Tellabs' hometown effort builds buzz at NXTComm

Journalists and analysts attending NXTComm, the biggest telecommunications-related trade show of the year, are barraged with press releases, product announcements, and events to attend, so getting their attention is not easy.

Journalists and analysts attending NXTComm, the biggest telecommunications-related trade show of the year, are barraged with press releases, product announcements, and events to attend, so getting their attention is not easy.


But lining up face-to-face meetings was a must for Tellabs, a telecom network vendor.

With the help of Strategic Communications Group, Tellabs used its local knowledge of Chicago, the location of the company's headquarters, to reel in visitors to its booth for a firsthand glimpse of its new 7100 Nano, a product for delivering video over optical networks.

Strategy

In launching "Sweet Home Chicago," Tellabs and Strategic Communications Group sought to provide practical information to key journalists and analysts about restaurants near the convention center, the location of wi-fi hotspots, and how to avoid long cab lines. "We wanted to campaign ahead of time to get their attention and make sure they could be there," says Ariana Nikitas, Tellabs senior manager of PR.

Tactics

Strategic developed a Web site, www.sweethomechicago.tv, with practical information about eating, working, and playing in Chicago, along with information on Tellabs' speakers and events at the show. The team sent 20 to 30 key journalists and analysts notebooks and detailed maps of Chicago, and announced contract wins for the 7100 Nano leading up to NXTComm. During the show, Tellabs conducted a survey of telecom trends in association with Telephony magazine, adds Strategic MD Chris Parente.

Results

More than 25 meetings were held with press and analysts, helping push awareness of the product. Media hits included trades, such as Light Reading, CNET/ZDNet, and Wireless Week. A few weeks later, Verizon launched a service, "and though it didn't bring up Tellabs at all, three separate reporters asked if [it] was using the 7100 system," Nikitas notes.

Future

Nikitas says Tellabs would definitely consider doing another campaign for next year's show in Las Vegas.

PR team: Tellabs (Chicago) and Strategic Communications Group (Silver Spring, MD)

Campaign: Sweet Home Chicago

Duration: May to June 2007

Budget: $50,000

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