Doing The Last-Second Launch Hokey-Pokey

You know how to do the Hokey Pokey, right? You’re in, you’re out, you shake things up and spin around. Finally, you end up right back where you started, but with newfound satisfaction: “That’s what it’s all about.”

Sometimes, that’s exactly how a press release goes.

Caster knows these steps well. Last month, a client had a major opportunity with less than a week of lead time, and we were ready to dance.

Whole Self In


Late on a Friday afternoon, Caster client Trident IoT called us with some big news: Todd Pedersen was leading a funding round for the company and joining the board of directors.

Yes, that Todd Pedersen – founder of Vivint; Forbes, Fortune and Bloomberg profile subject; Silicon Slopes Hall of Fame Inductee; and, of course, star of the Undercover Boss series finale.

Pedersen’s investment in Trident IoT was a major proof point for the young silicon and engineering services provider. Caster had helped Trident IoT launch less than six months prior, with the goal of helping IoT manufacturers using any RF technology bring successful products to market faster. As the founder of Vivint and Vivint Solar, Pedersen has pioneered significant growth in the U.S. connected security and smart home industries. He knows exactly what it takes to innovate and bring new solutions to market. His belief in Trident IoT and presence on the board is an important signal to the industry that the company can live up to its mission.

This was perfect news to share at ISC West, an event where both the target media for this news and Trident IoT’s potential customers would be concentrated. Here’s the catch: ISC West would kick off the following Tuesday. Trident IoT wanted to announce this funding round in time for the Z-Wave reception at ISC West on Thursday evening, as Z-Wave silicon and U.S.-based testing and certification are central to Trident IoT’s initial product offerings.

Caster had less than four business days to develop a launch strategy, release and assets for a significant announcement. Fortunately, we had the foundational messaging we developed for the initial Trident IoT launch to build on. We scrapped weekend plans and threw ourselves into prep. By noon on Monday, Trident IoT was reviewing the first draft of the release, and the Caster team was strategizing how to secure coverage with much of the media already decamped to ISC West.

Whole Self Out

Trident IoT pulled the emergency brake the day before the planned release: They weren’t ready to commit to a Thursday announcement. This happens. Sometimes, you need to pause and take a moment to be sure the messaging is exactly right, the stakeholders are aligned, and the timing makes sense.

It can feel a little anticlimactic to exit “emergency release mode” without executing the planned media outreach, but the preparation is never wasted. The announcement will still be news when the time is right, and the advance drafting, list-building, and strategizing always pay dividends.


Whole Self In; Shake It All About

Things changed again mid-afternoon on Thursday. Final approval for all aspects of the release came through, and Trident IoT was ready to announce the deal—right at that moment. Specifically, they wanted the news out before the ISC West Z-Wave reception, which was slated to kick off in just a few hours.

Normally, we lay some groundwork for significant announcements, offering the news to key media under embargo and arranging briefings with our top targets. However, in this case, there was no time for finesse. Trident IoT needed to talk freely about the deal at the onsite event, and they we willing to trade same-day coverage volume for speed.

We moved rapidly to finalize the press kit assets. Despite the urgency, communications with the Trident IoT team were spotty: an unavoidable side effect of onsite meetings at ISC West and dead zone-riddled Las Vegas venues. In this scenario, it pays to have a PR agency that knows you as well as your internal team. When we were able to connect, approvals were rapid. We made it from release approval to distribution in less than an hour.

Turn Yourself Around

With all our internal resources in order, it was time to face the media and the public. Caster issued a same-day wire release and began furiously pitching our proprietary media lists. As coverage began rolling in, we helped the Trident IoT team draft and cross-promote social media posts celebrating the news. We also coordinated with client Z-Wave Alliance to further amplify the announcement on their channels.

We pivoted smoothly. The outward appearance was of an announcement purposefully orchestrated and timed to make a splash at ISC West.


What It’s All About

By Friday, in some ways, we were back where we started: moving forward with the Q2 Trident IoT media outreach and release strategy. Trident IoT has big plans for the next few months, and the excitement around the funding news doesn’t change the importance of what’s still to come.

The funding announcement did, however, act as a fantastic media touchpoint, reminding our target audience of Trident’s mission and reinforcing the company’s bona fides. Our furious preparation paid off, just like we knew it would:

  • The fundraising announcement garnered 34 unique stories in two days, including tier-one investment press Fortune Term Sheet, Yahoo! Finance, Benzinga, and Morningstar.
  • Total unique visitors monthly (UVM) for the outlets covering the news exceeded 92M people.
  • We scored pervasive coverage across all targeted industry verticals, including investment, smart home, IoT, and embedded technology media.

Most importantly, this outreach set us up for success for our next campaign. This week, Trident IoT announced a new Z-Wave silicon solution, the first ever to offer support for Z-Wave Long Range in the EU. All our top targets accepted the news in advance under embargo, and we were able to secure pre-briefs with key journalists. Our investment news broke the ice: When we reached out to the media to share our silicon news, they were already paying attention.

👏🏻 That’s 👏🏻 What 👏🏻 It’s 👏🏻 All 👏🏻 About.

Rachel Bradshaw

Vice President of Account Services

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