While working in Bite Communications from 2006 – 2007 I had the pleasure of doing the UK PR outreach for Sonos Inc. What exactly is Sonos then? Well it’s basically what your house needs in terms of a music system! It is digital wireless multi room music! Basically from one awesome nifty wee controller you can have instant access to ALL your music in ANY room at ANY time, with different music being streamed in different rooms. I was intrigued straight away when my former work colleague Jonny Rosemont asked me to help him on the Sonos brand. Over the period of 12 months in Bite I got to know the ins and outs of the product, as well as many technology and internet journalists who were also keen on the latest gadgets.
Hailing from the USA, Sonos is a grey music system which you can connect wirelessly throughout your house. If indeed you own a mansion, up to 32 rooms can be connected. All you’ll need is the internet streaming and the speakers to go in each room. I thought of the possibilities of this unique (well at the time of its release) product and the ways in which it could be promoted to the UK public. Think of a house party with loads of mates and loads of guests. There is no need to argue over music any more, just set up rooms with certain styles of music! In the kitchen the mellow chill out stuff, hot n horny in the bedroom, relaxing ballads in the bath room, a full on rave in the garage, rock n roll on the patio, pop in the lounge and welcoming “everybody loves it” music in the hall/atrium/porch/lobby (depending on the poshness or size of your abode). I couldn’t afford Sonos myself, so was happy that in the office I could play with the controller and work out how to use it before phoning and pitching the idea into countless journalists who would have loads of technology PR agents on the phone every day!
WE came up with some excellent ways to promote Sonos to the UK public. There was targetting reviewers for general reviews, there were Christmas gift guides, there were Winter parties, Student houses, the rich city boys in Canary Wharf, bloggers, celebrities, general random newspaper snippets such as “product of the day” or “must have gadgets”. We used many and various methods to promote Sonos. It gave me a real grasp of PR for a start, but also the incredible companies out there that are producing these awesome sound systems! I started gaining quite a lot of media coverage for Sonos, looking back I must have amassed over 30 pieces of coverage and sent out about 20 pieces of kit to journalists. The sending out of kit was the tedious part. The selling in and everything was the more fun and creative part. The chasing the journalists for coverage bit was either “YES they printed it” or “No coverage damn!” It was certainly a very fun brand to work on, made clear by my workmates fellow enjoyment on it, particularly Katy Cook who got me into the brand a lot more after Jonny Rosemont had left.
The one thing that stand out from my time working on Sonos is the ‘Sonosbury’ Festival idea we came up with in a creative brainstorm. Basically Glastonbury and Reading always sell out, so we thought we could create our own festival kit and send to journalists. Sadly I left the job before we could see the results of the campaign, but I remember seeing the One Week To Live article which my colleague Graham placed. We sent journalists the whole kit for their own DIY Festival!! THis includes the likes of tomato ketchup, burgers, Napster download credit, the Sonos kit, crisps, paracetamol, loo rolls and our own self made guide and plan! Here was just a snippet:
Sonosbury. The Festival.
Big Brother hosts a summer music party!
Sit up, crack open your complete guide to Sonosbury, get your whistles, white gloves, spare toilet roll and can of beer at the ready for experience of your life!
We’ve got everything you need to get your teeth into a rowdy summer weekend in your own backyard : an exclusive e-ticket to send to your mates; reems of the softest toilet roll your bottom will ever feel; VIP wristbands and of course the slickest sound system to hit these shores in a long time, the Sonos multi-room wireless music system. Not only does it give you the chance to release your digital music around the house and even outside, it also looks kinda slick!
To help you make use of this slick-kit and get you in the real festival spirit all the best bands from this years events including The Horrors, Klaxons, The Rakes, Hot Chip, Bloc Party and much, much more can be wirelessly streamed through. All you have to do is plug this in to your Sonos system and stream tracks round your whole house.
Picture this, you’ve got your ZP80 hooked up to your computer inside, speakers in the garden, a different ‘tent’ in every room, playing the best tracks of your life – mud pit, blocked toilet and wiping your bum on yesterday’s burger wrapper optional…..
Wellies – mud pit optional
Paracetamol – essential
Beer – needed more than life itself
Food and barbeque – for that authentic festival belly
Toilet roll – in case the chef isnt up to scratch
Sleeping bag – only 1, as the other 3 and your tent got nicked last night
Water – when everything else has gone
VIP wristband – to add to the 17 others on your arm
Directions to your own Sonosbury
Tickets for your mates – if their names not down they aint coming in!
Before I left Bite I was glad to meet the Sonos client, who had flown all the way from the USA (Santa Barbara) to meet us and attend an event in London. We spent a day in the office at Bite (it must be about a year ago exactly) looking at the plans for coverage and then we went out for dinner and drinks, where I met Thomas Meyer and Rachel Stagnaro. It was great fun and happy times for me. The odd thing is, you move on and people move on and life will never be the same again (as I often always constantly find!). I left Bite to go travelling and have thought about Sonos a few times since, however as I’m not working on the brand, you lose track of releases and product updates etc. But I will always remember working on Sonos with pride and happiness, and maybe someday I’ll own a Sonos system in my house.
Check out the website!! http://www.sonos.com
Some of the places I got or helped get Sonos coverage in – Financial Times, The London Lite, Daily Express, The Sunday Times, Gadget Detective, BBC News, BBC Online, FHM, AXM, Nerve Radio, Daily Mail, Diary Directory.
People at Sonos I worked with – Thomas Meyer, Rachel Stagnaro, Mike Edwards.
People I worked with in Bite on the Sonos Account – Katy Cook, Susannah Hardy, Jonny Rosemont, Graham Day.
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