Up until the early 2000s, BlackBerry’s keyboard smartphones were regarded as a pioneering technical achievement and a status symbol. When Apple introduced its first iPhone with a touchscreen display in 2007, the Canadian company’s market share collapsed. Soon after being appointed CEO in 2013, John Chen radically changed the company’s course and ultimately had BlackBerry cease producing smartphones in 2016. Since then, the company has focused on developing security software for the Internet of Things. Our media and issues management experts accompanied this transformation process and worked to position BlackBerry among leading journalists with strong arguments and opinions on topics such as cyber security, the Internet of Things and autonomous driving.
By drawing on our network of media contacts in the tech sector with a focus on the smartphone market, we informed a broad public about the strategy change and explained the background. Our support placed a major emphasis on organising background discussions and interviews with the head of BlackBerry’s mobility division while also ensuring fact-based media coverage. In addition, we also expanded our target group to include B2B media contacts involved in software, the Internet of Things and autonomous driving. This dual-pronged active and reactive media approach highlighted defining the agenda and strengthening the focus on BlackBerry’s new core business: providing security solutions.
During the course of our campaign as we supported the transformation process, we established contact with more than 1,200 journalists, accompanied more than 150 interviews and safeguarding the publication of roughly 50 articles in trade and technology magazines. Our efforts helped to sustainably shape the perception of BlackBerry within our target group. The media coverage reflects this and now BlackBerry regularly enjoys a positive association with keywords such as the Internet of Things, data security and reliability.