- Richard M. Williams
Minding the Narrative Gap in Iceland
Verne Global, a global data center based in Keflavik, Iceland is at the forefront of data center infrastructure design. The campus leverages Iceland’s highly available, abundant and renewable power grid to deliver flexible, scalable and secure data center solutions. As the scale and complexity of enterprise and supercomputing requirements grows, forward-thinking IT leaders can reduce power risk and realize long-term, significant total cost of ownership (TCO) cost savings with Verne Global.
In December 2015, Verne Global, in partnership with the company’s agency on record, Connect2 Communications, launched an extensive public relations campaign to expand the interest in Verne Global and Iceland as a data center hub—a viable and logical alternative to the limited availability, high cost and aging grids in the US and Europe. The campaign, titled Mind the Gap, continued through 2016 and aimed to uncover a very real and often overlooked trend in data storage—the growing disconnect between how companies are planning to use data to fuel their growth and the reliability, stability and availability of regional and national power grids.
Bridging the Connectivity Gap
In late 2015, Verne Global and Connect2 Communications completed a commissioned report by an independent industry analyst titled Mind the Gap whitepaper, which served as the marketing and communications centerpiece for the campaign. Public relations activities spanning over the course of the year focused on the topics of energy availability and the data disconnect and included business and trade press interviews and coverage, contributed articles, speaking engagements, award entries, a webinar and a sub campaign.
The campaign’s objectives were to position Verne Global as a thought leader in the industry conversation around the business implications of energy availability and the data explosion; educate and inform IT decision makers on the key considerations (power resourcing, reliability, latency, resilience etc.) for determining data residency and management strategies; and generate leads by encouraging organizations to consider using Verne Global for their data center needs. To execute these objectives, Connect2 Communications recommended the following strategies:
Develop a thought-leadership campaign anchored around the key challenges identified in the Mind the Gap whitepaper – rising tide of data, the energy availability crisis and the demand on IT departments – to set the scene for a data dilemma: one which Verne Global can help solve.
Tell a compelling, visual story which demonstrates Verne Global’s clear understanding of IT decision maker challenges and why Verne Global is the right choice.
Target IT Pro decision makers through owned (video, social), earned (influencer relationships, media coverage) and paid media (social advertising).
Over the course of the Mind the Gap campaign, the whitepaper research and content garnered interviews and coverage with publications, including USA Today, PYMNTS, EETimes, Energy Manager Today and contributed articles in top data center publications. Additionally, Connect2 Communications planned, promoted via social media campaigns and executed a webinar, hosted by the whitepaper’s author, titled Mind the Gap: Energy Availability and the Disconnect with Data which garnered visibility with key press and business development leads. The most influential coverage from the Mind the Gap campaign was from USA Today’s Bill Loveless, which featured a print cover story on the white paper, the state of the power grids around the world and Verne Global’s unique position in the data center market.
In an effort to continue the momentum of the Mind the Gap campaign, Connect2 Communications developed the Energy Developer’s Playground sub campaign. This campaign highlighted not only the stable and reliable Icelandic power grid, but also the remarkable energy industry in Iceland that continues to invest in new sources of renewable energy. By leveraging companies within the Icelandic research park, Connect2 Communications was able to secure interviews and coverage with influential business and trade press, including New York Times, Scientific American, Quartz, Data Center Dynamics as well as an in-person tour and interview in Iceland with TIME Magazine. To date, the Mind the Gap & Energy Developer’s Playground campaigns has resulted in stories that reach an audience of over 22M people, substantial lead generation, 8 speaking engagements and an industry award.