Red Hat taps Greenough to build beyond Linux core

RALEIGH, NC: As open-source company Red Hat moves beyond its roots as a developer of Linux operating system software, it has chosen Greenough Communications as US AOR.

RALEIGH, NC: As open-source company Red Hat moves beyond its roots as a developer of Linux operating system software, it has chosen Greenough Communications as US AOR.

Red Hat previously worked with Racepoint Group, a union that ended in August after changes on the marketing team led the company to pull its PR resources in the US in-house, explained Leigh Day, director of corporate communications.

But after agency president Phil Greenough reached out to Red Hat, the company was impressed with the firm's history of working with fast-growing companies and its "knack for consuming technical messages and communicating them effectively to mainstream media," said Day.

Greenough said the sector is growing more competitive, with offerings from smaller companies, such as Ingres, and global firms, including Microsoft and Sun Microsystems.

Open-source software is the result of disparate "communities" of developers and users accessing source code, and making changes and improvements resulting, ultimately, in flexible, sometimes free, software. By contrast, software programs like Microsoft's Windows operating system are propriety, with the company keeping the software code to itself.

Open source, long synonymous with Linux, has exploded into other markets in the past year, including database software and other applications.

"We want to help Red Hat tell a consistent, compelling story, particularly with emerging companies getting into the debate," said Greenough.

But Red Hat is also looking to move into security, virtualization, developer tools, and supporting other companies that develop and support open-source applications.

"We really want to build our brand and identity beyond Linux," said Day. "We enjoy that leadership position, but we're growing very quickly."

Day said companies embrace open source because of its innovative and transparent nature.

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