As COVID-19 hit the U.S., transportation halted virtually overnight as Americans were ordered to stay home. Despite the potential for negative business impact due to a steep drop in car travel, ARPR client ParkMobile, the U.S.’s leading smart parking solution, launched a grassroots donation matching campaign to benefit organizations supporting restaurant and service workers in some of its hardest-hit markets, including Atlanta, New Orleans and Denver. Then, shortly after the start of the donation campaign, ParkMobile also launched in New York City, giving a contactless payment option for drivers to avoid touching germ-covered parking meters.
With a nonstop COVID-focused news cycle, ARPR knew that ParkMobile needed a media strategy - with authentic, non-promotional messaging - that would break through the noise to drive public participation and donations in the company’s giving campaign, as well as raise awareness of its entrance into the NYC market.
ARPR developed a local media relations strategy to support the donation campaign, with messaging prioritizing information on the nonprofits in each city and with clear instructions on how to donate directly via the ParkMobile app. Media targets included each of the cities’ major daily newspapers, broadcast news stations, local publications and hyperlocal blogs.
For the New York City app launch, ARPR helped ParkMobile pivot from traditional market launch messaging to lead with the benefits of contact-free parking payments, especially relevant given the city’s severe outbreak. ARPR strategically pitched media in the Tri-State area to directly reach these commuters.