April 8, 2014

Taking an AI Platform from Launch to Acquisition



Meet the evolving PR needs of API.AI, from its 2011 launch as the Speaktoit virtual assistant app to its growth into the developer- and business-focused API.AI conversational user experience platform. Distinguish the company’s unique natural language understanding capabilities to gain traction in the competitive voice and chat interface marketplace.


With the Speaktoit virtual assistant app launching for the Android platform at the same time the release of Apple’s Siri was set to dominate the news cycle, the initial PR strategy was to identify and pitch hundreds of key reporters from the angle that Speaktoit was the “Siri for Android” and available as a free download in the same timeframe.

After becoming the top-rated virtual assistant on Android and with the company’s subsequent evolution into API.AI, the strategy shifted towards highlighting the platform as uniquely capable in serving new consumer use cases, including the chatbot and connected car spaces.


Careful research of business and IT media contacts, informing highly crafted and on-point PR pitches capitalizing on relevant trends, from chatbots to virtual assistants to natural language understanding to machine learning. Creating, pitching and placing thought leadership articles in publications that would lead to new users, customers, and investment interest. Highlighting and earning coverage for case studies that demonstrate API.AI’s advantages in action. Lining up briefings with influential analysts. Managing API.AI’s speaking opportunities and presence at industry events.


Over 150 press articles in the first few days of Speaktoit’s launch, including coverage in The New York TimesBusiness InsiderComputerworldThe Wall Street JournalLifehacker, and PC Magazine, among many others. API.AI-focused thought leadership articles in top publications, including VentureBeat and DZone. Reporter-written articles, including coverage in DZone, eWeek, Business Insider, and CIO. API.AI executives quoted and interviewed, resulting in published articles in publications including InfoWorld and Sitepoint. Briefings with key industry analysts and inclusion in analysis reports, including with 451 Research. A high-profile presence at events leading up to API.AI’s acquisition, including Connected Car 2016 and Cisco Live 2016.

PR efforts ultimately helped result in API.AI’s acquisition by Google.