Byfield: Providing expert guidance on reputation and risk by harnessing AI

“By focusing PR efforts on the areas where their voice could potentially be louder, as suggested by Signal AI, we can help our clients achieve more cut through and make a bigger impact on topics of particular importance to them.”

How Byfield’s clients make more informed decisions on reputation

  • With the power of AI, Byfield’s specialists are able to spot risks early and protect their clients' reputations.
  • Access to cutting edge metrics, like sentiment analysis, identifies areas of strong perception and where clients need to cut through the noise.
  • With real-time AI-powered briefings and an industry-leading range of sources, the team can react quickly and effectively to help clients make more informed decisions.

Importance of making the right decisions around reputation

Prioritizing reputation is swiftly becoming the norm for businesses. Signal AI research shows 81% of the C-suite consider their brand’s perception more important than margin when making decisions. This represents a huge opportunity for communicators to act as advisors on all things reputation.

Byfield – London’s leading reputation counsel to the legal sector – believes reputations are difficult to build and easily lost. Operating in a “highly sensitive and fast changing environment”, Byfield prides itself on providing specialist advice on reputation by understanding reputational drivers, identifying the right opportunities for clients, and spotting and mitigating risks.

What Byfield sought to achieve

In order to effectively counsel their clients on reputation, it was important for Byfield to effectively measure a client’s reputation and to analyze the success of their outreach across numerous titles, beyond simply mentions. Byfield wanted to understand shifts in coverage, and compare the media profile of clients against their competitors according to certain topics.

Byfield had cited the large number of sources they needed to monitor in order to stay ahead of potential issues, and combine this with real-time alerts to help clients avoid and mitigate any consequent crisis. These sources range from print to online, national to regional, professional and sector-specific titles.

Finally, Byfield needed a platform that put the many specialists using it in control, where they could adapt or set up new searches as they needed to – instead of relying on inefficient boolean technology or waiting on an account manager to make adjustments for them.

Measuring PR success and identifying areas of white space for clients

“By focusing PR efforts on the areas where their voice could potentially be louder, as suggested by Signal AI, we can help our clients achieve more cut through and make a bigger impact on topics of particular importance to them.” Bethaney Durkin, Account Director at Byfield

Thanks to the power of AI, Byfield can analyze sentiment (identifying the positivity of mentions for greater accuracy) of a client’s media coverage according to certain topics and when compared with competitors. For example, during the height of the pandemic, Byfield was using topical analysis around redundancies and the furlough scheme to give clients a better understanding of the media conversation.

All of this is accessed through Signal AI’s dashboards and data visualizations, which centralize media analysis into one dashboard to help power reporting and strategy setting. Using these advanced metrics, Byfield can understand the sentiment towards a client and its share of voice in relation to certain key topics, uncovering insights that would not have been possible to access without Signal AI. Byfield can then report more effectively to clients on the impact of their communications strategies, and demonstrate where they can have a greater impact.

How Byfield harnesses AI to react effectively to potential risks

“Signal AI allows us to give clients early warning of threats to their reputation. We help them plan an efficient response, and in that way provide them with a unique, impactful service.”

In order to stay ahead of potential risks and mitigate the impact of any issues for its clients, Byfield’s team utilizes AI-powered searching. This means using entities – such as organizations, regions, products, people, media types (such as broadcast and podcast) and topics that are trained by AIQ, the brain behind the Signal AI platform.

These entities drastically cut the amount of time needed to find relevant coverage and remove the need to sift through anything irrelevant – allowing the team to spend more time on more strategically important activities. As the Signal AI platform ingests 5 million documents a day, Byfield are able to have the widest possible view of potential threats to their clients’ reputation.

Byfield’s specialists can react effectively to a potential threat by adjusting searches themselves. Search results appear in real-time, while the AI-powered briefings within the platform instantly flag potentially damaging stories to the team and straight to their inbox. This type of risk sensing gives them an eye on any potential crisis, ensuring Byfield has a view of the whole landscape to spot opportunities and threats.

Bethaney Durkin said: “A particular strength of Signal AI is its ability to monitor the media conversation in real time and keep us alerted to developments as they happen. As potentially damaging stories emerge, our team can react quickly and adjust existing searches or set up new ones as the issue evolves, thanks to AI-powered searching. In a crisis situation having access to real-time information is so important for decision making, and Signal AI means we are not caught out behind the curve of the story.”

How Byfield helps clients make better decisions around reputation

Armed with the right information thanks to the Signal AI platform, Byfield can help clients make more informed decisions around the potential risks they face and how to protect and enhance their reputation. Using Signal AI, Byfield gives clients the edge above their competitors and helps them be more agile in a sensitive and fast-paced industry.

When it comes to risk, Byfield’s team can spot red flags early and change course to mitigate the impact of a crisis. This helps them protect their clients’ reputation, and allows the team to focus on cutting through the noise and planning PR campaigns that boost a client’s reputation in key areas.

Download PDF of Byfield’s story here.

Bethaney Durkin

Account Director

Beth has extensive experience in developing and implementing PR strategies that meet her clients’ goals and enhance their reputations. She has worked with law firms ranging from regional boutiques to international giants, on briefs supporting practice areas such as Family, Financial Services, Dispute Resolution and Real Estate.

Beth also has particular strength in protecting clients’ reputations on matters arising from cultural and behavioural issues in the workplace in the professional services sector. She advises law firms on the communications response to a broad range of crisis and litigation matters, including data breaches and SRA investigations, and manages communications for clients engaged in high profile disputes in the Employment Tribunal, High Court and Court of Appeal.

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