Posts Tagged ‘SAP’

New agency partnership in Germany

Monday, January 27th, 2014

One of our core beliefs here at McKenzie Worldwide is that smart, experienced PR people can do a great job for clients without the need for a lot of overhead. Rather than set up an expensive infrastructure around the world, our focus has been on working with “best of breed” agency partners.

To that end, we’re pleased to announce a new partnership with Donner & Doria Public Relations based in Heidelberg, Germany. Like many good relationships, this one will be a two-way street. We will be turning to Donner & Doria when our US-based clients need support in Germany, and Donner & Doria will be turning to us when their clients need US support.

Given Donner & Doria’s proximity to SAP AG (10 minutes down A-5), a particular emphasis will be working with potential clients in the SAP ecosystem, as well as many other high-tech clients who want senior PR representation, strategic insights, technical smarts and great execution at affordable (think low overhead) rates.

Here’s the full (English) press release

McKenzie Worldwide Welcomes Donner & Doria Public Relations to the MWW Global Communications Alliance Program

Collaboration provides both agencies with enhanced capabilities to service clients in Germany and beyond

Portland, Ore. and Heidelberg, Germany, January, 27 2014 – High-tech integrated communications and marketing agency McKenzie Worldwide and the German agency group Donner & Doria today announced they have joined forces to help clients from across the information technology landscape increase their presence in worldwide media and markets. This collaboration provides both agencies with enhanced capabilities to service clients in Germany and international clients seeking to expand their presence in the U.S. market.

McKenzie Worldwide and Donner & Doria Public Relations are independent and owner-managed public relations agencies with international experience and a strong track record of helping technology firms build brands and increase awareness of clients’ products and services on a global basis. Clients can benefit from the firms’ deep IT expertise, strategic insights, excellent media contacts as well as efficient project management. Both agencies offer strategic communications consulting, media relations, content marketing, online marketing and social media programs among other services.

“The German market has always been a key focus for us and over the years we have worked with many great clients in Germany so finding the right local partner was a high priority. Donner & Doria has a great team and we’re looking forward to working with them,” said Megan McKenzie, CEO of McKenzie Worldwide. “The MWW Global Communications Alliance offers clients a community of independent agencies that share the same spirit of excellence and quality customer service for a seamless and consistent agency experience around the world.”

McKenzie along with McKenzie Worldwide Vice President Brian Edwards will be working closely with Donner & Doria managing director Peter Verclas and PR consultant Simone Schmickl to implement effective client programs. McKenzie, Edwards and Verclas have known each other for more than 15 years and have jointly advised several IT companies, including German IT giant SAP AG, on global PR activities.

“We are very much looking forward to once again working together as a close-knit team on international PR campaigns with Brian, Megan and their team,” said Peter Verclas, managing director of Donner & Doria Public Relations GmbH. “We have many years of senior-level expertise in our respective markets that we’re confident will bring our clients tremendous value.”

About McKenzie Worldwide

Founded in 2004, McKenzie Worldwide is a high-tech public relations and marketing agency providing a range of strategic integrated communication services including PR, social media, content development/marketing and interactive programs to help companies build trust in their brands. The agency focuses on providing services to the world’s leading and emerging innovative enterprise, wireless and consumer technology companies. At the core of our work is a desire to work with smart people and smart companies – whether emerging start-ups or global brands – with interesting technology, products and services.

About Donner & Doria

The agency group Donner & Doria is the competence network for brand communication. The group offers marketing and communication services including brand management, image and awareness development, content marketing, lead generation, customer loyalty and sales support, employer branding, above-the-line advertising, public relations, online marketing and social media as well as internal communication. Customers span multiple sectors including IT and SAP, public sector and pharma and healthcare. The agency group consists of Donner & Doria Werbeagentur GmbH and Donner & Doria Public Relations GmbH. Donner & Doria has 20 employees in Heidelberg and Mannheim.

Media Contact:

McKenzie Worldwide
Megan McKenzie
Phone: +1 503 625 3680

Donner & Doria Public Relations GmbH
Peter Verclas
Phone: +49 6221 58787-35


Trendspotting in the SAP Ecosystem

Friday, June 4th, 2010

For those of us who work to build brands within the SAP ecosystem, one of the most important strategies is to ride whatever waves SAP is creating. The momentum SAP creates can push you along and help you be part of the discussion. Since SAP is promoting these themes, you’ll get much more support from their partner teams, and media types who are writing about these themes will be more receptive to pitches.

While the themes evolve over the course of year, SAP’s agenda for the coming year is laid out during the annual SAPPHIRE NOW events, which recently completed. The job of setting the agenda falls to the CEO, or in this case, co-CEOs Bill McDermott and Jim Hagermann Snabe.

Here are the main themes that emerged from the co-CEO’s 2010 keynotes.

  • Mobility – SAP is making a huge bet on mobile enablement of its platform with the acquisition of Sybase. While much is unknown about how this will play out, it’s not too soon to start thinking how your company’s products will mesh with mobile SAP applications.
  • On-Demand – According to Snabe, the SAP Business ByDemand will be ready for mass volume in July and you can bet that SAP will be pushing it hard, both as a complement to on-premise apps and as a solution for small- and mid-size enterprises.
  • Changing IT Stack – With social media and mobility, users are more empowered than ever before. This will require changes in the technology stack and a new generation of analytics to find knowledge. “This requires a complete new IT,” said Snabe. “This is an era that requires collaboration.” I suspect SAP will be articulating what this means in more depth in the coming months.

Unlike some years past when the media response from SAPPHIRE has been somewhat to even highly negative, the majority of coverage I’ve seen this year has been positive and upbeat. The media enjoyed SAPPHIRE and believe that McDermott and Snabe along with a re-energized Hasso Plattner have SAP headed in the right direction. After a couple of down years, it looks like IT spending is about to rebound and SAP – and with partners who play their cards correctly – are poised to take advantage.

Ten Buzz Building PR Strategies for Software Up-and-Comers

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Nearly ten years ago when I was part of the SAP public relations team, I remember sitting in the SAPPHIRE press room observing the various activities going on. One interaction stands out.  A marketer from a partner company had just dropped off his press kit (this was back when we still did paper press kits), and happened to see the name badge for a Computerworld reporter.

The marketer practically did a back flip and buttonholed the reporter into talking to him. The response from the reporter was not good. His body language said irritation. He didn’t take notes and he didn’t want a business card or a press kit.  He absolutely was not interested in what the partner company had to say. His job was to talk to SAP executives, analysts and a few customers. No one else mattered.

Ten years ago, tech pubs had budget and reporters had manageable beats – and they still didn’t want to talk to small companies. Now, the situation has gotten worse.  Far worse. Publications are cutting staff, or just going out of business, and are consumed about what drives clicks. Needless to say SAP, IBM, Microsoft, Apple or Google drive a lot more clicks than a small company – even one with awesome technology – that few have ever heard about.

So what is a marketer, like the one at SAPPHIRE, supposed to do to generate some visibility on a limited budget?  Here are 10 tips that do not include accosting busy reporters in the hallway at trade shows.

Do something interesting – Press releases about bug fixes or your partner program aren’t interesting to anyone, much less reporters.  Text mining software upgrades, even from a company like IBM aren’t that interesting. But text mining software that can understand emoticons, now that’s interesting.  An angle like that is out there. Work with your development team to come up with something with sizzle.

Make yourself useful – Complaining to reporters about how they never cover your company is sure to fail. You’ll get a lot further by demonstrating to reporters that you can be a useful knowledgeable resource about industry trends, or can provide timely comments. Are you tracking the editorial calendars? Publications are obligated to write up what’s on the calendar every month. Some smart ideas about how to address a topic just might get you quoted.

Groom customer spokespeople – Every company has customer references and can rattle off names of companies using their products. Your list is probably not that different from that of your archrival. The value to reporters comes when they can get the CIO or a senior IT manager on the phone, and he or she is quotable and can cite useful stats.  It’s hard work finding customers like this, but they are incredibly valuable when you find them.

Win awards — As Woody Allen famously said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” Similarly, eighty percent of winning awards is just making sure you’re entered in the award contest, and that you’ve put together a strong, credible entry. While winning awards won’t necessarily lead to press coverage, reporters do notice such things and may opt to call you instead of a competitor.

Sponsor a study – This isn’t free, but reporters love to write up stories about studies. Look around for some topics that are timely and lack supporting data more or less in your space. Say, if you create developer tools, a study about the impact of Facebook and Twitter on developer productivity might be interesting.

Write, write and write some more – Publications and blogs are short of staff. This means they are always looking for content. You can fill the void with a steady stream of journalistic quality content. Leave the hype to your website. The point here is to get your perspective and company name out there on a regular basis. What’s more, this content can be re-purposed for your blog. Speaking of which…

Do you have a blog? – If you expect anyone to take you seriously, start blogging. Immediately.

Know what news is – It’s unbelievable how many marketing VPs seem to think that customer wins and partnership deals are of interest to reporters. They are not. Most publications have blanket policies of not writing these up, or it’s pretty much all they would be writing. Which would also cause them to lose all readership.  Be sure you’re putting out hard hitting news that publications can use.

Get on power panels – The company you keep can make a big difference. Like winning awards, getting yourself invited to participate in a panel with Microsoft and Google execs at a big trade show isn’t that hard. It’s a matter of pitching the show and conference organizers and putting someone smart from your company on stage. Reporters and bloggers attend these panels and write about them or make video blogs. Chances are your expert will get exposure.

Read, listen and comment – You can gain a lot of insights by reading what’s being written. Moreover, you can take advantage of commenting and social media functions to judiciously add your voice and perspective to the mix. Reporters and bloggers read comments thoroughly, so this is great way to let influentials know that you’re engaged.

This is by no means the exhaustive list of ways that small companies can drive exposure while staying on budget. By focusing on activities that work, you can generate the type of consistent buzz that drives revenue growth and helps you to steadily move up the food chain.  If you have some more suggestions and tips of things that have worked for you, please chime in.

Enterprise Software Blogging in Full Swing

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

For longer than I care to admit, I have been marketing a variety of software products to enterprise IT professionals and managers, from cloud-based start-ups to SAP.  What appeals to about this space is the technical nature of the products and the challenges of differentiating a client’s products from their competitors.  It’s also gratifying to hear about the customer successes and how a client’s technology is making a very real difference.

Over the years, the marketing approach we’ve used has involved more or less the same set of tools.  To launch a new product release, for instance, you first get everyone together and figure out a press release and some messaging, tie into a trade show, update the web site, put together a slide deck for sales and follow up with telemarketing.

And while all that still holds true, what’s changed is the growing influence of blogging. Over the last couple of years, blogging about enterprise software has expanded by leaps and bounds. The list of bloggers on the SAP Community Network or over at Oracle is truly extensive and growing steadily. Moreover, there are dozens upon dozens of consultants and managers all with a story to tell and blogging regularly.

It only makes sense that enterprise software would be a fertile ground for blogs. This stuff is complex and changes constantly. And no piece of enterprise software ever dies.  It simply isn’t possible for a general IT publication to even do a passable of job of delivering on information needs across all the little niches and cubbyholes. Enterprise software bloggers play a critical role in keeping specialized audiences informed and educated.

You might think the IT managers are all business and no fun, but having tied one on at a few SAPPHIREs, I can safely say that this can be a lively community.  It follows that Facebook is a popular gathering place for various IT communities. For instance, the SAPPHIRENOW 2010 (not sure about that name) Facebook page has nearly 2,000 fans, sharing critical information such as this photo of Shaun White with an SAP airport sign:

Shaun White SAP Sign

With blogging and social media on the upswing in the enterprise IT space, it follows that as marketers and IT professionals, we need to be there too. No longer is it enough to just do the press release, the trade show circuit and webinars. You need to be blogging (or podcasting and videocasting), you need to be on Facebook.  You need to be active and participating in the forums. You need to build communities of your own.

The rise of social media changes what we do in marketing and PR. Instead of focusing on finely tuned brochures and trade show booths, we spend time encouraging content owners and technical experts to keep blogging and looking for ways to syndicate content across blogs and various social media channels.  An example of how this works is a blog post by Deb Lavoy of Open Text (a McKenzie Worldwide client) that ended up on the AIIM Facebook page. AIIM is a large enterprise content management professional association.

If you’re an enterprise marketer, it would be great to hear how you see blogging and social media changing your approach. What’s working? What’s not? What are some of the best ways to take full advantage of this channel? I plan on delving deeper into this subject in future posts. Let’s talk.

Living in an abbr. world

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Why is it that everyone seems to be in such a hurry in life? What is this irresistible craving we have for speed? Now I must admit that I grew up in the 1980s as part of the MTV generation so my attention span is pretty limited. Even Lisa Simpson, in an episode of The Simpsons, commented that (and I’m paraphrasing here) “we grew up in the MTV generation so we have an attention span of less than a minute.”

Armed with a short attention span and living in a business world where time apparently does equal money, we need to find ways to cut corners so we can be more productive. I completely understand that. Technologies like cell phones and mobile computing keep me stay connected to my work and help improve my productivity. But seriously, have we taken the whole speed-productivity-simplifying everything a little too far?

Which brings me to my question of the day: how many acronyms does the high tech world need? Why must we shorten everything so that we can talk faster?

The other day I was configuring my daughter’s new laptop. In the middle of cursing up a storm (yes, I’m technologically challenged J), in the same sentence I said, “just plug that into the USB drive, I’ll hook it up to the Wi-Fi network and the printer and then you’ll have your own SOHO set-up.” She looked at me like I was from Mars.

In an effort to help simplify everyone’s life in the tech world and help improve productivity I recommend that we combine some high tech acronyms. How about these?

CRM and ERP? Would that be CREEP?

HIPAA and BPO? Would that be HIPPO?

GUI and NIMBY? Would that be GUMBY?

SOHO and SAP? Would that be SOAP?

SMB and AC? Would that be SMAC?

Really now…SaaS, IP, VOIP, FOIP, ISO, CMOS, HTTP, RFID, FTP, OEM and EMEA …it never stops.

So what’s your opinion? Has the tech world taken acronyms too far?

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