Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS) is a $6 billion worldwide information services and technology company providing services, systems and solutions enabling customers to seize opportunities and overcome challenges of the Internet economy. It is BSMG Worldwide/Southwest’s responsibility to continually promote Unisys security solutions and its executives among national, technology and vertical media. In the Dallas office of the nation’s fourth-largest public relations agency, an expert team of technology PR professionals, Sheri Loose, Dawn Kahle, Teisha Van de Kop and Stephen Stokes, are the primary account team members.
Technology stocks were continuing to suffer due to market conditions and interest in technology companies from national media was not as high as before the technology stock decline during 2Q00. While Unisys had security solutions, technologies and expert thought leadership within the corporation, recognition was low among targeted national business, technology and vertical media outlets for the company’s superior capabilities.  Unisys needed to change the public’s perception of the corporation, solutions, and most importantly, the quality of people within the organization to a global industry leading e-business service providing company.  The overall challenge was distinguishing the company’s comprehensive offerings from the abundance of competing companies, such as EDS, IBM and the big 5 consulting firms.
BSMG assessed the current situation of Unisys, determined key Unisys advantages and differentiators, such as the Enterprise Security Practice and leveraged “news-of-the-day” items such as the “LoveBug” virus and the E-SIGN bill.  In only four months, Unisys secured coverage in top-tier media outlets including Reuters, Forbes.com, Philadelphia Inquirer, Washington Technology and Computerworld.com.
BSMG conducted an extensive program to survey the security landscape and gather information from a variety of sources.  Research included informational interviews with Unisys executives on current security solutions and technologies, reviewing of white papers and background reports from Unisys Enterprise Security Practice. BSMG also reviewed ongoing research of security issues and trends and assessment of news coverage related to “hot issues” in the security field.
BSMG’s objectives for the security campaign were:
Increase awareness of the breadth of Unisys security products and services to customers, potential customers and the investment community
Heighten visibility for Unisys security executives as industry thought leaders
Increase awareness of Unisys as a competitive player in the security/technology industry as well as key vertical markets
Enhance employee, shareholder and current customer confidence
BSMG would execute an aggressive media relations campaign to position Unisys as an expert in information technology security solutions. By leveraging Unisys security executives as thought leaders and seasoned security experts and communicating effectively the customer benefits of Unisys security solutions, BSMG would capitalize on current news events surrounding the security technology field.
BSMG built a media outreach strategy focusing on top-tier national business, technology, new economy and key vertical markets, such as financial, public sector, retailing and transportation, that would be affected by particular technologies and laws.  By accessing Unisys security knowledge base, BSMG developed lists of media contacts and editorial opportunities and began establishing relationships with key target publication reporters covering the security industry. BSMG focused on proactive media outreach in trend stories and reactive outreach with “news-of-the-day” items.
  • Interviewed Unisys security experts and reviewed collateral materials to develop targeted pitch letters
  • Developed a comprehensive media database of key media contacts covering security-related topics
  • Researched editorial calendars to determine scheduled story opportunities
  • Supported trade shows where the security practice was highlighted by Unisys
  • Prepared targeted pitch letters for national, technology and vertical media to showcase Unisys security solutions and expertise
  • Positioned Unisys security experts as spokespeople for media outlets

By establishing a relationship with appropriate national reporters and editors, BSMG was able to secure placements for Unisys security experts on current news items, such as denial-of-service and virus attacks on company networks, as well as digital signatures and the adoption of the E-SIGN Bill.  BSMG’s research into current and future security trends helped propel Unisys into other media outlets that were addressing similar issues, including “ethical hacking,” technology solutions to help deter future security breaches and technologies available today to determine suspicious financial transactions or money laundering.
“LoveBug” Virus
In response to the “LoveBug” virus that crippled company network systems worldwide in early May, BSMG pitched and secured interviews for “hacker turned executive,” Jim Finn, principal of Unisys e-Business Security and Privacy Practice, with media outlets, such as: Reuters, Washington Technology, PC World, PCWorld.com, CMP Media/TechWeb and Computerworld.com
E-SIGN bill/Digital Signatures
In advance of the October adoption of the E-SIGN Bill, which makes a digital signature as legally binding as signing a contract in person, BSMG pitched and secured interviews for Sunil Misra, managing principal of Unisys e-Business Security and Privacy Practice, as an expert resource for targeted media outlets, including: ZDNET, Philadelphia Inquirer, Industry Standard, Computerworld.com and Technology Decisions
In addition, BSMG secured two bylined opportunities highlighting Unisys stance on the E-SIGN Bill with American City & Country and Imaging & Document Solutions – top media targets for Unisys vertical industry solutions.
In addition, BSMG successfully pitched Jim Finn for a story on “ethical hacking” in the 10/23/00 issue of InformationWeek.
BSMG pitched and secured a feature in Forbes about a Unisys security product, the anti-money laundering system, that can detect suspicious financial transactions for financial institutions.
BSMG exceeded client’s goals for the project by securing seven stories in business and technology publications, rather than two placements as outlined in the plan; two placements in vertical publications (BSMG placed two articles); and two bylined opportunities (BSMG placed two bylined articles that will appear before the end of the year).