In 2013, early-stage startup Azuga was introducing its GPS fleet tracking solution to the market, had less than 100 customers, and had yet to receive any press coverage or industry recognition. The Silicon Valley-based company knew its biggest challenge was going to be gaining validation for its price-disruptive business model among a crowded and archaic industry. Secondarily, Azuga wanted to quickly drive sales in its key verticals of landscape, construction, pest control, HVAC, plumbing and electrical, while also expanding brand awareness within the commercial auto insurance industry. ARPR was enlisted to design an earned media strategy, secure media hits, speaking opportunities, byline articles and awards.
ARPR developed and executed a B2B media relations campaign that showcased the company’s experience as well as secured awards, speaking engagements and onsite press/analyst interviews at industry tradeshows. Through the relationships formed at these tradeshows between trade journalists and company executives, ARPR was able to secure byline opportunities for Azuga’s leadership. In addition, the firm worked closely with Azuga to map out strategic moments throughout the year to announce customer success and momentum stories in each vertical.
Over three years, ARPR elevated Azuga from an industry newbie to a formidable competitor by creating a compelling narrative for its cutting-edge technology that has been anthologized through press releases, byline articles, award submissions and more. The strategic positioning has resulted in the connected vehicle technology leader being honored as a Top Mobile Asset Tracking Success Story by Mobile Star, recognized by CTIA as an E-tech Award winner in the Mobile Could category, selected as a recipient of the Bronze Stevie Award in the “Most Innovative Tech Company of the Year – Up to 2,500 Employees” category, and named one of Business News Daily’s top GPS Tracking Devices of 2016.
The company has also been featured regularly for its innovative solution and disruptive approach in leading industry publications like Automotive Fleet, Fleet Owner, and GPS World with headlines such as “Azuga Brings Gamification to Fleet Management” and “Azuga Takes on Distracted Driving,” touting the company’s thought leadership and industry expertise. Ultimately, the marcomm efforts at top industry tradeshows like NAFA and TU Automotive assisted in penetrating all seven of the aforementioned targeted verticals’ top industry publications. This integrated marcomm approach positioned Azuga as a global fleet management expert, surpassing its competitors like Verizon Networkfleet and GeoTab in volume of both awards and media placements, and ensured the company secured its rightful spot as the fleet telematics industry leader.
Unhappy with its current agency of record, Vaporstream, a leading provider of secure, ephemeral and compliant messaging, engaged ARPR in December 2016 with aspirations to garner consistent, high-caliber media placements in order to bring awareness and generate leads in its target vertical – healthcare. That same month, the healthcare accreditation organization, The Joint Commission, banned the use of secure text messaging for patient care orders due to concerns over privacy and security. While this news could have been perceived as a negative, and thus hindered ARPR’s initial media outreach strategy, the agency decided to flip the script; instead recognizing it as a unique opportunity to provocatively engage media with Vaporstream’s side of the story.
With time being of the essence, ARPR quickly mapped out a bold and ambitious plan for Vaporstream to reframe the conversation around the benefits of secure messaging in healthcare. We quickly recommended that the CEO, Galina Datskovsky, publicly call on The Joint Commission to reverse its ban and rebuke its concerns over secure messaging. With Vaporstream on board, ARPR drafted a press release and pitched Vaporstream for both interviews and contributed articles in leading healthcare publications.
In its first full month as Vaporstream’s agency of record, ARPR landed eight earned media placements in national trade publications including, Becker’s Hospital Review, mHealthWatch, HIT Leaders & News and For the Record. By quickly capitalizing on the news before another vendor could, ARPR catapulted Vaporstream’s thought leadership and brand awareness in the healthcare space through a mix of bylines, coverage and interviews – so much so that leading healthcare publication SearchHealthIT positioned the company “a prominent vendor.” Previously, Vaporstream had very little awareness and interactions with healthcare publications, but ARPR helped that quickly change in less than 30 days. In addition to garnering mindshare in the healthcare industry, Vaporstream successfully gained market share as a result of its increased awareness, announcing five new healthcare customers within a month of the media blitz.
After working with ChooseATL for over a year, helping them to execute an award-winning campaign at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2016, the client challenged us to go bigger and bolder for SXSW 2017. This time, ARPR had just two months to prepare for a three-day activation to showcase the hustle and hospitality of Atlanta’s industries and people. In order to amplify ChooseATL’s mission and presence at SXSW, the premier annual event for music, film & interactive media, ARPR was specifically enlisted to execute a comprehensive organic and paid social media campaign before, during and after the festival. The client’s objectives were three-fold: 1) to elevate Atlanta’s brand reputation among millennial audiences, 2) to create buzz among influencers, thought leaders and media 3) to drive attendance to Atlanta’s booths at the SXSW Job Market and the ChooseATL House.
With 90k people attending SXSW annually, ARPR recommended an engaging and creative social strategy, including:
ARPR created a social ad theme that played off of social media itself, specifically the “trending sections” that appear on social channels and help to notify users of the hot, most talked about topics of the day. The ad’s look and feel mimicked these sections to make it appear as if ChooseATL’s events at SXSW were trending topics. With an ad budget to support ads on five channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Snapchat), ARPR had the flexibility to tailor content based on audience. For example, on LinkedIn the team promoted the Job Market booth and ChooseATL events related to career opportunities, while Twitter boasted website click and awareness campaigns for events related to film and music. Instagram had highly-visual ads promoting the ChooseATL House in general. On Snapchat, the team implemented a custom geofilter that ran during the day of programming. ARPR monitored all ads daily and adjusted budget and targeting as needed to ensure optimized performance throughout the campaigns.
Organic Social Media:
Utilizing appropriate hashtags for SXSW events and conference sessions, ARPR created organic, preplanned content for all of ChooseATL’s social platforms, updated all cover photos to match the activation branding and changed profile bio links to ChooseATL’s SXSW landing page. Social content ran before, during and after SXSW and focused on promoting Atlanta’s industries and economic impact, as well as ChooseATL’s SXSW activation and its Job Market booth. In addition to preplanned content, ARPR created and distributed real-time content on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, including photos, videos, livestreams and real-time conversations.
Overall, the social ad campaigns proved extremely successful in helping raise brand awareness, drive quality leads and increase attendance at ChooseATL’s SXSW events. The Snapchat geofilter was used 289 times and received 25.7k views in just 15 hours, proving to be an inexpensive and effective tactic for generating brand awareness. In total, there were more than 4k landing page referrals from social ads. Combined, the ads received nearly 1.4M impressions and over 12.8k engagements, with a majority performing above the industry average in terms of CTR and CPC.
While all of ChooseATL’s social accounts met initial goals, each also saw triple-digit percent increases in impressions and engagements when compared to the previous month. Additionally, #ChooseATL was used over 1.5k times during the campaign, reaching more than 5.2M users and totaling over 11.6M impressions. The Facebook Lives, which were ChooseATL’s first ever, reached an audience 38 percent larger than its page following and were viewed nearly 1.5k times. ChooseATL also garnered shout-outs from celebrities like Ludacris and Jermaine Dupri, influencers and top-tier media on Twitter and Instagram. Amazingly, #ChooseATL was not only a trending Twitter topic in Atlanta and Austin, but was the #5 trending topic in the entire U.S. (every marketer’s dream). Amazingly, snapchats from the ChooseATL House also made the official SXSW Snapchat Story – twice – reaching tens of millions each time. By the end of the show, social networks had become the highest drivers of traffic to ChooseATL.com during the whole month of March, with Facebook as the #1 referral source, Twitter at #2, Instagram at #6, and LinkedIn at #11. Overall web traffic increased by 50 percent compared to the previous month and the team surpassed its objective to drive triple-digit webpage views.
ChooseATL’s 2nd SXSW takeover was even bigger and more buzzworthy than 2016’s – resulting in Atlanta business deals, new talented workers to call ATL home, national praise; connections for the city’s film, music and interactive media representatives and a deepening of their influence and fan bases.
Cybersecurity client IRONSCALES, the first and only email security provider to combine human intelligence with machine learning, is often challenged to stand out among all of the noise in the increasingly cluttered security market. To penetrate its key messages beyond the competition, IRONSCALES filmed a one-minute video that visually showcases its innovative approach to phishing mitigation, the email security landscape, and other benefits and differentiators unique to its product. As its Agency of Record, AR|PR was tasked to utilize social media to maximize viewership as a means to drive awareness and generate leads. The challenge however, was to do so on an incredibly small budget.
AR|PR developed a two-week paid social media strategy across three platforms – LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube – with the objectives of increasing visibility, promoting brand awareness and driving leads. With the need to target cybersecurity professionals across multiple industries, AR|PR led the campaigns on each platform from planning through reporting – drafting ad copies, developing
targeting, strategizing bidding and budget, making optimizations and tracking ROI. To maximize YouTube viewership, we set up the call-to-action on in-stream ads to require users to watch and then click on a text overlay that would then drive them to the Ironscales website
. Twitter video ads allowed users to watch the video within their news feed and LinkedIn sponsored updates drove users to the YouTube page. In total, the budget for all three social channels was less than $1,000.
In only 14 days, the video received nearly 40,000 impressions and double-digit social interactions across each channel. The Twitter campaign received a 44% view rate and the LinkedIn campaign received a 0.483% click-through-rate (CTR), which is 38% above LinkedIn’s average benchmark of 0.35%. The YouTube campaign, which proved to have the largest reach, resulted in a nearly 15% view rate. Through strategic targeting on YouTube, AR|PR was able to drive down the average cost-per-view (CPV) to $0.04 – well under what Google considers a good average CPV of $0.10-$0.30 – meaning the video earned more views at a lower cost and provided a higher ROI. Because the initial YouTube campaign was so successful, AR|PR recommended that IRONSCALES re-launch it prior to and during RSA, the world’s largest cybersecurity conference. During this 10-day time period, the ads earned a 16.47% view rate, augmenting the client’s digital marketing initiatives during this noisy event.
Every February, health IT professionals from around the world descend on the annual HIMSS conference to learn about the next big advancements in healthcare technology, and to showcase their products and services to perspective buyers. In 2017, five of AR|PR’s health IT clients including, Influence Health, the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC), Nuance Communications, Office Practicum (OP) and Vaporstream had a presence. As the agency of record (AOR) for each, AR|PR’s challenge was to help all five clients cut through the noise of 40,000+ attendees and 1,300 exhibitors to achieve specific goals and objectives ranging from lead generation, media relations and awareness building, among many other important priorities.
Beginning in late 2016, AR|PR’s health IT practice group began regular one-on-one meetings with clients to collaborate and strategize on custom integrated communications activations that would support each company’s goals and objectives. While each strategy was unique, most clients saw value in AR|PR’s recommendation to use a mix of media relations, content marketing, social media and digital marketing initiatives before, during and after HIMSS17. In addition to individualizing each client’s strategy, AR|PR built out storylines that could benefit more than one client. For example, AR|PR actively pitched media that Georgia, represented by MAC, was the only state with a presence on the show floor; in return, obtaining multiple pre-show interviews. Leading up to the show, AR|PR pitched clients’ news and key messages to attending media to secure on-site briefings and aggressively pitched bylines to drop in conjunction with the conference. Other tactical outputs included drafting custom social media content that capitalized on the appropriate HIMSS hashtag for each client, managing live social engagement, including content and video (Facebook Live, Periscope), and developing lead generating content, like blogs, that showcased top trends in real-time.
Celebrating a successful event for five clients was not easy, but AR|PR was able to help each client cut through the clutter. In total, press briefings, interviews and media coverage surpassed well into double digits, with articles publishing in some of the industry’s most authoritative publications such as, Health IT Outcomes, Healthcare Informatics, HIMSS radio, Aging in Tech and more. In fact, an analyst from Aging in Tech was so impressed by her briefing with Vaporstream that the two companies signed an ongoing content partnership. Influence Health also scored an important byline surrounding the importance of healthcare marketers, which ran on the second day of the conference. Further, all clients’ social channels saw impressive results. Specifically, during the week of HIMSS, Influence Health benefitted from a 75% increase in organic Twitter impressions and OP achieved a 500% increase in link clicks on Twitter compared to the previous week. In addition, MAC obtained 542 total engagements in only three days.
First National Technology Solutions (FNTS), the recognized leader in the managed IT services industry, identified a need to increase its inbound leads in 2016. With a limited marketing team, however, the company had few resources to devote to optimizing its website, email marketing and other lead generation efforts to successfully build its customer base. So, FNTS enlisted AR|PR to help define its conversion goals and develop content, landing pages and nurture series to generate and secure right-fit leads.
First, AR|PR audited FNTS’ website and provided recommendations for incorporating identified keywords and new messaging to boost search rankings, as well as compelling calls to action. Further, AR|PR audited each of FNTS’ landing pages to ensure they were optimized and user friendly. As a result of the audit, AR|PR recommend, and subsequently built, new landing page templates to optimize usability and increase conversions. Finally, in comparison to FNTS’ previous year’s performance and in consideration of industry standards, AR|PR set conversion goals of increasing website sessions by 10%, conversions by 233%, sales qualified leads by 10% and closed customers by 25%. To attain these goals, AR|PR created a variety of content, developed Google AdWords campaigns and launched social media campaigns directing targeted users to FNTS’ landing pages. In addition, the agency continuously monitored the campaigns and marketing automation activity and adjusted accordingly to best optimize performance.
Compared to the previous year, traffic to FNTS’ website more than doubled in 2016 and, as a result, FNTS surpassed its goal for website sessions with two quarters left in its goal period. Further, in just five months, the Google AdWords campaigns garnered 457K impressions on search, 1.5K clicks and 25 conversions and the top keywords driving users to the website represent those used in FNTS’ campaigns. In addition, the landing page created for its playbook remains one of the top, with a conversion rate more than 5x its goal. With significant and steady increases, AR|PR expects to meet or exceed all of its conversion goals and continue to help FNTS #driveleads.
Invoiceware International, the leader in Latin American electronic invoicing and fiscal reporting, has worked with AR|PR since 2014 to build its brand as the top provider of regional compliance solutions. Sovos Compliance took notice of Invoiceware’s proprietary technology, impressive client roster and thought leadership, announcing plans to acquire the platform in June of 2016. With less than 24 hours to prepare for the public announcement, AR|PR was charged with telling the story of this newly formed global compliance powerhouse.
AR|PR quickly got to work to create the narrative surrounding the acquisition. The news was already scheduled to go live in European markets prior to the U.S. announcement, so we had to get creative to leverage the news without a long lead to pre-pitch and land exclusives with top-tier business and M&A reporters. In the first 24 hours, we created a media outreach strategy, with unique pitch angles for global tax, accounting, business and local market publications. In addition, we created several supporting materials for the launch of the announcement, including a letter to key stakeholders, blog post, social media content for both brands and an FAQ. Armed with these resources, we proactively pitched media to #makenews for Sovos and Invoiceware.
AR|PR immediately secured placements in the e-invoicing industry’s top publications, including Spend Matters, The Paypers, E-Invoicing Platform and more. We also used the announcement as a springboard to build awareness of Sovos among accounting and tax compliance publications, leading to multiple articles in Accounting Today – a top-tier industry publication that Sovos had never been mentioned in before, as well as Global Payroll and Tax Notes International. Based on the success of the initial acquisition campaign, Sovos retained AR|PR for ongoing media relations and thought leadership work, and we have continued to land top-tier media coverage in outlets like Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal.
When Sovos Compliance, a global leader in tax and business-to-government software, enlisted AR|PR as its agency of record, the compliance SaaS giant was preparing to release a new proprietary data report illustrating the challenges around key global tax initiatives. Based on a survey conducted by the analyst firm Aberdeen Group, Sovos was eager to raise industry awareness in trade media about the high percentage of inaccurate filings amongst financial institutions; many of which mistakenly believed that they were well prepared for the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).The data report also illustrated how automated, centralized solutions supporting the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) significantly helped mitigate errors, increase efficiencies and improve data accuracy. Sovos felt that educating prospects about the misconception of FATCA compliance and benefits of a centralized approach to AEOI would solidify its position as an industry leader, while also promoting its new AEOI solution. Since media relations had not been a focus in Sovos’ marketing and communications program, AR|PR was tasked with a feat that hadn’t been attempted before – landing earned coverage in national business and target trade outlets – particularly, in Accounting Today.
AR|PR had previously led several successful media outreach campaigns around data reports for clients and, as such, knew that journalists preferred an exclusive first look at proprietary statistics. This time, however, the client challenged us to gain coverage without offering exclusivity. Preparation time was also limited, as the report was slated for release with only a week’s notice. In order to earn top tier coverage, we focused on a well-researched short list of journalists who we believed would be most interested in covering FATCA and AEOI based on their previous stories. We then set out to educate and interest these journalists in the underlying story of the data in the report with hyper-personalized pitches tailored by their past coverage of these topics.
AR|PR’s hyper targeting strategy paid off, landing coverage in top-tier trade outlets like Accounting Today, CPA Practice Advisor and The Wall Street Journal’s Risk & Compliance section. Sovos was thrilled we achieved their objective in such a short time frame. We also garnered interest from journalists at Bloomberg BNA and Forbes from this announcement, which led to strong relationships and interviews with Sovos leadership around other tax storylines, including the impact of the upcoming 2016 presidential election on domestic tax issues.
Sovos VP of Tax has since contributed his expert insights for reports published by Bloomberg BNA and Accounting Today, and is now a go-to source on state tax news for the Bloomberg reporter we initially pitched. Further, within a month, Sovos began receiving inbound interview requests from additional reporters who referenced seeing the media stories we secured around the AEOI data report. In less than a few month’s time, our work to secure coverage of the data reports had a much bigger impact: it solidified Sovos’ status as an industry expert and thought leader among the media.
The messaging just wasn’t sticking. That was the crux for Ohio-based Panopticon Laboratories, a two-year old startup that had built behavioral analytics and anomaly detection technology to fight hackers and fraudsters from disrupting the economics and player experience of video games. With the sales process stalling, Panopticon Labs turned to AR|PR for a project to help refine its corporate and product messaging and positioning, refresh its visual identity and update its website with engaging, SEO-optimized copy that would resonate with its target audience: video game publishers.
Video games & cybersecurity: Everything about Panopticon Labs intrigued AR|PR’s messaging and security teams because no solution like it existed. To begin, AR|PR traveled to Ohio to lead a full-day messaging session, speaking with the company’s leadership about what messaging had worked and what hadn’t; what each stakeholder perceived as the messaging challenges and what the brand’s vision was for both the near-term and long-term. During the course of the messaging session, it quickly became apparent that Panopticon Labs’ could potentially benefit by simplifying its product architecture and by utilizing keywords and phrases that were more mainstream, such as cybersecurity instead of fraud analysis. With these conclusions in hand, and a plethora of information to consume, AR|PR constructed a Corporate Messaging Portfolio packed with mission and vision statements; product key messages, and reasons to believe. We evolved Panopticon Labs’ messaging to position them as the first and only cybersecurity company for video game publishers and recommended to engage publishers by showcasing the similarities between today’s threats to video games and yesterday’s attacks on banks. AR|PR also revised the brand architecture to offer one product instead of three, which we advised could eliminate some of the confusion that publishers cited during sales calls. AR|PR then focused on the website, making recommendations for navigation updates for ease of use, visual updates to stay consistent with brand themes and, most importantly, SEO-optimized web copy.
Panopticon Labs was so pleased with AR|PR’s messaging work that they hired us as their PR Agency-of-Record. In the 10 months since the initial project concluded, AR|PR has utilized Panopticon Labs’ messaging to great success. In fact, the very first time AR|PR initiated media outreach utilizing the messaging, the agency secured a contributed article opportunity with Dark Reading, one of the industry’s most coveted media outlets. The new messaging also helped amplify the discussion of video game cybersecurity from niche to borderline mainstream, due to articles in high-profile media such as TechCrunch, VentureBeat, MarketWired, Gamasutra, The Guardian and many others. Speaking opportunities, resulting from SEO, media relations and content marketing efforts, at SXSW, the National Cybersecurity Alliance NASDAQ Cybersecurity Summit and Akamai Games Summit greatly increased Panopticon’s profile. Overall, the messaging was the catalyst for what is now a full new business pipeline that consists of several of the world’s largest video game publishers.
It’s not every day that your company gets acquired by Samsung. That’s why, for Kaprica Security, the pending acquisition of its mobile device configuration and security spinoff, Tachyon, was such a big deal. Two months prior to the acquisition, Kaprica Security engaged AR|PR for a simple, yet very important project: to help maximize awareness of its M&A. But that wasn’t the only objective Kaprica had. With another spinoff, RunSafe Security, baking in development, Kaprica wished to capitalize on the press attention not just to validate the Tachyon brand, but also to help promote awareness among the investor community for its next disruptive technology.
As tech PR pros, hearing that you get to invoke one of your clients, Samsung and M&A together in one sentence is music to your ears. But early on, Samsung made it very clear that this project wouldn’t be so easy due to negative press of its Galaxy s7 recall. In fact, Samsung immediately indicated that it would not offer any comments or participate in any interviews. Not settling for no as an answer, AR|PR drafted a quote that we thought could pass the corporate communications test. And when combined with Kaprica’s relationship to Samsung, the quote did just that. Even armed with the acquirer’s validation, however, AR|PR recommended an elongated pre-pitch period (under embargo) because of concerns that no access to Samsung might be a deal breaker with some media, especially since Kaprica was a little-known brand. With Kaprica Security’s approval on strategy, AR|PR aggressively researched targeted media, created a media Q&A to ensure that both Tachyon and RunSafe were included in the key messages, pre-drafted social content and prepped the CEO with talking points. And then, the pitching began…
The very first pitch distributed went to Techcrunch, and in less than an hour, we had an interview lined up and an agreement to hold publishing of the story until later in the week. Within hours, AR|PR had secured 5 more interviews with press spanning M&A/venture capital, cybersecurity, enterprise mobility, D.C. local publications and more. As the project ended 10-days later, AR|PR presented Kaprica Security with a results report that included high-profile media coverage in Techcrunch, The Street, Dark Reading, Fortune, MergerMarket and 15 other outlets within its target audience. In addition, because of the preparation of key messages, mention of RunSafe Security made it into every single article, thus completing one of the clients primary objectives. Fast forward 2 months later, and AR|PR have formed a partnership that will see a project for RunSafe Security begin in February 2017.
After acquiring AR|PR client Accelarad in April 2014, Nuance Communications (NASDAQ:NUAN) created a new diagnostics brand using Accelarad’s cloud-based medical imaging sharing technology combined with Nuance’s e xisting networks. Nuance’s diagnostic department approached AR|PR with the goal of developing customer success stories surrounding their new brand – the PowerShare Network. Because of AR|PR’s prior experience with these customers, the firm was prepared to lead the project from start to finish.
True to form, AR|PR took an integrated approach to customer relations. First, AR|PR organized each customer by theme to strategically highlight a variety of benefits and specialties. They then reached out to each customer, scheduled and facilitated interviews. After writing customer case studies and receiving approval from all parties, AR|PR pitched them to diagnostic publications and created a blog posts surrounding each customer story. In addition to written success stories, AR|PR coordinated and traveled to four hospitals to interview customers on-camera to create video testimonials for press releases, the website, social media and media relations.
Nuance’s collection of diagnostic content marketing now includes case studies, videos, webinars and blog posts. In addition to marketing collateral, Nuance has developed positive relationships with customers willing to be quoted in press releases and interviewed by the media. As a result, Nuance has landed placements in diagnostic publications and national outlets including eWeek, VentureBeat, Healthcare Informatics, and HealthcareIT News. With every announcement, Nuance has community, regional, and specialty hospitals available to speak on the benefits of their network.
Luma, an intelligent WiFi system for the home, engaged AR|PR to develop, manage and execute a Consumer Electronics Show (CES) strategy. Having launched pre-sales just two months prior to CES, and with budget constraints a factor, AR|PR recommended that Luma exhibit at two CES media events: Pepcom’s Digital Experience and ShowStoppers, versus investing in a full tradeshow booth. Since the events were expected to draw more than 1,500 media, analysts and influencers, the objectives of participation were fourfold: 1) demo the product for the first time since launching; 2) continue building global awareness through B2B and B2C press; 3) leverage CES to announce a major acquisition; and 4) to engage journalists to review the product later in the spring when it finally hit retail shelves.
Having significant experience working CES events, AR|PR knew the first step to success was to create a detailed timeline of actions and deliverables. The agency provided recommendations and creative mockups for booth design and layout; and then helped expedite the ordering of banners, table cloths, media kits and items for giveaway. At the same time, AR|PR created and refined collateral for media, including a ‘Media Q&A,’ press release, executive bios and a product fact sheet. In the weeks prior to the event, AR|PR wrote and distributed a series of media alerts, building excitement and confirming journalists and analyst for demos. AR|PR also worked collaboratively with Luma’s social media agency on a series of organic and paid Tweets leading up to and during the show, capitalizing on the #CES2016 hashtag. During both events, two AR|PR representatives staffed the exhibitor space with Luma, providing on-site social engagement and additional support for a booth that was consistently busy with eager journalists wanting to learn more.
AR|PR’s organization and attention to detail resulted in two successful events. In total, Luma spoke with over 300 journalists from around the globe. In addition, more than 50 North American journalists, including those from Maxim, Wall St. Journal and Forbes, requested to review the product upon availability; ensuring the benefits from CES 2016 would last for a long time to come. Then came the accolades. USA Today’s Reviewed.com gave Luma an Editor’s Choice Award while The Wall St. Journal acknowledged Luma as Best in Design. In addition, Network World and CRN recognized Luma as one of the best products at CES, and ShowStoppers named Luma a winner in the category of ‘Envisioneering Innovation’ and Design. Furthermore, AR|PR helped secure an exclusive in VentureBeat on Luma’s first ever acquisition, which bolstered the cybersecurity of the product. Finally, social media thrived during CES week, in particularly Twitter, which grew by 14% in just 4 days, and continued to boom in the weeks after the show.
As Prevedere’s agency of record, AR|PR manages media outreach, proactively seeking out opportunities to leverage the software provider’s proprietary data and industry outlook reports among its primary CPG, retail, insurance and manufacturing industry markets. As the only predictive analytics company to incorporate external economic data into companies’ performance forecasts, Prevedere was highly motivated to leverage its competitive advantage by building relationships with target industry trade media. By doing so, the company felt that it could capitalize on opportunities to educate prospects on how to improve forecasting accuracy, make better business decisions and ultimately – improve their bottom lines. Thus AR|PR’s challenge was clear: Help Prevedere establish media relationships that could convert into editorial opportunities within its primary vertical markets.
With vast experience working with retail and CPG outlets, AR|PR advised Prevedere that together, we would have to find creative ways to share its unique value points through story-telling that mitigated overtly technical or advertorial language – two things journalists don’t look kindly upon. Another challenge, initially, was that Prevedere only had one customer willing to go on record, as most shied away from speaking publicly due to sensitivity around sharing proprietary business performance metrics. In knowing that a reputable CPG company name was needed to catch media attention through traditional methods, AR|PR decided to leverage its social savvy to catch editor’s attention on Twitter. With more than 90% of journalists using the social media platform, we saw an opportunity to tweet at reporters who recently posted about industry predictions and recent economic events impacting the retail and CPG industries. We tailored each social pitch to the reporter’s most relevant post(s) and included links to Prevedere’s content.
To the clients surprise and excitement, AR|PR attracted the attention of editors at both consumer goods and retail industry outlets by simply engaging with them on social media. When editors tweeted their replies, which happened about 50% of the time, we moved the conversations to email, subsequently taking the opportunity to educate them on Prevedere and how its technology benefits these industries specifically. Coverage from media outreach via Twitter resulted in published customer success stories in Retail Info Systems News and Convenience Store News, among others. Further, Twitter outreach led to strong media relationships for Prevedere with Total Retail, Retail TouchPoints and Consumer Goods Technology (CGT); accomplishing a major client objective in only a month’s time. Prevedere has since contributed thought leadership content to Total Retail and partnered with CGT on numerous webinars and speaking engagements to educate audiences on the power of accurate data forecasting. Further, Prevedere has since generated a 15% increase in its CPG and retail client leads since the first article ran.
With years of experience working in the social media space, Brian Bason knew the inherent risks that social media presents, but also had a big picture understanding of its opportunities and possibilities. When his previous company, Niche, was acquired by Twitter, Brian knew it was time to address a void he saw in Internet safety solutions. As a parent, he wanted to be able to protect his children online without having to monitor their every move or limit their online activities. To address this need, he created Bark, and enlisted AR|PR to refine and share Bark’s story.
AR|PR started with a half-day messaging session to take a deep dive into Bark’s values, product strategy, competitive landscape, differentiators and key audiences. Armed with these insights, we created strategic corporate messaging for the new Internet safety solution, which included the company’s value proposition, mission and vision statements, positioning, elevator pitch, boilerplate, reasons to believe and tagline. The messaging positioned parents and kids as partners in Internet safety, and empowered parents with the knowledge that they can keep their kids safe online without resorting to restricting access or constant monitoring. That messaging then served as the basis for compelling website copy, an explainer video, investor pitches and the public launch of the solution.
The messaging, which differentiated Bark from its fear-based competition, resonated. Leveraging the messaging in AR|PR’s media outreach, we landed coverage of Bark in Yahoo! Parenting, Scary Mommy, The Doctors and Family Circle. Selected to participate in TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2016, Bark’s founders used the messaging largely verbatim in their product pitch, and the company was selected as a finalist at the event.
In the spring of 2014, early-stage startup Fitnet was preparing to launch the second iteration of its unique fitness application to the market. Fitnet had less than 300 downloads, only limited, local coverage and very little industry recognition in what is a very saturated market. Serial entrepreneur + chief geek and founder, Bob Summers, knew its biggest challenge was going to be gaining third-party validation and adoption for its fitness application in a very crowded and in some cases, overhyped, space.
AR|PR developed and executed a media relations campaign that was two-fold, containing both B2B2C and B2C strategies and tactics to showcase its cutting-edge technology. The AoR created a compeling narrative to secure awards, speaking engagements and onsite press interviews at large industry tradeshows and events such as CES. Through the relationships formed at these tradeshows between top-tier journalists and company executives, AR|PR was able to secure national coverage and ongoing relationships that not only created third-party validation, but significantly boosted the app’s SEO. Furthermore, from day one, AR|PR developed and continuously optimized an organic social media strategy that ultimately helped the client garner top-tier media placements, increase downloads and engage influencers. In addition, the firm worked closely with Fitnet to map out strategic moments throughout the year to announce customer success and momentum stories.
Over two and a half years later, Fitnet has evolved from a newbie hidden in the app store to receiving top billing in the Health & Fitness listing. By creating compelling narratives for its cutting-edge biosensor technology, client success stories and professional trainer’s expertise, the award-winning app has been recognized by not just Apple but by National Science Foundation, TechCrunch and Mozilla as the Fitness app of the future. The strategic relationships and positioning has resulted in the Fitness app leader being featured in top-tier national publications like USA Today, ABC News, YAHOO!, Forbes, Teen Vogue, Mashable and more. In addition, the application has built a band of influencers and ambassadors, including The Biggest Loser’s former host Allison Sweeney, who told CBS News and Redbook that Fitnet was her “favorite go-to” Fitness app. These top tier placements and testimonials haven’t just built credibility but have also increased SEO, website traffic and app downloads. Ultimately, AR|PR’s integrated marcomm approach positioned Fitnet as THE Fitness application for everyone, and has helped it surpass its competitors like FitStar and Sworkit in media and app store listing time and time again.
“AR|PR is the most effective PR firm for tech startups,” Bob Summers, founder, CEO and Chief Geek, Fitnet
Industrial control systems (ICS) cybersecurity company, NexDefense, propelled into the national spotlight in December 2014, soon after securing the exclusive rights to commercialize a product originally developed in conjunction with the Department of Defense (DoD). While NexDefense’s product, named Sophia, specifically benefits critical infrastructure organizations, the company was poised for the inherent PR challenges stemming from its positioning within the noisy cybersecurity industry. To break through and separate the brand from the obfuscation, prognostication and sheer panic that often leads most cybersecurity headlines, NexDefense turned to AR|PR for a media relations strategy with two primary objectives: 1) to educate audiences on the risks and threats to critical infrastructure, without using fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) and 2) to position company executives as the leading experts in ICS security.
As a means to achieve both objectives, AR|PR implemented an aggressive media relations strategy that centered on proactive story pitching, current event ‘newsjacking’ and contributed article placement, in addition to targeted media engagement around company news. Every month AR|PR coordinates with NexDefense on a theme, and then on multiple narratives and talking points to support each theme. This provides us the direction needed to position our pitches appropriately. Additionally, AR|PR monitors the news cycle daily for opportunities to respond and add our opinion to stories making news. When opportunities arise, AR|PR works with NexDefense on ‘rapid response’ talking points to use as news hooks. Simultaneously, AR|PR coordinates with NexDefense’s many subject matter experts (SMEs) on story ideas and talking points for contributed articles in national, local, vertical and industry media. NexDefense’s SMEs, which AR|PR helped define and cultivate, span all of the company’s primary verticals, as well as technical, organizational, and compliance topics. By having multiple SMEs, AR|PR is able to pitch and secure multiple interviews, stories and bylines (ghostwritten by AR|PR) per month, even in the absence of company news and success stories. Finally, AR|PR frequently utilizes content, such as blogs, whitepapers, and use cases, as hooks to drive ink, often securing cross-publication of content. For example, AR|PR will secure publication of blogs and sections of whitepapers to run as contributed articles.
The flexibility to meet the extraordinary demands of today’s 24/7 news cycle, the power of the company’s many SMEs, the avoidance of too much FUD in storytelling, and maintaining a consistent cadence of interesting, relevant and educational content have all contributed to NexDefense earning significant media within the very noisy cybersecurity industry. Since becoming an AR|PR client in late Q3 2014, NexDefense has garnered just shy of 100 local, national and international media placements, while only issuing 10 press releases. Coverage has spanned influential national outlets such as Security Week, Homeland Security Today, Venturebeat, Business Insurance and Automation World. Among its key critical infrastructure verticals, articles and bylines have been published in trades such as POWER, Rigzone and International Water Dam & Construction, among many others. In addition, NexDefense executives now regularly contribute articles or are quoted in key publications such as REMOTE Magazine, Control Engineering and the Atlanta Business Chronicle. These media placements, along with the company’s social media profiles that AR|PR uses to syndicate and share news, are frequently within the ‘Top 15’ referral sources to the NexDefense website and have also helped the company earn various awards as an emerging startup. Today, when AR|PR pitches reporters on or about NexDefense, there is a positive reputation and perception that precedes the brand because of the agency’s collaboration to consistently #makenews.
When two energy powerhouses merged to form Inventus Power, the new company needed to drive awareness of its new brand and generate web traffic and online conversions. Inventus enlisted AR|PR as its agency of record, tasking us to launch and manage a Google AdWords strategy that would achieve these objectives. Of the two previous companies – Palladium Energy and ICCN – only one had leveraged Google AdWords before. Palladium had run ads with no ongoing oversight or updates. This set-it-and-forget-it approach meant that performance remained stagnant and drove few conversions, while associated costs continued each month. Charged with using paid search ads to promote Inventus Power’s complete product line, including battery packs, chargers, docking stations and power supplies, AR|PR developed a strategy to drive quality website traffic and request-for-quote (RFQ) conversions from relevant searches on Google.
Rather than focusing on the number of ad clicks and impressions, AR|PR set goals surrounding the quality of web traffic over the quantity to drive real conversions, avoid unnecessary ad spend and maximize the use of sales reps’ time. The first step was to conduct extensive keyword research to ensure proper search terms were being utilized for each of Inventus Power’s key markets: medical, military & government, commercial and consumer products. Since these identified keywords and terms would determine when ads would display based on users’ searches, the agency paid close attention to the relevancy of terms – not just the average monthly search volume. For example, qualifying keywords like “medical device chargers” may result in far less impressions than “custom smart phone batteries.” The latter would likely drive more clicks, but not from Inventus Power’s target buyers. AR|PR also made recommendations for web copy updates, stronger calls to action and SEO optimization to further enhance ad performance, and began tracking where Inventus Power’s content displayed in organic search rankings. The agency measures and reports on the performance of campaigns every two weeks, including tactical recommendations to continually improve performance.
In its first three months, the conversion rate from Google Ads and Google organic traffic each nearly doubled the conversion rate from direct traffic. By consistently monitoring ad and keyword metrics in tandem with website behaviors, AR|PR helped Inventus Power improve performance in terms of web traffic quality from Google ads, budget spend, organic search rankings and online conversions. Looking at a two-month period, the average conversion rate from Google ads was 54% higher than the conversion rate from users directed to the site from other sources. The average bounce rate of users from Google ads was 27% lower than the bounce rate from direct web traffic, illustrating that ads are driving more qualified users to the site. Also, the organic search rankings on Google consistently improve for Inventus Power’s target keywords. With each report, the agency illustrates continued successes in campaign performance – such as the 236% click rate increase just one month after the ads were launched.
In December 2015, Automational approached AR|PR with its intent to officially launch a new small business CRM and marketing automation solution by the end of Q1 2016. Automational’s all-in-one platform was built by the developers of ClickDimensions, an Inc. 500 company, serving enterprise Microsoft users. When the new software brand enlisted AR|PR as its AoR, initial objectives were to establish a unique identity that would stand out from ClickDimensions and subsequently cement the brand’s footprint in the small business MarTech space. AR|PR aimed to drive brand awareness and executive visibility for Automational by using strategic media relations and influencer marketing tactics.
To begin, AR|PR led an interactive messaging session that resulted in a corporate messaging portfolio and website copy featuring key company and product differentiators that would solidify the right tone and positioning for the brand. For the official launch, AR|PR recommended capitalizing on National Small Business Week, conducting a contest for Automational’s prospects leveraged through a strong Influencer marketing campaign. Less than two months until #SmallBizWeek, AR|PR began creating initial buzz about the brand from third-party product reviews, contributed thought-leadership articles, custom media pitches, as well as paid and organic social media campaigns. We also leveraged online forums like Quora and AMEX Open to showcase the company’s small business expertise.
Leading up to National Small Business Week, we secured the company’s first byline article in Website Magazine, describing the need for more MarTech solutions among small businesses – perfectly coinciding with a launch press release. AR|PR then secured multiple media interviews, including a briefing with one of the most authoritative SMB influencers on Twitter. We also landed a product review for Automational on Small Business Computing, which continued to drive quality web traffic five months post-publishing. The #SmallBizWeek contest received quality engagement from several top-tier influencers around the Automational brand, an 111% increase in website traffic and triple-digit follower growth across Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Momentum following #SmallBizWeek continued with an infographic recommended by AR|PR being published on MarTech Advisor as well as an on-going contributor relationship for Automational’s VP of marketing for business.com, an SMB-focused media site garnering over 2 million unique impressions per month.
inFRONT, the leading safety technology company for the downstream oil and gas sector, set out to increase its inbound leads in the first half of 2016. In order to accomplish this, the company first needed to update its website to provide valuable and insightful industry and product information that would educate, engage and motivate right-fit prospects. So, inFront enlisted AR|PR to properly optimize the new website and develop an engaging email marketing strategy. In combination, the goal of the optimized site and email campaign was to drive highly qualified leads and detailed prospect information that could be passed to the sales team.
Once the skeleton of the new site was designed, AR|PR developed a website optimization strategy that outlined recommendations on user-friendly navigation, compelling calls to action, additional rich content pages, landing pages, multimedia and more. Specifically, AR|PR called for a dedicated landing page that gated an inFRONT industry whitepaper titled “Rapid Assembly in Emergencies,” which the first email campaign would direct to. Once the site was finalized, AR|PR created an email marketing campaign targeting the newest email additions, obtained through industry partnerships, to inFRONT’s distribution list. The campaign highlighted how inFRONT’s safety technology is revolutionizing the industry and teased the availability of the full whitepaper. More importantly, the campaign included a very clear call to action, which drove the audience to the gated landing page that contained an introductory video on AllClear as well as form fields to collect contact information. Once on the page, prospects entered specific information regarding their companies in order to gain access to the whitepaper in its entirety. The email campaign consisted of three emails – an initial email which explained the white paper in detail, a second email serving as a reminder for download, and a third and final reminder to access the free industry information.
In total, this single campaign garnered almost 20% of inFRONT’s prospect goal for the entire year. The email campaign exceeded industry standards of 11.7% open rate and 0.15% click-through rate with an average 20% open rate and 14% click-through rate. In total, more than 70 prospects were driven to the website to download the whitepaper during the campaign period.
Invoiceware International is the leader in Latin American electronic invoicing, and manages over $84 billion in electronic invoice transactions for global companies like Coca-Cola, Philips and Pfizer. The company initially began working with a third-party content firm and then enlisted AR|PR as its PR agency of record in 2014 to engage its target finance, IT and supply chain personas about the opportunities in LATAM’s changing business landscape. When Invoiceware’s content firm struggled to capture the complex subject matter in engaging blog content, Invoiceware expanded its scope with AR|PR to take over blog content creation. By this time, AR|PR had proven its ability to leverage Invoiceware’s thought leadership in the form of engaging, informative bylined articles that had been published in a variety of vertical industry pubs.
AR|PR worked closely with Invoiceware to position the company blog as a news hub, beginning with a calendar of topics that would resonate with target personas. The content was strategically crafted with personas’ interests in mind such as need-to-know facts, how to reduce IT costs, as well as value-added opportunities for global companies operating in Latin America. In order to truly engage these audiences with Invoiceware’s industry expertise, AR|PR created four to six blog posts per month using a voice that explained sophisticated topics in simplified terms. AR|PR then syndicated blog posts across social media channels and industry news sites.
After a year of AR|PR producing its blog content, Invoiceware’s blog page had become the #1 visited web page outside of the homepage and more than doubled its blog traffic with a 148% increase in visitors. On average, users spent four minutes on each page and visited six pages per session. The cadence of informative blog content produced not only improved website performance, but the blog posts clearly engaged users as the overall bounce rate for the blog page was less than 1% for the entire year. The consistent brand voice captured by AR|PR coupled with a true understanding of the subject matter successfully transformed Invoiceware’s blog into a valuable source of information that appeals to its clients, leads and prospects with roles in the finance, IT and supply chain sectors.
*Awarded a Platinum 2016 Hermes Creative Award in the overall blog category.
In March 2016, AR|PR client ChooseATL (which is an initiative of the Metro Atlanta Chamber) made its way to Austin, Texas to take over SXSW. As the premiere annual event for music, film and interactive media, ChooseATL wanted to showcase the hustle and hospitality of Atlanta’s industries and people to the world. In order to amplify ChooseATL’s mission & participation to this wide audience, AR|PR was enlisted to execute social media advertising campaigns before, during and after the festival. The goals of the ads were three fold: 1) to elevate Atlanta’s brand reputation, 2) create buzz among influencers, thought leaders and media across the country, and 3) drive attendance at the ChooseATL House during SXSW.
To begin, AR|PR developed an ad theme that mimicked today’s popular dating apps. The campaign was designed to feature key facts and features of Atlanta’s brand, and then ask viewers to “swipe right” in order to #ChooseATL. The team’s social experts then researched the ideal type of campaigns for each specific network (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat) and created multiple ads accordingly. For example, on Facebook the team ran promoted event and post engagement ads while Twitter had lead gen, follower and engagement campaigns and Instagram ran a video ad that focused on web traffic and impressions. For Snapchat, the team decided to create a custom geofilter that was available during the two days of programming at the ChooseATL House. AR|PR monitored all the ad sets daily and made necessary changes to budget, demographics and locations as needed in order to ensure optimized performance throughout the campaigns.
Overall, all of the ad campaigns proved extremely successful in helping ChooseATL raise brand awareness, drive quality leads and increase attendance at its SXSW events. For example, one ad which highlighted ChooseATL’s Hangover Brunch with Killer Mike drove 17 page views to ChooseATL’s SXSW landing page where each visitor spent over 3 minutes – way above the industry average. Further, Twitter ads saw a total of 585k impressions and resulted in 800 new followers (all outside of ATL), 53 quality leads & 1,538 engagements, while the Snapchat geofilter was used 277 times and received over 16k views. Instagram also proved to be a high driver of website traffic pushing 62 users to the SXSW landing page. In total, the Instagram video ad garnered over 17k views and 3k likes – dramatically exceeding expectations & industry standards for the size of its account. Combined, the paid ad campaigns received nearly 890k impressions/reach and over 6k engagements.
AR|PR client Fitnet, a top-rated fitness app on both iTunes and Google Play, exhibited at the world’s largest international consumer electronics showcase, CES 2015, in order to reach both Fitnet’s B2C and B2B audiences, key members of the media as well as increase downloads of the app. The fitness solution, recently dubbed the “Jane Fonda of the Digital Age,” also chose the tradeshow as the setting to release the second application of the Fitnet fitness experience, Fitnet Script. AR|PR set out to obtain 5 to 10 pre-scheduled in-booth interviews, 20 media mentions and increase social overall social media engagement by 50% during the show.
A month prior to CES, AR|PR drafted and submitted a customized pitch to targeted, top tier media attending the tradeshow in order to pre-schedule in-booth interviews. A week before the show began, the agency distributed a press release announcing the launch of Fitnet Script, which invited all media to visit Fitnet’s booth for a demonstration of Fitnet’s two applications during the show. The release was distributed via the wire, to a targeted CES media list as well as key vertical industry publications. AR|PR also took advantage of other CES PR opportunities including submission of a 30-second press pitch video and a 100-word business profile distributed via Business Wire in partnership with CES. Finally, AR|PR developed both paid and organic social media content, including a trivia contest, all which capitalized on the tradeshow’s Twitter hashtags, #CES2015 and #FitnessTechCES, to garner social engagement and drive booth traffic. To ensure the strategy was executed flawlessly, an AR|PR account lead attended the event in Las Vegas – equipped with interview briefings, press kits and even on-brand bright orange tights and geeky glasses.
During the four-day show, over 20 media outlets visited Fitnet’s booth to see the technology up-close and receive a demonstration – exceeding the agency’s goal. The media relations’ strategy earned coverage in industry outlets like VentureBeat, International Business Times, Connected World, consumer outlets such as WebMD and FOX and fitness outlets like iClubs and American Fitness Magazine. Within two weeks of CES, Fitnet was featured in more than 15 stories, totaling 4 million media impressions and over $1 million ad value, exceeding initial objectives. By the end of the four-day tradeshow, the PR strategy resulted in a 560 percent increase in Twitter engagement and increased Twitter followers by 141 percent, Facebook engagement by 703 percent, and followers by 750 percent and increased traffic to Fit.net by 50 percent compared to the previous 15-day period. Furthermore, Fitnet experienced a 128 percent increase in downloads over previous month, which can be partly attributed to both AR|PR’s paid and organic social content, media relations and marketing efforts.
*Campaign featured in: PRWeek
Prior to its public launch in February 2016, Bark, a new Internet safety solution that helps parents protect their children online, enlisted AR|PR to create a powerful brand voice and launch strategy that would propel national media coverage. With no brand awareness, AR|PR knew that Bark needed a compelling narrative in order to stand out in the competitive Internet safety conversation.
Beginning with a half-day session to dive deep into Bark’s value and differentiators, AR|PR started by creating cohesive corporate messaging and updated website copy to position Bark as the watchdog solution that both parents and their children can trust. Once the messaging was in place, AR|PR created Bark’s social voice on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest in order to reach Internet safety influencers, mom bloggers and media, as well as parents, directly where they interact most online. In terms of launching the new solution to reporters, AR|PR knew that with no brand awareness, we needed more than a product to interest national media. We enlisted a Bark user to tell his story of how the solution helped him protect his daughter from drugs. With such a compelling human interest narrative, AR|PR immediately reached out to top tier parenting press with the launch announcement.
AR|PR landed Bark in our top parenting target – Yahoo! Parenting – with the headline “Dad Catches Teen Daughter Buying Drugs, Thanks to App.” We selected this outlet not only because of its reach of 12 million+ parents and readers, but also because of the credibility it has with other parenting press. That strategy paid off, leading to more coverage of Bark and the parent’s first-hand experience on Scary Mommy, The Doctors, MommyPage and 15 other outlets within the first month. Not only did this media coverage boost Bark’s brand awareness, but it also resulted directly in more than 130 sign ups for the solution, in addition to huge increases in direct and organic search conversions in the days following media coverage. The social voice that AR|PR created for Bark was also successful in driving conversations with influential parenting and internet safety experts – and even an FCC commissioner! – and directly resulted in almost 60 sign ups.
Cybersecurity client NexDefense had been debating for months whether or not to use a significant amount of its annual marketing budget to exhibit at the world’s largest cybersecurity conference, RSA. It was widely believed that having a presence at the show would benefit the brand, but it was unclear if those benefits would align closely enough with current objectives, and thus justify the six-figure spend. As an alternative, AR|PR recommended applying for awards associated with the conference, which if won, would provide NexDefense with a significant on-site presence at a fraction of the cost.
With sign off from NexDefense, AR|PR began the application process for two award opportunities: The Cyber Defense Magazine product awards and the Innovation Sandbox, a competition led by RSA for early stage companies to showcase their technology. The Innovation Sandbox is particularly rewarding, as its top 10 finalists receive an exhibit space for one day, and the opportunity to present in front of 2,500 people. Nearly two months after completing the submission process, AR|PR was notified that NexDefense had won both the Cyber Defense Magazine award, and most importantly, had been selected as a finalist for the Innovation Sandbox. With less than a month to prepare for the conference, AR|PR quickly managed the writing and distribution of two press releases, helped prepare NexDefense’s executive chairman for his presentation, finalized a whitepaper for distribution, and implemented an aggressive media, analyst relations and social media strategy to maximize visibility throughout the week.
NexDefense garnered unprecedented attention from its participation at the Innovation Sandbox at RSA. In total, the company garnered more than 15 highly qualified leads, and was contacted by more than five new venture capital firms to schedule immediate meetings while in San Francisco. The whitepaper, which was distributed to media and analysts and publicized through organic and paid social media, was downloaded over 30 times in a 7-day span. In addition, NexDefense’s website traffic peaked for the entire year, and their social media properties, in particularly Twitter and Linkedin, both added double-digit followers. The company also benefitted from four media briefings and two analyst meetings. In the two weeks following RSA, website traffic remained well above average for the year and new leads resulted from their on-site presence while the whitepaper downloads continued.
In the fall of 2015, client ChooseATL enlisted AR|PR to help with its first ever SXSW activation in Austin, Texas during March 2016. The activation, dubbed ‘The Atlanta Takeover’, was set to be the campaign’s coming out party to the world and would include two full days of programming (events, official SXSWi panels, parties and more) that showcased Atlanta’s hustle and hospitality, industries and people. With the ultimate goals of raising brand awareness of Atlanta and attracting new Millennial talent to call Atlanta home, AR|PR knew that in order to make a profound impact this activation would take a lot of manpower, influence and reach – more than they could provide on their own. Therefore, in order to make the initiative scalable, the team decided to utilize an influencer marketing strategy.
To begin, the team researched and gathered a list of 75+ local influencers that would be attending SXSW who spanned all of ChooseATL’s target markets – tech, film, music, food, nonprofit, etc. After the list was curated, AR|PR and ChooseATL wanted to make a splash in announcing the influencers. They did so by putting together ChooseATL SXSW swag bags for each influencer and enlisting popular on-demand delivery startup, Roadie, to hand deliver all the bags in one afternoon. Each bag included goodies like a ChooseATL SXSW t-shirt, mason jar and most importantly, a digital influencer tool kit. This tool kit provided influencers with all the details and information they needed to shout ChooseATL’s mission & SXSW participation to the rooftops including: mission and vision statements, fast facts, logos, images, videos, and social media cheat sheet. These influencers were also leveraged in media before, during and after SXSW to showcase the different angles of the story and Atlanta’s overall value.
Overall, the influencer marketing campaign dramatically helped scale the message of ChooseATL to a new level. Influencers began posting and engaging with ChooseATL on social media as soon as the swag bags were delivered and continued to do so during and after Austin. In fact, the #ChooseATL and #ChooseATLSXSW hashtags were used 801 times on Twitter & Instagram from Feb. 20 – March 20, reaching over 486k unique users and totaling over 5.2 million impressions. Further, influencers participated in over 30 media stories including The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Silicon Hills, Forbes, The Root, Georgia Public Broadcasting and more. Influencers also helped organically expand the reach to hundreds of thousands of users on social media (5 influencers alone reached almost 120,000 users on Instagram!)
Invoiceware International is the leader in Latin American electronic invoicing, and manages over $84 billion in electronic invoice transactions for global companies like Coca-Cola, Philips and Pfizer. In 2014, the company enlisted AR|PR as its AoR for traditional PR services and quickly realized the agency’s deep understanding of its compliance solution, the B2B SaaS market as well as the fast-paced and nimble needs of early stage technology companies. By 2015, Invoiceware wanted to expand the agency’s scope to include content marketing. This would allow Invoiceware to boost its content generation and better meet its prospects and customers at each stage of their individual buyers’ journeys. The highly technical and sophisticated subject matter required a multi-content approach that included both white papers and case studies to boost lead generation.
The white paper, a piece focused on educating users about Latin American compliance, was added to Invoiceware’s website and repurposed throughout the company’s digital networks. The content was strategically crafted in order to simplify the company’s solution and resonate with audiences who were not familiar with industry jargon. In order to build a visual identity that was consistent with the brand’s current credibility and expertise, AR|PR also refreshed the company’s look and feel, complete with a new secondary color palette and defined corporate brand style guide. The new brand elements were then incorporated into the white paper.
This 8-page white paper received 508% more clicks and 355% more downloads than the average number of downloads that Invoiceware’s previous white papers received in the first two months of distribution. The new white paper not only improved credibility with a polished, consistent brand look and feel, but the content within the white paper clearly communicated best practices and showcased the company’s credibility. Through both a visual refresh and effective, strategic positioning with client testimonials and case studies, the white paper successfully emphasized the value that Invoiceware’s solution has brought to its clients.
In September of 2015, stable|kernel a fast-growing mobile development firm, surveyed just under 500 mobile developers across the world to gain data-backed insights on the inner workings of the mobile development industry. The goal? To help companies working with development teams have a better understanding of the industry. stable|kernel hoped this project would introduce the firm to national media for the fist time, enhance its thought leadership and also generate qualified leads. Once the company completed the survey, it enlisted AR|PR to take the findings and bring them to life in a comprehensive report. With this report, AR|PR then set out to help stable|kernel gain qualified leads by syndicating the report through media coverage and social media.
AR|PR identified top story angles derived from the data findings and incorporated them into the data report, keeping in mind this would be shared with reporters, industry influencers and qualified leads. The report was then designed to look sleek and professional and appeal to the audiences mentioned above. The firm also drafted a press release for immediate distribution via the wire and sent custom pitches to target reporters. At the same time, AR|PR created a three week social media ad campaign that featured the report’s data points and key messages in Twitter Ads and LinkedIn sponsored posts.
Within just two weeks of the announcement, AR|PR landed 10 stories in leading mobile tech publications, including Mobile Enterprise, DevX and FierceDeveloper. In less than three weeks, the social advertising campaign saw 13,000 impressions on LinkedIn and 68,000 impressions on Twitter. As a result, LinkedIn drove 13 qualified leads to the landing page and Twitter drove 31. The campaign as a whole drove 271 views to the report landing page, generated over 45 leads for the company and increased overall website traffic by 14% compared to the previous weeks. Overall, the distribution blitz was effective at both lead generation and brand awareness.
In February of 2014, AssureSign, a SaaS-based electronic signature solution was looking to improve web traffic, and drive both enterprise and small business leads through its website (as measured by its Google Analytics). Launched in 1999, AssureSign had largely generated its client base of insurance and financial service clients organically, but lacked an effective inbound marketing strategy to increase its client roster of franchise, government and legal industry customers. The company enlisted AR|PR to revamp its existing website and implement a content marketing campaign that would drive right-fit prospects to assuresign.com.
In tandem with a communications and social media strategy, AR|PR’s first step to the website re-launch began with a messaging session to develop the company’s core messaging, which would serve as a baseline for web copy and future content pieces. From there, AR|PR developed the site map for the new website, and drafted web copy to address AssureSign’s target personas. The agency conducted research on keywords deemed as the highest quality and most searched, according to Google. Additionally, AR|PR worked with web developers to ensure the site included top inbound marketing tools, such as a blog and live stream Twitter feed to drive SEO. Once the site was launched, the team at AR|PR developed an inbound marketing initiative that included ongoing web content in the form of case studies and blogs, a paid Google AdWords campaign, targeted social media advertising campaigns and organic social media content and engagement.
By capitalizing on highly searched keywords and hashtags in ongoing social media and content marketing over a nine month period, AssureSign increased its total web sessions by 94% compared to the previous year. Additionally, the bounce rate decreased 93% and the total site page views increased by 251%! Further, the new blog page on the site had a 0% bounce rate and users spent an average of 4:48 minutes on the blog. Combined, all of these metrics signaled that AssureSign was attracting right-fit traffic to assuresign.com, which resulted in an average of three site conversions per day.
The Internet of Things (IoT) – a term used to define the explosion of connected devices – erupted into the mainstream narrative in 2014. As the first company dedicated to detecting and mitigating risks proliferating from the IoT, Atlanta-based Bastille engaged AR|PR to develop its corporate messaging, advise on web copy, design social media channels and marketing content, and conduct media relations around the company’s venture capital investment. Most importantly, however, was the challenge given to AR|PR of positioning Bastille’s founder and CEO, a seasoned cybersecurity entrepreneur who had intentionally chosen to limit his visibility over the past few years, as the leading IoT security expert.
With IoT on the cusp of securing prominence within the national tech discourse, AR|PR had to act quickly and aggressively to position the client’s experience and expertise as superior to those also fighting for initial credibility in space. As with any new industry, IoT security, and the media covering it in its infancy, were for the large part under-educated, misinformed or hadn’t yet evolved their coverage parameters to include IoT. This reality prompted AR|PR to recommend an approach with thought leadership – specifically contributed articles and blogging – at the core. This strategy not only consisted of contributing content to newspapers and magazines, but also placed a strategic emphasis on consistent blogging, both on the company website and on the executive’s personal social media channels – a tactic that the executive had never participated in previously.
Despite the challenges of educating a new industry and the complexities of making an executive utilize social media, and feel confident in doing so, AR|PR garnered tremendous success in just the first three months of the executive visibility program. Jumpstarting the campaign was the CEO’s keynote at a leading industry tradeshow, which AR|PR secured and maximized via digital marketing. Contributed articles on a variety of topics were written and published across high-value websites. In fact, AR|PR secured recurring columns in both InformationWeek’s Dark Reading and Cyber Defense News, in addition to a regular contribution on Christian Science Monitor’s new Passcode website. Content was also published in Connected World Magazine and Benzinga, and the CEO was quoted in the highly popular Fast Company. Amazingly, the executive also authored a blog post, which trended atop LinkedIn for more than three days. As a recognized thought leader in the IoT space, the CEO now receives inbound speaking requests and media queries on a regular basis, giving massive credibility to the Bastille brand.
*Campaign designated as a 2015 PRSA Phoenix Award of Excellence.
In September 2014, AR|PR client KidsLink planned to launch its parenting app in Atlanta, Charleston and Charlotte. The innovative app serves as a private social network and world-managing tool, allowing parents to organize their family’s important information, milestones and memories while preserving their children’s digital legacy. With hundreds of parenting apps in the market, KidsLink needed to break through the clutter and demonstrate success in its first markets. AR|PR strategically crafted a social media and media relations campaign to capture the attention of local print, online and television outlets to create buzz and drive app downloads.
Leading up to launch, AR|PR crafted a comprehensive launch strategy which included media and blogger relations, social media campaigns and digital advertising plans. With the focus on local markets, AR|PR developed and executed a media relations campaign that leveraged the app’s local hospital partnerships and positioned KidsLink as a digital safety solution for parents. The firm created a press release specific to each market, as well as media pitches tailored by location and outlet. On the day of the launch, AR|PR distributed the press release through the wire and sent targeted pitches to key reporters. The agency created ad campaigns on Twitter and Facebook, as well as strategically engaged on social media to drive app downloads and build relationships with influencers, reporters and bloggers. Almost simultaneously, the Snapchat app was hacked and 98,000 private pictures and videos of users were released to the public. AR|PR saw this as an opportunity to leverage KidsLink as a local solution to the national cyber security crisis.
KidsLink landed TV news segments in all three markets, which promoted the app and positioned the company as online safety experts. In just three months, KidsLink received over 5 million media impressions in local media outlets including Atlanta Tech Edge, The Post and Courier, Times Union, Everyday Family and Simply Buckhead. The Atlanta Journal Constitution ran a full-length feature story on the app, which captured a whopping 10% of the outlet’s website traffic the day it ran. Social media engagement resulted in conversations and potential partnerships with top parenting influencers. The social media ads received more than 450 website clicks and performed better than 85% of ads with similar budgets. As a result of this successful approach, KidsLink renewed its relationship with AR|PR and shortly thereafter, the app landed on the homepage of Yahoo!, appeared on CBS’ daytime show The Doctors, partnered with top parenting safety influencers and appeared on five additional television stations across the U.S.
*Campaign named 2015 PRSA Phoenix Award Winner as well as Best of Phoenix Finalist. Also awarded a Platinum 2016 Hermes Creative Award in the media response category, and was a finalist for the 2016 PRDaily Media Relations Awards.