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Pando

Situation

When the Pando team approached RLM Public Relations, they already had a viral following and had witnessed more than 400,000 installs. With a pending Business 2.0 slash GigaOm blog posting by renowned technology enthusiast Om Malik around the corner, it was time for Pando to begin creating a following among print and broadcast media.

Pando is a solution for sharing media files—home movies, folders of family photos, business presentations—too large to send as e-mail attachments. A free, small, downloadable application utilizing BitTorrent technology, Pando lets you easily share your high quality digital media using existing email addresses. Pando was founded by Internet pioneer Robert Levitan, who co-founded iVillage.

Pando had entered a space populated by clearly defined competitors with similar offerings including yousendit.com. RLM immediately surveyed the landscape and recognized the absence of effective “transport” (a phrase used often in key messaging) amid simultaneous increases in broadband access, personal digital media, storage and processing power. And of course, the visceral, universal and maddening experience of trying to send media via e-mail.

RLM capitalized on the successful word-of-mouth among bloggers and analysts, and communicated Pando as a success story at launch. Initial influential tech journalists who wrote about Pando in the first few weeks included Paul Gilster of the News & Observer, Michael Kanellos of CNET.com and David Kelly, a technology freelancer for The New York Times.

Strategy and Tactics

Early in the pitching process, RLM also issued a financial announcement—Intel Capital’s investment in Pando—to bolster credibility through association with blue-chip investors and to articulate the business models. An initial placement was gained with the Dow Jones wire, and helped firm up other pending technology placements. The importance of the announcement took on a new light when Red Herring utilized a quote from Intel Capital about investing in Pando as the lead to a four page feature on video sharing apps in an October issue.

As those top tier stories began to mount in the early summer of 2006, RLM witnessed an explosion in attention around YouTube. By positioning Pando as a more private solution to sharing videos on YouTube, RLM was able to secure a placement in Walt Mossberg’s column in The Wall Street Journal. The day the story hit the stands, Pando’s daily download count skyrocketed from 4,000 a day to 10,000 on that day alone. One reader even wrote in saying, “[Pando] is the greatest thing I have ever encountered. I was going to cancel my WSJ subscription. This has justified it for another 6 months.”

RLM has also set-up many desk-side briefings for Levitan (BusinessWeek, San Francisco Chronicle, etc.), many of which resulted in later articles (Wall Street Journal, Red Herring, etc.)

Results

RLM has positioned Pando to own the file-sharing industry, while others like RedSwoosh and yousendit struggle for attention. Pando is now the one to watch, thanks to the hard work of RLM’s team.

Pando coverage garnered by RLM has included: