Paul Holmes 22 May 2001 // 11:00PM GMT
Faced with the challenges of introducing a new, unproven biometrics product to a skeptical and overwhelmed business and media audience at the world’s largest technology trade show on an extremely limited budget, AOPR delivered creative strategies using available resources to garner the highest level of media exposure ever received by Iridian in terms of quantity and quality.
DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM
Fall Comdex 2000 presented Iridian Technologies with the challenge and opportunity to launch the company's newest (and most innovative) product: a network security camera based on the new concept of iris recognition authentication. A small company with a hot technology but limited budget and ambitious goals, Iridian Technologies tasked Alexander Ogilvy with gaining visibility among key media and analyst influencers at Comdex in order to sustain the growth of the company itself. AOPR counseled this new client to use Comdex as a forum to educate influencers on biometrics primarily and iris recognition secondarily.
With this strategy, the agency team leveraged its unique technology and media relationships to garner coverage from major media: domestic and international technology, business, consumer and financial, broadcast and print. Media placements included The Associated Press, Canberra Times (Australia), C|Net, CNBC, CNN/fn, Forbes.com, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Orange County Register and South China Morning Post. In addition, AOPR nominated Iridian for the JP Davis Concept Awards presented during Comdex. When the client won this award, it provided many immediate and far-reaching results.
PR PROGRAM OBJECTIVES
Alexander Ogilvy’s primary program objectives centered on creating brand awareness for iris recognition and establishing brand identity for Iridian Technologies among media who attended Comdex. More specifically, these objectives were to:
- Create a foundation for the company’s recognition and corporate branding initiatives: AOPR focused on the important differentiators Iridian Technologies provides with iris recognition technology
- Build positioning for Iridian Technologies as the premier company providing iris recognition for network security in a setting of dynamic emerging technologies.
- Establish Iridian Technologies’ executives as industry experts and leaders in authentication and iris recognition technology
- Position Iridian Technologies’ iris recognition system and products as the standard for exceptional security
- Convey Iridian Technologies' business outreach into global marketplaces
Biometrics is still not a well-known subject area for most media outlets – thus, the reporters who cover the space are few. Those who are tasked with covering biometrics still require much education about the space, so AOPR’s strategy for Iridian Technologies was to position the company’s executives as experts on biometrics in general and then iris recognition specifically. Although this strategy had the potential to give undue attention to Iridian’s competitors, it also established credibility for the company among reporters, since they needed the information.
Gain visibility by securing one-on-one media and analyst briefings
Maximize efficiency of each reporter by offering interviews with Iridian’s partners, whose spokespersons were also doing demonstrations at the Iridian booth
Demonstrate the Authenticam and iris recognition technology for potential customers, media and analysts
PUBLIC RELATIONS OBSTACLES
Perception of high cost of iris recognition and overkill (“do we really need this much security?”)
Low level of understanding about biometrics, especially iris recognition
Few reporters cover the space of biometrics
Limited client budget to achieve visibility in an extremely crowded and competitive environment (Comdex 2000 had over 200,000 attendees and 2,200 exhibitors)
To address and combat the above obstacles, AOPR embarked on the following tasks to accomplish the client’s objectives:
- A preview tour for analysts under a non-disclosure agreement prior to Comdex
- Tested messaging
- Gained initial visibility
- Scheduling on-site media briefings, Authenticam demos
- Constantly retailored media list
- Researched personalities and past Comdex coverage for each editor
- Encouraged unscheduled visits to Iridian booth by media unable to commit to an appointment
- AOPR provided onsite Comdex support to demo product and pull in media from show floor and networking events
- Submitted Iridian Technologies for J.P Davis Concept Product Award
- Product Art
- Press Kits
- Sales Materials
EVALUATION/MEASUREMENT OF SUCCESS
This program resulted in a combined total of more than 47 million impressions for Iridian Technologies' Authenticam. AOPR surpassed the client's public relations expectations and from the amount of recognition gained, there was little debate that Iridian Technologies and the Authenticam were successfully positioned as the standard for exceptional network security. Iridian's executives were quoted in numerous mainstream print and broadcast publications positioning these individuals as industry experts on the aspects of network security and biometrics. Iridian’s first network security device won the crowd--and top prize from the JP Davis Concept Product Awards--with recognition from the judges (industry leaders) including Peter H. Lewis, Fortune; Walt Mossberg, Wall Street Journal; Janice Chen, Computer Shopper; Robin Baskin, FamilyPC; Michael Vizard, InfoWorld; and Jim Louderback, TechTV. Iridian Technologies' flagship network security product was reviewed by and featured in top tier consumer and business media such as:
Iridian's executives were quoted in numerous mainstream print and broadcast publications positioning these individuals as industry experts on the aspects of network security and biometrics.
Iridian’s first network security device won the crowd--and top prize from the JP Davis Concept Product Awards--with recognition from the judges (industry leaders) including Peter H. Lewis, Fortune; Walt Mossberg, Wall Street Journal; Janice Chen, Computer Shopper; Robin Baskin, FamilyPC; Michael Vizard, InfoWorld; and Jim Louderback, TechTV.
Iridian Technologies' flagship network security product was reviewed by and featured in top tier consumer and business media such as: