Promoting Haystack Boston Launch Event
Client: Haystack Mobile Technologies, LLC
Haystack is a free, efficient smart parking app created by Baltimore native and young entrepreneur, Eric Meyer. Designed as a way to empower drivers to alert each other about the availability of street parking in real time, Haystack reduces the need for drivers to look for spaces, saving time and gas emissions. Drivers in need of a parking space are seamlessly matched with nearby neighbors leaving their spaces. In short, Haystack revolutionizes and streamlines city parking.
Meyer, 24, founded Haystack as a result of his personal frustration with the parking problems in metro Baltimore. He created and launched the Beta version of the Haystack app in Baltimore with great success – connecting neighbors to solve the city’s parking nightmare through technology.
Meyer then researched other cities experiencing similar parking issues. Boston, notorious for its parking challenges, was chosen as the ideal location for Haystack’s public launch. How did Meyer unveil Haystack to Beantown? With a glamorous launch party, attended by Boston’s highest profile thought leaders, innovators and key media personnel. Meyer turned to Schneider Associates (SA) for its launch expertise and personal and professional relationships with key influencers and members of the media in the city to support the Haystack introduction.
SA was retained to develop a media relations and influencer outreach program to launch Haystack Mobile Technologies in Boston. The goal was to generate media coverage leading up to, during and after the Haystack launch event and create word of mouth with fifty influencers and attend the launch party. Additionally, SA was to establish a launch template that could be deployed for cities with parking problems around the country.
Strategies & Execution:
Influencer Relations: In conjunction with Haystack’s party-planning effort, SA worked to secure launch party attendance and interest in the app from notable influencers in Boston and surrounding areas, including city and stateofficials,high-profile social media personalities and influential members of the Boston media. SA leveraged personal connections, as well as our expert knowledge of the political and social landscape of Greater Boston to develop the invitation list and conduct outreach to potential attendees. Through this outreach, SA was able to secure the attendance of approximately fifty influencers including former City Councilor Michael Ross, City Councilor Tito Jackson, State Representative Jay Livingstone, AMP Radio DJ Joe Breezy and many more. In the process of conducting outreach, SA ensured that the Haystack name would be recognized among event attendees, even with those who were unable to attend.
Media Relations: The app was officially unveiled to the Boston community at a glamorous launch party held at the Liberty Hotel. SA attended the launch event and coordinated one-on-one interviews with Meyer and Boston media outlets to speak with about the Haystack app and its potential impact on the parking problems in Boston.
One of SA’s main goals for the launch of Haystack in Boston was to secure and coordinate interviews for Meyer with Boston print, broadcast and digital media outlets in three phases:
- Pre-launch party
- One-on-one interviews with reporters on the day of the launch event
- Strategic follow-up to secure media coverage in additional outlets prior to the launch
Local coverage included the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, BostInno, Metro, Boston Magazine, and BostonBusiness Journal. BetaBoston, WBZ-TV, WCVB-TV, NECN, WGBH-TV, WFXT-TV, WHDH-TV, WRKO Radioand WBUR Radio. To expand coverage of Haystack’s launch in Boston, SA conducted media outreach to national outlets by leveraging the expansive local coverage that had already taken place. National coverage included Bloomberg Radio, FOX Business, Wall St. Daily, The Economist and the Harvard Business Journal.
Measurement & Results:
- Over the two-month launch campaign, SA secured 84 media placements in print, online and broadcast outlets, both locally and nationally.
- SA conducted crisis PR to leverage the Boston Herald’s unplanned breaking story on Haystack’s impending launch.
- SA conducted crisis PR to arrange conference calls and meetings with Boston city officials to allay fears about this new app and its impact on parking revenue in Boston.
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