Partner-driven PR programme for Networks Unlimited

Challenge

As a Value-added Distributor within the converged technology, data centre, networking, and security landscapes, Networks Unlimited plays a critical role in promoting their partners’ products and services. Therefore, they wanted to communicate their partners’ capabilities and promote them as thought leaders in their respective industries and highlight their expertise.

Networks Unlimited required a specialised PR agency with experience in the technology sector. More particularly, the PR agency should be proficient at translating technology concepts into business angles to generate national stories and enable partners to leverage earned placements.

Approach

Following a thorough analysis of Networks Unlimited’s goals and desired outcomes, Red Ribbon worked to develop a PR plan to accommodate their key partners: Arbor Networks; F5; Aruba; Arista; Centrify; Fortinet and Riverbed Technology.

To maximise impact and reach, Red Ribbon incorporated several key elements:

1. Education
Red Ribbon set out to educate the local market on hot topics, new technologies and innovation by writing educational articles. We participated in features, motivated for clients to attend media roundtables, pitched for interviews and distributed articles online.
We worked on a two-month lead-time to brainstorm article ideas, get approval from partners and write articles. We pulled together a roster and each month we focused on a different partner and topic to give all partners value, based on their investment.

2. Verticals
Red Ribbon identified relevant verticals to target with relevant case studies and thought leadership articles. This gave us the opportunity to approach different publications and increase the number of placement opportunities for Networks Unlimited partners.
For example, we wrote a case study on the University of the Western Cape’s implementation of Fortinet security solution and used it to pitch to the education media.

3. Localisation
Since many Networks Unlimited partners are international providers, we needed a way to transform story ideas into tailored pitches for reporters in the local market. To accomplish this, Red Ribbon took larger trends or story ideas, and re-wrote articles to connect with local audiences.

Impact

The campaign has resulted in several important wins, including more than 156 placements in less than a year. These appeared in top tier local publications such as News24, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, eHealth News, IT-Online, the Margin and other targeted media outlets.