Actuate drives BIRT on 'Open Road'

Who is your client and what are its media goals?

Actuate drives BIRT on 'Open Road'
Who is your client and what are its media goals?

Wawi Ramallo: Actuate is a global leader in business intelligence, performance management, and reporting applications. It wanted to engage traditional media and bloggers to drive coverage of the launch of Actuate's BIRT-Exchange, an online resource for developers using its Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) product line.

What made "The Open Road" blog such a good hit? What was your pitch to blogger Matt Asay?

Ramallo: Asay is a well-known and respected blogger in the Open Source community, and The Open Road drives thousands of readers through the CNET Web site each day. Earlier this year, Asay had pulled content from a 2005 Open Source survey by Actuate for one of his posts, so we used that as a hook to pitch him on sitting down for a briefing with company executives.

Bloggers can often be difficult to reach. Was that a challenge? How did you overcome that?

Ramallo: After our original pitch to Asay's corporate e-mail got no response, we reached him via the business social networking site LinkedIn. After a few days, SHIFT was included on his network and we were able to provide more details and get Asay to agree to a briefing.

Did you media-train any of the Actuate team before the briefing? What other support material did you provide to clinch the placement?

Ramallo: We didn't have to do any media training, but did give briefing points to the Actuate executives. We also provided Asay with a PowerPoint presentation that contained further information on the objectives of the BIRT-Exchange.

What was the impact of the hit?

Ramallo: Asay's post on Actuate appeared on his blog the same day as the briefing. Vijay Ramakrishnan, Actuate's marketing director for Java reporting, later sent us an e-mail: "Kudos to SHIFT for securing the briefing! I think it was the biggest single win for the launch."

Name: Wawi Ramallo, account coord., SHIFT Communications (San Francisco)

Placement: CNET's "The Open Road" blog, September 27, 2007

Pitch timeline: One week

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