Weather Underground seeks to grow brand awareness

SAN FRANCISCO: Weather Underground has hired its first PR agency, The Rosen Group, to help raise its profile within the advertising community.

SAN FRANCISCO: Weather Underground has hired its first PR agency, The Rosen Group, to help raise its profile within the advertising community.

Weather Underground delivers free online weather information and also offers custom weather services to businesses and media clients both online and in print.

“We have grown our Web site purely virally since 1993, but we don't have the TV presence of a Weather.com or Accuweather.com. We're now making a big effort to raise our brand a bit more to the level it should be because if you look at our figures we should be better known,” Toby Skinner, director of marketing, Weather Underground, told PRWeek. “We haven't really heavily invested money in the past towards PR or marketing until now.”

Weather Underground hired the New York-based Rosen Group to implement a strategic trade PR campaign, aimed at boosting the profile of its Web site in the advertising community as a premium destination for advertisers. The first campaign will break November 23. “We want everyone to know exactly who we are and the fact that we are the second-largest weather site,” Skinner said.

He said the PR effort also aims to help promote a number of upcoming product launches for Weather Underground, including a new road trip planner that maps out travel routes in terms of weather, which will debut in advance of the holiday season.

“We want people to sit up and take notice of these new products,” said Skinner. “In the past, some of our competitors launched new consumer products and it would be written up in every roundup column in the ad industry business press. But our news hasn't been viewed as such high-level news, so we're hoping our elevated brand presence in the market will help us.”

The Rosen Group signed the three-month contract on November 6. Financial details were not disclosed. Skinner hired the agency based on a personal recommendation after speaking with a few other firms. “We basically want to see what they can do for us, and if the return on investment seems worthy we'll put more money in,” said Skinner.

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