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Getting Above The Noise on Launch Day

UserVoice, the solution for complete customer communication, just launched iOS to bring customer support and feedback to iPad and iPhone apps. Behind the scenes, Founder and CEO Richard White is focusing on a post-launch strategy to get above “the noise” in tech media. As a serial entrepreneur, Richard has found that getting noticed must be an integral part of how a startup strategizes.

Tech Media
Startups have a clear disadvantage when it comes to getting their message out to potential customers. “It’s a top heavy world in the press,” says Richard. “The press is increasingly doing more coverage around less companies. Some of these are big (Apple) but some are also smaller (Dropbox, Spotify). Basically the (online, tech) press is less democratized than it was a few years ago where you had many bloggers with smaller audiences. Press, like funding and everything else, is becoming more winner takes all.”

Even with a well developed media strategy, startups can still miss the mark. Fully aware of the challenge, Richard and his team carefully planned to make a splash announcing UserVoice for iOS. Here are three of their media strategies:

1. Create a (Bigger) Story
To hit big in tech media your story must resonate and connect with readers and viewers. “People don’t care about your press release,” says Richard. “Tell them a larger story about how the world is changing and how your company and it’s users are affected by those changes and what you’re doing in reaction to them.”

UserVoice approaches customer communication considering that doing business on the internet is different than it was ten years ago. “Our UserVoice for iOS launch ties in nicely with that overall theme that the world is changing (for the better),” says Richard . “For us we’re focused on the larger story of why internet, and now mobile app, companies are now paying more attention to customer support and feedback”.

How do you create a story? A big part of your story is what you do. Recently Richard wanted to find an event that approaches customer communication the way UserVoice does. When he couldn’t find anything relevant, the team organized UserConf 2012, the conference about keeping your customers happy. Over 200 people showed up to learn how to give customer care. Watch Richard give his exceptional keynote presentation here.

2. Bundle Features
One of the first pieces of advice a new entrepreneur hears is to launch early, update often and iterate. A startup hoping to pave the road into a new market and stay ahead of competitors might benefit from this advice, but it might not always be the right route for a startup that wants to have an impact in tech media.

“Pushing out small features here and there doesn’t make for good marketing,” says Richard. He advocates that startup founders bundle features together in hopes of getting coverage from more media and reaching a bigger audience.

3. Mobilize your Supporters
Richard isn’t worried about the launch; the tweets have been queued and coverage planned. During the launch, Richard plans to do whatever he can in the heat of the moment. “On launch day you worry about who is going to upvote you or retweet you. It’s an timing game,” says Richard. “You have a window to gain momentum. If you miss that window it’s a lost opportunity. You have to be good at mobilizing your supporters.”

What launch strategies do you have? We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below.

Congratulations to UserVoice on the milestone! Read more about UserVoice’s launch in their press release, blog or news coverage.

Want to learn more about @UserVoice? Connect with Richard on Twitter @rrwhite

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6 Comments

  1. Richard, first of all congrats! I hope everything went well for you launch day. I totally agree that, “You have to be good at mobilizing your supporters.” Big bummer though, that’s really hard. I try to find incentives to get my support team into action.

  2. “People don’t care about your press release.” +1

    • Our PR team is going to kill me :)

      I don’t so much have a problem with putting out press releases. I have a problem when you think of them as the alpha and omega of PR. It’s just one part of what should be a much bigger plan and story.

      • Maybe, or they might agree that a press release should really cover newsworthy items of substance, -which is easier to facilitate with a clear story, direction (narrative) and planned course.

      • Hahah, of course, and that’s often missed by startup founders. There is much more to PR than a press release.

  3. This makes me sad, “Basically the (online, tech) press is less democratized than it was a few years ago where you had many bloggers with smaller audiences,” but it is so true.

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