Platewave, the instant messenger service that uses number plates for usernames, attracted over a thousand downloads overnight after a viral PR story went went from the Mail Online to Germany’s Bild, Yahoo Brasil, American’s Time and Glamour and more.
Less than a month since becoming a new client, Platewave now has a global following and thousands of new downloads all thanks to a single, well-crafted story placed in exactly the right publication.
Most people are aware that the Daily Mail is an influential website, but not everyone knows it is the most-read online newspaper in the world. Any story that appears there will not only be read by thousands of readers from around the world – it will also be read by hundreds of journalists. With the desire for content growing every day, even big-name publications aren’t above ‘scraping’ a story they’ve read about in another publication and releasing it as new on their own website. This is exactly what happened with Platewave.
The idea for the story came from a throwaway remark made by Platewave founder Marcus Ackerley. When explaining the concept behind his app he mentioned how in the 1990s, when driving his Ferrari around Manchester, women had passed their phone numbers to his car dealer asking him to get in touch. It was only one small potential use for Platewave, but it was one that stood out. While drafting a press release we made the call to make that the lead angle, and that decision paid off handsomely.
Platewave were happy with any PR strategy that got their app attention. Not every client can be so fearless, but when they can it is a lot of fun. If they client does not feel inhibited about what is said about their product we would not be either.
We found a channel that we believed would get the story in the Daily Mail. We were right: staff reporter Bianca London called to check a few facts within hours of the story appearing on her radar. The story appeared just before 2pm, and then things got a little bit crazy.
The reaction on the MailOnline’s Femail page was intense. Shares and comments mushroomed. App downloads did too. Most of the comments were negative, but then most MailOnline comments are. By dinner time the story wasn’t just displayed prominently on the Femail page – it was appearing towards the top of the ‘Don’t Miss’ sidebar on the right of the MailOnline’s home page. That’s prime real estate when it comes to online coverage. But even this turned out to be just the beginning.
Keen to capitalize on the MailOnline’s finding of some clickable content, online publications began to re-write and publish the story before the day was through. Version’s of Marus’ story appeared in Croatia, Brazil, France, Germany, plus twice in China. Even top-tier American publications like Time and Glamour joined the bandwagon.
The answer was an emphatic ‘yes.’ Despite the tide of negative comments these stories were generating (especially in the Mail Online), droves of people hoping to meet supercar-driving millionaires (plus a few millionaires themselves) signed up in the first 24 hours.
It was a great start for our work with Platewave and we’re looking forward to a long partnership.