T-Mobile’s creative campaign to get positive coverage from stories on the earnings calls of its key competitors earned it a first-place prize for Innovation in Media Relations in PR Daily’s 2016 Media Relations Awards—and it’s taken top honors in the “Stunt” category as well.
Already known for its disruptive campaigns and business practices, T-Mobile and Porter Novelli distributed a game board complete with rules, a personal note from celebrity CEO John Legere, and extra items e.g., (Starbucks coffee, cans of Red Bull) to journalists and analysts who cover the wireless industry. Different versions were created for each key competitor, with the focus on messages T-Mobile wanted to spread, such as one competitor’s failure to engage millennials and another’s focus on inflated subscriber numbers.
Not wanting to be left out of the fun, the team even created a game board for the organization’s own earnings call. Digital versions of the game boards were also distributed to a broader list of financial, telecom, and general business media and analysts.
In addition to getting T-Mobile’s message into reports of its competitors, the campaign also drew attention to the company’s unique approach to its own earnings calls, which are live-streamed and social-oriented, with the public able to tweet questions to company leaders.
The campaign produced coverage with headlines like, “T-Mobile Trolled Verizon’s Earnings Call this Morning with a Drinking Game.” The campaign also ended a negative news cycle and refocused the conversation on T-Mobile’s unconventional approach. One outlet said the game embodied T-Mobile’s “off-the-wall, anti-establishment image.”
For an innovative approach to a potentially dry subject, congratulations go to T-Mobile’s Clint Patterson and Porter Novelli’s Fred Shank.