The Dooley team’s #winning PR and communications efforts for a homegrown app
For a startup app, the turnout for RaceRunner’s first ever Twin City Run was impressive (if we do say so ourselves). On March 17 at 8 a.m., more than 60 people warmed up in chilly conditions at Assiniboine Park as they prepared to run the app’s first major race. More would join them from the city of Colombo, Sri Lanka, via the app which allows runners to race against each other in real time, no matter the location of each individual.
This new technology was made all the more exciting by the fact that it was made right here in Winnipeg. A mere month before the Twin City Run was scheduled, app creator Buddika Maduma approached us to work with his team. We were tasked with promoting the race and getting new users with the overarching goal of raising RaceRunner’s profile in general. Always eager to support local entrepreneurs (and up for a challenge), the Dooley team worked closely with him and his team to craft tactics to meet their tight timeline.
As the app was new, our first task was twofold: we had to educate people about the unique features of the app as well as inform them about the upcoming race. To that end, we went back to basics and used good ol’ fashioned poster marketing to spread the word. Keeping our target audience of runners in mind, we decided to place posters in strategic locations around the city (such as gyms, local running clubs, juice bars and coffee shops) to ensure visibility.
In order to generate some buzz, we also decided to partner up with the Manitoba Runners Association (MRA) for a giveaway contest. Using social media, we encouraged participants to share the event page for the race for their chance to with free registration. By partnering with the MRA, we were able to tap into their audience and reach a wider number of people, leading to an influx of posts on social media about the event.
Our final, and most important, task was to devise and implement a tailored media strategy. Targeting key members of the media, we sent out customized media pitches inviting the press to cover the event. Despite the short notice, we managed to get media attention from some major outlets. Here are some highlights:
RaceRunner creator Buddika Maduma (right) and marketing director Othniel Harris being interviewed on Global Morning News.
Post-event coverage by the Winnipeg Free Press: Proceeds cheque presentation to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba
In under a month and with a limited budget, Dooley Communications elevated a brand new app to the forefront of public attention. By using a carefully tailored PR strategy, we were able to generate a lot of awareness about the app, boosted the number of app users and garnered 826,500 total views as well as attention on social media.
Reference – Dooley Communications