Unisys: Making an Old Story New Again
Unisys brought the first commercial computer to market, and the company has been protecting technology ever since.
The global IT company builds high-performance, security-centric solutions for the most demanding businesses and governments. The Unisys portfolio of offerings includes security software and services, digital transformation and workplace services, industry applications and services and software operating environments for high-intensity enterprise computing.
Both the Unisys Corporation and the Unisys brand were created in 1986 through the combination of mainframe computing companies Sperry and Burroughs. Even today, Unisys still holds the distinction of owning and operating the only operating system from which data has never been forcibly extracted.
This is just one of many proof points of the unmatched security and value that Unisys delivers.
However, part of the challenge for Unisys has been making its story come alive for the media.
Many Unisys clients are banks and government agencies. These organizations don’t tend to divulge their cybersecurity secrets, making it nearly impossible to develop a good case study.
This is among the reasons why Unisys created the Unisys Security Index. The index is based on analysis of an online survey that aims to discover what consumers around the world care about when it comes to security. But after more than 10 years of publishing the results of the study, the media had become less interested in covering them.
And after months of developing research questions, sourcing respondents and fielding the latest survey, Unisys was still struggling to define a narrative that would attract coverage. So, Unisys called on Bospar for help in adding sex appeal to its security story.
Unisys asked us how we could work with its worldwide network of PR agencies, including its U.S. agency of record. We suggested that we focus exclusively on TV broadcast outlets, letting Unisys’ worldwide network of PR agencies focus on print and online reporters.
Unisys agreed, and Bospar got busy.
Bospar poured over the research from more 13,000 consumers in 13 countries and then recommended that Unisys position the index as the so-called “October Surprise” for the 2018 midterm elections. According to the company’s research, nearly 20% of Americans said they would consider not voting in the 2018 midterms due to concerns about the integrity of U.S. voting systems.
We understood that this finding could have huge repercussions that political reporters would want to share. We knew that by attracting national media interest from beyond just security reporters, the study would be increasingly regarded as the preeminent barometer of its kind. And since some among top-tier reporters wouldn’t cover the data due to the index methodology, we realized we had to target reporters without those constrictions.
Immediately we considered Fox News, which Unisys sees as top-tier due to the outlet’s reach. We also targeted reporters and media markets with toss-up elections with customized data pulls. We also prioritized national syndication networks, which would be looking for a new national story with appeal to media markets across the country. And we produced a video release with graphics, b-roll and man-on-the-street sound bites.
On the day the Fox News story went live, Unisys stock reached $19.27, close to its 52-week high, and trended more than 53% higher than the same day in 2019. Unisys was so happy with the report and result that it updated the company homepage to reflect the placement.
This was in addition to the breaking news broadcast on the study by New York’s WPIX, just as Bospar had planned. We also secured a story with Detroit’s WYMD about how the study was timely after bomb threats to U.S. officials. In total, we secured 145 broadcast placements.
The effort also generated these rave reviews. Chris Krebs, the Department of Homeland Security’s top cyber official, said that the Unisys Security Index was a “valuable report and from a governmental perspective, it plugs a gap.” And Unisys marketing and communications leaders noted that the PR campaign “helped strengthen Unisys’ leadership in the security marketplace,” contributed to “a great fourth quarter,” and helped the company’s “security pipeline [go] through the roof.”
You can guess what happened next: Unisys asked Bospar to become its PR agency of record.
The Bigger Picture
Our partnership with Unisys has been a great success story for all involved. And it just keeps getting bigger and better.
In June 2019 it was time for a new effort for the Unisys Security Index. This time Bospar secured well over double the number of placements from the year before, with more than 300 stories. One of the stories that Bospar snagged was an On Travel radio segment that went to all stations on the Armed Forces Network – it syndicated 338 times. In the wake of this media tsunami, Unisys stock saw a .5% bump.
Bospar also worked to position and promote the 2020 index. This time we focused on the fact that Americans’ concern about internet security plunged 13 points, with just 31% of the U.S. populace concerned about cybercrime while working remotely. We also emphasized that this was despite the fact that the FBI said cybercrime spiked by 400% amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The PR team continues to pitch this year’s index story, and to date Bospar has secured coverage with ~100 media outlets. This includes placements with 1080 KRLD-AM in Dallas, KABC-LA (ABC) in Los Angeles, KCBS News Radio in San Francisco, National Cybersecurity News, NextGov, Security Boulevard, TechRepublic and many other broadcast, radio and text-based entities.
The annual Unisys Security Index campaign is just one part of Bospar’s efforts to drive interest in and engagement for Unisys.
- Bospar also acted fast to get Unisys into this CNN Business article offering readers advice on how to protect themselves from cyberattacks while working from home.
- Our PR efforts led to Unisys being featured in this “Hottest new cybersecurity products at RSA Conference 2020” slide show.
- We also placed this CEO thought leadership piece in the Philadelphia Business Journal.
As you can see, Bospar creates thought leadership content for Unisys. Our Forbes Technology Council content-authoring efforts have been so streamlined and successful that Unisys has significantly expanded the program.
- We have created more than a dozen Forbes articles – at a rate of about one a month –
based on our conversations with the president and COO of Unisys.
- We have penned nine pieces for the global CTO and SVP-technology at the company.
- And we have had half a dozen Forbes council articles publish for two newer authors.
Unisys has expanded its content engagement with Bospar to include an eBook, industry vertical articles and white paper creation. And in early 2020, Bospar helped Unisys launch a speakers’ bureau to secure speaking opportunities for the deep bench of Unisys leaders.