During Thursday evening’s Excellence in New Communications Awards Gala, the Society for New Communications Research recognized Idea Grove for our work creating the Best Online Community.
The agency was recognized for work done on behalf of CA Technologies, which last year turned to us to help generate more awareness of service virtualization as a concept for better software testing and development. Idea Grove helped grow CA’s non-branded online platform, ServiceVirtualization.com.
Idea Grove Vice President of Content Mike Drago expanded the base of contributors and improved content readability. These efforts helped build the platform into one of the top online resources for the concept. This helped grow the community to more than 1,700 registered members, and the platform’s blog has more than 300 articles from nearly a dozen authors. After only eight months, the site ranked No. 2 in organic searches behind only the Wikipedia definition of the term.
Scott Baradell’s recent presentation to the Social Media Club of Dallas had it all: relevant business advice, a little controversy, a story about a Katie Couric pool party, and enough “Breaking Bad” references to blow up a meth lab. The topic “Putting PR in Front of Your Inbound Marketing Engine” not only defended PR, but also predicted a transformation in search marketing.
Baradell’s presentation referenced television’s “Breaking Bad,” whose main character, teacher-turned-methamphetamine-cooker Walter White, once told his worried wife, “I am the Danger.” Scott said, “For those who think that the PR industry is in trouble, or only knows how to pitch print journalists or only does interruption marketing, I would tell you that ‘PR is the Danger.’ ”
We have a winner! Mike Drago has won our Way to Grove Award, which recognizes members of the team who achieve notable and tangible results for clients. Mike won for his work helping to oversee a thought leadership website that has grown a sizable community and greatly increased online visibility for the client’s technology offering.
ServiceVirtualization.com was launched in April 2012 by the Application Delivery business at CA Technologies. The site focuses on a field of emerging software solutions that enable faster, better and less-expensive application development. Idea Grove was called upon to develop and oversee content on the site’s blog, which Mike began editing in October 2012. He quickly grasped both the complex technology and the community of people with an interest in it.
The site now ranks second in native search for “service virtualization” behind the Wikipedia definition. Along with the improvement in online search visibility, the ServiceVirtualization.com community has grown to thousands of members, and Twitter feeds that support the blog have nearly 1,200 followers (@svcvirt and @virtualization6).
The media buzz just keeps growing for ShopSavvy, which has been featured in hundreds of television newscasts all over the country covering the holiday shopping blitz.
ShopSavvy is an amazing story any time of the year. The leading mobile shopping assistant has been downloaded more than 20 million times by people looking for unparalleled access to products at the lowest-available prices.
In 2011, the smartphone app got even better, with new features including one-tap purchasing and social shopping, which lets users share their buying successes. ShopSavvy also got $7 million in funding from several sources, including venture investor Eduardo Saverin, who helped start Facebook. All that comes amid the steep growth in the popularity of mobile shopping.
Television stations around the country pounced on the ShopSavvy story, using b-roll footage, a digital newsroom and a promotional video, all produced under the direction of the Idea Grove. ShopSavvy executives at both of the company’s offices were interviewed by network affiliates — Alexander Muse by KTVT in Dallas and John Boyd by KNTV in San Francisco.
Media outlets across the country jumped on the news that ShopSavvy, the leading mobile shopping assistant, has secured $7 million in funding from several investors.
Among them is venture investor Eduardo Saverin, who helped start Facebook. Not surprisingly, he talked about the product with his nearly 900,000 Facebook subscribers:
“Have you tried Shopsavvy yet? If not, please do and let me know what you think! Excited to see how technology can make us more efficient consumers going forward.”
The news media got excited as well. Dozens of stories soon appeared in traditional media such as Forbes, The Dallas Morning News and San Francisco Chronicle, as well as on online heavyweights like TechCrunch, CNet, AllThingsD and Digital Media Wire.
That national exposure comes after recent stories about ShopSavvy by three high-profile broadcast and technology outlets.
On Anderson Cooper’s new daytime talk show, the highly watched host presented “How To Save A Buck,” with money coach Clark Howard. Howard introduced Cooper to ShopSavvy, “One of the ones I love, … it’s so cool.”
On GigaOm, mobile apps analyst Dr. Phil Hendrix prominently mentioned ShopSavvy in his post, Location 2.0: making dollars and sense of SoLoMo (a portmanteau of SOcial, LOcal and MObile media). Hendrix observes that ShopSavvy is “changing the way consumers shop.”
Scott Baradell's Media Orchard, the blog of Dallas public relations firm Idea Grove, holds a special place among PR and marketing blogs, having inspired or been a daily read for many of the public relations practitioners who have gone on to become the industry's social media standard-bearers. Media Orchard has been frequently cited as a resource by a wide range of websites and bloggers, including Gawker, Copyblogger, Romenesko, Adrants, Brian Solis, Marketing Profs and many others.