Case Study: Branding for UnSit

UnSit is a startup that produces and markets an underdesk treadmill. The community of users and potential customers spans fitness people, lawyers who want to stay fit at work, and others who spend a lot of time on the phone or writing at a desk. Our objective was to build brand awareness for this new company.

We started by booking UnSit co-founder Rob Jacobs on popular fitness, business, and productivity podcasts.

Then we moved on to commissioning articles for the UnSit website. We specialized in use cases from people who had a standing desk or treadmill desk. Guest posting also proved to be a valuable channel for the brand. We used our relationships with editors to have our article be considered for publication as guest posts or commentary in blogs such as Emerging EdTech. Red Cup also issued press releases when UnSit announced its award, the #Walkie.

We believe in repurposing material when possible. Articles we commissioned were often used in the UnSit email newsletter. It was a a natural extension of our guest posting …

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Case Study: Getting Past Anxiety

Effective book promotion focuses on building a community of readers. 

When Melissa A. Woods came to Red Cup to promote her novel Getting Past Anxiety the book was already published in a paperback edition. She was seeking a broader platform for the novel and for her developing speaking career. We started by securing guest spots for her on podcasts. Podcasts are a great way to learn more about public speaking. Authors can explore topics that resonate with their audience and get comfortable with the audio format.

Research showed us that Facebook would be the most effective social channel to build a community of readers. We started programming with reposts of articles from publications like Psychology Today , Prevention and Thrive with themes would appeal to the book’s audience. We moved on to posting chapter excerpts from the book, guest posts about the topics of the book, and reviews. We also posted to Twitter using hashtags such as #thisiswhatanxietylookslike, made famous by writer Sarah Fader. (Melissa has also appeared on Sarah Fader’s podcast.)

To build a community …

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Case Study: EdTech NOW

EdTech NOW is a ten-minute podcast that covers real world uses of education tech in the K-12 classroom. The podcast is designed to be teacher-friendly and useful to school administrators who are deciding on the technology to use in their classrooms and schools. We also look toward the future, examining how tech is changing education and education careers. The podcast is sponsored by our client Stackup.

Before we started production, we researched the most influential voices in education technology today. We used our research platform, Meltwater, as well as Facebook groups, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Our goal was to capture a diverse set of interviewees all over the US, who work with students in K-12 environments. We were also interested in having podcast conversations with school administrators and thought leaders.  We built a database of about 60 potential guests for our episode order of 10 podcasts.

Production of the podcast is via Uberconference, a VOIP platform. If our interviewees need a microphone, we shipped them a USB headset or table mic to ensure high audio quality. We commissioned a …

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PR and press outreach

Case Study: Babyscripts

Babyscripts is a Washington DC-based startup recognized as an Obama administration Champion of Change in Precision Medicine. It is a groundbreaking mobile platform connecting moms and their OBGYN practitioners, delivering a precision medicine solution to pregnancy. Babyscripts provides a Mommy Kit for expectant moms which includes a digital scale and blood pressure monitor and an accompanying app. The kit is now in use with patients in healthcare systems around the country.

Red Cup received early traction on the Babyscripts account with an article in Forbes and also short profile pieces in industry journals. The customers for Babyscripts are not mothers, but instead hospital systems, administrators and OBGYN practices that would benefit from the platform, so we had to dig deeper than general interest magazines and websites. We have a database of more than 14,000 journalists that we use every day, and regularly access Meltwater’s database of about 300,000 journalists. We research journalists by looking at their interests, whether they have written about the topic before, and if they have done profile pieces in the vertical. Babyscripts coverage would turn on its …

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PR and press outreach

Case Study: Stackup

Stackup is a Chrome browser extension used by teachers to track their students’ learning online. Job seekers use Stackup to validate their online reading for employers. Life hackers and quantified self people who want to track their online experiences are also fans. Stackup users have already logged 100,000 hours of learning on the platform, visiting 300,000 websites. Google has selected the Stackup team as a high-growth potential startup. Stackup is also being considered for a Google Education Development partnership.

Stackup needed traction and validation with the media. Additional media helps startups grow their user base and also provides a validator for potential investors.  Red Cup has a large journalist database and can put education tech startups in front of the right writers. We developed a list of local (Denver) and national education/technology writers we believed would have an interest in Stackup. As is often the case, local writers found the story first. Stackup was featured in The Denver Post, the Denver Business Journal, and FOX31, a local television station.

Several major education conferences were going on as our pitches were going to journalists.  We …

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Case Study: Her Story

Red Cup provides editorial assistance for a series of profile stories to support an education program for women.

Her Story is a series of profiles developed for OptIn, a program to help women re-enter the workforce who have taken time off to raise a family or be caregivers. OptIn needed to create a series of examples in storytelling form to show prospective program applicants how OptIn understood their situation and how OptIn might be able to help them. After consulting with Kerry Dolan, founder of OptIn, we knew that narrative storytelling was the way to go. She knew a few women who were willing to share their stories. We had to find more. Red Cup placed notices in ProfNet and Help a Reporter Out (two services often used by journalists to seek sources for stories), screened the responses, conducted interviews over the phone or via mail, and wrote up the stories. Kate Durocher, Red Cup’s media outreach person, conducted the interviews and wrote the profiles. Lee Schneider, Red Cup’s communications director, edited them. OptIn staffers also wrote up profiles.

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Case Study: Smidge Wines

Red Cup creates a podcast about wine for a popular audience.

Smidge Wines is a prestigious brand created by Matt Wenk in Australia. Highly-rated by James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion, Smidge is made in small batches with a careful attention to detail.  Its chief winemaker, Matt Wenk, is known throughout Australia, and also in the UK and Asia, for his tastings and cellar door events. When he makes a tasting video, it’s widely appreciated.

Red Cup wanted to bring some of his knowledge and warmth to a wider audience online, and do it in a low-friction way. A podcast was the perfect solution. The Smidge podcast is produced via Skype, with Matt in Adelaide and Lee Schneider, Red Cup’s communications director, interviewing from Santa Monica.

Red Cup provides editorial direction for the podcast and generates story ideas. Red Cup handles all music licensing, post production and posting to Soundcloud, iTunes and Stitcher. The result is a fun, easy project that has lasting value for Smidge, communicating Matt Wenk’s winemaking expertise to a wide audience while creating broader positioning for Smidge.

At …

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Case Study: Tarantas Wines

Red Cup develops awareness for a Spanish wine in the United States with ad spend and media planning.

Tarantas is an organic Spanish wine sold in the US by Trader Joes and Whole Foods. The owners of the winery wanted to create a stronger brand presence in the US using social media, press releases and press placements, a recipe contest and ad placements in Facebook.

Working with a publicist, Tarantas was planning press releases, media placements with wine journalists, and a recipe contest. Red Cup was brought on board to analyze the social media landscape, identify cohorts and influencers, recommend the most effective social channels, create social media feeds, as well as advise on advertising spend for the brand.

We participated in multiple Skype sessions as the brand’s publicist developed user personas and helped shaped the identity of the brand. Then we took that information and looked at the universe of potential buyers in the US. We used apps like Mention and Buzzsumo to develop influencer lists and bond those lists together into cohorts. Often, when building cohorts, there …

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Case Study: AccessFuel

AccessFuel is a new platform to analyze, enhance and visualize event data. It’s like Google Analytics for events, only better, because it is even more nuanced and has direct application for event organizers, promoters, and sponsors.

AccessFuel is developing a single-view dashboard of event stats and attendees. Red Cup is working to build a community network around the company, provide data for its MVP and pitch decks to investors, and preparing outreach materials for potential clients.

We have worked on social channels like Twitter and Facebook to create a presence for AccessFuel, and developed blogs as thought leadership pieces.

Our deepest work has been with social listening and data. We used our relationship with to build deep reporting about the social media audience for AccessFuel. This data has become essential to the company’s investor pitch decks, and also has informed development on its MVP. We have used a combination of the research tool Datanyze, the CRM SalesforceIQ, and the email platform to develop a custom marketing automation for AccessFuel. Working from lead lists generated from the Datanyze database, …

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PR and press outreach

Case Study: OptIn

OptIn is is a startup changing the narrative for women who return to work after time off to raise children. The startup, recently featured in TechCrunch, connects educated, qualified women ready to reenter the workforce with companies ready to hire them.

OptIn offers rich resources to women coming back to the workforce: OptIn-based networking groups, technology support, and counseling. The platform has a unique matching algorithm that links qualified women seeking opportunities with potential employers.

The challenge for Red Cup was simple: OptIn was brand new, with a Facebook page with no followers, a Twitter feed with just a few posts, a handful of subscribers to its mailing list, and no press awareness. The OptIn team was poised to attend its first major conference, Web Summit, in Dublin.

We started with a series of mission questions to the founders designed to draw out the value of the company. Using the material created from the mission questions, we crafted a press release and assisted with the brand message as the website was polished before launch.

Working with the OptIn …

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