Dropbox recently held its first ever developer conference, a seemingly big milestone for this company. The conference seemed well attended by the press too. It also announced it had surpassed 175 million users. Dropbox smartly used milestones to get significant media coverage.
The company boldly claims it wants to become the “spiritual successor to the hard drive.” If it can continue to achieve significant milestones like these, it may have a chance. The use of milestones in PR to get attention is no secret. Firsts matter, especially when they are big firsts.
We all know about the most important first – being first to market with something significant. Once that is achieved, a company should ensure PR is aware of every milestone it thereafter, even if executive management thinks it’s small. Let your PR team decide what’s small or big from a PR perspective. What’s typically a small milestone? There are many. For example, opening a new office somewhere is often small. It may get local media attention but not widespread attention. But, if the new office is a design center set to hire hundreds of new employees, now it just became big. Another small milestone might be selling your first 1,000 units. Usually 1,000 sold of something is just a small revenue gain. It’s not likely to get a lot of attention. However, if you set out to only make 1,000 units of something you were selling for, say, $1 million each, now this milestone just became big too. You get the picture.
Big milestones are often obvious. Dropbox reaching 175 million users is big. The company having its first ever developer conference is also big. So, if you’ve sold a million of something, you may want to brag about it. Also, private companies are often reluctant to brag about big revenues but, it may be worth considering.
Often it is wise to combine milestones with other achievements. It seems Dropbox combined its first ever developer conference with achieving 175 million users to get good media attention. In this case, it seems smart to do. Boasting about 175 million users gives credibility to holding your first ever developer conference. However, in some cases you may want to split milestones and other achievements to spread your opportunities for media coverage into multiple possibilities. For example, let’s say you have one product that just surpassed 100,000 units sold. At the same time, you are launching a new product line to go after a potential market that can also sell 100,000 units, based on your research. It may be wise to tout 100,000 in sales of the one unit to give credibility to the fact you are launching another product to try and sell 100,000 for another market category. Here, one milestone – 100,000 sold – lends credibility to another – a new product line looking to also sell 100,000 units. At the same time, it may be wise to separate the two. Perhaps selling 100,000 units is just the beginning and you want to have a focus on this rather than split themes with another product line. Perhaps you simply want or need full attention on just the new product line. Themes such as these are why it’s important to ensure you PR consultant or PR team are involved.
These are good problems to have.