Telling the Story Behind the Acquisition
How Voxus helped secure worldwide coverage of WatchGuard Technologies’ acquisition in top-tier channel and security press.
Pitching During a Global Pandemic
In early March 2020 as the United States began shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Voxus helped WatchGuard Technologies, a leading security company based in Seattle, announce its intended acquisition of Spanish endpoint security company Panda Security. With the official close of the transaction planned for June, WatchGuard asked Voxus to generate a strategy for broadening awareness about how the acquisition would benefit channel sales partners and customers, and supporting the company’s position as the go-to security platform for midmarket organizations. Voxus got to work, devoting attention to two significant obstacles. First, the pandemic was still dominating news cycles worldwide and second, WatchGuard needed a way to revamp the story after many outlets had already covered the initial acquisition announcement in March.
Telling the Story Behind the Acquisition
To overcome these challenges, Voxus worked with WatchGuard’s communications team and global PR agencies to develop a two-step approach for announcing the close of the Watchguard Panda acquisition. First, Voxus would secure an exclusive interview with CRN. As a 100% channel-focused organization, WatchGuard has always viewed CRN (the leading U.S. channel outlet) as a top-tier target. Although CRN had already covered the previous Panda acquisition announcement in March, Voxus predicted that offering an exclusive in-depth story on the details of the transaction would tip the scales and kick off a strong round of coverage. In tandem, the global PR team would offer a similar exclusive to Expansión, a major business publication in Spain.
Voxus also planned a secondary phase comprised of general announcement outreach to key IT, tech, security, channel and business press, as well as proactive outreach offering feature stories about how WatchGuard successfully executed the Panda acquisition during a pandemic. The goal was to secure a broad round of additional coverage that illustrated the strategy and vision for the transaction, as well as the fascinating challenges associated with executing an acquisition during the coronavirus outbreak.
Detailed, Positive Coverage in High-Value Outlets
The announcement strategy worked incredibly well and the results exceeded expectations. CRN broke the news in the U.S. with a feature article that clearly communicated how the deal was “truly creating upside” for both WatchGuard and Panda’s channel partners. From there, Voxus’ day-of announcement outreach resulted in an excellent round of supporting coverage across key IT, tech, security, channel and business press in the U.S., while the team’s subsequent proactive outreach generated a long tail of supporting feature stories and thought leadership opportunities.
41 Stories in the U.S. and 189 Internationally
In addition to the marquee feature in CRN, Voxus secured a total of 41 additional unique stories in the Puget Sound Business Journal, Fortune’s Term Sheet, Solutions Review, InfoSecurity Magazine, Security Weekly, MSSP Alert, and many more. The global announcement strategy of leading with an exclusive story in the U.S., and one with Expansión in Spain worked well. Overall the team garnered 189 additional articles internationally, including hits in Microscope, Netzpalaver and CSO España.
Following the initial coverage cycle, Voxus was able to place feature stories on executing an acquisition during COVID-19 with Mergers and Acquisitions, Inside Security, and secured opportunities to submit contributed articles on this topic to VentureBeat, The Next Web and ReadWrite.
When all was said and done, the acquisition close coverage was overwhelmingly positive, wide-ranging and on-message. One headline read, “This Seattle Security Company May Have Snatched up a Competitor at the Perfect Time.” WatchGuard’s most important messaging point – how the acquisition would bring together endpoint and network security in one unified platform for channel partners – came through strongly in CRN’s exclusive, as well as many others. The client was overjoyed at both the volume of coverage and the quality of the stories in key outlets.