Guardian Watch boosts PR efforts for public safety app

ATLANTA: Mobile technology company Guardian Watch is entering the second phase of its campaign to promote its recently upgraded cloud-based public safety app.

ATLANTA: Mobile technology company Guardian Watch is entering the second phase of its campaign to promote its recently upgraded cloud-based public safety app.

The Guardian Watch app was first released in 2011, and its most recent version debuted in February of this year. It allows users to report emergency situations at a distance using live-streaming video that connects with police, fire departments, and other safety officials.

Junction Creative Solutions, which has handled Guardian's marketing, PR, and social media work for more than a year, is bolstering its outreach efforts to media and consumers, said Dr. Gordon Jones, CEO and founder of Guardian Watch.

After the Boston Marathon bombings earlier this month, Junction CEO Julie Gareleck said the app is more relevant for the public.

“We created [the app] to really be a crowdsourcing medium to allow anybody and everybody to download the application and make reports. We wanted to give everyone the capability to join informed groups, like neighborhood watch groups or school safety groups, and that will build a crowd that will create as much content as possible,” explained Jones.

The agency is engaging a range of media, including local press near the company's Augusta, GA, headquarters, and national print, online, broadcast, and radio outlets in the tech, consumer, education, and public safety sectors.

Jones said his business model has always focused on reaching individual consumers, communities, and neighborhoods rather than selling to public-safety organizations.

In June, the company is participating in National Day of Civic Hacking by hosting a 12-hour event where hackers are given access to databases, such as crime reports. Media will be invited to attend the collaborative event, Jones added.

Junction is also promoting Guardian's offer of a 90-day free trial for its Vicinity Based Alert Notification system, which gives members an alert via email, text, or automated voice message if an emergency is reported within a certain radius of a location they registered.

In terms of social media, Gareleck said the firm is focusing most of its outreach on Twitter. Guardian's Twitter account has more than 1,000 followers.

The resources on the company's website, such as its safety guide and blog, are two more elements to the campaign. Jones said the goal of the safety guides, which started in text form but are now videos, is to transform them into games. His objective is to create a gaming platform for Guardian Watch where users are given scenarios, such as identifying a suspicious person or package.

Aside from traditional and social media efforts, Guardian will leverage the networks of its strategic partners. These include Twenty First Century Communications, which provides emergency notifications to government agencies, corporations, and education and healthcare facilities, and Intrado, the provider of 9-1-1 communications infrastructure.  

Guardian Watch has about 2,600 active users in the US, Europe, Canada, and Australia, said Jones. Now that the company is bolstering its PR efforts, it hopes to see a significant increase in downloads.  

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