Foundry Networks is a US company which specialises in IT networks.
It has developed products, based on technology know as Gigabit Ethernet,
that boost the speed of existing computer networks by a factor of at
Foundry planned to target key journalists in the IT sector on a
pan-European basis and to explain, to both the installing industry,
known as resellers, and to the end-user, why Foundry’s product is both
beneficial and cost-effective to install.
Although Gigabit Ethernet is a new technology, there are many companies
already involved in this area, so the key to generating coverage was to
adopt an unusual stance for the sector. Hence a more aggressive,
up-front style was taken in all publicity work.
It was decided that Foundry’s strength was its management personnel, so
a tour of key European countries was arranged for two senior executives
- Drusie Demopoulos and Matthew Nunney - to meet journalists. The tour
covered the UK, Germany, France and Scandinavia with Johnson King
handling this through a network of associated agencies.
In each country, local agencies arranged events to generate maximum
In the UK, for example, journalists had one-to-one meetings with the
Foundry executives, while in Munich a press conference was arranged and
leading IT journalists were invited. The meetings were intentionally
upbeat. ’They were not afraid to express opinions about their
competitors,’ said Mike King of Johnson King, ’and in a sector dominated
by bland corporate speak, the way you say something is as important as
what you say.’
Foundry’s status as the first company to market Gigabit Ethernet
technology was strongly promoted, and problems with alternative
Interviews were as candid as possible, with ’marketing speak’ kept to a
minimum. The launch tour is being backed up by an ongoing campaign, in
which journalists are encouraged to lab-test the technology, using it in
features on high speed networks. Johnson King devoted 10 per cent of its
budget to research and five per cent to evaluation of the campaign.
Of the half-dozen titles aimed at either reseller or end-user
communities, most covered the launch in news items. Network News and
Network Solutions gave Foundry front page coverage - rare for a start-up
Features mentioning the product followed in Corporate Networks, Network
Week, Network News, Network Reseller and Business Computer World.
Subsequent successes signing up resellers and customers were also given
news coverage in key titles. Similar coverage was achieved in France,
Germany and Scandinavia.
The campaign scores highly on research and planning where time - and 10
per cent of the budget - were taken to assess the market and define key
targets, essential to any launch. Matthew Nunney, European managing
director of Foundry commented: ’We were surprised at the coverage we got
as a new company. It’s vital to hit the specialist press, and we were
The tour idea worked well with Drusie Demopoulos, in particular, winning
coverage for her forthright views in several European publications.
Overall, an impressive amount of coverage generated on a tight
Client: Foundry Networks
PR Team: Johnson King PR
Campaign: European launch of Gigabit Ethernet
Timescale: Oct 97 - ongoing
Budget: pounds 10,000