CAMBRIDGE—Racepoint Group, the emerging technology public relations specialist founded last year by former Weber Shandwick chief operating officer Marijean Lauzier, has been retained by Red Hat—a leader in the open source software movement—to execute a national public relations program consisting of media, analyst and speaking components.
Racepoint’s primary objective will be to support Red Hat’s positioning as the premier provider of Linux, the increasingly popular open source alternative to commercial operating systems like Microsoft’s Windows. The campaign components include thought leadership, commentary on significant issues influencing the broader technology and business marketplace, and articulating a point of view on the roles and responsibilities corporations have in today’s global marketplace.
According to Red Hat’s director of public relations Leigh Cantrell Day, “We are the only organization that has made a successful business model from open source software—we just recorded our sixth consecutive quarter of profitability—and there is a great business story to be told. We will be targeting high level business media with that story. There’s also a technology story that goes beyond Linux, based around our strategy of making enterprise-class architecture from open source software.”
While the company has used public relations firms in the past, Day says, it had been handling most of its public relations activities in-house, through a five-person team, until it began talking with Lauzier. “We felt Racepoint was an organization that could absorb our message and positioning very quickly and help us take the business to the next level. We are not a traditional company. We have a very steep learning curve, we’re constantly changing, we’re very flexible, and we needed a firm we felt could keep up with that.”
She said the PR effort would have multiple goals, including driving sales of some of Red Hat’s core offerings and elevating its image with key constituents.
Lauzier says Racepoint will help the company accomplish those objectives through a campaign that includes national business media relations, analyst relations, and a speakers’ bureau that will seek “a new level of visibility for the leadership team.”