TiVo selects OutCast to fine tune its corporate comms

ALVISO, CA: To help generate interest in TiVo as a business and a brand, the company has selected OutCast Communications to handle its corporate communications. San Francisco-based SutherlandGold Communications will continue to handle TiVo's consumer PR.

ALVISO, CA: To help generate interest in TiVo as a business and a brand, the company has selected OutCast Communications to handle its corporate communications. San Francisco-based SutherlandGold Communications will continue to handle TiVo's consumer PR.

OutCast's first efforts were helping TiVo announce that Janet Jackson's Super Bowl "wardrobe malfunction" was the most replayed moment TiVo has ever measured. In addition, the firm helped the company announce a partnership with Nielsen Media Research, in which TiVo will provide a breakdown of how customers are using the technology.

VP of marketing Susan Cashen said SutherlandGold has worked on both consumer and corporate initiatives for TiVo.

"But as TiVo's presence has grown, our demands on [SutherlandGold] have grown as well," she said. "We really want to accelerate all our marketing efforts, PR included, particularly since it's been such an [effective] strategic weapon for us to date."

TiVo decided it wanted a firm to focus solely on corporate communications. This includes corporate messaging, business media relations, industry analyst relations, and corporate counsel. The budget was not disclosed.

TiVo is facing exciting opportunities right now, said Cashen. While the business press has credited TiVo with creating the digital video recording category and building a passionate following, Cashen said there are also questions about TiVo's next move and increasing competition. In the last year, several cable television providers have moved aggressively into the digital video recorder market, creating sudden competition for TiVo's flagship offering. Since it's inception, TiVo had operated with little or no competition.

OutCast will help TiVo unveil its future business strategy, as well as assist the company in presenting its corporate brand.

Cashen selected OutCast because TiVo is the focus of immense media attention, and the company wanted a firm where the focus isn't on selling a story, but on shaping a story, she said.

"Our incoming-call volume from reporters would make most PR folks' heads spin," said Cashen. "We wanted an agency whose people are really smart, strategic, and who know the media. Not just one reporter at The Wall Street Journal, but one who understands the dynamics between its entire editorial staff."

TiVo marks the second major win for OutCast in recent months. The agency was also named AOR to represent Dell Computer's enterprise product group in January.

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