As noted in an earlier post, one of my goals for PR-Squared is to share more case studies in 2009.
The client, MobileSphere, focuses on providing mobile messaging and telephony solutions to service providers, enterprises, universities and consumers.
BACKGROUND: Last year marked the launch of MobileSphere’s new product, “slydial.” Slydial is a free service that allows users to leave a voicemail message on someone else’s cellphone — without actually ringing them. An ideal way to save time, avoid an awkward conversation or relay information without interrupting friends or business contacts.
SHIFT Communications was tapped to get the word out for this launch project.
Both the client contacts and Agency reps knew that this fun, clever service could have a viral effect … if the right people were talking about it. Targeting the blogger community was a must. While the slydial service may be most appealing to the 18-35 year old demographic, the product can be used by anyone. So SHIFT’s targets included: business bloggers, tech bloggers, women’s lifestyle bloggers, men’s lifestyle bloggers, teen bloggers, gossip bloggers, and mobile industry bloggers.
GOAL: To attract new users to the slydial service at the beta launch. Before the launch, slydial had 5,000 private alpha users.
PLAN: Given the simplicity of the service, the plan itself was also simple — but incredibly time consuming. We created unique angles and pitches for each and every blogger, helping them to see how and why their specific reader community would use slydial.
We also knew that the breadth of our outreach might preclude doing 1:1 interviews with every single blogger who expressed interest, so we made it a priority to develop a multimedia-heavy social media news release (SMR) — including cute videos like the one that appends this post (above). We were sure to include enough content that bloggers could post directly off the SMR without needing an interview, if that was their preference.
MobileSphere co-founder and EVP of Marketing & Business Development Gavin Macomber and Marketing Manager Rima Patel were integral to the entire process, fielding questions from the SHIFT blogger relations team during the SMR and pitch development process.
RESULTS: In one month of blogger relations outreach, MobileSphere’s slydial service was covered in 381 blog posts. These results were the direct result of SHIFT’s blogger relations outreach, combined with the viral effect of the initial, high-profile posts. These posts were just as varied as the pitches that were sent.
To show the diversity and influence of the pitches and the resulting coverage, here are five highlights: TechCrunch (tech blog), Perez Hilton (gossip blog), U.S. News & World Report: Dave’s Download (business blog), GearCrave (guys’ gadget blog) and ShinyShiny (women’s tech blog).
Wanna see the diversity of pitches? Here’s what we used for TechCrunch and Perez Hilton:
Pitch to TechCrunch:
I saw your post a couple weeks ago, “Think Before You Voicemail,” so I know how you feel about voicemail, and I agree with you on all points. I try to avoid leaving people voicemails, at work and in my personal life, and would much rather send and receive emails or texts. But, as you mentioned, sometimes you need to use voicemail – to convey tone or emotion, or because you’re on the road and need to relay more information than you can type while driving or otherwise multi-tasking.
As you mentioned, there are a few startups out there that are trying to make voicemail more useful. One of them is MobileSphere. Today, the company introduced a new service called slydial, which is a free voice messaging service that connects you directly to someone’s mobile phone voicemail. (etc.)
Pitch to Perez Hilton:
I work for a PR agency and have a client that just launched a new service today. I thought of you because this service has the potential to make the celeb dating scene a lot more interesting, if that’s even possible! It even has a cool name – slydial!
If LC could leave Heidi a voicemail without the possibility of Heidi picking up the phone, what do you think she would say? What about Mario Lopez? He got caught cheating on his long-time girlfriend. Maybe he wouldn’t have gotten caught if he had a better way to juggle his multiple girlfriends. Don’t forget John Mayer, the ultimate celebrity serial dater….need I say more? What these celebs need is a voice messaging service that connects you directly to someone’s voicemail without the risk of them picking up – enter slydial!
Unlike other messaging services the missed call will appear to come from your own phone, not some unknown random number. It’s the ultimate illusion of communication! Feuding celebs like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian can finally get the last word in! (etc.)
ROI: By hitting online consumers from all angles (both blogs and mainstream media), the PR program helped boost slydial’s 5,000 private alpha users to more than 200,000 beta users in less than two weeks. We were able to directly correlate the new-user spikes to the coverage. (But I’m not telling whether TechCrunch or Perez Hilton resulted in more users. Sorry. Trade secret.)
I hope to share more case studies in the months ahead!
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Posted on: February 3, 2009 at 2:17 pm By Todd Defren