Establishing Thought Leadership

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Shifting Market Perception: Taking WatchGuard from an Also-Ran to Industry Thought Leader

WatchGuard Technologies is a global leader in network security with a mission to make enterprise-grade security accessible to companies of all types and sizes through simplicity. More than 75,000 customers worldwide have deployed the company’s unified threat management and firewall products. With offices throughout North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific, WatchGuard is sold by more than 10,000 dedicated resellers in 120 countries.

 

Sample 2017 Articles:

CRN: Q&A with WatchGuard CEO

Linux.com: Linux Malware on the Rise – A Look at Recent Threats

SC Magazine: Extreme Hoarders

Dark Reading: A Real Life Look into Responsible Disclosure

Q13 Fox: Congress Votes to Rollback Rules on Internet Privacy

The Seattle Times: Boeing hit by WannaCry virus, but says no impact on jet production

KIRO7.com: Security analyst shows how to tell if your Facebook data was shared

Be creative, be smart, be genuine

The opportunity:

The network security space moves at a blistering pace. To grab mindshare and media headlines, you have to be able to work in real-time, creating and commenting on breaking news and trending topics. When Voxus began working with WatchGuard, this real-time approach to awareness and thought-leadership was non-existent. In order to change that culture, our team designed a program with a heavy emphasis on creative storytelling (making security topics fun and edgy) and a process for working closely with internal subject matter experts (SMEs) to get the information needed to stand out as a thought-leader in the space.

Changing expectations:

Prior to Voxus, the bar was set low for media relations, averaging two or three original articles a month. Given the "hotness" of the security market and the fact that WatchGuard had some amazing internal SMEs, our team was confident it could turn the company into a thought-leadership powerhouse. The goal was simple: generate dramatically greater and more prominent coverage by making storytelling fun and creative. Over the last three years, our team has conducted monthly brainstorms with SMEs and worked to align themes and topics with their key interests. This allows us to deliver a multi-pronged media outreach program that includes:

  • a weekly proactive media pitch on relevant trending topics
  • evergreen and new ongoing contributed columns that explore topics in-depth
  • newsjacking of real-time breaking news with expert commentary
  • compelling submissions for scheduled editorial opportunities

The results:

Since 2015, there has been a dramatic shift in the volume of coverage about WatchGuard, despite a reduced volume of press announcements. The team more than doubled coverage from 2015 to 2016 and again from 2016 to 2017. 2018 is on pace to be another steller year. More importantly, WatchGuard is now considered a thought-leader in the firewall security space, and the CTO and other SMEs are regularly called on for expert commentary in print, radio and broadcast.

  Year   Total Original Articles   Contributed Articles
  2015   99   24
  2016   217   54
  2017   690   90
  2018 (Jan-May)   320   28

 

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