World Benchmarking Alliance

World Benchmarking Alliance

Digital Solutions | Social Impact & Sustainability

In 2020 the world's focus shifted towards the COVID pandemic, but for the World Benchmarking Alliance achieving the UN's Sustainable Development Goals was more pressing than ever. How to get the world's focus?

The Challenge

The World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) employs some of the world's leading experts in the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020 vital conferences had to be cancelled or organised online whilst timescales for achieving the SDGs were more pressing than ever. To maintain focus on the global environmental issues, earn coverage and ensure attendance at those vital – now online – events, the WBA had to act quickly and amplify their social presence. In addition they also had to establishing its star players as leaders and influencers in their own areas. Objectives Included:

  • Turning the WBA's experts recognized online thought-leaders
  • Increasing online reach and Impact

The Strategy

Using global social listening and insight from Edelman DxI, our sustainability and digital experts developed a tailored influencer programme for the WBA's sector experts. They based these specific strategies on achieving additional reach according to personal preferences and needs (including channel, topics, etc.) The Edelman Amsterdam team acted as social media coaches by providing detailed support on content creation, such as larger thought leadership pieces and blogs and joint pieces with other organisations. Although the programmes were personally tailored, we wanted to make sure that experiences and learnings could be shared throughout the entire organisation by the growing WBA team.

The Execution

A good online presence requires a balanced build-up: combining day-to-day content as well as hero (milestone) driven content. We used a so-called 'hero-hub- hygiene' model to prioritize and maximize activities. ​We use Hero-content to post larger content pieces, such as thought leadership pieces around the influencer's key milestones. Whereas Hub-content is used to post ongoing content targeted to tap into the audience they wanted to connect with. Hygiene-activities were focused at identifying new opportunities / networking opportunities relevant to each specific influencer.

To identify the content that would score best on each influencer's social media channel(s), we compared the performance of other leading influencers in key sectors  to the footprint of each of the WBA's experts. We then supported WBA's influencers in creating the content; from short posts where the experts share their thoughts on relevant articles on Twitter to the influencers sharing personal and professional experience on LinkedIn where self-published content is predominantly used.

The Outcome

Engagement and the number of followers increased significantly for all experts who joined our programme. Meanwhile, from a qualitative perspective, participants indicated to have a clearer understanding and appreciation for steering WBA content through their own channels.


Increase in engagement per influencer


Increase in mentions


New LinkedIn followers per influencer

The names of the experts are confidential.

We've created a tailored program, for every sector expert we developed a strategy for specific posts that fit their sector. We try to inform and inspire their followers.