The Challenge

Taking technology stories and making them relevant for business media is an ongoing challenge. Cisco Connect 2017 - an event that hosted 900 attendees, including some of the top tech professionals in South Africa - was an opportunity to have messages extend into mainstream media beyond the ICT trade media.

The Idea

Two executives, US-based Hilton Romanski, Cisco’s Chief Strategy Officer and SVP and Cathy Smith, GM for Cisco Southern Africa - who hosted the event for the first time - were a big draw for media.  While one-on-one interviews were secured, it was also important to hold a face-to-face dialogue between attending media and these leaders to offer some mutual learning and to use plain English when referring to 'digital transformation'.

The Solution

With one PR resource based at Sun City, eight journalists were transported and hosted at the event. Five news releases were produced and distributed, each with a unique perspective on the digital transformation of South Africa and the opportunities it offers the country, translating technical language into simple terminology.

The Results

Business media picked up on the event with more than 40% of the media coverage in tier-1 media (CNBC Africa, Radio 702/CapeTalk 567, PowerFM and Fin24). Beyond this, among the media who attended, new relationships were built with an understanding of the range of impacts Cisco is having, from increasing women in tech to helping the SA government better compete internationally.

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