was set to announce the first Anti-Virus software for PDA’s to be introduced at PCExpo. The strategic PR challenge was there was yet to be a specific virus attack on a PDA yet we all knew it was only a matter of time before a Palm device would be targeted with a Virus.
Our strategy was multi-pronged. The first step was to release the video news release to coincide with the product introduction at PCExpo. Phase two was to make key spokespeople available to the media in conjunction with the VNR release to generate news coverage on national television outlets. The third phase was most important. The plan was to re-edit the VNR, update the slate information and re-release it to stations when the first reported virus hit.
In addition to the initial launch of the product, our news hook included a recent virus attack on cell phones in Spain. Technicians in the labs placed viruses on a PDA in a controlled environment to allow us to provide visuals for the story. This was clearly communicated to television stations so there would be no mistake on their part.
As part of the VNR distribution, company CEO Srivats Sampath was made available to key media outlets in conjunction with the launch of the initial VNR. This generated placements on CNNfn as well as Early Today on NBC.
On August 29, there were the first reports of the “Liberty Crack” trojan virus attacking handheld devices. We re-edited the tape updating it with new information about the virus attack and eliminating sound bites that no longer made sense and launched a second round of distribution. This plan included multiple satellite feeds and additional tape distribution.
The first phase of distribution generated 375 airings on 245 stations reaching close to eight million people. We were able to generate significant results for this project. Working with the PR agency, Neale May and Partners, we did our initial media outreach on the VNR focusing on the vulnerability of handheld wireless devices and McAfee’s anti-virus protection software as being the first on the market to protect these devices.  To further the results of the project we did more than just an in-the-box VNR, making President and CEO of the company available for an interview.  Using footage from the VNR and a one-on-one interview, the national morning show Early Today also covered the story.
Because of the strong consumer protection message and the timeliness of the project (the project was begun on the heels of stories coming out about the threat of viruses on wireless devices) we were able to garner strong results.
Our second phase of the project went into action when we learned about the first virus to actually hit a wireless device.  We did a quick turnaround: updating the VNR with relevant information about this breaking news. We were able to get this updated VNR fed out to TV stations within 24 hours of first learning about the new developments in the story.  Again the news here was focused heavily on the consumer impact and the availability of the McAfee product to protect those at risk wireless devices.  This phase of the VNR was an even bigger success, garnering 9,718,116 in audience from 96 airings on 54 stations.  Combined, McAfee reached over 17 million viewers with their anti-virus message. The bottom line was that was firmly established as the leader in providing virus protection for handheld devices.