Western Digital and Canela PR: a decade of innovating together
Both Western Digital and Canela have undergone substantial changes in the last decade but one thing has remained a constant, the relationship between client and agency. This blog post sets out some of the highlights of this successful relationship.
Since March 2006, Western Digital has entrusted Canela PR with its public relations programme in Spain. Throughout this decade, the WD brand has extended and consolidated its leadership as a worldwide leader in digital storage solutions. Canela PR has managed its product launches, events, relations with media, bloggers and influencers, and its presence on social media.
So what’s the secret of this successful long-term relationship?
During these last ten years, Western Digital has converted itself from a hard drive manufacturer known mainly by techies (who knows the brand of their computer’s hard drive?) to a popular global digital storage brand. The WD brand has now a strong presence on fields such as backup, network attached storage (NAS), cloud storage, surveillance and video recording.
Since 2006, Canela PR team has given support to the brand evolution and all their needs in terms of communication: initially as press office but then also involved on events and marketing campaigns. During the last years, we also had a crucial presence on new communication environments such as social media and bloggers and influencers relations. Below we summarize the most important milestones of this collaboration over these last ten years.
2006 – My Book legend was born
Western Digital launched its legendary external hard drive range My Book. That year the company selected a new Public Relations agency in Spain, Canela PR. The My Book product launch was one of the first campaigns managed by Canela, with dozens of hits in IT, national and lifestyle media. With My Book family we also started the product review programme allowing the media to test WD products.
2007 – World’s coldest computer
Western Digital launched two special hard drives tailored for digital video: WD-AV for video storage and My DVR Expander for video-recording professionals. We presented these new drives to media and extended the brand knowledge out of its usual market.
We also participated in Valencia’s Campus Party, by donating a WD drive in the experiment to find the “PC coldest world drive” at this important local event for gamers and developers.
2008 – No one can catch the WD VelociRaptor
WD launched WD VelociRaptor™, the world’s fastest 10.000 r.p.m hard drive tailored for gamers and high performance PC users. We managed this launch reaching vertical media and receiving our highest volume of test requests from lab reviewers to date. We were also able to appear with WD VelociRaptor in non-specialized IT media.
2009 – Plug a hard drive to your TV
Western Digital launched in Spain WD TV Live, its media player family with a hard drive attached that allowed record and watch on-demand TV. Our main focus was not only achieving coverage on vertical media, but in lifestyle media too. This was the year that we moved the WD brand name into mainstream media whilst maintaining a rigorous share of voice in the IT and specialist media.
2010 –Western Digital Summit in Barcelona
In 2010, Western Digital celebrated its 40 anniversary and chose Barcelona as backdrop of its Annual Summit, which was attended by more than 160 executives and partners, including John Coyne, president and CEO, Western Digital. In addition to managing all the logistics of the Conference in Barcelona, Canela PR coordinated six European agencies inviting journalists to the event who were given access to Western Digital’s Executive Team for media briefings.
2011 – Crisis in Thailand
In 2011, Western Digital bought Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST) for 4.300$ billion and became the biggest hard drive manufacturer worldwide. Unfortunately this milestone was overshadowed by the severe floods in Thailand, which affected company factories and employees and triggered a global shortage of hard drives. From Spain we managed the crisis communication campaign that included the translation and distribution of urgent statements where Western Digital explained how they were helping those affected by the floods and how they were able to resume production activities.
2012 –Cloud storage become personal with Western Digital
Western Digital presented My Book Live, its personal cloud storage system that allowed saving all contents at home and access safely to them from every computer or mobile device. In Spain that year we achieved more than 600 pieces of branded coverage in national, regional, IT and lifestyle media, 80 product reviews, 17 awards and 8 interviews in top media about My Book Live and other Western Digital product updates.
2013 – Saying hi to the new WD families
During 2013, Western Digital and Canela launched two new additions to its product portfolio. In September, we met with the channel and IT Pro press to present the new NAS family, WD Red. And in October, we celebrated in the suite of one of the trendiest hotels in Madrid the launch of My Cloud, the private cloud device family. More than 30 journalists attend this event, where they also knew more about a consumer report that Western Digital conducted about Spaniards storage habits.
2014 – My Passport 10th anniversary
My Passport is the other well known member of the WD hard drive family. We celebrated its 10th Anniversary with an afterwork party where journalists, bloggers and influencers joined us to blow out the candles. That year, Western Digital also launched ultimate generation devices such as My Passport Pro and My Passport Wireless. We achieved more than 500 clippings in the media as a result of our press office activities.
2015 – Showing the benefits of the personal cloud
Western Digital extended its award winning personal cloud storage solutions, My Cloud, which offered more features and a more easy-to-use interface. Our challenge was how to create interest among users about the benefits of the private cloud in a funny and educational way? With this in mind, we developed a Facebook App that demonstrated how to use personal cloud solutions through an interactive game that got 14.000 likes in Facebook in under a month Mission accomplished!
2016 – Can a hard drive be a fashion complement?
Western Digital relaunched its My Passport Ultra family with up to 3TB storage, new appealing colours and an accessories line which allowed consumers to personalize their hard drive. In order to attract the attention of lifestyle bloggers, we held a workshop for lifestyle and fashion media. We combined photography and beauty through a Masterclass where fashion photographer Brian Hallett gave fashion bloggers tips on how to improve the photographs they took for their blogs. After the Masterclass bloggers were rewarded for their efforts by having their nails painted in the colours that matched the new My Passport drive. This activity generated a great impact on social media through the hashtag #MyPassport.
So, what’s the secret for this long term relationship: communication
According to Steve Shattuck, Senior Director, PR Communications WD:
It has been a real pleasure to experience Canela’s growth throughout these last 10 years. When we first started working with them, PR in Spain was a case of “translate and send”. In the last 10 years the communication landscape has changed radically and Canela has been at the forefront of the changes, innovating new approaches in the Spanish market. We strongly believe in long term commitments and Canela has been a very reliable and innovative communication partner throughout this relationship.
According to Deborah Gray, Founder and Director Canela:
The above is just a small part of the activities developed by Canela PR to support Western Digital communication and brand image growth. During these last ten years we made hundreds of proposals, brainstormings and suffered a whole range of nerves before a launch or an event… It’s impossible to summarize all our work in just a few lines. However, there’s something that hasn’t changed during all this time working with Western Digital: a fluid and constant communication between the client and the agency. This has allowed us to understand the needs, expectations and objectives of Western Digital and their team. Without this proactive and bidirectional information and ideas exchange, it wouldn’t have been possible to achieve all these successes. And neither to celebrate together this 10 years together, a truly milestone in the public relations history in Spain.