Mission Critical Communications: 5 Questions with Adam Waitkunas, Milldam P/R
by Josh Anderson
CONCORD, MA — Adam Waitkunas, President and Founder of Milldam Public Relations, is a public relations professional with extensive experience in media relations, marketing strategy, business development and strategic partnerships. Under his direction, Milldam has helped technology clients across the country secure articles in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CFO Magazine, Data Center Knowledge, Green Tech Media, The Boston Business Journal, Mission Critical Magazine, The Silicon Valley Business Journal and Capacity Magazine, among others. Additionally, he has helped businesses become thought leaders in their fields and a valued resource for industry-specific media, helping them to increase sales, promote awareness and become attractive targets for M&A. Below, we caught up with Adam in bCapRE Data Center Summits to learn about his latest observations and recommendations as a public relations professional in the mission critical space.
CapRE: Thanks for chatting with us today, Adam. Please share with us some of your latest observations as you’ve seen in the first part of 2018.
Waitkunas: It seems like folks are really interested in video engagement. I’ve been seeing a lot more of that now than in the past. This is both people offering animated videos as well as professional produced videos, with executives and thought leaders explaining where they fit into the industry and what services they can provide. I’m also seeing an increase in event participation. There seems to be a little bit of a lag in previous years but in the handful of events I’ve attended this year, there is definitely an uptick in quality of attendees and the number of exhibitors.
CapRE: Let’s talk about your work within the data center space. What are some of the strategies you employ to make sure your clients get what they need?
Waitkunas: The main bulk of our work is with media relations. So we’re mostly working with companies in the space, helping them get into a range of trade publications as well as business publication to communicate to C-Level executives. We also do a lot of technical ghost-writing for clients – 800 word bylines that will appear in a publication under products with a manager’s name or a 4000 word white paper for lead generation. We also produce a number of micro-seminars for clients that are used for lead generation and networking opportunities.
CapRE: How is the data center industry different than others as it relates to public relations?
Waitkunas: I think that the thing that really differentiates the data center space is that you have very smart, highly technical people. So it’s really important when communicating your message – in a white paper or article or what have you – you need to have all of your facts straight and you need to communicate in a manner that resonates with these folks. One thing that differentiates public relations from marketing is that a lot of the stuff we create is put forth in a neutral manner, not created from a sales point. It helps them to communicate on a whole different level.
CapRE: It was good to see you at our Seventh Annual New York Data Center Summit and we’re looking forward to seeing you at our Second Annual Portland Data Center Summit. How have the Summits gone on your end?
Waitkunas: I moderated a panel on Blockchain in New York City and am going to be doing another one in Portland. It’s funny because the panel in New York City took me back to a lot of conversations from 2006-2007, from the standpoint of energy consumption. Just given the immense computing power that the blockchain needs, it seems like we’re going back and having similar efficiency discussions to that area. There’s also a whole other communications plan from these service providers that will need to be rolled out to appeal to blockchain clients. It’s also a great opportunity for the airflow management and containment folks to meet with the blockchain community.
CapRE: What issues are you most concerned or worried about heading into the rest of 2018?
Waitkunas: One of the things I’ve spoken and written about quite a bit is that there has been less crisis communications planning in the data center space. This is a very serious issue for large colocation providers. If their power goes down for some reason, some of their connectivity gets lost, and obviously we go into these things thinking that that won’t happen, but that’s why we have insurance. Something is going to arise. Having a communications plan to address that issue when it does come up is important.
Because then you’re not running around figuring out what to do – you’re communicating, giving customers immediate plans of actions and updates on how to address it, and that goes a long way in instilling confidence in both your stakeholders as well as customers and the press. That’s something I’d urge caution about because I haven’t seen a serious look at crisis communications in the industry.
CapRE: Finally, what public relations tips would you give to a data center operator reading this?
Waitkunas: Fresh content development is important, to educate the data center consumer. That’s an imperative area to look at as well. Data center managers and others that own and operate data centers are very busy, so being able to provide them with up to date technical papers and other pieces of collateral are helpful to not only educate the consumer but also to get yourself in front of potential customers to add value and educate them about where the industry is going and what they should be aware of to ensure uptime and seamless operations within their facilities.
CapRE: Indeed. Thanks for chatting with us today Adam. We’ll see you in Portland.