Applied to Handle Branding for VeriSign
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Holmes Report

Applied to Handle Branding for VeriSign

Applied Communications has picked up three major clients in the past six months, most recently adding Internet infrastructure leader VeriSign for a major rebranding and repositioning assignment.

Paul Holmes

  SAN FRANCISCO, August 20—With other technology public relations firms reeling in the face of the economic downturn, Applied Communications is bucking the trend in a big way, picking up three major clients in the past six months, most recently adding Internet infrastructure leader VeriSign for a major rebranding and repositioning assignment.
The three big additions—Genuity in March, Veritas Software in July, and now Verisign—rank among the firm’s five biggest clients, alongside technology industry giants Oracle and Hewlett-Packard. And they demonstrate that despite the wave of consolidation that has swept over the technology PR business in recent years, a specialist firm can still compete with multinational, multi-service agencies for prestigious, big budget assignments.
The VeriSign program may be the most interesting of the three. The company is best known for its web security and payment services products, but a year ago it acquired Network Solutions, the leader in Internet domain name registration, and now it is planning a major international expansion.
In preparation, it has signed up a new marketing and communications team, led by former Burson-Marsteller technology practice leader Bill Fasig, who joined VeriSign in March as senior vice president of marketing after a brief stint heading corporate communications at Compaq. Two months ago, Fasig hired Tom Galvin, former manager of corporate public relations at Cisco Systems, as the company’s director of corporate communications, and Galvin began a PR agency search that culminated in this week’s selection of Applied.
“This has been a period of significant change at VeriSign, and we are heading into a new phase in the company’s growth,” says Galvin. “We will be launching a significant brand campaign this fall, and we wanted to consolidate our public relations account with a single agency that could offer strategic, research-based counsel and provide real strength in the development of content, management of executive communications and execution of media relations.
“We wanted an agency that understood our strategy, and our vision, and had accomplished the objectives we had set for ourselves for other clients. We felt Applied had the right experience, particularly with Oracle.”
Tim Marklein, senior vice president and head of the VeriSign account team at Applied, said the firm’s experience with its marquee client would be invaluable. “We started working with Oracle when it was a $1 billion company. We have been through the cycles VeriSign expects to go through over the next five years.”
Applied beat out eight other firms for the account and will work with VeriSign’s in-house team and other marketing services providers to elevate the company’s profile and cement its market position as the worldwide leader in trust infrastructure services.
According to Applied president and CEO Alan Kelly, “VeriSign is at the center of some of technology’s most important Internet service markets and has committed to marketing leadership that matches its historical business and innovation leadership in security, registry and payments. We look forward to working with VeriSign’s outstanding marketing organization to further solidify its competitive advantage and share its innovation and market leadership with the public and key decision makers.”          
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