Inferno Communications case study
Palm has significant market share in the US, but needed to drive greater awareness and market penetration for its Palm Treo smartphones in Europe.
In July 2006 the company made a high level partnership announcement with Vodafone and Microsoft, leading to the launch of Palm’s new 750v smartphone exclusively with Vodafone.
The 750v was the first Palm ‘designed for Europe’ device and the first time the company had launched a device in Europe before launching it in the US.
For Palm this was a great opportunity to re-establish the brand values in Europe and stage a ‘coming out’ party in London with the new device before rolling the launch out across Europe.
The key objectives of the campaign brief were to:
- Deliver a ‘Europe First’ launch event with very high, relevant press attendance crossing consumer, prosumer and business press, positioning Europe as the key growth market for Palm
- Utilise the launch event to re-engage with key national/Pan EMEA press to reinvigorate them about the Palm brand. The target was to get 30 UK media and 15 European media to attend.
- Achieve good press penetration for Palm’s key messages and a high volume of positive reviews of the device following launch
- Ensure that the majority of press stay for the duration of the event so that they receive both the high level messages about Palm’s strategy for Europe as a key part of the company’s plans for growth and get a detailed and comprehensive look at the launch device
Inferno needed to deliver an event that achieved objectives with several different press audiences, in addition it was likely that images of the devices would be leaked in advance of the event so Inferno needed to deliver something that would attract press to see the device but didn’t rest solely on the unveiling of the device images and functions.
Inferno used the pull of senior executives who have had limited contact with UK press in previous months to draw nationals and top tier business press to the event.
The presentations in the morning were carried out in conjunction with Vodafone and Microsoft to showcase the significance of the partnership for Europe.
In the afternoon four demo pods were set up, allowing press to see the devices being demoed by the product spokespeople.
Inferno also set up a separate Treo Tutorial briefing, which talked press through how to set up the device and some of the most useful features and functions, allowing the Palm spokespeople to highlight the competitive features of the Palm devices vs. other handsets.
Having multiple streams for the press to attend, incorporating one to ones, demos and the tutorial, meant that we had content of relevance to every target press audience and kept the press engaged with the spokespeople for longer than at a straightforward press conference. Inferno handed out devices to review press at the end of the event to encourage positive reviews to appear as quickly as possible.
In all, 54 press attended the event, 37 of them UK based and 25 ad hoc interviews took place with the senior executive team from Palm. 15 one to one media interviews took place with tier one national and trade media.
This attendance and subsequent release distribution resulted in 63 pieces of coverage in the two weeks following the event with 69 reviews now published. Moreover, 93 per cent of articles carried at least one Palm message.
The event itself garnered high praise from the journalists who attended, with 85 per cent staying for the whole day and congratulating the team on the content and execution. It also resulted in a happy client:
Roy Bedlow, VP EMEA, Palm said, “Inferno gave us sound strategic guidance on this important launch of the Treo 750v, demonstrating their understanding of the industry and the competitive market place.
“They did a fantastic of co-ordinating of the overall PR plan with our partners, Vodafone and Microsoft. The resulting media coverage and feedback were great and we are pleased to have them on board as our EMEA agency.”
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