Paul Holmes 12 Jun 2001 // 11:00PM GMT
Founded in 1972, InterDigital Communications has more than 25 years of experience in developing advanced wireless technology. While InterDigital currently boasts more than 23 licensees of its 2G technology and its existing patent portfolio numbers more than 1,000, the company’s primary focus lies in developing technology for the next generation of wireless, or third generation (3G). The impending 3G or “mobile Internet” market will be introduced later this year in Japan and in Europe in 2002–2003. The U.S. will follow in 2004. With its solid industry experience and key strategic partnerships in place, the Company is well positioned for 3G, which it believes will offer significant and ongoing growth opportunities.
GCI GROUP RELATIONSHIP
In April 2000, InterDigital hired GCI Group to gain awareness of the Company’s corporate story and business model specifically among the business and financial media and generate interest in and momentum for its 3G technology. GCI developed a program aimed at increasing awareness of Interdigital’s corporate brand and investment merits by leveraging the Company’s innovative technology and vision for the 3G market.
Although InterDigital was instrumental in the design of current wireless products, few people actually knew the company or understood it’s role in the wireless industry. A popular misconception persisted that Qualcomm was the only company that developed intellectual property for wireless devices and many identified CDMA, the technology that current wireless phones in the United States is based on, solely with Qualcomm. Many other companies including InterDigital hold patents relevant to CDMA technology.
Despite the potential of the wireless industry and InterDigital’s proven track record in developing marketable wireless technology and its solid positioning for the introduction of 3G, the Company’s corporate story resonated with neither the media nor Wall Street.
As a result, there were several key challenges in executing the plan. First, the Company was relatively small compared with other industry players. Next to companies such as Qualcomm, InterDigital is a niche player with little to no recognition. Second, InterDigital had no sell-side coverage or following and experienced a number of management changes involving the CEO. Another challenge for the program was the lack of understanding surrounding the potential of the 3G market. There had been much hype surrounding the potential of Third Generation Wireless, but the exorbitant sums that the telecom operators were paying for spectrum in Europe and around the world raised doubts as to the profits that were ultimately to be realized from 3G.
THE GCI GROUP PROGRAM
GCI developed a media program aimed at key Wall Street influencers in order to increase awareness of the InterDigital corporate story and the Company’s technology as well as educate the public about the potential of the 3G industry. The GCI program leverages InterDigital’s key differentiators such as InterDigital’s role in developing Nokia’s W-CDMA to garner interest from top-tier media outlets. Employing media tours, industry analyst briefings, and a stream of news releases, the program has established long-term relationships with key influencers in the wireless industry.
- Strengthen awareness of the InterDigital brand
- Position executives as thought leaders and visionaries in the wireless industry
- Promote InterDigital’s technology and its role in next generation wireless
- Develop relationships with reporters at top tier business and financial and select trade publications to secure coverage of the InterDigital story
- Create corporate and financial messages that will resonate with key Wall Street influencers
- Monitor industry trends and corporate developments to create and refine messaging that effectively communicates the true InterDigital story
- Develop relationships with industry analysts to secure third party endorsements
- Institute a daily monitor program to identify trends and breaking news as well as news on competitors
- Conduct desk-side media briefings with key reporters
- Market corporate news to the financial media – broadcast, cable, online, wires and print
- Develop a steady stream of proactive stories to pitch to target media
- Outreach to targeted industry analysts to establish long-term relationships
- Develop “soft” press release schedule to keep InterDigital top-of-mind with Wall Street
Secured briefings with Industry Analysts at Forrester Research, Strategis Group, Probe Research, and Cahners In-Stat
Conducted three media tours that included reporters from The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, TheStreet.com, Forbes, The Financial Times, Individual Investor and Money Magazine
Organized interviews with Reuters Television, Bloomberg Forums, and CNBC