In April 2017, McAfee became a pure-play cybersecurity company again. As McAfee had not been empowered to speak independently to the press about policy issues, the company wanted to re-emerge on the important policy scene as quickly as possible. RH Strategic helped them do that even more quickly than they had envisioned.
Rather than trying to pitch D.C. reporters with the “new McAfee” story, RH made the strategic decision to focus in sharply on policy developments in D.C. where McAfee could offer its expertise. RH used its network to anticipate upcoming federal initiatives such as executive orders and key legislation, and helped McAfee draft interesting, news-worthy responses to them. We pitched McAfee into news cycles the minute news of these initiatives broke, offering reporters executive statements or interviews with McAfee experts. We also were on the alert for potential nation-state hacks – another area that had been off-limits for commenting – and offered D.C. reporters McAfee experts who could shed light on these.
The effort resulted in 44 pieces of coverage in D.C. between April 4 and the end of May 2017. By contrast, the D.C. coverage of McAfee on policy developments and nation-state threats was only three pieces of coverage in 2016. RH also helped the new public affairs team draft policy papers, write testimony, edit policy submissions and start a policy newsletter. We were thrilled that McAfee’s D.C. presence had such a rapid and successful launch – as if they had never been gone from the scene.
Results: RH Strategic has secured more than 117 pieces of coverage for McAfee in D.C. this year, including The Washington Post, Forbes, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and policy publications like The Hill, Politico and Axios.