WALTHAM, MA: Open-source software company Novell named Shift Communications its US AOR as the company moves past a management shakeup and continues to highlight its position as a transparent public company.
Novell has been on the forefront of corporate blogging, especially considering its publicly-traded status. The internal PR department maintains a public-facing blog at www.novell.com/prblogs. Other executives, such as the CTO, maintain blogs.
Bruce Lowry, Novell director of PR, said: "It's another vehicle for engagement with the market… both media and the broader universe of Novell watchers."
Todd Defren, Shift principal, added, "They're pretty candid about the [company's] challenges."
The agency has been working with Novell since early June, before the company's board of directors asked Jack Messman to step down as CEO in mid June after analysts questioned the company's direction. Bruce Lowry, Novell director of PR, praised Shift's new and social media expertise.
Lowry said that the company put new CEO Ronald Hovsepian, formerly the company's president and COO, in front of the media since his ascension, but the company now expected much of its PR efforts, but not all, to focus on the recent Linux Enterprise 10 platform launch.
Novell used Shift's social media press release, which makes information easier for bloggers to parse, for an August 15 Linux Enterprise release at this year's LinuxWorld Conference and Expo. Former AOR Horn and Novell said their year-long relationship was terminated amicably.