Monthly Archives: July 2015



Top 5 tips to choosing a PR agency

 So you’ve decided that you need public relations,  but how do you get started? Below  we’ve created  a short list of how to choose the right PR agency  for your brand. Best of luck!



If you are going to read one thing in this article,  this is by far the most important tip. Many  companies fall for the names and prestige of large agencies without realizing the most  important thing is the people on your team. Large agencies will send their “All Star” team to win your account, especially for larger budgets, but you may find out after you give them your business that these people are nowhere to be found. Many will simply assign an intern or two and an account executive. Don’t be afraid to ask who will actually be your day-to-day contact and actually staffing your account. Don’t fall for the bait-and-switch that companies utilize to win your account, make sure the expert that is selling to you is the same one that is servicing your account.



There are many specialty PR agencies out there. For example, my agency, ComboApp, exclusively represents mobile apps. If you do construction, you’ve likely come to the wrong place. Find out what your choice agency does best. After years of working with multiple PR companies, I’ve found that agencies will claim that they are an expert in your business category and if they win your business, they will scramble to hire someone that backs their expert claims. This is not what you want. If you’ve come to the right agency with the right experience, they will already have the media contacts and tested strategies that have worked for similar clients. Not only will this benefit your results, it will also allow your new PR team to efficiently utilize your budget by utilizing their existing network.



If you are shopping around at a lot of agencies and receive one response that seems too good to be true. It is. At the end of the day any good agency will tell you exactly what you will receive depending on your budget. This is generally depending on the number of hours estimated to service your account. Going back to finding the right agency, when I’m setting budgets for app clients I’m able to offer a lot of service for very little cost because my team already has all the right established contacts. If the agency you use is starting from scratch with your account in an industry that they are not familiar with, expect less results for the same amount of money.



We are constantly approached with clients that have a budget to launch a campaign, but not one for sustainable growth. Beyond launching a product or service, you need to set a budget to keep your brand relevant. There are always journalists that may include your brand in a round-up article or even for a standalone beyond launch day. You want a team to keep pushing your brand beyond launch. Consider either dividing your budget for an ongoing campaign beyond launch day or setting up a budget to be on retainer. Most agencies are able to come up with creative ways to keep your brand in the news whether that involves reputation, thought leadership, milestone updates and the like.



Working for many different sized PR agencies, one thing I’ve noticed is that when there is a check dangling in front of an executive’s face, some will never say no. You want an agency to give you constructive criticism to ensure that you get the best results. When working with different apps, we are not afraid to tell an app creator that their product is not ready. Remember that our success is judged by your success and look at your agency as a business partner and not just someone that is pushing your product or service. I like to think of every one of my clients as if I am in their marketing department (and sometimes we are their marketing department). We want to be successful, but will not sacrifice transparency and honesty to make a buck, we’ll always be willing to work with the team to put out the best product and service possible.


I could go on-and-on, but these are the top-line tips for choosing an agency. Feel free to reach out with any questions. I can be reached directly at

Happy agency hunting!


Joseph W. Doran,

PR Manager at ComboApp


Top 10 Comic-Con networking tips


Wearables Change Our Lives

Our new client was going to attend Comic-Con last week and they had very little experience with media and networking, so we put together a quick tip list of how to discuss their brand and engage with their potential audience.


Let me know what you’d add and take away in the comments!


Quick tips:


  1. Perfect your brand elevator pitch. If someone asks you what you do, be able to describe your business in 30 seconds or less.
  2. Practice talking in sound bites with journalists. Talk in quotes. Every sentence should add value.
  3. Stats always add value. If someone asks why you decided to create your company (an app in this case), you can respond, “40 percent of the top performing apps on the App Store are strategy games and these are the games we enjoy the most. We wanted to combine our passion for these games with a sustainable business model.” (This is not a real stat, but you get the idea).
  4. People like to talk about themselves. It has been proven in job interviews that if the job candidate gets the person giving the interview to talk about themselves, the interviewee thinks highly of the candidate. This is the same with journalists and investors. If you find out their motivations and more about them, they will think highly of you.
  5. Never say anything negative about another individual or company. This can affect your own reputation.
  6. Don’t lie. Transparency is king. If you’re asked something you don’t know the answer to, say so. It comes across as humbling instead of like someone they can’t trust.
  7. Dress the part. Do not wear a full suit, but show you are there for business. This will show people that you take yourself seriously and that this is partially a business trip with real long-term goals. Act the part as well. There will be parties, but don’t let anyone remember you for something you wouldn’t share with your mother.
  8. Get off the tradeshow floor. Most people are there to work and many people have negative connotations with working, but they will be out afterwards. Look into evening events with media people there. Look into evening events that interest you, but could lead to meeting a potential lead.
  9. Capitalize on your strengths with talking to people. Maybe one of you are better at approaching people and the other is better at talking about the business. Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses and take advantage of them.
  10. Have takeaways. Collect business cards. Take peoples collateral. Be able to prove the value of attending the event when you leave.


Key takeaways:


  • Remember, there is no real pressure. You are amongst your peers. Be conversational. Enjoy yourself.
  • You are not there to sell, you’re there to raise awareness of your brand and hopefully meet a few kind journalists. Keep it light and win them over with your personality, don’t be that guy that seems like a used car salesman.

Joseph W. Doran,
PR Manager

App Growth Metrics


Wearables Change Our Lives

Can you think of one universal aspect of every single app in the store? The answer to that question would be one word, growth. Whenever an app developer conceives an app idea he begins (or really should) to think about how the idea is going to grow and how to measure that growth.
I recently stumbled across John Egan’s post about how the Pinterest team measures its growth and I thought that this may be of interest to app developers as a good model to approximate their app. John has worked on the Pinterest growth team since 2013 and is responsible for the platform growth and engagement level increase. According to John, Pinterest has 27 metrics to measure its growth. Let’s take a look at these metrics below.




MAU stands for Monthly Active Users. These are the people who use your app regularly. These are the people you have created your app for. You aren’t in the mobile app business to get a minimal amount of downloads for your app and be happy with that number, you need regular users for your app. For Pinterest MAU, the metric splits into 6 different versions including general, forecast, by app, by gender, by country and accounting. The latest version is an extremely important one. It shows how different factors contribute to overall MAU growth. Essentially this metric will show what specific features help your app to grow and get more and more regular users.



Any app user goes through this first stage. The Pinterest team measures total sign ups, sign ups per app (iOS vs. Android), by referrals and several others that deal with the social sharing including invitations sent, unique invite senders, invite sign ups. As you can see, all these metrics show how well the system grows in terms of number of users. In regards to your app the analogs can be a number of new users, sign ups for a service you may offer inside your app for people to sign up, or any other actions you’re expecting your app users to take.



Pinterest is a big visual discovery, collection, and storage tool with more than 70 million users. Because of its scale there are some metrics that are specific to Pinterest but can still be applied to a broad range of mobile apps as well. Pinterest engineers measure a number of users who come back to Pinterest after a one week period, splitting this number by gender, site vs. mobile app, and the number of people who become MAU after being WAU (weekly active users).



To measure Pinterest engagement levels John suggests calculating ratios between DAU, WAU and MAU. All these ratios will give you a good picture of how well you manage to keep your app users engaged. If after several months of having your app on the market you see that the bulk of people who are active daily continue to be active weekly and then monthly, it means that you’re hitting a sweet spot with your app users but that is not a reason to relax and just enjoy the ride. People get bored, even with the most engaging apps. It’s human nature to crave for novelty. It was said many times before but I’m going to repeat it – having a roadmap of features for your app is a must. Keep delighting your app users in order to keep them constantly engaged.



This is an interesting word choice on behalf of Pinterest but it simply means that they measure how many people come back onto Pinterest after abandoning it for a while. I think this metric is universal and can be applied to any app category so you need to measure it.
All of the metrics listed above require user behavior SDK installation inside your app. Otherwise it is a blind-fly. To measure these crucial metrics for your app growth we suggest solutions like MixpanelLocalytics and GameAnalytics. If you have any questions about this topic, here at ComboApp we are always open to help. Send us a message via the contact form at httpss://

Build great apps and measure their growth intelligently!


Art Dogtiev,
Head of Branded Content

Twitter Expands Targeting Options with Apps


Twitter Expands Targeting Options with Apps

Twitter is now collecting data on apps that users have on their mobile devices in order to better target and tailor advertising and other content to them. Twitter is not the only player in this game. Facebook recently started to collect similar data, although only from apps that have its SDK.


Along with gaining appeal from its customers, Twitter is also striving to make advertisers more loyal, introducing new targeting options to meet their ever-growing granularity targeting appetites. Twitter is now letting app advertisers reach users based on the categories of apps already installed on their mobile devices. Advertisers can also combine the new feature with other targeting types such as keywords setting and choosing language and location of the targeted audience.


“One of the biggest priorities for mobile app marketers is to reach the people who are most likely to use and love their apps,” said Deepak Rao, product manager of revenue at Twitter, in a recent blog post. “With installed app category targeting, you can identify new audiences of high-quality users to target within your existing app category and in related app categories.”


For example, an advertiser that wants to drive installs for a cooking recipe app can select the Food & Drinks category to reach users who have recently installed similar apps. That same advertiser may know that the Food & Drinks app users also tend to use restaurant apps, so they can target the Travel category to connect with new people who are likely to be interested in their app. It is not always obvious to identify audiences more eager to use your app, but these hints may be useful in some cases.


Within the advertiser dashboard, Twitter is also releasing new reporting and analytics for installed app categories. The reports are available for all types of mobile app promotion campaigns, whether or not those campaigns used the new installed app category targeting feature.


The tracking program that consumers have on their mobile devices, Twitter started last year. Users who are not eager to take part in such a “tailored experience”, as Twitter calls it, can opt out of this feature. Twitter has promised not to keep records on user app data if they have previously opted out of “interest-based” ads.


Twitter said it only collects and updates the list of apps that users have installed, it does not collect in-app data. Besides optimizing its ad-targeting, Twitter uses collected data to improve “who to follow” suggestions on its service and to add Twitter accounts and other content to user timelines.


Oles Dzyub,
Branded Content Manager at ComboApp

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