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Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide

Yes, I do get excited about SNW. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend nine of the last 12 ‘SNWs and it has grown to be a part of my annual plan.

Almost without saying, it has been interesting to be a part of this conference as it has evolved over the last six years. Not long ago press conferences were the daily norm, vendor news was flying across the wires, on- and off-site parties, dinners and comedy shows (it was only about 4 years ago that Sinbad was the evening entertainment – yes, that Sinbad) were all just ‘the norm’ for SNW.

This Spring the shift I’m starting to hear and feel is that social media is starting to take hold at the conference. This feels a bit overdue, and rightfully so, as social media has been engrained in almost every large event for the last two years or longer. Truth be told, there is so much great information created and shared at this conference, it will be interesting to see how much of it will be shared outside of the confines of the Rosen Shingle Creek.

Here are some interesting developments and new additions to this years’ SNW conference that may help you keep a finger on the pulse of what’s happening at the conference this spring:

  • @SNWUSA Twitter feed: already sending some useful updates and gathering a bit of momentum with storage industry Twitter users.
  • It is looking like the hashtag #SNW will be used by most attendees, so be sure to use that to track the broader conversation.
  • While not everyone will be on-site, I’m confident the following active Twitter users will be worth keeping a close eye on during the show: @PariseauTT, @storageswiss, @demartek, @storagebod, @storagemonkeys, @sfoskett, @Chris_Mellor,. @Storagezilla, @storageanarchy, @storageio and @dvellante.
  • A more robust list of active storage Twitter users was posted by Stephen Foskett not too long ago, if you’re looking for a whole slew of active storage pros.
  • The SNIA has also recently started testing the social media waters with their own activities, and they’ll be cranking out some fresh content during the event. (Fair disclosure, I’ll likely be contributing to some of the content they are creating.)
  • @SNIAcloud will be a good SNIA Twitter to follow considering the first ever Cloud mini-Summit being held at SNW on Monday.
  • The Wikibon team is working on something pretty interesting once again. They are working to deliver once again on their Analyst 2.0 model by hosting a live ‘viral experience’ at the conference. To track the conversation they’re having with vendors and likely end users and other attendees, keep an eye on conversations using the #wikibon (as well as #SNW) hashtags.

So, cheers to another SNW and lets hope the social media buzz around the event avoids “Storage Smackdown” status from Byte & Switch.

Feel free to follow me around during the show as I’ll be posting live updates whenever something interesting comes my way…@dlarusso15.


Not too long ago, I found myself standing in the middle of the “condiments” aisle in my local grocery store, staring cross-eyed at shelves full of Jelly choices. After about 5 minutes of picking up different kinds of grape jelly and studying the labels, I actually had to call my wife and ask her (with a not-so-subtle hint of sarcasm), “which of the 14 jars of grape jelly do you want?” Among others, there were organic, regular, low-sugar, sugar-free, preservatives, jam, peanut butter swirl, tall skinny jar, short wide jar, plastic jar, glass jar, etc. etc. – the options seemed limitless.

This isn’t a new discussion and there are some interesting studies that cover the impact of too much choice. I found the image that was in a recent and quite interesting National Post article particularly striking – look at all of those TVs!?.

Then, to my suprise, I read a story in the Sydney Morning Herald that actually references an experiment on too much choice and Jam…”In the experiment, two groups of supermarket shoppers were asked to sample jam. One group was given six jams to taste, the other group was given 24. Thirty per cent of the first group purchased something after the tasting, only 3 per cent of the second group made a purchase.”

For technology communications professionals, choice poses more than just challenges in our personal lives. We’re faced with the added test of differentiating both our own services as well as the products or services were are helping promote. Whether you are launching a new consumer technology, marketing an enterprise storage device, a core router or a new professional service, crafting a unique message that stands out.

We are also forced to consider the fragmentation of the media industry and understand how media is being consumed, accessed or shared by readers so we can devise the best approach to reaching a target audience is an ever-increasing challenge .

Just consider that the two stories I’ve linked to in this article are from international news sources that I found by reading Google News Alerts – not my local paper or the blogs I follow on a daily basis.

I read the vast majority of my news via my iGoogle homepage, which now includes a widget for my Facebook, Twitter and Flickr accounts as well as several other applications I used to have to individually check on a daily basis. Here are just a few of my Tabs on my iGoogle homepage:

Storage Blogs and News

PR Blogs (You’ll see my Denver Bias here as several are from my hometown)

Technology News

The challenge to all of us is to be the jelly that stood out enough for the 3 percent to actually read about and then purchase.

Dan La Russo

by Dan La Russo
Category: Technology

Thought I’d share a few pictures of the new Denver office space.

There is still some unpacking and construction going on and pardon the amateur photos! Overall, it’s a great space with plenty of room for team meetings, client meetings, brainstorming sessions and networking and it will be great to be co-located with some of other WPP companies as well.

If you are in the Downtown Denver area, drop us a line – 303-615-5070!

Front Entrance with logos of JWT, Group M Motion (Mindshare), Ogilvy PR and Y&R.

One of the brainstorming rooms with an ‘Ogilvy-ism’ on it…this room will undoubtedly draw nicknames like ‘The Red Room” or the “Donny Deutsch Room

Unfinished brainstorm/conference room with bar-stool seating. Unfortunately it came without the rest of the “bar” amenities, but will still be a great space for on-the-fly meetings.

Last but not least, some of the working space…


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Much has been said about the use of social media and I’ve heard several business to business technology companies either struggling with how to best harness social media or viewing social media as something that is too risky to adopt.

What I think lies at the center of this discussion is the need to really know the voice of the organization and the key attributes that factor into building the foundation that supports the voice.

That foundation should include a few key elements: a secure and confident understanding of the organization’s core values that ultimately define the brand; a compelling mix of core messages to support the company’s products or services; and a vision for where the company and industry are going.

From these elements – and quite possibly several other considerations – a social media strategy can be built that integrates the right tools, activities and campaigns that adequately represent the brand and help communicate with the company’s audiences.

I attended a Business Social Software Jeopardy Webcast hosted by Jive Software on May 28th. The Webcast three contestants – Bill Johnston – Chief Community Officer at Forum One Communications; Laura Ramos – Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research; and Jeremiah Owyang – Senior Analyst at Forrester Research and was hosted by Jive Software’s CMO, Sam Lawrence.

Overall the Webcast was informative, but what really stood out was the POST methodologythat Forrester’s Jeremiah Owyang spoke about. POST stands for People (knowing your audience/ who you are trying to reach), Objectives (what are you trying to achieve?), Strategy (how your relationships will change from the activities) and Technologies (the tools you’ll use to achieve your goals for the effort). Following these four steps make a lot of sense to me, but they need to be built on a foundation that falls in-line with the company’s voice and overarching brand personality.

I do believe that there is a role for social media within any company or organization. How broad reaching the effort is, how “edgy” the tactics are and what tools and techniques are applied. The chief underlying rule to always keep in mind is that they must be built from a solid foundation and awareness of your voice.

Here are a few interesting current and past social media efforts from business to business companies that support their brands. The differences are obvious, but what is important is how they found their own voice and approach to meet their goals.

Some of these are well known examples, others may be new to you…

LiveVault Institute for Backup Trauma

Cisco donthaveameltdown.com (I believe the official site has been taken down, but the viral video still lives on)

*Hitachi Data Systems blogs and viral videos

Know of any good B2B social media campaigns or activities? If so, please share them!

* full disclosure we currently represent Hitachi Data Systems, however we were not involved in the development of the Mr. T viral video series

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Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide