PC Magazine, April 24
Who is your client, and what are its media goals?
David Conner: Gemini Mobile provides infrastructure software for mobile social communities, part of which includes what we describe as Second Life-like 3-D virtual worlds for mobile phones. Two-thirds of the company's operations are in Asia, and so its US media goals are to raise awareness and attract the interest of mobile service carriers and handset makers.
What made PC Magazine such a good hit? How did you pitch the editors or reporters there?
Conner: PC Magazine is not only a leading consumer magazine, but is also widely read by the mobile company executives we wanted to reach. I had a relationship with PC Magazine reporter Cade Metz and heard he was working on a story about virtual worlds, and so I pitched him on the idea of also including mobile virtual worlds in the piece.
Mobile-based virtual worlds are a very new concept. What angles did you use to get Metz to expand his original story, especially given that mobile virtual worlds had yet to be launched in the US?
Conner: What really hooked him was hearing about Gemini's participation in a successful mobile virtual world in Japan and how that product, called S! Town, now has more subscribers than Second Life has active users. We also emphasized that what's hot in mobile in Asia eventually becomes hot in the US.
Did you do a desk-side briefing with Metz? What were the other keys to getting this placement?
Conner: Metz is San Francisco-based, so we did stop by to talk about the concept and show him a demo. That worked out so well, Metz followed up with an hourlong phone interview with Gemini marketing VP Rob Osborn, where we focused our messages on the virtual worlds.
What was the impact of the hit?
Conner: The story gave Gemini visibility in the US and almost immediately helped generate some high-profile new-business opportunities. Because of that, we definitely got a lot of kudos from the client.
Name: David Conner, account supervisor, Access Communications (San Francisco)
Placement: PC Magazine, April 24
Pitch timeline: Three months