Electronics for Imaging: Cutting the Cables with PrintMe
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report
CEO

Electronics for Imaging: Cutting the Cables with PrintMe

Electronics for Imaging (EFI) was known for delivering high quality digital printing solutions. In 1999, the company saw an opportunity to create a new category in mobile printing by solving one of the most challenging problems for mobile professionals—re

Paul Holmes

Electronics for Imaging (EFI) was known for delivering high quality digital printing solutions. In 1999, the company saw an opportunity to create a new category in mobile printing by solving one of the most challenging problems for mobile professionals—remote printing. Its vision led to the development of a technology called PrintMe Networks, the first complete Internet printing solution to enable mobile professionals to print anywhere, anytime to any PrintMe-enabled printer.

EFI charged Ketchum with creating a world-class public relations campaign to introduce the service. Ketchum’s challenge was to take a technology product introduction (the service was not scheduled to be available until early 2002) and package it in a way to convince the increasingly skeptical media and market analysts that it was a credible solution, worthy of significant coverage. On October 22, 2001, amidst the war, anthrax scares and an uncertain economy, EFI launched PrintMe with a select group of high profile partners including Adobe, Xerox, Yahoo and Sir Speedy. The team only had ten days to pitch, due to an earnings announcement quiet period, however the event was standing room only, filled with a variety of online, print and broadcast media, including three camera crews.

RESEARCH

Conducted Focus Group sessions with IT Managers to identify habits, preferences and problems associated with remote printing and used those findings to support partner negotiations and media messaging 
Leveraged the Insight Express Survey to support the creation of a new printing category that would establish PrintMe as the ultimate mobile printing solution.
Researched competitors in the remote printing space by analyzing features, client tools and printer tools.  Used information to differentiate PrintMe from other solutions.
Analyzed online, broadcast and print media including circulation, target audiences and impact on target audiences. Determined type of media pitch that would be credible and successful.
Worked with Ketchum’s corporate media strategist to determine best media strategy in a tumultuous news environment. Examined Ketchum Silicon Valley’s daily report “PR Intelligence” to determine media climate.  Used Ketchum’s Planning Portal and Key Message Builder to develop messaging architecture for PrintMe. 
Leveraged presentations, PrintMe Positioning & Communications Strategy Discussion and PrintMe Ideation Sessions, to bullet proof messaging architecture and construct question and answer document.

STRATEGIC APPROACH
EFI Business Objectives
Demonstrate to Wall Street that EFI is more than a color printing technology company and capable of creating revenue streams from other business offerings
“Make the phone ring” with potential partners and customers in critical markets, such as hotel chains, portals, print shops and business centers

Strategies      
Offer pre-launch briefings to key media and analysts to generate support and test messaging
Secure key partner CEO commitment to participate in launch event and media interviews as well as provide quotes in the press releases
Secure highly regarded market analysts, media and key influencers to participate in the launch event and to comment positively on the importance of the mobile printing phenomenon
Create global awareness for PrintMe by orchestrating post-launch activities and interviews with international media

Audiences
Key audiences include media, industry analysts, Wall Street, key influencers, print providers, hotels, airlines (for their airport lounges), business centers, conferences and conventions, portals, network carriers and wireless carriers.
Key Messages
PrintMe is the first complete Internet printing solution from EFI, the people who pioneered digital printing
PrintMe allows people to print anywhere, anytime from any device to any PrintMe enabled printer, without cables or special software or hardware
PrintMe creates new revenue streams for business centers and other print providers
PrintMe has been embraced by leaders in the printing, publishing, Internet, wireless and travel industries, who recognize the need to make printing easier and more convenient.

Budget:  $245,000 (Total)
EXECUTION
Stage 1:  The Launch 
Scheduled “sneak peeks” with Walt Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal; Stephen Wildstrom, BusinessWeek; Peter Grant and Martin Reynolds, Gartner Group; Stacey Wu, Mobile Insights; and Chris Shipley, IDG Executive Forums
Orchestrated press conference for media, analysts and key influencers at EFI. Secured participation from key executives from Adobe, Yahoo, Xerox, STSN, Itrezzo, Sir Speedy and Troy Group at the launch, in press release quotes and with select media interviews
Developed video news release for distribution to worldwide media outlets. Coordinated two-day satellite broadcast distribution strategy to compensate for tumultuous media environment
Secured exclusive with Don Clark, The Wall Street Journal, on PrintMe to run day of the launch in conjunction with the first wave of satellite broadcast distribution 

Stage 2: Maintaining Momentum
Worked with media to write/produce stories on PrintMe. Scheduled interviews with MSNBC, TechTV, Silicon Valley Business News, PC Magazine and Wired
Secured analyst briefs from IDC, Seybold Group and Infotrends to build product credibility
Expanded international boundaries of story with reporters such as Julie Jervis, The Australian and syndicated coverage of The Wall Street Journal article in their Asian and European editions  
Followed up on sales and partner leads with the media and companies in the financial/banking, hospitality and technology industries.
Worked with Ketchum Japan to coordinate media roundtable with EFI and Adobe CEOs in Tokyo, which included 11 media
Participated in Comdex, a high-profile technology show, to secure visibility with the media and analysts that did not cover the launch.  Scheduled 11 briefings, which have resulted in coverage in The San Jose Mercury News, as well as across all Knight-Ridder news service publications
Booked sales and media appointments in New York to expand PrintMe’s visibility on the East Coast
Worked with Ketchum London to prepare for PrintMe’s European rollouts in 2002

RESULTS
PrintMe has secured 24 new sales and partner leads from October 23-December 10, with Fortune 1000 companies spanning the media, hotel, government, technology, printing and publication industries 
EFI has generated more than 50 online, broadcast and print pieces and over 3 million media impressions that ran in the U.S., Asia and Europe 

Article tags
Technology
View Style:

Load 3 More
comments powered by Disqus