Becoming Pandemic-Relevant: Helping Audio Brand Edifier Take Center Stage For WFH

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, client Edifier and GreenRoom realized how important affordable earbuds, headphones, and desktop speakers would become in this new work from home era. 

To make Edifier a much buzzed about WFH household name, the agency introduced the brand as providers for solutions to common work at home/school at home noise and audio problems to consumer lifestyles outlets and showcased Edifier’s abilities to both meet new pandemic-centric demands while being affordable and accessible in a tough economy. While historically focused on CE Tech and Audio trade media for product reviews, the GreenRoom team knew that a consumer and lifestyles driven focus would help the brand gain strong visibility among the brand’s key sales demographic as a recommendation of must-have audio solutions for people who suddenly found themselves working from home or attending school from home amidst lockdowns.

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Week after week of noteworthy product reviews and media recommendations in national and regional marquee consumer lifestyles outlets, spanning across print and digital, helped the brand gain notoriety as a reliable provider of affordable, top-quality work and school at home audio devices. Over 215 pieces of media coverage were delivered to the Edifier team by GreenRoom between March and June 2020 in top lifestyles and consumer outlets like BuzzFeed, NBC News, and Rolling Stone. The total cumulative reach was 6.4 billion UMV over the 4-month period!

 

And there’s even more to speak of in our full case study.Get In Touch Today (Button)

In the Consumer Electronics space and need help getting your offerings across the airwaves? We’d love to work together.

Making Air Quality Monitoring Mainstream Across the Airwaves for Airthings

Before COVID had you ever considered monitoring Indoor Air Quality? Airthings has been at it since 2008 and their devices have completely changed the way people monitor and analyze cancer-causing radon and other dangerous indoor air pollutants. While they had carved out a name as a respected niche brand from a small country in a specialized industry, they also sought to get people talking about WHY they should care about the air they breathe, especially with Radon being the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. 

With this goal in mind, GreenRoom channeled the company’s passion and unique product range of smart Radon and IAQ detectors into a public relations program with a priority on premium, high-quality results that effectively conveyed the mission and overarching benefit of Airthings and its products. 2019 was also slated to be Airthings’ first CES with a robust booth presence on the show floor, and to supplement this presence, the brand needed a steady cadence of media coverage and interest leading up to the show, offering third-party validation and credibility to support the brand’s merit in CES award submissions.

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Stemming from CES efforts alone, GreenRoom secured coverage for Airthings on national broadcast segments with FOX & Friends and NBC News, airing in more than 100 markets, in addition to online coverage on Forbes, USA Today, Reviewed.com, MSN.com, and more. Additionally, Reviewed.com selected Airthings’ Wave Mini as a “CES Editors’ Choice” award winner.

GreenRoom’s compelling and thought-provoking entry for Airthings’ Wave Plus in the 2019 CES Innovation Awards resulted in the product being named an Innovation Award Honoree. Airthings’ Wave Plus was also selected as an honorable mention in the Health & Wellness category for Fast Company’s 2019 “Life Changing Ideas” Awards, further cementing Airthings’ industry credibility and reputation for having a valuable impact on lives. Seeking additional third party validation from venerable media outlets, GreenRoom crafted an entry that ultimately led to the Wave Plus earning the distinction of one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2019.

And there’s even more to speak of in our full case study.

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In the Consumer Electronics space and need help getting your offerings across the airwaves? We’d love to work together.

Peripherals and PR: Helping Roccat Climb the Gaming Accessory Leaderboard

When gamers seek computer peripherals for a competitive edge, what brands immediately come to mind? GreenRoom ensured ROCCAT would be one of them. The company designs and manufacturers gaming peripherals by combining German engineering and a genuine passion for gaming. At this point it had developed its first-ever keyboard switch that delivers industry-leading speeds to gamers: the Titan Switch Tactile [BM5] — soon to feature on its upcoming flagship keyboard, the Vulcan. 

Combined with the introduction of its proprietary AIMO RGB lighting tech, ROCCAT needed an integrated communications strategy to gain share of voice in the market. Over the course of 8 months, GreenRoom highlighted the brand’s innovations and industry-leading technology in the gaming and technology vertical markets.

GreenRoom’s work helped garner inclusions in nearly every top-tier gaming and technology outlet including Tom’s Guide, IGN, TechRadar, PC Mag, PC Gamer, PC World, Polygon, Mashable, Engadget, CNET, MSN and more, aiding in the sell-through of the overall product line.

With over a year’s work, it all culminated in over 2 billion impressions and a quarter million in comparative ad value – not including web, the bulk of earned media. The Vulcan 120 was also awarded the prestigious 2019 iF Design Award after it was nominated following agency-developed submissions, marking a first for ROCCAT. With the company’s profile raised within the media, entrenched competitor Turtle Beach acquired the brand soon after.

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With over a year’s work, it all culminated in over 2 billion impressions and a quarter million in comparative ad value – not including web, the bulk of earned media. The Vulcan 120 was also awarded the prestigious 2019 iF Design Award after it was nominated following agency-developed submissions, marking a first for ROCCAT. With the company’s profile raised within the media, entrenched competitor Turtle Beach acquired the brand soon after.

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In the Consumer Electronics space and need help adding a competitive edge to your brands communications? We’d love to work together.

 

How GreenRoom Helped Red Vines Become a Visionary, Confectionary Leader

How does an iconic candy brand like Red Vines stand out in a crowded confectionary industry space? GreenRoom found the solution by working closely with Red Vines’ marketing team to create a unique, never-before-done product that would get the attention of media brand fans. Known for their popular Super Rope, GreenRoom opted for the adage, “Bigger is Better” and helped the team develop a 50-foot long Red Vines Super Rope to commemorate National Licorice Day.

GreenRoom leveraged the lengthy treat in custom media boxes and event activations that showcased the beloved brand’s sense of fun, innovation in the candy marketplace, and 100+ year old history. Carrying the initiative further, GreenRoom helped bring Red Vines’ creativity and whimsy to the industry’s most impactful tradeshow, Sweets and Snacks Expo (SASE), to help unveil new products ahead of the busiest confectionary buy-in season of the year.

Roping in the results.

The results? GreenRoom positioned Red Vines as a visionary candy brand leader. The agency secured the brand a steady flowing stream of top tier media results with outlets like People Magazine, Oprah.com, Hello Giggles, Us Weekly, Delish, Tastemade, SimpleMost, Bustle, The Daily Meal, and Reader’s Digest as well as coveted trades like Candy Industry Magazine, Candy & Snack Today and many more. 

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The measurement of sweet success stemming from the agency’s tailored outreach and creative planning over the course of 16 months looks a bit like this: 

  • 1,487,046,750 total online impressions 
  • 11,519,589 total circulation 
  • $1,151,227 print and broadcast comparative ad value

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In the Food and Beverage space and need help adding some sweetness to your brand? We’d love to work together.

 

GreenRoom Nominated as Finalists For 3 Innovation SABRE Awards!

As we continue to pace toward a better year for 2021, we’re ecstatic that we’ve received nominations for Provoke Media’s Innovation SABRE Awards (North America) across three categories!

We’re floored by the results we were able to achieve for our clients through periods of global uncertainty which included our work with:

  • AirThings on “Humidity Heroes: Airthings Condair team to slow disease progression” for Healthcare / Pharmaceutical / Health-tech
  • American Licorice Company on “Sweet & Sour sides of YouTube & TikTok” for Crowdsourcing and Co-creating
  • Ogden’s Own distillery on “Relief for Utah’s Service Industry and Sanitization for the Navajo Nation” for Best in Digital/Print Media – Regional (Earned)

We look forward to results on February 24th and wish good luck to all!

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GreenRoom Recognized in 2020 Best Places to Work by PRWeek

Closing out the year in spectacular fashion, the agency was honored in the 8th annual awards program by the leading industry organization, PR Week.  As stated by the award criteria, internal development, compensation, camaraderie and employee support have always been key issues for the judges. This year these qualities are all viewed through the lens of COVID-19. Organizations’ response to the unique circumstances of an unprecedented year factored heavily on the honorees selected.  

“It’s always appreciated and noteworthy, as is the case with this firm, when employees note their agency is all about good people and good work,” commented one judge. “And they clearly did a remarkable job protecting jobs during COVID and emphasizing diversity and inclusive efforts.” 

GreenRoom was among six other honorees in the Small Agency category.

While a difficult year for obvious reasons, the GreenRoom team persevered with exceptional work that was recognized by the venerable Shorty Social Good Awards, two wins from the Bulldog PR awards, and nominations from the In2 Innovation Sabre Awards as well as a nomination from PR Week for Outstanding Boutique Agency.

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GreenRoom Recognized in the 5th Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

GreenRoom is honored to be among the other finalists in the 5th Annual Shorty Social Good Awards. The awards program is designed to honor the best of social and digital media and as a finalist in the “Real-Time Response” category, demonstrates the agency’s approach to always-on programming within our social and digital programs. This year was quite unique with our brands leaning on us more than ever in the midst of crisis, and by showing them we could be as nimble to support their pivots to help them support their communities was an extremely rewarding silver lining in an otherwise devastating year for so many. 

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Working with Ogden’s Own, the largest independent distillery in Utah, the brand heavily relied on the local food and beverage community to serve their products at bars and restaurants. The company could have easily halted operations and cut expenses when this revenue stream cratered but instead, on the wings of its rock-solid leadership and a compassion to do right by everyone possible, Ogden’s Own took matters into its own hands. Working closely with GreenRoom to help them achieve something remarkable: a full-scale shift in operations towards supporting their local and regional community to weather the storm and make it through COVID-19. You can read more in our case study here

From March-May 2020 alone, GreenRoom achieved 25+ individual pieces of broadcast coverage spanning television, radio and podcasts, 20+ pieces of print coverage in leading regional newspapers and magazines, 75+ online placements, and 80+ million combined digital impressions, print readers and households reached. As momentum snowballed regionally, national media outlets soon caught wind of what the distillery was doing and the lengths they were going to selflessly help others. Soon, GreenRoom was able to transform this word-of-mouth into nationally-facing media coverage with outlets including Fodor’s, The Takeout, Grit Daily and more. 

GreenRoom’s Digital Team likewise played a critical role as a mouthpiece for the brand. The social pages exploded and from March-May 2020, generating 5+ million impressions (a 1,068% increase from the same time last year), 330,000+ engagements (a 645% increase), drove 24,000+ consumers to Ogden’s Own’s distributor’s website (a 533% increase) and increased Ogden’s Own’s social follower base by 15,000+ (a 4,162% increase). As part of the agency’s community management, several incoming messages of gratitude, brand loyalty, enthusiasm, and product demand for the brand abounded! 

This nomination comes on the heels of winning two Bulldog Awards earlier in the year for Best Issue/Cause Advocacy Campaign and Best Visual Storytelling Campaign, a true testament to the agency’s relentless pursuit of innovative campaigns and exceedingly strong media relations.

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100 Virtual Media Briefings and Key Trends

Like most agencies, we’ve always found an in-person media tour to be a fantastic way to maintain strong connections with our media partners while offering an opportunity for us to have deeper insight into the stories they are planning to tell. While coffee dates are nice, they’re largely a thing of the past given the reduced staff, virtual newsrooms and ever-growing need to pump out content to garner steady viewership. To make it worth the journalist’s time, we design our tours to be high-impact in terms of the topics we cover and products we show while also blending in a personal touch. Nothing is better than knowing a recent child’s birthday or major milestone like a wedding or engagement to kick off a conversation!

While different this year we also saw a unique opportunity to take the New York desk side concept much further and not be bound by geography when briefing media. We wanted to share a recipe that has yielded success as well as key media takeaways after crossing the 100th briefing!

Get In Touch Today (Button)Recipe for Success

Build an interactive platform that will keep the media engaged. When we conduct these meetings in person, we not only have products with us for live demos but leave behind a highly stylized printed resource as a reminder of what they saw and several topical story ideas. To make it virtual, we used a combination of custom video content from our studio, GIFs and topic-based story ideas to keep the presentations flowing freely with strong visual content. We hosted these resources on the back end of our website with password protections for products that were under embargo to give the media the ability to revisit as they were looking for other ideas.

We found a mix of media members who wanted product in-hand for the demos and others who were content to chat with us and request what they liked the most. We were more than happy to accommodate either, which helped ensured we booked more meetings by being flexible.

 

Key Media Trends

Money talks: A much stronger strategic link between editorial and e-commerce is currently in play than we have seen in the past. Beyond the common editorial calendar and the more traditional storytelling designed to gain traction with an audience, we are seeing far greater attention to products and stories that are also more likely to drive purchasing especially as we embark on a very different kind of holiday season as a result of the global pandemic. As affiliate relationships continue to be pervasive and seek to replace ad revenue that has been lost over several years, there is far greater attention to a hybrid of storytelling with revenue opportunities. Pitching through that lens is already yielding much more visible pieces within the media and will surely continue through the holiday gifting season.

 

Dead beats: Another quite common sentiment we heard over the last several weeks of briefings was “I typically cover XYZ, but due to Covid-19, I’m also covering ABC.” While the days of the singular beat appear to have become more of a rarity than the norm, it was also made clear that stories still needed to suit the outlet even if the writer was covering a wider range of topics. As such, we have found even more opportunities for brand storytelling and product reviews with media but that doesn’t replace the PR professional from still paying close attention to the tone and typical stories an outlet covers. Expanded coverage areas doesn’t preclude effective media relations!

 

As so many of us continually innovate to serve our clients with expanded or pivoted programming, it remains comforting to know that few things can replace a strong media relationship built on trust, paying attention and asking the right questions to connect the dots for your brands.

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Digital Marketing for the 2020 Holiday Season

This will be a very unique holiday season, to say the least. With a large part of the population being conditioned to stay-at-home and thus shift their normal spending habits– how should brands be pivoting now, ahead of the holiday season?

Consumers are expected to be doing a larger portion of their spending online. In fact, Barron’s predicts an 80% increase in eCommerce holiday spending in 2020 compared to 2019. Therefore, brands should be focusing much of their time and energy making sure their online consumer experiences are streamlined and innovative. Brands should be taking a hard look at their current website, making sure is it both compelling and SEO friendly. Digital advertisers should be buttoning up their holiday season ad plans now, with a large focus on search and display to stand out from the saturated e-commerce market.

Consumer messaging will also look a bit different this year and brands need to be extra careful to not come across as tone-deaf across their platforms. Now more than ever, brands need to be listening closely to their key audiences, compiling first-party data that can be used to create their highly-customized content strategy. Think about the very different lifestyles your audiences are currently living this year and make sure to meet them where they are. If you are selling electronics, discuss why your product is the best for connecting with distant loved ones. If you are selling educational resources, discuss why your product is the best for teaching at home. Transparency will also reign, so be very proactive and upfront with your consumers about any shipping delays or product inventory issues to prevent a crisis and protect your brand image.

Brands should also use this holiday season as an opportunity to capitalize on consumers buying more items and experiences they anticipate will be useful in 2021. Sell the excitement of what is around the corner, provide your target audiences with practical support during this time of need, and share some holiday spirit in a time where spirits are significantly down.

No one can predict what the rest of 2020 will look like. While digital marketers may need to manage many uncertainties in Q4, it is clear that the industry as a whole is seeing immense growth this year. As consumer buying behavior shifts heavily online, refining your brand’s online presence, creating a tailored content strategy and allocating significant ad spend to eCommerce are all key for a successful holiday season.

Need help with your Digital Marketing Strategy for the upcoming holiday season? Send us an email at Digital@GRNRM.com and let’s get planning!

Interning During a Pandemic

Interning under normal circumstances has its own set of challenges. Interning during a pandemic is a crash course for adaptation. This summer at GreenRoom, we thought it was paramount to provide opportunities for young marketing professionals and  the hope of a bright future during uncertain times. Below, our summer 2020 interns give us a personal look into what it’s like interning during a pandemic.  

Ally Bush

College: University of Miami ‘21 

Major: Marketing and Management 

Dream Career: In-house Marketing for a Plant-based Food & Beverage Company 

In the beginning of March of 2020 I was happily living in Seville, Spain with a host family while studying abroad at Universidad Pablo de Olavide. My days were filled with exploring the city on public transportation, making friends from across the world in my international business classes, and taking off to travel to European destinations I had dreamt of forever on the weekends. During this time, I was also in communication with a connection of my father’s who was helping me seek out Marketing / PR summer internship opportunities abroad. I was very excited about the opportunity to expand my knowledge of international business, the Spanish language, and the marketing industry in general. However, as Covid-19 became more and more of a threat, my fellow study abroad friends and I were instructed to return home to the United States from Spain. Though I was heartbroken to leave the city that was beginning to feel like a second home to me, I knew that the safety of myself and everyone around me was at risk and I needed to return to the US.  

 

Once back in my hometown in Rhode Island, I completed my courses from my Spanish school online while also scouring the web for any and all Marketing-related internships in the United States that were still hiring for the summer of 2020. I was very hopeful when I found the job posting for the role of social media intern at GreenRoom. When I interviewed with Jackie, GreenRoom’s Integrated Account Manager, on the phone, my excitement about the internship only grew. Her optimism about the opportunities in the marketing industry despite the international threat of Covid-19 on jobs everywhere made me feel comforted. Towards the end of my academic year, I was notified that GreenRoom had gotten the green light to re-enter their office space. I was thrilled to hear this news because, although I have had several internship and job opportunities prior to this summer, most of them have been for smaller companies or startups where I would work remotely or from UM’s campus. I knew that I wanted the experience of being physically in an office and was very happy to learn that the Covid-19 pandemic had not ruined the potential of that experience.  

 

Soon after finishing my online exams, I moved from Rhode Island to Miami to be close to the office for the summer. At first, walking into an office with a mask on, keeping a six feet distance from others and not being able to shake the other employees’ hands felt very strange but in the past week since being here, it has begun to feel much more normal. Despite the physical distance and safety precautions we have been following, the GreenRoom team has made me feel very welcome in the office and I am eager for a summer full of learning from them.

 

Talon Smith

College: University of Miami ‘22 

Major: Creative Advertising and Computer Sciences 

Dream Career: UX and Graphic Designer 

 

How can I describe interning at GreenRoom this summer? Amazing. In February, I had already secured an internship for the summer and then COVID-19 started to spread and it had been canceled. I was trying to apply anywhere I could for a position, but most places were canceling internships as well. Many of my colleagues had faced the reality that they would not be able to work this summer, and I was just about ready to join them in an unproductive summer at home. Then in April, I had gotten an email from GreenRoom asking for an interview with me. From there the process was simple and I am doing exactly what I want to this summer, an internship at a fabulous agency. 

  

I had already begun working from home for my job during the academic year, so transitioning to working online for GreenRoom was a breeze. I was set up with all of the programs and went to work. However, it was a bit odd to chat with people that I had never met in person before. I had been getting feedback on my work from people who had just seemed like icons on Slack at the time. When I started the position, I had been assured that when the CDC said we were able to do so, I would be coming into the office to work. Yet, it had seemed like the pandemic was not getting better, and I feared that I would never get the complete internship experience of working in the office. 

  

When Miami started to open up and I was presented with the opportunity to work in person, I was extremely relieved. Going in for the first time was almost surreal. I was finally going to be able to accomplish my goals for the summer and improve my skills, even if I did need to wear a mask most of the time. Because of this internship, I am ahead of so many of my peers who were planning on working on personal projects all summer, but in reality, they are just sitting on the couch watching Netflix most of the time. I cannot express how thankful I am for this experience and I hope to turn all of this positive energy into meaningful work. 

Gaby Acherman

College: University of Miami ‘22 

Major: Interactive Media and Marketing 

Dream Career: Work at a Digital Marketing Agency 

 

When I started applying to internships during the pandemic, I felt that it was hopeless with everything going on in the world. I thought, “Who would hire me in the middle of this world crisis?”. However, for me it is always better to do something, rather than just wait around for things to happen. Therefore, I decided to go ahead and apply to different internships, one of them being GreenRoom. I remember I was very anxious, since I didn’t know if anything would come out of it, but I always hoped it would. I even emailed my advisor, who helped me apply, saying if people were still hiring because I was very skeptical about the situation. About a week after I applied, I got an email from GreenRoom saying that they wanted to interview me, and I was very nervous and excited at the same time. When they told me that I got the internship, I could not believe that I actually had one. Everyone I knew had said that all of their internships were cancelled or were not hearing back from companies, which only made things more exciting. 

  

The weeks leading to the internship were filled with anxiety and excitement at the same time, since I didn’t know how the internship was going to work. How was I supposed to do something without having someone there to guide me? How would the internship work if everything was done 100% online? How will I be able to build a working relationship with the team? Yet, these questions were quickly put to rest when the first day started. While anxiety was getting the best of me in the beginning, the team was very patient and explained how everything was going to play out. It was all very new, but they made the transition very easy. Our first week at the office could not have been better. When we came into the office, everyone was very nice to us and explained how they were following the safety guidelines and how we should be taking care of ourselves. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with how everything turned out. While interning during a pandemic might have been something that I was very worried about, the team was very patient and made it super easy to transition during the whole process.