It was a gigantic pivot for the company, which came out stronger as a result.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

November 16, 2020

4 Min Read
Email Icon

Company Name: Platte River Networks
Company Hot 101 Rank: 19
Vice President of Sales and Marketing: David DeCamillis
Headquartered: Denver, CO
Primary Services:

  • Network design, management and implementation

  • Remote network monitoring

  • Server maintenance

  • VoIP phone systems

  • Network cabling procurement of hardware and software

Twitter: @PRNtechnology

Platte River Networks’ decision to increase marketing during the COVID-19 pandemic has paid off with solid leads and revenue gains.

The MSP ramped up marketing when other businesses were cutting back. And it shifted its focus to helping clients make the transition to remote work.

As vice president of sales and marketing David DeCamillis points out, having the right strategy has helped his company prosper in challenging times.


Platte River Networks’ David DeCamillis

In a Q&A with Channel Futures, DeCamillis talks about challenges and opportunities during the pandemic. And he talks about his company’s biggest pivot.

Channel Futures: What is one thing you wish vendors would do that they don’t?

David DeCamillis: Quickly adapt to fit current partner needs. For example, with COVID-19, we lost the ability to put on face-to-face lead-generation events. Vendors should recognize this major shift in the industry, and offer funds and assistance to partners by creating virtual lead-generation events, and help fund and support other digital lead-generation activities for their partners in order to quickly fill the void created by the pandemic.

CF: What new opportunities and challenges came with the COVID-19 pandemic?

DD: Many companies made the mistake of reducing their marketing activities during the pandemic. We did not; in fact, we increased it and it has paid off huge. We shifted our messaging in mid-March to providing our audience with helpful information on how to manage their business and employees during the crisis. That included moving and securing their workforce out of the office and into their homes.

This was not the time to directly sell to your audience. We provided easy-to-read infographics on how to work at home safely and efficiently, and other helpful topics. We provided virtual educational sessions to local chambers, associations and groups. Throughout the pandemic, we have seen more and more IT departments and other MSPs failing at the shift to a remote/home workforce. In May, we shifted our messaging to the top five reasons to outsource your IT and how our IT department has performed during the crisis. Our marketing efforts have generated solid leads during the crisis. And in the last 60 days we have signed on more new monthly recurring revenue than any quarter in our company’s 18-year history.

The 2020 MSP 501 recognizes the top managed service providers in the world. See the full list. Then check out our brand-new Hot 101.

In a crisis, companies that go quiet by cutting their marketing budgets and reducing their digital marketing efforts will definitely see reduced growth. Don’t get caught up in the same funk as your competitors. Now is the time to ramp up your marketing efforts. Your audience is listening.

CF: Tell us the story of the biggest pivot you’ve ever had to execute.

DD: Our biggest pivot was surviving the Hillary Clinton email scandal. We signed on the Clintons as a client, managing the famous home email …

… server after Hillary left the Secretary of State [position]. The key word there is after she left [that job]. Day one on the job, we moved and upgraded that home email server to a secure data center in New Jersey. She was not running for president. And no one knew she had used it for State Department communication. So our job was very quiet for a year.

Once she announced her run for president and the Senate committee found out about her email server, all hell broke loose. We were dragged into multiple FBI, Justice Department, Homeland Security and other federal government investigations, and falsely accused by politicians, the media, the internet, social media and a ton of crazy people. We were flooded by reporters at our office and homes, received dozens of death threats, were cyberattacked by foreign governments, and our respected name and brand were destroyed in the news, on social media and the internet.

Luckily, we have an amazing team of people. We came together as a company and culture, and persevered. We had to pivot overnight, hiring a PR firm, law firms and media spokesperson. We enhanced our cyber and physical security, and we trained and empowered our staff to successfully manage the hate calls, media and politicians. We had to shift our messaging and change our marketing tactics. Furthermore, we adapted our communication with our clients and our community. Most importantly, we had to stay positive, focused and driven to come to work every day and continue supporting our customers as we always had. After a two-year nightmare, we came out of this crisis a stronger and more experienced team of wonderful people. We are growing by 20-30% per year again. Our brand is respected again both in our community and nationally.

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like