The app was described by Robert Scoble as, “the stupidest, most addictive app I’ve ever seen in my life”, and promptly went viral with a million subscribers in just 4 days.
Ayelet set up Blonde 2.0 in 2006, well before social media had become ubiquitous, realising the potential in this growing, but misunderstood resource.
Having been raised in New York City, she moved to Israel in 2000 to work in Israel’s startup nation. While her adopted home were leaders of the pack in technical R&D, marketing wasn’t its strong suit. Blonde 2.0 slotted nicely into that niche.
Over time, Blonde 2.0 grew to specialise not only in social media and marketing, but also in PR, and business grew with every year. Blonde 2.0 works with many well known brands such as Viber, Mobli, uTest (Applause), and more recently, came the Yo! campaign. We asked: How did it get so popular?
How To Create the Perfect PR Storm
Noff wrote a step-by-step article for Venture Beat about how Yo! became the most viral app of all time. It had been created in just 8 hours by Mobli engineer Or Arbel, and was initially rejected by the App store. So how do you approach a campaign for something that stumbles at the first fence?
“I think in every campaign that you do, it’s important to think differently and not just go with the same systematic way again and again. To really look at the product and think about what would make this product rise above the noise.
With Yo! for example, the debate we had created between the people who thought it was the stupidest app they’d ever seen and the people like Marc Andreessen and Henry Blodget, and Dave Morin who said that this is the most amazing new communications tool… is what caused our PR campaign so successful.”
What’s Next? Trends in Tech
As Noff spends her days promoting new apps – she currently works with 65 different companies – she can see how tech is changing and what’s becoming a trend.
“The tech trends I’m seeing today are: Lots of futuristic products, including technologies for the connected car (Wayray) and new methods of transportation. Also, today, everyone is looking to make everything shorter and more succinct. I’m seeing many apps that are moving in that direction, for example, mail apps that educate people to write shorter emails (TL;DR) and other apps that enable you to search for stuff by just snapping a pic (Camfind). Live streaming is huge (meerkat, Hang w/), and everything is very contextual.”
Robert Scoble’s book, The Age of Context, she says illustrates really well this move towards context-based communications. Right now, there’s a boom in the startup industry, so it’s interesting to see how this will unfold over the coming years.
PR = Relationships
But PR isn’t just about getting press coverage. To be a great PR, she says, you need to be constantly thinking of your clients and be able to spot business opportunities that could help their startup grow.
As she travels to many conferences and startup tours, she always has an eye out for potential connections she can make. Making the right introduction can be the key to success for one of her clients. Reciprocity is also important.
Oftentimes, I will give them a special story because I know they’ve always been kind to us with other coverage, or just be there for them if they’re going through a hard time in their lives. It’s a relationship, it’s not just something that’s based on here I need you to write about my client.”
What Makes a PR Pro?
So what do you need to be a successful PR? Dedication, and lots of it. “PR is not a job that you start in the morning and you finish at five. It’s a job that’s ongoing because … a lot of the companies we work with are in PST so [if I get a press request] at 1am, I will need to take care of that immediately.”
Love, she says, is also at the core of great PR. If you don’t live and breathe your job, you won’t be able to handle it. You need to be very agile and dynamic to move smoothly between different projects and clients, and of course… it helps if your social skills are second-to-none.
How Can You Stand Out?
Being heard above the noise is the great challenge of good PR of course. Sending a press release into the ether is not going to gain you any help.
“I know it may sound a bit corny but just think out of the box. Don’t think about the way things have been done until today, but think of how you can change things and improve them… I think that with each product, with each campaign that we do, we look at what does this product do, what’s so cool about it, and what can we do to create a campaign that utilises some of the philosophy of this product somehow?”
Don’t always do what you’ve been taught in school she says. You can’t learn PR by rote – it’s a new adventure each time.