Scooter Company Generates a Fleet of Media Attention
While scooter fleets have enjoyed wide deployment in metropolitan areas, they’ve also been criticized for injuring riders, littering streets or failing mechanically. MIT-born Superpedestrian is poised to change the fate of safety and profitability. Needing to inform business operators and city transportation officials on how transformative their scooter would be, Superpedestrian tapped Hollywood Agency to get the word out.
Superpedestrian’s Vehicle Intelligence platform can instantly detect hundreds of events that can cause malfunction, triage each issue, and determine the appropriate response to prevent damage to the vehicle, and consequently the rider.
Hollywood developed a strategy to announce the new scooters, highlighting varied news angles including a fresh $20M in funding, revamped hardware and the new software. To prove its effectiveness, Hollywood decided demo days would offer the best opportunity for media to experience the scooters.
But, challenges abounded. The team was competing for time and attention of the approaching holidays. Moreover, the team had concerns that the approaching winter weather would make interest in a new scooter less palatable.
A one-month blitz included demos for a select set of titles in two major markets – New York City and San Francisco. The strategy included targeting media that represented various genres: startup funding; transportation vertical; and tech/business publications in its home market of Boston.
Demos with The Verge and Bloomberg’s transportation segment, Hyperdrive, were secured for New York City, while meetings with Mashable, TechCrunch and Reuters were lined up in San Francisco. Each journalist received an embargo date of November 20th, to ensure editors were afforded time to write. The date also offered ample time to pitch the news in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday to a broader set of media once the embargo was lifted.
The Hollywood team secured coverage in 50 media outlets, totaling 1.35 billion media impressions. Feature stories from TechCrunch, Crunchbase News, Mashable, Wall Street Journal, VentureBeat, ZDNet and Reuters delivered the announcement to a technology and business audience while Superpedestrian’s home market of Boston learned of the news through BostInno and Boston Business Journal. The team’s strategic targeting of transportation vertical media resulted in stories in Smart Cities Dive and Intelligent Transport. Inclusion in the two premier startup funding newsletters – Axios Pro Rata and Fortune Term Sheet – rounded out the mix. The gravy on top was the syndication of the Reuters story, ‘Scooter maker Superpedestrian raises $20m, promises fewer breakdowns,’ which was picked up by The New York Times, Financial Post, MSN, Canada.com and many more.
The onslaught of press not only spread the news far and wide, but it also lured in inquiries from five scooter operators in under a week.