Avocent taps Trainer to lead PR in growth period

HUNTSVILLE, AL: IT products manufacturer Avocent selected Trainer Communications for a seven-figure task, with a goal of increasing its stock price.

HUNTSVILLE, AL: IT products manufacturer Avocent selected Trainer Communications for a seven-figure task, with a goal of increasing its stock price.

The company chose Trainer following a competitive review that pared its 26 global agencies to one, said Kay Kienast, CMO at Avocent. Kienast, who joined in January, had previously worked with Trainer at other firms, but said that the company's board had made the decision. Trainer, selected in June, will be paid on the basis that it hits the targeted forecasts.

"Avocent needs to increase its stock price, and we have a goal as to what that stock price is," Kienast said. "All [PR] activities undertaken have to assist in increasing that stock price."

At press time, the company was trading at about $24 per share. Its 52-week high is $34.61.
Susan Trainer, president of Trainer, said Avocent has not made its stock goal public, but aims to become a billion-dollar entity. Its 2007 revenues topped $600 million.

With its goal to increase share price, coverage will focus on shortening the buying cycle for Avocent, she added. Media targets will include trade and IT press, and top-tier business media.

The agency recently orchestrated the announcement of a new high-profile CEO (a former IBM VP) and CTO at Avocent, which led to a rise in the company's stock price, Kienast noted.

"We're literally retelling and reworking Avocent's story as they develop products," Trainer said.

Outgoing AOR, A&R Edelman, did not pitch for this account.

"We were disappointed we didn't have a chance to talk to them, but they decided to go forward with another agency," said Bob Angus, president of A&R Edelman.

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