Moving the Needle with Local PR

As an engineer, I’ve always been skeptical of tech PR.  Sure, at some point it makes sense—when your product-driven success has sparked a social and media frenzy that you need to manage.  But is it cost-effective or even possible to spark a frenzy with proactive PR?

One of the great things about running International is that each market is a petri dish where you can isolate and see the impact of various activities.  Two weeks ago I had my first undeniable proof point that local PR can move the needle.

In the Japanese market, two new Prezi books debuted in the same week as three articles were published in notable Japanese press: Nikkei Trendy, ASCII, TechCrunch.  Prezi’s Japanese weekly new registrations and trials more than doubled—the largest non-seasonal jump (e.g. fluctuation that is not the result of a holiday period) in the last several years, when larger numbers have made these kinds of multiples almost unthinkable.  And last week, these metrics remained strong, even over Easter.

This was general press—not a specific marketing campaign or the promotion of a new product or feature.  Therefore the market reaction is almost certainly attributable to the PR alone.

I don’t always need to know the exact cause of an effect.  In fact, obsessing on overly deconstructed metrics can be as misleading as blind faith—a topic of another post.  Still, a direct correlation for an often unmeasurable endeavor is comforting.


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