Case Study for Subtext
Impressions in 1-year
Proactive media briefings in 1-year
Articles feature key messages
The social media landscape is constantly changing with the whims of Big Tech. New platforms pop onto the scene and traditional outlets struggle to stay relevant as demographics shift and habits adjust. The online world is a treasure trove of information, but can also be cluttered, noisy and algorithm-driven, preventing important material from reaching its intended audience. The pendulum is swinging away from public posting to favoring more intimate social sharing, either one-on-one or with smaller community groups.
Subtext, the fourth product from Alpha Group, the in-house tech and media incubator for Advance, was founded in 2019 to cut through the clutter of social media, din of email newsletters and distraction of online advertising. Subtext aims to help subscribers connect with the personalities and subject matter they care most about in the same intimate way they would with friends or family: through text messaging. By creating a text chat experience, Subtext content creators and subscribers can forge deeper and more fruitful connections with their audiences, and benefit from direct access to the insights and information they want to share with one another. With 98% of US adults using SMS, brands, media companies, athletes, musicians and creators using Subtext can reach every demographic, even those without internet access.
Subtext hired Karbo Communications in 2019 to launch the company and platform from stealth, educate the market and drive high impact brand communications that accelerated business growth. Following the successful launch, the Karbo team focused on driving brand awareness and thought leadership within the publisher community, educating the market on the importance and value of Subtext as a vital line of connection between reporters and their audiences. Subtext now partners with some of the biggest names in publishing like USA Today, Vanity Fair, and CNET.
As Subtext continued to grow, the team focused on expanding brand awareness in additional verticals including the creator economy, entertainment, athletics and politics. Through customer case stories, proactive media campaigns, thought leadership article development and placement, targeted speaking opportunities and award wins, Karbo Communications has helped elevate Subtext’s profile within its target vertical markets, supporting rapid business growth. Karbo Communications has also supported media, customer and partner relationships on behalf of the brand. Today, Subtext works with household names like Sony Music, Conde Nast, INFLCR, and Countable.
“We’ve had a multi-year partnership with Karbo Communications to support PR and marketing efforts. The team has continued to be a tenacious advocate for our brand and a trusted PR resource. Their aggressive media efforts have directly contributed to sales and company growth and they’ve consistently delivered impactful results.”
– Mike Donoghue, co-founder and CEO of Subtext
- Successfully launch the Subtext platform and attract a diverse and vibrant community of hosts and subscribers
- Following the launch, continue momentum for Subtext and executives through media engagements, awards, and creative marketing programs
- Secure high-value media introductions and generate strategic coverage of the company, product, leadership team, and vision
- Offer compelling and authentic thought leadership on industry topics that help Subtext’s key audiences make sense of trends
- Clearly differentiate Subtext from competitors
- Expand brand awareness into key verticals: creator economy, politics, athletics, tech, and journalism
- Position Subtext as the premier texting platform that gives content creators, athletes, publishers, activists and politicians an avenue to engage with their audiences in a meaningful way, while also benefiting from a subscription revenue model
Over the course of our multi-year relationship, Karbo Communications launched the company from stealth and has continued to educate the market on the product’s uniqueness and value. Karbo Communications focused on creating differentiated messaging and market positioning, and aggressive pursuit of high-value media and recognition opportunities. Following the company’s public launch, Karbo Communications continued the momentum by positioning executives in the thought leadership trend conversations that matter most to their audiences.
As Subtext grew into more verticals, so did the Karbo team’s media outreach efforts. Working closely with Subtext’s co-founders and head of marketing, Karbo Communications drew on customer testimonials, product innovation and insightful trend analysis to build on the SMS platform’s brand awareness in the creator economy, political sphere, sports industry, and news business. Through high impact bylines penned by Subtext’s CEO Mike Donoghue covering creator trends in top-tier publications like Fortune and other written opportunities for David Cohn, Chief Strategy Officer & Co-Founder of Subtext, in key publishing outlets like Poynter covering the relationship between journalism and Big Tech, Subtext’s executives have become sought after industry experts. In addition, the Karbo team pursued proactive story angles and opportunistic press that aligned with Subtext’s value propositions to further position the texting platform as an innovative and profitable outlet for a diverse range of creators.
Mike Donoghue, co-founder and CEO of Subtext, said “We’ve had a multi-year partnership with Karbo Communications to support PR and marketing efforts. The team has continued to be a tenacious advocate for our brand and a trusted PR resource. Their aggressive media efforts have directly contributed to sales and company growth and they’ve consistently delivered impactful results.”
Throughout the course of the relationship and through aggressive and ongoing media outreach, thought leadership, influencer outreach, and content development campaigns, Karbo Communications has secured 67 proactive media briefings and 123 placements, generating over 1.14B impressions in the business, technology, media and advertising publications that reach Subtext’s core audiences. Karbo Communications has also developed winning submissions, which earned Subtext recognition at the Insider Top Creator Economy Startups in NYC and the 2022 Digiday Technology Awards for “Best Subscription Platform.”
From a new business development perspective, Karbo Communications has researched key targets and supported outreach efforts, securing interest from 27 personalities to join the platform in one month.
At the start of the relationship, Karbo Communications recommended a proactive media tour in New York City to give executives an opportunity to make media introductions and establish important relationships with key press leading up to the launch. Outreach efforts resulted in 18 proactive media interviews with top publications like Fortune Magazine, TechCrunch, and MediaPost. Karbo Communications also recommended and facilitated joint-press interviews for Subtext and well-known media customers. Securing coverage from the Wall Street Journal, Digiday, and Forbes helped lend further credibility and drove increased sales for Subtext.
In an effort to further position Subtext as the go-to resource for creators, Karbo Communications leveraged key success metrics from Subtext COVID-19 campaigns to secure interviews with influential publications, resulting in 10+ proactive media placements. Karbo Communications also pursued highly targeted podcast opportunities including the Business of Content podcast and It’s All Journalism podcast for the CEO and co-founder to discuss how local and national media organizations have used the platform during the pandemic to engage in meaningful dialogue with their audiences and build upon existing trust. The Subtext team said the podcast opportunities have generated direct new business leads for the company.
Through the course of the partnership, Karbo Communications executed an aggressive thought leadership program and secured over 53 high impact byline and commentary opportunities in top tier publications like Fortune, Inc., and Fast Company, as well as placements in vertical outlets such as Poynter, Nieman Lab, MediaPost, and What’s New In Publishing. The byline topics further positioned company executives as authorities on important and timely trends in the digital media market.
Additionally, Karbo Communications helped to secure diverse coverage highlighting Subtext’s partnerships and customers stories. In August 2021, Karbo Communication worked with Subtext to announce their partnership with INFLCR, securing broadcast coverage on Cheddar and in top tier sports publications such as Business of College Sports, On3, and SportTechie. Karbo Communications also worked with Subtext to leverage Grace Lowe, Political Director of Sales, as an expert in 10DLC policy securing her byline in Fast Company. Furthermore, Karbo Communications efforts landed Mike on The Information Creator Economy Database, one of the industry’s top resources serving millions of individuals making money off their online followings.