Sprint: cellphone courtesy generates buzz

Wireless operator Sprint was interested in furthering its thought leadership efforts when it first turned to Arketi. Together the Sprint–Arketi team decided to use National Cellphone Courtesy Month – July – as a compelling event to carve out a thought leadership position. Arketi proposed conducting a survey on cellphone behavior, and using the findings to generate media attention.



The Arketi team ultimately conducted 16 separate surveys in different US markets, to uncover unique and newsworthy cellphone etiquette habits of both consumers and business users. thirt-two questions were developed and fielded to both nationwide and local market samples of cellphone users.

FAST FACTS The survey findings were interesting and informative, but they really came to life when we packaged them into a “Fast Facts” report. This collateral highlighted the data points we expected to garner the greatest media coverage, both nationally and in each local market.

MICROSITE Fast Facts was just the start. The campaign also included a video news release featuring Sprint’s etiquette expert reporting on the survey findings, and Arketi built a microsite that included the Sprint Wireless Courtesy Self-Test, wireless etiquette tips, a downloadable version of the research findings, and links to Sprint products and services.

Extensive media buzz from a single campaign

Extensive media buzz from a single campaign

Strengthened thought leadership poisition

Strengthened thought leadership poisition

Continues to generate coverage several years later

Continues to generate coverage several years later


Media coverage outpaced all expectations. National media outlets that carried the survey findings included Wall Street Journal, 20/20, New York Times, Forbes, USA Today, AP Radio, UPI, Reuters, Fox News Channel’s Studio B, PC Magazine, Wireless Week and eMarketer. Coverage was generated as far afield as Japan and New Zealand. Local media coverage was generated in all 15 markets, including segments on scores of local TV stations, and local print coverage including San Francisco Chronicle, Denver Post, New York Daily News, Palm Beach Post, St. Petersburg Times, Sun-Sentinel, Sarasota Herald Tribune and Philadelphia Inquirer. Total national and local circulation reach exceeded 15,000,000.

More than 15,000 people visited the Sprint website and took the online cellphone courtesy self-test. Today, several years after its initial release, data from the Sprint Wireless Courtesy Report still crops up in news placements around the globe.

recognition In addition to the business value and thought leadership coverage the campaign generated for Sprint, it was honored with a Phoenix Award from the Public Relations Society of America.

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How to leverage media relations, news writing and trade shows

Social media may get all the public relations limelight, but traditional PR remains integral to building trust, increasing brand awareness and generating sales leads.

So perhaps it’s time for a refresher course on the three “basics” – media relations, news writing, and trade show outreach – strategies that effectively position the PR team for long-term success.