Managing the media for solution providers

I'll be giving a talk on Jan. 31 at 3:00 PM at Microsoft Canada in Mississauga, Ont. about the importance of the media in business. I strongly believe that a publication such as Computer Dealer News and other industry specific publications and Web sites provide a cost-effective way to get your message out to the right people.

A lot of executives at solution provider companies don’t know how to deal with a reporter or are afraid that the final result will be out of their control. I will be dispelling these myths along with providing you with several do’s and don’t on dealing with people like me.

Before I give you details on the event I want to tell you a story that how powerful the media can be to your business. When I worked for ComputerWorld Canada I was assigned to report on the launch of Lotus Notes. Notes was the product that would take Lotus to the next level. I got the invitation to the press conference. I was unable to attend it live but I dialed in via conference call. I got all the details of the new products and the roll out for Canada. I called some industry experts to get their take on the new product. I wrote the story. It was published and that was the end of it. I thought! Sometime later I got a call from a CIO/IT manager who wanted to thank me for recommending Lotus Notes in ComputerWorld Canada. I said to him: “Wait a second! I did not recommend anything.” This IT executive spent $300,000 on Notes based on what he thought was my recommendation. Now, Notes worked for his company and he got immediate return on investment, while making staff more productive. I told him I was happy for him and his company but also explained to him that just because the news story was in the magazine didn't mean the publication recommended the product. As you can see from this story, the IT manager made a six-figure decision partly-based on a news article. I can tell you that Lotus didn't spend a dime on ComputerWorld Canada. That's some pretty cost-effective communications and marketing.

This is just one example of why you should actively engage the press.

Now for more details: My keynote at Microsoft Canada will be at 3:00 PM in the main presentation room. Microsoft Canada is located on 1950 Meadowvale, Ont. in Mississauga, Ont. Click here for more details and to register for the event. This event is being put on by the Canadian Chapter of the International Association of Microsoft Certified Partners (IAMCP). I will also be doing the same discussion the next day in Montreal at the Robert Half Offices on 1 Place Ville Marie. Click here for more details and to registers for the event.

Nine quick hits before I go. 

First off, long time Ingram Micro CEO Greg Spierkel, a Canadian, is stepping down. Alain Monie, the president and COO, will be taking his place. 
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty paid a visit to Cisco Canada this week to meet with Cisco Canada president Nitin Kawale. The two discussed Ontario's economy, innovation and research and development.

Irving Frydman, after 17 years at Fujitsu Canada, is looking for a new opportunity. He is a fantastic marketer and communicator. He made Fujitsu a household name in Canada by partnering with Jazz musicians and promoting concerts.

James Politeski has been named the new president of Samsung Canada. He was the senior vice president of sales and marketing.

Gavin Struthers is the new channel chief at McAfee replacing Alex Thurber, who left for Tripwire. Struthers ran the AsiaPac channel for McAfee.

Ed Wadbrook will join solution provider Carousel Industries to as its new vice president. His role will be to focus on integration of voice, video and collaboration applications into a single unified communications platform.


Richard Ellenberger and Ian Dix have been hired as a package byTrilogy Software to head the new telecom, technology, and media division.

Canon Canada has named Edelman Canada its public relations agency of record.
Finally, the SSD Company, a global provider of solid-state drive (SSD) products announced that industry veteran Vaughn Miller has joined the company as its systems and software group (SSG) as vice-president of business development. 

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