Network Express (NetX) was founded in 1990 as an internetworking company to provide communications capabilities through the ISDN network for its worldwide base of customers. Initially a private firm, it became established as a reliable source of switches, hubs and routers that were a cost-effective alternative to expensive T-1 lines or other methods for companies to exchange information among various operations around the world. NetX grew through its relationships with Japanese communications companies and built its business from product introduction in 1992 through 1994 when it did an IPO on the Vancouver Stock Exchange. The company’s goal was to be listed on the NASDAQ within one year of the VSE listing.
NetX chose Eiler Communications to develop marketing and PR campaigns. Eiler worked with NetX continuously from 1990 through 1996. In 1994, when the company needed financial PR counsel, Eiler assisted by working with NASDAQ and NetX to qualify the company and do the initial listing for the securities market.
Eiler recognized several goals the marketing and PR programs needed to achieve. The first was to introduce the company, its products and related financial information. NetX also needed to build a base of analysts and other investors, while creating shareholder value. We aimed to do this through an ongoing program that kept all audiences informed of financial, products and corporate developments on a regular basis. We achieved this through continuous verbal and written communications with existing shareholders, presentations to prospective investors, periodic investor tours to showcase the NetX story, quarterly phone conferences and responses to calls from investors.
For the financial program, Eiler developed investment communications, arranged meetings with analysts, portfolio managers and other investors, planned and conducted quarterly conference calls and worked with management to build and maintain analyst and investor relations. We also worked with the firm’s senior management on crisis communications, such as the spread of rumors through online financial networks and situations caused by lower-than-expected financial results. Eiler built and maintained the company’s investor and financial database, wrote and distributed all financial and product news releases and other corporate announcements, produced quarterly and annual financial communications and helped to develop market makers once the company was qualified for NASDAQ. This involved working with the firm’s CEO, CFO, product and marketing staff to plan and initiate focused PR activities for both the financial and marketing PR programs. Releases were all researched and written by Eiler, which then distributed information by Business Wire and worked with media to ensure good coverage of product and corporate announcements.
Eiler was directly responsible for getting NetX involved with NASDAQ and for all the subsequent communications that the company’s public position required. We worked with the NetX senior management to develop a solid story for investors, customers and the financial community -- all of which led to interest from other, larger companies in the internetworking market. Subsequently, this led to interest from a number of firms that sought to acquire NetX because of its superior market position in Japan and broad capabilities in Europe. Coupled with the high profile in the financial market, this led to the eventual acquisition of NetX by Cabletron, one of the major players in the internetworking industry.