The Military Channel's Future Weapons Fan Site, February
What does your company do, and what are its media goals?
Ryan May: BAE Systems is a global defense contractor committed to providing our servicemen and women with the best technology to keep them safe from harm. We recently developed a Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) Cannon for the US Army's Future Combat Systems program, and our media goal was to keep the NLOS Cannon front and center in terms of the Army and people who are interested in the military.
While Discovery's Military Channel is growing in popularity, what made its online Future Weapons Fan Site such a good target for BAE Systems, and how did you pitch the editors there?
May: It really began as a relationship that BAE Systems and our agency, Weber Shandwick, developed with Discovery and the Military Channel. Discovery came to Yuma, AZ, to do a feature on the NLOS Cannon, and during that visit we all discussed how we could follow that up. When the Discovery Channel said it was planning this online Future Weapons site, we quickly agreed to provide it with materials in the format it needed.
Some online outlets don't have the resources to fully develop multimedia presentations - how much input did you have in putting together the NLOS Cannon page for the Web site?
May: Very little. Once they saw how much valuable information we had, they made the additional investment on their own, including building a video game for the site that shows how the NLOS Cannon works.
What was the impact of the hit?
May: The Future Weapons site debuted in February, and the NLOS Cannon was the initial program highlighted. Even though it's a site for the public, it provided real third-party validation that we could show to our prospective customers. The Future Weapons Fan Site was such an immediate hit that it was then profiled in the Washington Times, which specifically mentioned the NLOS Cannon Weapon Zone page.
Name: Ryan May, marketing manager, BAE Systems Army Programs (Minneapolis)
Placement: The Military Channel's Future Weapons Fan Site, February
Pitch timeline: 12 months