In the crowded, ever-evolving cybersecurity industry, generating news and leads comes mainly in the form of discovering a zero-day attack. With that in mind, Coronet, an award-winning cloud security company, wanted to penetrate the media landscape in a big way, and use that traction to expedite customer adoption of its SecureCloud platform. To do so, Coronet tapped ARPR to create an integrated campaign via our Panoramic Approach that would not just land strong media coverage, but also heighten conversations on social media, generate leads and expedite sales objectives.
During onboarding sessions with Coronet, ARPR learned that the company’s SecureCloud platform was able to collect vast amounts of data on device security and the security of Wi-Fi networks that they connect to. With this knowledge, ARPR presented the idea of studying America’s 50 most populous cities to create a report ranking the country’s most insecure and least vulnerable metro areas, to which Coronet approved.
In the following month, Coronet analyzed 5 months of data and created a weighted scale to determine the ranking of most to least secure cities and regions. Using the rankings, ARPR conducted in-depth research into each DMA to understand and make inferences about why a location was either secure or insecure. The results and corresponding research were compiled into a cohesive report, placing special emphasis on the top 10 most cyber insecure and the top 10 least vulnerable regions. The report was named “Cybersecurity in the City: Ranking America’s Most Insecure Metros.”
As the report was being finalized, ARPR constructed an aggressive media relations strategy to maximize earned coverage. Local, national, trade, tech and other media were researched extensively and selected not just on audience reach alone, but by topic area and previously written pieces. Specific media were also selected to receive pre-pitched materials to generate early interest in the report and secure coverage within top publications. ARPR also leveraged social media channels to not just promote the report via organic posts and paid ads, but to facilitate conversations around it. Leading up to publication, teaser posts were created to generate buzz and keep followers engaged.
Generating leads and visibility takes more than just media hits. Credibility needs to be developed with experienced, data-minded research firms. With that in mind, ARPR also engaged industry leading analysts via an email marketing campaign. We also launched a two-week sponsored content campaign on Linkedin. All of these tactics funneled recipients to a dedicated landing page ARPR created to house the report. This gated page was designed to capture leads and prompt readers into taking an action – such as adopting Coronet.
As the report began to disseminate across the wire and into reporters’ inboxes via direct pitch, it was clear that interest was piqued and awareness of Coronet and its capabilities was about to skyrocket. Setting a strong precedent for future campaigns, the report generated more than 72 media hits in less than a month, that number buoyed by coverage in 27 Tier 1publications – including TechRepublic, The Daily Caller, the AP and U.S. News & World Report. Coronet’s report also received strong coverage in all but three of the 20 local markets we focused on, highlighted by 34 television segments with a total viewership north of 500,000.
The social media portion of the campaign also took off with referrals from LinkedIn ads to Coronet’s website increasing 2,255 percent over the previous month. The report’s landing page was visited 2,177 times and the report was downloaded 168 times – providing a 7.7% conversion rate – well above industry standards. Coronet’s website also saw a 31.92% increase in visits over the last period with 16,450 total visits. Visitors also stayed 115% longer on the website compared to the last period and the overall bounce rate improved by 48.2%.
The analyst email marketing campaign also saw strong results. Analysts who received an email and opened it spent nearly 14 minutes on Coronet’s website. The relationships built and nurtured with analysts also provided Coronet with increased credibility among research partners. Overall, the success of Coronet’s “Cybersecurity in the City: Ranking America’s Most Insecure Metros” report was a true testament of ARPR’s Panoramic Approach and how we leverage our clients’ capabilities to #MakeNews and #DriveLeads.
As both B2B buyer preferences and information sources continue to evolve, and as the traditionally siloed marcom subsectors of public relations, social media, content marketing, digital marketing and demand generation continue to blend, the need to know intricate details about target audiences is perhap
s more important than ever before. Knowing this to be true, and that “80 percent of the B2B organizations who exceeded their revenue targets last year have buyer personas in action,” RunSafe Security, a provider of cyberhardening technology for industrial control systems and embedded devices and systems, tasked ARPR to research, analyze and draw educated conclusions and inferences about their primary buyers. Specifically, RunSafe was interested in learning more about the responsibilities, motivations, and work and education experiences of current clients and prospects, in which the findings would be packaged into a comprehensive persona book that would help guide all future marketing initiatives.
Having worked with RunSafe Security on a previous project, ARPR was already somewhat familiar with the company’s target vertical markets; however, identifying the primary buyer within each vertical would be a challenging task for two reasons: 1) the habits and preferences of B2B buyers are no longer distinct from those of B2C buyers and 2)each industry could have multiple buyers whose technical and cybersecurity skillsets varied significantly.
To begin, ARPR interviewed RunSafe’s four primary stakeholders – its founder & CEO, CTO, VP of commercial sales and its VP of government sales. All four of these interviewees had many years of experience within RunSafe’s key verticals, and as such, were able to share helpful details, such as job titles, role responsibilities and buying motivations.
ARPR was then given access to several communications between RunSafe and its early adopter customers. The emails each outlined how these companies had heard of RunSafe, what prompted them to adopt the technology and how their initial experiences resulted in immediate ROI. Next, ARPR conducted extensive research into the job titles provided by RunSafe employees. Using LinkedIn, Indeed.com, Careerbuilder.com and other industry-specific resources, ARPR was able to generate an understanding of the education and job experiences required of RunSafe’s target personas, and the responsibilities that they were held accountable for.
To conclude, ARPR performed in-depth research on various social media channels, the websites of existing customers and prospects, industry trade publications and mainstream media stories to capture as much detail as possible on the people who RunSafe sells to. Once all the information was compiled and analyzed, narratives were written and a Persona Book was compiled. This book synthesized all of the findings for sales and marketing to strategically utilize in forthcoming business development efforts.
In total, ARPR helped RunSafe Security identify and learn about nine primary personas – including those in tech, operations, risk management and analyst roles. ARPR also assessed with high confidence the responsibilities, concerns, frustrations, metrics for monitoring success, and the status in the decision-making process, among other criteria, like education and direct reports. Additionally, for each persona, ARPR could highlight the top four qualities most common to that role. For example, we were able to conclude whether or not a person was a good communicator or not, what their technical and business savvy is, and what motivates them most in their career.
Since completing the persona project, the findings have been used to help guide website development, SEO, social media advertising, blog development and media relations. Furthermore, since updating website navigation to better reflect persona preferences, the website has garnered more than a 400 percent increase in both viewers and page views when compared to the previous time period. Currently, the persona book is also used to train new company hires and as a reference for salespersons before they approach new business calls.
While Cartoon Network may be known for its colorful characters and kid-friendly shows, today it is now so much more than just an animation station. It’s now a technology-enabled multiplatform powerhouse that fosters kids’ creativity with engaging shows; mobile, online, console and VR games; toys; and even coding tutorials. Through these platforms, the Network has created ways for Gen Z audiences to engage with their favorite characters while also embracing STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) content – an initiative that spans the entire organization.
In October 2017, ARPR client Cartoon Network sought to amplify its core message of inspiring kids at the intersection of creativity and technology to an influential audience of media, business-minded creatives and forward-thinking entrepreneurs during the Fast Company Innovation Festival in New York City. ARPR was enlisted to project manage the activation and deploy an integrated PR campaign, in order to drive media interest and attendance.
To begin, ARPR coordinated a beneficial agreement that positioned Cartoon Network as leader of the Fast Company Innovation Festival’s ‘Creativity Track.’ The activation included programming entitled, Why the Future Belongs to Creative Thinkers and featured the Network’s president alongside luminaries from MIT Media Lab, Adafruit, DIY.org, Minecraft and GIPHY.
In addition to project managing the partnership and event production details, ARPR also crafted a strategic earned media strategy to engage right-fit technology, education, parenting and entertainment journalists leading up to the event. In the weeks prior to the event, ARPR secured executive interview opportunities with target media to reach a diverse audience, resulting in digital, podcast and video coverage. New York-based reporters and influencers were then invited to attend the Cartoon Network-sponsored programming, which included a TED-style breakfast talk and expert panel discussion, followed by pre-arranged one-on-one interviews with event speakers and Network executives. For media that wanted to follow the conversation but were unable to attend the event in person, ARPR live-tweeted the experience from @CartoonNetworkPR and offered a full video recording and hi-res photos once the event concluded. ARPR also worked collaboratively with Cartoon Network’s internal marketing team to expand buzz surrounding the Creativity track and its corresponding panel discussions through paid media activations and email marketing.
In just twelve months since initially partnering with Cartoon Network, ARPR has positioned the Network as a unifying brand voice behind the movement to engage kids at the intersection of creativity and technology, culminating at the 2017 Fast Company Innovation Festival. Cartoon Network’s programming attracted a full audience and more than 10 media members, including journalists from Wall Street Journal, WIRED, HuffPost, Big Think and Good Housekeeping. Potential combined readership, viewership and listenership from interviews conducted prior to, during and following the event well exceed 77.7 million, reaching key audiences in technology, education, parenting and entertainment.
After experiencing significant growth as a result of a merger, an acquisition and investment, StayWell was suffering from a fractured digital presence, marketplace confusion and the need for a brand realignment.
In July of 2017, the mid-market health empowerment company hired ARPR as its agency of record to elevate its digital presence and implement a social media strategy that reflected its newly-aligned brand architecture and messaging framework.
In addition, StayWell wanted to leverage its social media channels to build brand awareness among target media and key influencers, ultimately helping to increase engagement, gain quality followers, refer long-term website traffic, and assist in lead generation for each of its key market segments over the long-term.
To begin, ARPR conducted an audit of StayWell’s existing social media accounts, including legacy and inactive profiles acquired from various mergers, to determine the brand’s current cadence, share of voice, engagement rates and follower baselines.
Following the audit, ARPR developed a custom, comprehensive social media strategy that outlined recommendations for optimizing the company’s social media presence and a plan of action for sun-setting legacy accounts.
Once all social media profiles, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube, were consolidated and updated, ARPR began implementing an organic social media strategy that addressed all of StayWell’s target audiences and positioned the company as a resource for patient engagement, population health and employee well-being.
To supplement ongoing organic social media efforts, our team executed daily engagement, live-event coverage during tradeshows and periodic social advertising campaigns.
Overall, the social media strategy proved successful in creating a unified, on-brand and active social media presence, resulting in more credibility and a higher share of voice.
In the nine months following the initial social media strategy implementation, overall web traffic increase by 42%. StayWell’s Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts were all top 5 referral sources to StayWell’s website. In fact, LinkedIn was consistently the number one traffic referral source – accounting for 14% of all website referrals from September 2017 to June 2018.
Further, in just nine months, StayWell’s Twitter account received an 8.5% increase in followers and a triple-digit increase in engagement; LinkedIn followers increased 20.7% and engagement per post increased by 65.8%; Facebook page “Like” count increased 460% and engagements increased 171%. All of these metrics exceeded the internal goals solidified by ARPR and StayWell.
In September of 2017, ARPR added iCAD, a global medical technology leader providing innovative cancer detection and therapy solutions, to its growing roster of health IT accounts. Despite being a publicly-traded company that has been in business for several decades, iCAD has had limited visibility beyond vertical industry publications such as oncology, dermatology and radiology, as well as peer-reviewed clinical journals, in recent years.
iCAD approached ARPR to not only increase media coverage among its core vertical audiences, but also to extend its reach into mainstream healthcare trades and national consumer press. While most agencies spend the first few months with a new client working through the traditional “onboarding” process, ARPR was tasked to immediately hit the ground running and build a pipeline of press opportunities.
Initially, ARPR worked diligently on a media relations strategy – refining its core messages and recreating a plan built around the company’s key opinion leaders (KOLs) and published clinical data. Next, ARPR strategized and collaborated with the client on key topics, trends and data most impactful to the industry that iCAD leadership and its KOLs could address with media. To quickly begin achieving goals, ARPR developed a creative multi-pronged strategy that combined proactive media
outreach, scheduled editorial and thought leadership via contributed content and podcast interviews that reach broader healthcare and consumer-facing audiences. ARPR also initiated outreach to vertical publications up to six months out to create a solid pipeline of coverage throughout the first months of the engagement.
ARPRs comprehensive media strategy paid off. Since onboarding, the agency has increased the iCAD’s consistent cadence of coverage in vertical publications through bylined articles and thought leadership interviews such as Dermascope, Imaging Technology News, Radiology Business and Oncology Times, as well as secured placements in mainstream healthcare trade publications ranging from The Doctor Weighs In, HealthCare Business Daily News, HIT Consultant and more. In addition, ARPR secured opportunities for iCAD with national consumer and health publications, such as U.S. News & World Report, Health.com, thirdAGE.com and Healthway.com. In just over six months, the agency secured 50 media placements for iCAD, resulting in more than 77 million media impressions, which surpassed its main competitor in share of voice for the first time.
In January 2017, representatives from Baker Donelson and the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) approached ARPR to help aggressively market and publicize an extension of their Cybercon Conference into a weeklong series of events. With most of the U.S. and the world unaware of Atlanta’s deep roots and modern prowess in cybersecurity, Baker Donelson and MAC formulated the inaugural Atlanta Cyber Week to highlight the city’s burgeoning cybersecurity ecosystem. They partnered with ARPR to achieve four primary objectives:
Since inaugural events are some of the most difficult to market, ARPR advised the client that to meet or exceed its objectives would require us to implement a bulk of our Panoramic Approach, specifically a strategic mix of media relations, social media, influencer marketing and content marketing. With buy-in on this integrated strategy, ARPR initially helped Atlanta Cyber Week organizers solidify messaging and branding, subsequently followed by managing website copy writing, SEO and web navigation optimizations. In conjunction with these immediate needs, ARPR also mapped out a six-month content and storytelling plan which included a strategic mix of press releases, blogs, and other forms of content,
ARPR’s plan also included paid and organic social media recommendations across Linkedin, Twitter and Snapchat. We also advocated for a journalist panel at the week’s anchor event, Cybercon, in which we recommended bringing 3-4 prominent cyber journalists to Atlanta as a means to broaden media attention. Additionally, ARPR created and managed a robust influencer program. Specifically, we created an influencer toolkit that included collateral and information that friends and stakeholders of Atlanta Cyber Week could easily use to promote awareness, attendance, sign-ups and ticket sales. Pleased with our work and results, Baker Donelson eventually expanded our original project post-show to ensure media coverage and capture attendee feedback, as well as to continue a cadence of content and social activity in the weeks following the events.
Following a seven-month marketing and PR initiative, all stakeholders viewed the inaugural Atlanta Cyber Week as an overwhelming success. All 13 events, including the two flagship events of Cybercon and the NTSC CISO Summit, sold out (1,000+ attendees in total) with attendees from the U.S., U.K., Israel, Canada and other European countries. Notably, ARPR also helped secure three national journalists to participate on a media panel, including Tara Seals from Info-security Magazine, Jeff John Roberts from Fortune and Sean Martin from ITSP Magazine.
With 30 media placements and one national feature story in Fortune Magazine confirmed, media played a significant role in helping to meet Cyber Week objectives. In total, we distributed four press releases and secured publication of three thought leadership articles in ITSP Magazine, Hypepotamus and Global Atlanta.
Twitter and LinkedIn helped facilitate significant awareness, with each emerging as a top referral traffic source to the Cyber Week website. In addition, ads on LinkedIn promoting registration targeted CISOs, CIOs and top security professionals, garnering 27,220 impressions and an average click-through rate of 1.44% (LinkedIn’s average is 0.35%). ARPR also ended the marketing campaign with a total of 26 blog posts, far exceeding our goal. This increase is somewhat attributed to our influencer marketing campaign, which continuously encouraged stakeholders to blog by sharing with them the tangible benefits of doing so. Since the conclusion of Atlanta Cyber Week, SEO and media have helped continue the momentum, with additional mentions in media outlets such as VentureBeat.
Rich Wagner, CEO and founder of the industry insights and analytics company Prevedere, had a strong background in IT and analytics. However, as Rich was fundraising for Prevedere’s Series B, ARPR was charged with elevating Rich’s thought leadership beyond IT to reach C-suite leaders at Fortune 500 prospects and forge partnerships with leaders like Microsoft and Nielsen.
ARPR first worked with Rich to bridge the topics he’s most passionate about – elevating data and analytics to be truly useful to business users – with the pain points of leadership – trusting data, building skilled data leaders and action-based intelligence. We then honed in on a strategy that would define Rich’s role and voice in content marketing and media in contrast to other executives in the company, and developed a corresponding editorial calendar of topics to pursue on Rich’s behalf. His voice focused on technology and leadership, while economists and subject matter experts within Prevedere discussed specific industry outlooks that Prevedere’s proprietary insights provide. To aid in perception, we then overhauled Rich’s Twitter and LinkedIn profiles to make them more searchable and engaging, and began pitching Rich’s thought leadership to publications that reached the highest ranks of IT leadership and senior leaders in the vertical markets Prevedere was pursuing. Simultaneously, we launched a series of blog content on behalf of Rich that reinforced his expertise.
ARPR’s executive visibility efforts earned Rich a recurring byline in InformationWeek, the world’s most trusted business technology resource, which in turn resulted in two speaking engagements at Interop ITX, a conference attracting more than 3,750 tech leaders each year. Our efforts also garnered Rich a gold award from the American Business Awards for Veteran-Owned Business of the Year, as well as articles in leading trade and target persona publications like the Journal of Business Forecasting, Retail Touchpoints, Manufacturing Business Technology, Supply Chain Management Review, Total Retail and more.Since first engaging ARPR in early 2015, Prevedere has secured its $6.7 million series A and $10 million series B, and announced triple digit year-over-year revenue growth in 2017.
Armed with a solid team of analysts and experts, Sovos, a global software company that provides tax compliance and information reporting solutions, wanted to elevate its thought leadership and executive visibility in media to reach its target enterprise and banking personas. When Sovos enlisted ARPR as its agency of record in June 2016, the software leader had identified subject matter experts (SMEs) for three of its main product lines – sales and use tax compliance, tax information reporting and Latin American e-invoicing and reporting compliance. Each of these executive SMEs are well-versed in the latest rules and requirements; but more importantly, each executive can speak to regulatory trends on a global scale – and how new requirements specifically impact business operations in the retail, manufacturing and financial services industries. ARPR’s immediate challenge was determining an approach that would provide the most value to Sovos in engaging its varied audiences with the vast amount of thought leadership topics to pursue.
ARPR’s strategy to increase executive visibility in front of retail, manufacturing and financial services audiences depended on a regular cadence of contributed bylined articles in trade publications and timely news stories surrounding the latest tax news updates. After thorough media training with each SME, we leveraged Matt Walsh, indirect tax principal at Sovos, in tax and retail trade media outreach, offering interviews and contributed content covering proposed sales taxation bills and specific tips for online retailers to prepare for changing tax requirements. We also targeted manufacturing trade publications about President Trump’s proposed tax reform, offering insights from Matt on the implications of import and export tax changes and the potential impact on global supply chains. Leveraging Sovos executives’ thought leadership on Latin American and global compliance topics was more challenging, as U.S. media was heavily focused on President Trump’s election and proposals at the time, making them less eager to cover international tax news. Since Sovos serves large financial institutions impacted by global tax information reporting challenges, ARPR pursued tax and shared services industry publications that had a large international footprint, offering contributed content from Steve Sprague, general manager, Latin America at Sovos, and Paul Banker, general manager, tax information reporting, on regional-specific compliance challenges and reporting topics.
Throughout the year, ARPR successfully secured two or more thought leadership media placements each month in various trade outlets, covering the tax and shared services, retail, manufacturing and banking industries. By strategically outlining specific topics in advance, ARPR ensured Sovos executives were gaining visibility in front of each of its core industry targets throughout the year. We also monitored legislation updates closely and capitalized on timely news stories by quickly pitching Sovos thought leaders to weigh in on the latest tax and regulatory changes. The results of our strategic media outreach and thought leadership content support earned Sovos and its SMEs major credibility in its target verticals, with multiple earned placements in Bloomberg BNA, Total Retail, Multichannel Merchant, Tax Notes International, Global Payroll, EEI Platform and SpendMatters – as well as stories in Website Magazine, Supply & Demand Chain Executive, Manufacturing Today, Manufacturing Business Technology, ABA Banking Compliance, CPA Practice Advisor and Accounting Today.
San Francisco-based PowWow Mobile, which enables organizations to simplify and extend any business app to mobile, acquired ARPR client StarMobile in August 2016. Following the acquisition, PowWow Mobile’s new marketing team retained ARPR as its agency of record, parting ways with its traditional PR agency for a more nimble, hungry and industry-knowledgeable partner. Specifically, ARPR was tasked to utilize its Panoramic Approach, which thrives on the integration of social media, media relations, content marketing and lead generation, to heighten brand awareness, build credibility in the marketplace and drive qualified leads.
ARPR quickly discovered that there was an absence of consistent personas, which meant that previous social media efforts were executed without strategy and that press coverage had been spotty and inconsistent. Thus, before execution of awareness and lead gen activities could begin, ARPR conducted a deep dive into PowWow Mobile’s target audiences and differentiators; and delivered a robust competitive analysis. This was necessary in order to facilitate a PR and marcomm strategy that would encompass the channels and media outlets of PowWow’s target audiences.
Once the initial research was completed, ARPR developed a channel-specific social media strategy that would focus on greater frequency, a more conversational tone and high-caliber engagement; and immediately took over daily management of three social channels – Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. ARPR’s knowledge of the limitations of enterprise mobility media led it to recommend a media strategy driven by aggressive thought leadership with support from data and trend reports, product and company announcements, and proactive pitches. The focus on thought leadership was also necessary to continue educating what is a complex buyer dynamic of IT and Line of Business.
During the first few months of the engagement, ARPR, in conjunction with PowWow Mobile, also developed a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that initially focused on the creation of compelling, SEO-optimized audience-driven content that would serve as a basis for targeting search and display ad campaigns.
At the writing of this case study, ARPR has been PowWow Mobile’s AoR for 15 months. During this time, ARPR has integrated social media, media relations, content marketing and digital advertising to heighten brand awareness, build credibility in the marketplace and drive qualified leads. Specifically, ARPR has ghostwritten and secured publication of 18 thought leadership articles. Social media channel metrics have exploded: Twitter engagement increased by 911.1% and follower count by 76.6; LinkedIn grew by 112.4% and engagements increased by 1,412.7%, and Facebook engagement increased by 1,055%. The website has also seen a significant uptick in traffic, with both new sessions and new users up over 71% and bounce rate down 13%. Persona-driven digital ads have performed well above the industry average and have garnered qualified leads from healthcare, robotics and manufacturing companies, and our customized monthly reporting seamlessly showcases tangible value of the Panoramic Approach to the stakeholders.
“Every time a byline gets published, people reach out to our CEO and say that they enjoyed the article. It’s been great for our awareness and perception.” – Kristen Rachels, VP of Marketing
Cloud-based enterprise predictive analytics provider Prevedere first engaged ARPR as its agency of record in 2015, just as the SaaS startup was ready to announce its $6.7 million Series A. ARPR positioned Prevedere’s initial investment coverage in several top-tier and trade publications, and quickly became an integral extension of Prevedere’s marketing team supporting industry awareness, sales and investment goals for the next two years. Following record-setting YoY growth, Prevedere was ready to announce its $10M Series B from Norwest Venture Partners, Microsoft Ventures and other investors in March of 2017. ARPR was tasked to strategically craft a media relations campaign to capture the attention of local, regional and national business publications and solidify Prevedere’s status as a leading enterprise insights solution.
Leading up to the announcement, ARPR worked closely with Norwest Venture Partners PR team on an aggressive media relations strategy to target venture capital, enterprise software, local and national business media. Days before the announcement, ARPR, in conjunction with the investors PR team, shared the embargoed press release with a handful of key reporters to strategically secure opportunities in the top early-morning funding and business news stories. ARPR also worked closely with Prevedere to create social media posts and a “letter from the CEO” blog discussing the company’s growth and how the funds will be utilized, in order to proactively answer questions that employees, customers, investors, media and other external stakeholders might have.
ARPR’s media strategy resulted in 14 media placements across national and local business, tech and funding press, totaling over 22 million media impressions. Prevedere’s Series B was covered in top-tier outlets like FORTUNE, Axios, Datanami, PitchBook, the Columbus Business Journal and the San Jose Business Journal, driving over 200 referral visits to Prevedere’s corporate website over the next month. In fact, media and social media referrals sparked an 85% increase in total website traffic, nearly doubling the number of visitors from the previous month. Prevedere’s LinkedIn page also gained 35 new followers through organic engagement around the company’s news, growing followership by 6.4% without any ad spend. Since the announcement, the company’s accompanying Series B blog post continues to be in the top 10 pages visited on the corporate website – proving the lasting effects of strategic media relations initiatives and PR’s contributions to content marketing, social media and inbound marketing performance.
Civil engineering firm Thomas & Hutton originally created geothinQ, a land mapping and visualization tool, to create internal process efficiencies and visualize specific information for a singular client. But the firm quickly realized that the Geographic Information System (GIS)-based solution would benefit land developers, commercial brokers and other civil engineering firms beyond its initial conceptualized use. The firm began selling geothinQ as a stand-alone product through word-of-mouth and a high touch, lengthy sales process, but needed more compelling messaging and an improved web experience to attract prospects and sell the SaaS tool on-demand.
ARPR conducted a deep dive into geothinQ’s vision, differentiators and competition via interviews with its leadership, sales and product development teams, as well as discussions with some of its top users in a range of industries. Armed with these insights, we created new company messaging, including mission and vision statements, elevator pitch, boilerplate, reasons to believe and more, that would simplify and quickly communicate geothinQ’s value. We then audited the existing website and created a map of how visitors should flow through the site to drive decisions to register for geothinQ. Based on the messaging, we created compelling website copy and design direction for the site, and managed the web development process. Simultaneously, we researched the search terms most likely to drive traffic to geothinQ in order to optimize the website for search results, and created a series of blogs and case studies so that there would be a steady stream of content and news.
Compelling messaging, a visual, easy-to-navigate website with several calls-to-action throughout, and persuasive, search optimized web copy all combined into a website that geothinQ is now proud to show its customers and prospects. In the website’s first month live, it has seen a 54% increase in new visitors, showing that people can more easily find the site; people are spending 41% longer on the site and viewing 42% more pages, meaning that the navigation and content are succeeding at driving visitors to the content we wanted them to see, and the bounce rate has improved by 15%. Additionally, organic search traffic has increased new visitors by 107%, proving that search optimization efforts are working. Most importantly, the site is converting as it was designed to do, with more than 11% of visitors going on to the Get Started page.
Headquartered in Israel, IRONSCALES is a leader in anti-email phishing technologies, providing education and training; automated phishing response, automated remediation and real-time intelligence sharing to organizations in the financial services, insurance, healthcare and power industries, among others. With the objectives to earn top tier media buzz, increase its mind share and market share, and generate leads, IRONSCALES collaborated with ARPR on an original data report that would leverage customer insights to reveal important trends and statistics about email phishing attacks.
Over the course of several months, IRONSCALES’ research and development team analyzed more than 8,500 verified attacks against 500,000 mailboxes. From there, ARPR was tasked with turning the raw data into a compelling and newsworthy report. After its own analysis, including research into competitor reports, and calls with the R&D team, ARPR drafted the report, which ultimately identified trends in email phishing, such as attacker patterns, current phishing tools & techniques and emerging hacker preferences.
Understanding the potentially significant media opportunity ahead of them, ARPR first identified key reporters to pitch. The agency then drafted a press release and pitched the finalized report to over 75 media directly. In addition, ARPR created social ads on LinkedIn directing users to the report’s landing page to further the reach of the report and both generate awareness and leads. The report was gated on the landing page, so visitors’ contact information could be captured for lead generation purposes.
The report garnered significant interest from the media, totaling 11 media placements in top tier and trade publications, such as Security Week, CNET, Inside Security, Help Net Security, and IT World Canada. Feature coverage in PC Mag was syndicated by Fox Business and PC Mag UK, a market IRONSCALES’ sales team is heavily focused on penetrating. Further, the editor in chief of ITSP Magazine congratulated IRONSCALES with issuing “such a well-done report.” The LinkedIn campaigns performed well above industry average, garnering over 23,000 impressions, 124 clicks and 33 social engagements in just one week. Interestingly enough, the information provided in the report was so compelling, that even IRONSCALES’ competitors referenced its findings in company blogs. With the valuable insights provided, IRONSCALES’ report will continue to be covered in the media and serve to enhance its credibility, authority and market share for months to come.
Mobility client PowWow Mobile, the leader in enabling enterprises to simplify and extend business apps to mobile, set out to increase inbound leads on its website via paid search. In order to accomplish this, PowWow Mobile enlisted ARPR to launch search campaigns as well as a display remarketing campaign on Google AdWords. This would allow PowWow Mobile to both capture prospects looking for enterprise mobility services, as well as stay top of mind with previous site visitors who could turn into potential opportunities.
ARPR did a complete overhaul of PowWow Mobile’s previous Google AdWords campaign, which was reaching an untargeted, generalized audience, and used keyword research tools to find relevant keywords with the right search volume. We developed five search campaigns that highlighted PowWow Mobile’s solutions and technologies, including one that targeted searches for competitors to ensure that PowWow Mobile is considered alongside competing solutions.
Once the keywords were finalized, ARPR drafted compelling ad copy with powerful calls to action and site link extensions to drive Google search users to the PowWow Mobile website. In order to further Google AdWords efforts, ARPR created recommendations for landing pages, and display ads creative for a Remarketing campaign that would be placed within Google’s Display Network to target visitors that did not complete a form submission on PowWow Mobile’s website.
In the first 3 months of these six campaigns, PowWow Mobile received 430,694 impressions and 6,921 clicks (a 1.61% click-through rate) to the website at a $1.66 cost per click (according to Search Engine Journal, the average cost per keyword for business software is $41.12). Of these clicks to the website, 43 of those resulted in conversions and potential prospects for PowWow Mobile, a 0.62% conversion rate. Several of these conversions have resulted directly in opportunities for PowWow Mobile’s sales team.
Through continued campaign optimization and keyword refinements, PowWow Mobile’s ads consistently remained in the top ad position, and now have a 15.99% total impression share on Google search and 35.02% total impression share on Google’s display network.
352 Inc. is a digital product development agency that partners with corporate innovation departments at the world’s largest enterprises on transformative tech innovation products and services. Despite corporate innovation’s rise in popularity over the last few years, 352 Inc. realized intrapreneurs had no place to come together, learn and share their experiences. Subsequently, the digital agency partnered with ARPR to help launch EnterpriseInnovation.com, a dedicated online resource for the growing corporate innovation community that would also serve as a top-of-funnel lead generation engine for 352 Inc. In addition to ‘how to’ articles produced by 352 Inc., the micro-site would feature a Q&A interview series with enterprise innovation leaders. ARPR was tasked with creating and executing the Q&A series, including scheduling and conducting interviews, ghostwriting the articles and managing daily curation and syndication.
To jump start the Q&A series, ARPR first engaged corporate innovation executives who had an existing relationship with 352 Inc., as we suspected that they would be more likely to participate and that their stories could draw upon tangible experiences with 352 Inc. – potentially adding credibility for lead-gen purposes. ARPR initially contacted more than 75 potential interviewees via email or LinkedIn, and when an intrapreneur committed to be interviewed, then an option to speak on the phone or respond to questions over email was provided. Once interviews were conducted, ARPR transcribed the conversation, incorporating SEO-optimized vernacular to aid in search results for the new website. Next, ARPR submitted the article for approval to both 352 Inc. and the interviewee. Once approved by both parties, ARPR facilitated aggressive social media syndication on Twitter and LinkedIn to maximize reach and readership. The interviewee was also provided sample social media copy and encouraged to share their interview via personal and company social media – aiding in reach. In addition, ARPR managed social media ads on Twitter, using the Q&As to gain followers, propel website traffic and to help meet other important goals and objectives of enterpriseinnovation.com.
The Q&A interview series resulted in 16 published articles, featuring executives from such globally recognized companies as WorldPay, Reebok, Coca Cola, First Data, Visa and Equifax, among others within the first six months. The series also prompted several introductory conversations and meetings, which 352 Inc. hopes to convert into new business partnerships in the future, further validating the power of brand journalism among the client. Additionally, the company has reported immeasurable benefits to its perception and awareness in its primary market. Measurably, the Q&As remain some of the top visited pages on EnterpriseInnovation.com each month, helping to support the website’s 363% growth during its first six months. Since launching, the microsite has remained a top 10 referral source to 352 Inc.’s website. These initial results have 352 Inc. invested in continuing the brand journalism series for the foreseeable future.
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 trade shows 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 Cloud 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 trade shows 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, ARPR 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.
ARPR 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, ARPR 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, ARPR 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, ARPR 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 ARPR’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, ARPR’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, ARPR’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 ARPR’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, ARPR built out storylines that could benefit more than one client. For example, ARPR 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, ARPR 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 ARPR 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 ARPR to help define its conversion goals and develop content, landing pages and nurture series to generate and secure right-fit leads.
First, ARPR 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, ARPR audited each of FNTS’ landing pages to ensure they were optimized and user friendly. As a result of the audit, ARPR 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, ARPR 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, ARPR 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, ARPR 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 ARPR 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, ARPR was charged with telling the story of this newly formed global compliance powerhouse.
ARPR 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.
ARPR 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 ARPR 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 ARPR 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, ARPR 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.
ARPR 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.
ARPR’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 ARPR 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 ARPR’s messaging and security teams because no solution like it existed. To begin, ARPR 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, ARPR 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. ARPR 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. ARPR 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 ARPR’s messaging work that they hired us as their PR Agency-of-Record. In the 10 months since the initial project concluded, ARPR has utilized Panopticon Labs’ messaging to great success. In fact, the very first time ARPR 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 ARPR 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, ARPR 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, ARPR 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, ARPR 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, ARPR 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, ARPR 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 ARPR have formed a partnership that will see a project for RunSafe Security begin in February 2017.
After acquiring ARPR 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 existing networks. Nuance’s diagnostic department approached ARPR with the goal of developing customer success stories surrounding their new brand – the PowerShare Network. Because of ARPR’s prior experience with these customers, the firm was prepared to lead the project from start to finish.
True to form, ARPR took an integrated approach to customer relations. First, ARPR 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, ARPR pitched them to diagnostic publications and created a blog posts surrounding each customer story. In addition to written success stories, ARPR 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 ARPR 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, ARPR recommended that Luma exhibit at two CES media events: Pepcom’s Digital Experience and ShowStoppers, versus investing in a full trade show 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, ARPR 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, ARPR 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, ARPR wrote and distributed a series of media alerts, building excitement and confirming journalists and analyst for demos. ARPR 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 ARPR 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.
ARPR’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, ARPR 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, ARPR 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 ARPR’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, ARPR 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, ARPR 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, ARPR 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 ARPR to refine and share Bark’s story.
ARPR 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 ARPR’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.
ARPR 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 trade shows and events such as CES. Through the relationships formed at these trade shows between top-tier journalists and company executives, ARPR 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, ARPR 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, ARPR’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.
“ARPR 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 ARPR 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, ARPR 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 ARPR 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, ARPR monitors the news cycle daily for opportunities to respond and add our opinion to stories making news. When opportunities arise, ARPR works with NexDefense on ‘rapid response’ talking points to use as news hooks. Simultaneously, ARPR 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 ARPR helped define and cultivate, span all of the company’s primary verticals, as well as technical, organizational, and compliance topics. By having multiple SMEs, ARPR is able to pitch and secure multiple interviews, stories and bylines (ghostwritten by ARPR) per month, even in the absence of company news and success stories. Finally, ARPR frequently utilizes content, such as blogs, white papers, and use cases, as hooks to drive ink, often securing cross-publication of content. For example, ARPR will secure publication of blogs and sections of white papers 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 ARPR 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 ARPR 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 ARPR 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.