Polycom makes move toward mainstream

PLEASANTON, CA: Polycom has enlisted Access Communication to help the company expand its pull in the mainstream media.

PLEASANTON, CA: Polycom has enlisted Access Communication to help the company expand its pull in the mainstream media.

The company, which manufactures telepresence, teleconferencing, and videoconferencing equipment, plans to move beyond its outreach in the trade and vertical press to target decision-makers through outlets like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and USA Today, said Caroline Japic, senior director of communications at Polycom.

“Travelers in hotel rooms read USA Today, and they're often thinking they don't want to travel anymore,” said Japic. “So if they see our technology there, it would probably appeal to them.”

The company plans to engage in a “push-and-pull” strategy to stir up demand from business people interested in using the technology; yet also from C-suite executives encouraging their staff to implement the technology to cut costs, she added.

The messaging will include differentiating Polycom from competitors, emphasizing teleconferencing to reduce travel costs and carbon footprints, as well educating executives on the recent technological strides in the industry.

In addition to targeting mainstream press, the company is “turning up the dial on social media” and plans to increase its exposure on sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and with blogs, Japic noted. The PR strategy also includes positioning Polycom executives as thought leaders; offering case studies of customers using the technology in innovative ways; and using its proprietary tools -- like its carbon calculator– to compile data that could be compelling to the media.

“Our PR support for Polycom is focused on amplifying product attributes, and more importantly, building broader brand awareness of Polycom as the leader of video/telepresence solutions,” added Susan Butenhoff, CEO of Access, which was bought by Ketchum last October.

Last year, the telepresence company selected A&R Edelman as its AOR. When Japic took over as senior director of communications in June, she recommended the company switch to Access, an agency with which she formerly worked.

“I have a lot of respect for A&R Edelman,” Japic said, adding Polycom was drawn to Access' experience in the consumer space.

Todd Irwin, GM and EVP at A&R Edelman, said the agency was “pleased with the progress we made with Polycom, especially with the business media.” He noted that a PR manager who has since left the company hired the agency.

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