Case Study for Subtext




Proactive media briefings


Articles feature key messages



Consumers are inundated with messages on and offline and consume hours of content each day across social, video, news, entertainment, eCommerce, ads, and more. 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 way consumers interact with and share content is also changing. The pendulum is swinging away from public posting to favoring more intimate social sharing, either one-on-one or with smaller community groups.

Subtext was founded in 2019 to cut through the clutter of social media, din of email newsletters and distraction of online advertising, to help subscribers to 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, and benefit from direct access to the insights and information they want to share with one another. Subtext is the fourth product from Alpha Group, the in-house tech and media incubator for Advance Local. 

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.


  • 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
  • Position Subtext as the premier texting platform that gives diverse content creators an avenue to engage with their audiences in a meaningful way, while also benefiting from a subscription revenue model



Karbo Communications partnered with Subtext to launch the company from stealth and 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. 

In January 2020, Karbo Communications recommended using the platform to rally around a movement that aligned with the company’s values. This strategic recommendation sparked the Subtext team to onboard reporters during the COVID crisis to share critical updates and help them engage with their audiences in a more meaningful way. Karbo Communications proactively pitched out COVID-19 use case stories to reporters who covered digital media news and trends. By pairing the top-performing hosts and customers with the CEO and co-founder of Subtext in media interviews, Karbo Communications further positioned the platform as a trusted resource for subscribers, reporters, and other content creators. 



Mike Donoghue, 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.”

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. 

In an effort to further position Subtext as the go-to resource for content 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 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 aggressive and ongoing media outreach, thought leadership, influencer outreach, and content development campaigns, Karbo Communications has secured 40 proactive media briefings and 40 placements, generating over 22M impressions in the business, technology, media and advertising publications that reach Subtext’s core audiences. Karbo Communications also developed winning submissions, which earned CEO and co-founder, Mike Donoghue award recognition in the 2019 CEO Today USA Awards, Head of Audience Development JulieAnn McKellogg recognition in the 2020 Stevies Awards for Women in Business, and Subtext recognition as the “Best Subscription Product” by Digiday Media Awards.

Karbo Communications executed an aggressive thought leadership program and secured over 10 high impact opportunities with publications like Nieman Lab, MediaPost, What’s New In Publishing, Poynter, and more. The byline topics further positioned company executives as authorities on important and timely trends in the digital media market. 

Karbo Communications has also supported business development research and outreach efforts, securing interest from 27 personalities to join the platform in one month.

A sampling of media that have featured Subtext:

Forbes Logo
The Wall Street Journal
What's New in Publishing logo
Media Voices Podcast logo
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