Monday, August 31, 2009

Getting Big Coverage: Opening the Door a Bit More

Friend and former client Phil Libin got some great "ink" this weekend with a wonderful New York Times piece featuring his company, Evernote.

Despite the fact that I talk about social media quite often, I do believe that media relations remains an important arrow in the PR quiver. The catch, however, is that because of the current environment, getting high-level coverage is more difficult than ever. Fewer reporters means that more companies are fighting for fewer spaces in fewer stories.

This particular piece, written by Damon Darlin, focuses on the concept of giving away product for free with the hope of gaining revenue later. It's a concept that's been around for quite a while, but has gained traction most recently thanks to Chris Anderson's recent book Free.

In Evernote's case, Phil went into great detail about how Evernote planned to make money, providing the reporter with an inside look at how many people have tried Evernote (1.4 million in 18 months, 4500 each day), how many walk away (75 percent) and how many users remain active (500,000).

He then goes on to outline the conversion rate to paid customers (4 percent after a year using the service) and even revenue for July ($79,000).

Most companies balk at releasing this kind of information. When reporters have asked my clients in the past about financials, often the answer was a simple "we're a private company and we don't release that information." Most companies have a long list of good reasons for refusing to provide this data, but for a reporter looking for a good story, the details are extremely important. If a company can provide them, the payoff could be huge.

This is a case in point.

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