Walker Sands Helps Location-Based Job App Become a Runaway Hit with iPhone Users
AirRun is an iPhone app that simplifies day-to-day tasks by connecting users in a location-based community job hub. AirRun transforms the experience of personal commerce by enabling users to outsource jobs of all types and sizes, from deliveries to projects to items, while providing a multitude of job opportunities to those looking for work. The iPhone application connects a community of“Seekers” and “Runners” in order to facilitate these transactions.
AirRun came to Walker Sands with a mobile app that had not yet been released to the public. The company was in the midst of finalizing the iPhone version of the app and wanted to launch it before the peer-to-peer commerce space became overly saturated. AirRun sought a way to spread the word to consumers across the globe and establish credibility to potential investors.
AirRun consisted of four childhood friends in the midst of bootstrapping their entire operation. They needed a way to gain early traction in the market through new user downloads while building the credibility needed to attract additional investment capital. AirRun specifically needed to increase awareness among consumers to show them that a service such as AirRun could be extremely useful a number of situations in life.
Walker Sands established a timeline for AirRun’s launch, suggesting that AirRun first perform a beta test of the app to work out bugs before officially launching to the public. In the meantime, Walker Sands conducted a comprehensive competitive analysis on emerging competitors who were set to launch after AirRun. Walker Sands also began immediately tapping into relationships with technology reporters, bloggers, and other mainstream media outlets to establish the best way to position AirRun, and then crafted the startup’s messaging.
Because AirRun benefits two separate audiences – “Runners” and “Seekers” – Walker Sands was tasked with highlighting the most important benefits of each and positioning AirRun in a way that would showcase those benefits: What is the most noteworthy aspect of AirRun? What would make someone want to use AirRun? What problem(s) does AirRun solve? From there, Walker Sands was able to craft an initial launch announcement that highlighted the features that made AirRun unique.
The first big global PR push announcing AirRun was timed to go out at the same time that the app was available in the Apple App Store. This was done in order to satisfy an immediate demand: AirRun wanted consumers to be able to download the app as soon as they heard about it.
"The goal was to hit the early adopter crowd in the high tech spaces, while still reaching the everyday consumer media in the mainstream press."
Walker Sands formulated a strategy to conduct highly targeted media outreach to early technology adopters, as well as localized outreach to individual markets across the country to let consumers know the app was coming to their town. The goal was to hit the early adopter crowd in the high tech spaces, while still reaching the everyday consumer media in mainstream press.
Throughout the next month, Walker Sands focused on continual media outreach to keep the momentum going. Emphasis was placed on demonstrating ways in which the app could be used so that journalists could make a real world connection to AirRun. Walker Sands also set up interviews between the media and AirRun’s founder so that he was able to share his unique story: how an idea he was forced to come up with to avoid failing an iPhone development class in college resulted in a successful iPhone app startup company.
Additionally, Walker Sands worked with AirRun to find app users to act as spokespeople in cities across the country. Walker Sands coordinated interviews between the reporters, AirRun spokespeople, and AirRun’s founder to add another dimension to the stories written about AirRun. Walker Sands continued this snowball effect of media outreach to help grow AirRun’s user base. The results of these efforts were extremely successful in such a short period of time.
Within just two months, Walker Sands achieved over 161 million impressions for AirRun. There were over 10,000 downloads and about 500 jobs completed during that time.
AirRun’s media coverage ranged from mainstream media outlets to top-tier technology blogs. Some of the outlets include: Mashable, Wired, CNN Money, Sacramento Bee, Denver Post, MSN Tech & Gadgets, Austin Business Journal, Dallas Morning News, Fox Business, Social Times, Yahoo! News, All Things Digital, Tech Cocktail, IntoMobile, as well as global coverage in the UK and Australia.
Initial traction of their concept had been demonstrated and the coverage from top media outlets has led to several key investor meetings. Today the app continues to grow and expand and several hyper local marketing campaigns are underway.