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Working with Wireside: Campaign ROI, Spotlight on SDN

I’d like to highlight the launch of the SDN Consortium, which Wireside fully managed for the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab (UNH-IOL). This campaign, like many, began with a conversation with the executive leadership, where Wireside, having assessed the IOL’s assets and work in the SDN arena as well as industry trends, proactively made the recommendation to pursue a campaign on SDN that was not originally on the radar.

Appropriately assessing the value of the news, we recommended and pursued the media strategy to hold a virtual, domestic press conference for top tier tech trades and major industry analysts.  The goal was create industry awareness to support SDN Consortium Membership sales at $20,000 USD a piece.  This was not the industry’s first or the only SDN testing consortium so we played up the “best” angle.

Assets Wireside developed from scratch that required little to no edits by the client, included: campaign plan and timeline; press and analyst lists; key messages; press release; PitchEngine microsite; press conference save-the-date and official invitation; press conference script, run of show, and seed questions for QA; social media; and follow up correspondence with the media. We hosted a dry run and, afterwards, provided guidance for improvements in the verbal presentation and deck.

Media outreach via traditional and social means secured 20 RSVPs and 13 final attendees (we find 2:1 RSVP to attendee ratio is normal), along with an additional 8 journalists/analysts that requested materials.  Managing an embargo, we garnered 35 highly favorable feature stories, one mention and a very positive analyst report from a firm that is not on retainer with the client.  As of 8/18 the coverage garnered more than 8 million online impressions according to Cision; the Pitch Engine page garnered 7,576 impressions according to Pitch Engine; and the press release has been viewed 6,894 times according to Business Wire, who also reports a potential social media audience of nearly 350K from tweets, shares and retweets in the first week of press release publication.  Please see our clients in the news section, or just Google “SDN Consortium” and take your pick of the coverage secured by the Wireside team.

Wireside completed this campaign from start to finish in 10 weeks.  As a result of the Wireside launch, the client sold a membership straight away, a $20,000 value, and is currently in talks with others.  Taking into consideration the immediate membership sale, the advertising equivalency of the 35 feature stories, and the amount an analyst firm typically charges to author a report, the ROI on this campaign was very high.  In the words of the client contact, “We are all really excited about the extensive amount of coverage! Thanks to all the help from the Wireside team! This was a great success!”

The high degree of media and tech industry know how, customer service, attention to detail, nimbleness and flexibility, results and ROI described above are typical of Wireside.  If we can help you, please contact us!



The Network is the New Network

As a technology-focused PR firm, we try to stay current with infrastructure and popular trends. That’s not easy, with technology, services and consumer behavior constantly shifting. But I’ve found a key. It’s a little saying that captures what has been happening at the busy intersection of technological innovation, on the one hand, and media and entertainment consumption, on the other.

Here it is: The network is the new network. TV2

Let me explain. For anyone who has been paying attention to the evolution of television over the past decade or so, this is really no big mystery. The infrastructure that drives the delivery of today’s information and entertainment services – the technological network – is supplanting the original bundle of broadcast programming known as the TV network.

The once all-powerful TV network has been losing ground for many years, as these points help illustrate:

  • In 1999, HBO broke new ground when The Sopranos became the first cable network series to be nominated for an Emmy Award for best drama, earning more nominations that year than any show – broadcast or cable.
  • Ten years later, in 2009, Comcast announced plans to acquire NBC Universal. Thus, a company founded simply to extend broadcast signals by way of amplified coaxial cable was taking over one of the old big-three networks.
  • Last year, Netflix became the first non-TV network to win an Emmy. Founded in 1997 as a DVD-by-mail service, Netflix began streaming video a decade later. Now it not only has 48 million subscribers but also produces award-winning content.

My mantra oversimplifies, of course. The old networks ran (and continue to run) on technology, too. Nor has broadcast – or cable or satellite – TV faded away in the face of Internet alternatives. According to data from Comscore for Q3 2013, Americans spent far more (250%) time watching TV than they spent on multi-platform Internet use in Q3 2013. Online video, in particular, amounted to only 5 percent of the time spent with live and time-shifted TV.

But pay attention to the trends. Comscore notes that consumption of digital media has tripled over the past three years. Tablet and smartphone usage has fueled that explosion. Once upon a time, executives at the NBC, ABC and CBS called all the shots. Now that power is shared with whoever can deliver whatever content consumers demand to whichever video display devices they prefer. The network is the new network.

Google Buys Nest and Fuels IoT

In pulp fiction, it’s ‘cherchez la femme.’ For investigative journalists, the classic rule is ‘follow the money.’ And for anyone analyzing technology trends, it usually pays to ‘watch the really smart, cool people.’nestherm

A key part of any acquisition, for instance, is the human talent that is included in the asset mix. Google’s purchase of the smart-thermostat maker Nest, which closed in February, is a case in point. The price of $3.2 billion – about as much as it paid for DoubleClick back in 2007 – certainly grabbed headlines. But insider coverage, like this Wired story, focused on the talent.

Here the spotlight shone on Tony Fadell, Nest’s CEO and former iPod chief at Apple. But this uber-smart engineer who shifted from electronic entertainment devices to commodity appliances is not the only one. I’ve heard of brainy fiber-optic and IP experts who are moving into… light bulbs. And one hot application for network operators today is digital signage, aka billboards

Thermostats, smoke detectors, light bulbs, street furniture – these are the ‘new black,’ as the expression goes. And for anyone, including the PR team at Wireside, who has seen this ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) coming for several years, especially in terms of IPv4 address exhaustion, it’s a welcome development.

Technology hype comes and goes. And there will be IoT backlash. I can almost read the New York Times story now: “In a turnaround that may be a harbinger of things to come, an executive who once boasted of 327 IP-enabled home devices has not only ‘cut the cord,’ but has abandoned his high-tech career and home in a leafy Westchester County neighborhood altogether. Now he is cutting cords of wood to heat his cabin in the Adirondacks…”

That’s the kind of extreme example that will win coverage. For the public at large, there will likely be continued uneasy but gradual acceptance of technologies that may simultaneously track and benefit you. With that will come quicker understanding of the need for the nearly limitless pool of addresses enabled by IPv6. That should make one of Wireside’s jobs a little easier.

Joya Subudhi

Welcome to Fireside

Welcome to Fireside, the blog of Wireside’s employees, partners and guest contributors.  Every month, we’ll be sharing our perspectives about the business of public relations.

Our first guest contributor will be RJ Bardsley who writes the DailyDose column on BrandFiller, providing daily commentary on the brands that we find all around us – from airlines to snow cones and everything in between.   (He does have a tendency to cover technology brands.)

Christine Carlson, Wireside’s stellar account executive, will kick off her contribution by evaluating the numerous products and services available to public relations pros and calling out the standouts.

Next time, I’ll be writing you live from the beautiful Hilton Munich Park Hotel in Munich, Germany, where Wireside will make its debut at the Ethernet Expo 2012, and I’ll provide a firsthand account of the show.

So come join us on the Wireside, where the dish on Fireside is hot!