find their company's expense claim process so complicated that they feel cheated by the employer. Enough material for debate, for example in SME title "impulse".
3

Nurturing relationships

Through targeted media outreach and individual briefings of business editors by the German manager of TravelPerk, we ensured high-caliber coverage, for example, in national daily "Süddeutsche Zeitung".
4

Agenda Surfing 

When the coronavirus pandemic shook the global economy in early 2020 and business trips were cancelled en masse, we positioned TravelPerk as a data provider and expert, for example with Handelsblatt and Wirtschaftswoche, and delivered the solution at the same time: The new product FlexiPerk, that keeps cancellation costs in check.

Media coverage

Visibility helps bring in new leads

The media presence created by Oseon for Travelperk has a direct impact on our business in Germany. Especially after reports in major daily newspapers, we are receiving an increasing number of new inquiries.

Eugen Triebelhorn, General Manager Germany, TravelPerk 

Conclusion: Media become advocates of business travelers

After just a bit over nine months, TravelPerk has become a highly regarded new player in the business travel market in Germany and is even considered by the media to be the strongest challenger to the incumbents.

fvw and Travelnews, industry publications such as Beschaffung aktuell and even business dailies such as Handelsblatt and Süddeutsche Zeitung have become curious about TravelPerk as a result of the switch in perspectives that looks at the wishes and preferences of employees instead of companies.

The reward: Product innovations such as the carbon compensation option "GreenPerk" and the flexible cancellation feature „FlexiPerk" were quickly met with a positive response due to the initial investment in relationship-building with trade and business media.