Sense Photonics (now Ouster Automotive), a leading global shutter flash LiDAR manufacturer that wanted to break into the automotive industry, partnered with Franco to help secure media coverage for the launch of its LiDAR platform.
Sense charged Franco with developing a media strategy to reach outlets and reporters covering the automotive, technology, business and sensor industries. The strategy included securing placements and interviews with key reporters about the platform launch, as well as positioning Sense executives as thought leaders in the automotive LiDAR market.
There were a number of industry-related challenges our team encountered during this project:
- The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which hampered Sense’s ability to have an in-person launch event and to provide media and key customers a real-life experience in an autonomous vehicle.
- The shrinking media industry, especially in automotive trades. Media, even those with specialized coverage areas, are very focused on breaking news and crises like COVID-19 and the global semiconductor shortage.
- A competitive LiDAR industry that’s been met with mergers, acquisitions and OEM partnerships that the client did not have.
These challenges created a very competitive media landscape for automotive and LiDAR coverage.
The Franco team overcame these challenges by crafting pitches to connect the company’s technology to major trends shaping the future of mobility.
Ahead of the platform announcement, we conducted an analysis of general LiDAR industry news and competitor media coverage, as well as ongoing monitoring leading up to the announcement of the platform. We analyzed each piece of coverage for information on technology, partners, contractors and investment / financial information to determine what would garner the most coverage in targeted publications. The qualitative analysis helped us establish realistic media coverage goals, identify targeted publications and reporters and determine newsworthy industry trends.
Franco implemented a media strategy that included opportunities for advance access to spokespeople, targeted pitching and broad press release distribution to help maximize coverage and awareness.
We secured 22 media placements in target publications, including Forbes and Automotive News. Franco also secured interviews with CNBC, Reuters and a podcast interview with Shift, the Automotive News mobility podcast, as well as a bylined article in TU Automotive leading up to the launch. We also coordinated pre-launch interviews with The Wall Street Journal and industry analysts from IHS Markit to build relationships with company spokespeople.
The coverage and resulting increased brand awareness achieved the goal of better positioning Sense and its executives as experts in the automotive LiDAR market.