One of our jobs as PR people is to keep on top of local trends. We noticed a growing number of app developers here so we suggested that one of our clients, Ford of Canada, should capitalize on it.
They agreed and we were immediately at work planning a Winnipeg, Manitoba stop for Ford’s national ‘Smart Tour’ to highlight technologically innovative features on its vehicles. We’re lucky to have a client that pushes us to think of new ways to engage the public. In this case, we knew Ford was on the look out for ideas from software developers to develop new ideas for its SYNCâ„¢ and MyFord Touchâ„¢ systems.
Our idea was simple: let’s invite local web developers to a presentation on what Ford’s engineers were looking for. So we set up a Skype seminar with Doug VanDagens, Global Director for Ford Connected Service Solutions.
Leading up to the event, we knew it was key to get buzz and people talking about it. We promoted the event through a variety of forums, including widespread media (television, daily papers, college/university papers, radio, etc.), social media message boards, Twitter, developer â€œmeetup groupsâ€ and direct email pitches to independent developers, companies, and to university and college programs that might be interested in the event as well.
We invited Winnipeg app and web developers, media and tech enthusiasts including representatives from New Media Manitoba, MTS Allstream and DMT Development Systems Group Inc, to name a few.
Doug discussed and answered questions on how developers can get involved and submit ideas to Ford. Following Doug’s presentation, Michael Robins, MyFord Touchâ„¢ Facilitator, spoke about the upgrades to MyFord Touchâ„¢ and offered in-vehicle demonstrations.
In addition to achieving our main goal of spreading the word about Ford’s quest for new software ideas, we also obtained over 20 media hits for our client using social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook and secured interviews and articles with local television and print outlets. By making a global story very local, we were able to attract Winnipeg media who helped us reach a much larger audience with Ford’s story about being a technological leader.
For more information on Ford’s App Development go to: www.syncmyride.com/developer