Berkeley PR - 'What kind of criminal are you?', Iron Mountain Europe

Paul Stallard, managing director, Berkeley PR
Paul Stallard, managing director, Berkeley PR

Information management firm Iron Mountain is probably best known in the UK for its document collection vans and its offsite storage facilities. To secure regular top tier media coverage a fresh and creative approach is constantly required, which is where the ‘What kind of criminal are you?’ campaign came in.

Berkeley PR, together with Iron Mountain’s in-house team, pushed Iron Mountain firmly into the headlines with a powerful research-based tale of how office workers across Europe are prepared to infringe all sorts of rules, and sometimes even break the law, just to hold on to information they believe they are entitled to.

What did Iron Mountain want you to do for them?

Berkeley PR recommended to Iron Mountain that a focus on people and behaviour, with robust research underpinning high quality copy, would make for a compelling and interesting news story. Together we set the following objectives for the campaign:

  • To create engaging, evidence-based content that would appeal to a wide range of business and vertical press and could be tailored for local relevance across the five countries surveyed.
  • To position Iron Mountain as an insightful thought-leader and an experienced authority on the real information issues facing organisations across Europe today.

Any potential pitfalls you needed to take into account?

Iron Mountain is an information management company best known in Europe as a provider of secure offsite storage for paper or scanned business documents.  In an increasingly digital world of anytime, anywhere communications, big data surges, clouds and social media it is a significant PR challenge to ensure Iron Mountain’s voice is heard and valued as an authority on information handling. 

OK, and what was your grand plan to tackle this?

Berkeley PR and Iron Mountain worked with research firm Opinion Matters to question office workers at all levels in the UK, Germany, France, Spain and the Netherlands.

The results revealed that office workers everywhere have their own, often distorted, moral code when it comes to information ownership and use, and are infringing all sorts of guidelines if not national laws, convinced they are doing nothing wrong.

This content was used to create a press release on ‘innocent theft’, a viewpoint on ‘accidental espionage’ (attributed to a top Iron Mountain executive) and an authoritative white paper which was used to secure coverage with top national and trade targets across Europe.

Sounds good. What outcome did all this have on your client’s business?

Within a month, 263 items of coverage had been secured, reaching 26,672,417 people. Top coverage included CNN and CNBC (Global), the FT (UK), Expansion (Spain), Le Monde du Droit (France), De Telegraaf (the Netherlands) and CIO (Germany).

The number of viewpoint placements and back links to Iron Mountain were particularly rewarding as these have a direct impact on brand awareness and engagement.

Coverage was achieved in key media titles across all target regions. Iron Mountain was so delighted with the results from the campaign that both Berkeley PR and Iron Mountain are currently working on a follow-up 2013 European research programme, looking at, among other things, office discretion by job role and how many of us spy on other people’s work while travelling.

Impressive. Any gems of wisdom you learned from working on this that you’d like to pass on?

This campaign took Iron Mountain in an entirely new PR direction: one with a focus on people and behaviour that provided a perfect news hook for its important messages about information management and security.

The creative concept that many of us engage in ‘criminal’ activity without realising it, and make our own judgements based on our own moral code rather than company policy, was both original and entertaining, but had to be handled with care so that people did not feel accused, and adapted subtly to ensure it worked well across all European markets.

New business contact: Paul Stallard, managing director 


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