The following is an e-mail from Courtney Smith, PR coordinator at network security vendor Stillsecure, I received right before Microsoft’s launch of Vista:

"As you may know, Microsoft is launching Windows Vista for enterprise customers tomorrow.  While Vista brings promises of better security, it only marks the client phase of Microsoft Network Access Protection (NAP).  NAP requires support for both the client and the server which means enterprises will have to wait until the end of 2007 when Windows Longhorn and server is available to fully deploy NAP.  Many companies need NAC (network access control) now and can’t wait another year…

"If organizations want to roll out NAC in ’07 they need to look for alternatives.  Stillsecure Safe Access is a flexible NAC solution that has been in the market for three+ years. Because of its purpose-built NAC engine and extensive list of off-the-shelf tests, Safe Acess can be used today as well as in the future when NAP (and/or Cisco NAC) become a reality.  Safe Acess fulfills critical health agent, health enforcement, and policy creation roles by offering deeper policy definition, and multiple testing and enforcement options that helps customers realize the full benefits of a NAP, NAC or NAP/NAC environment.

If you are planning to write an article about the launch of Windows Vista and the implications for organizations looking to deploy NAC, we are available for commentary and/or background information. My direct line is          303.381.3839       ."

What’s so good about this e-mail?  The fact that Courtney didn’t beat around the bush with a lot of marketing jargon before making her main points (that NAP requires both a client and server component, and that Stillsecure offers immediately what Vista won’t offer for another year.)  She quickly differentiated Stillsecure from the competition, ran down its laundry list of features and offered either commentary or background information for reporters — even listing her direct number in the same paragraph.

If I were a reporter covering the Vista announcement (especially one who had just been thrown into covering network security) Courtney would have given me a good possible story angle and a reason to call — all for about 15 seconds of reading time.  That’s what I call effective PR.

Author: Bob Scheier
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