INTRUM LENDS A HELPING HAND: NO MORE DEBT OR DEBT COLLECTION

'INTRUM LENDS A HELPING HAND: NO MORE DEBT OR DEBT COLLECTION'

CLIENT Intrum

Credit management agency Intrum wants to change the way they collect overdue payments and debts. By taking this new direction, the company will be able to provide better support for clients that need help paying off their debts, as well as prevent the accumulation of problematic debt. It also enables them to pay off debt collectors sooner. 

From here on out, Intrum will provide a helping hand instead of a wagging finger, and they want to share this new direction with their stakeholders. Their question to Bijl PR was: how can we turn this new direction into a positive impact on Intrum’s reputation?

STRATEGY AND APPROACH

This progressive approach is the perfect opportunity for Intrum to showcase their social engagement. Debt collection is mostly seen as a way for companies to put pressure on consumers, not as a logical outcome of not paying a bill. A strict debt collection policy has less and less effect in practice, notices Intrum. Time for a different approach.

Our advice: openly communicate this new direction. This helps improve the image of debt collecting companies and secures Intrum as an authority when it comes  to bill payment management.

By implementing a socially engaged debt collecting policy and tailor-made approach, Intrum wants to work towards a debt-free future for its customers. We prevent a lot of problems by making consumers aware of the risks involved in their payment behaviour at an early stage, and offer them possibilities to get a better and quicker insight into their finances. It’s so much more efficient– especially for our clients – to protect people from major financial problems, instead of going after them once it’s too late.

Carlijn Hofland
Director Marketing & Communication Nederland at Intrum

ONLY NICE LETTERS FROM INTRUM FROM NOW ON

From our talks with Intrum, we know that the debt collectors branche suffers from a bad reputation, and that the ‘Autoriteit Consument en Markt’ have got their eye on them. To show everyone that debt collection doesn’t have to lack social engagement, we communicate Intrum’s change in direction BEFORE the publication of the ACM report in the form of an infographic, press releases and interviews. That way, we’re able to positively impact the debate surrounding the debt collectors industry.

We paint a picture of Dutch payment morals based on research done by Intrum. With several different profiles, we outline the debt problems in the Netherlands and demonstrate what it’s like for people that have trouble paying their bills. By doing this, we provide a full image of the overall debt situation in the Netherlands, and indicate which group Intrum could have an impact on. Before we communicate this new direction, we inform all of Intrum’s stakeholders.

We translate the new direction into a message for consumers as well. What good will it do to them? What will it bring them? Our approach emphasizes Intrum’s social intent: making sure people do not end up with problematic, easy to prevent debts. Algemeen Dagblad will have the scoop, with an interview in all regional editions of the newspaper. The article functions as a kick-starter for other media as well. And with that, our concept has proven to be a success. The press release with the headline ‘Only nice letters from Intrum from now on’  yields a lot of publications.

RESULTS

  • The ACM is happy to see Intrum’s change of direction and will consider it in their report on the debt collectors industry.
  • All editions of Algemeen Dagblad (print and online) publish an interview discussing the new direction.
  • All kinds of media pick up the press release, with over 60 articles in total, such as with NOS Journaal, radio 1, BNR and all major national daily newspapers, among others.
  • The subject reaches around 20 million people.
  • Intrum is praised by the Consumentenbond (Consumer Association) and the Dutch Alliance for People Credit (NVVK) for their progressive strategy.

By introducing this change in direction, we beat two birds with one stone. Not only did we improve Intrum’s reputation, we also positively influenced any possible negative publicity regarding the industry following the ACM report. It’s always nice to see a strategy that we planned out together with the client work out so well. And Intrum is a wonderful client to work for.

Marjoleine van Klaveren
Marjoleine van Klaveren
Consultant