Bull's Eye Awards: Agency Public Relations Specialist of the Year
John Welton, Voce Communications
There’s nothing like a juicy M&A tug-of-war among the vendors to put technology PR folks to the test. This year, John Welton, our Bull’s Eye Challenger for agency PR specialist, found himself smack in the middle of such a scenario—that lovefest otherwise known as the EMC versus NetApp battle to buy Data Domain. Plot twists, momentum shifts, CEO gaffes to the press, you name it. This story had it all, and Welton, whose client was NetApp, handled the management of the news with aplomb and professionalism.
It’s just one of the reasons he deserves this award. Welton has been with Voce Communications for a decade, currently an account director overseeing business-to-business and consumer technology accounts.
Welton brings to the table a level of professionalism that one might sometimes describe as understated. But it’s effective. Journalists appreciate him for anticipating their needs on a story, while he also toes that fine line between serving his client and the media. When the NetApp-EMC story was flipping back and forth in a bidding war, Welton kept journalists apprised—even made the CEO available—but maintained the necessary regulatory discretion that deals in the making require.
Welton’s year hasn’t been dull either. During a recession where nothing good was happening on Wall Street or technology businesses, he got to manage the recent news that his client, Fortinet, filed for an IPO. That’s a nice positive story that someone of Welton’s caliber deserves.