How to lean into data helps OkCupid differentiate itself when pitching

How to lean into data helps OkCupid differentiate itself when pitching

With the PRNEWS Media Relations Workshop coming up almost on December 7th, we’re giving readers and soon-to-be attendees a chance to meet some of the speakers.

The event’s theme is “Rebuilding Brand Reputation and Combating Disinformation.” Among other things, it will cover the changing media landscape, maintain journalist relations and embrace new media.

In this short Q&A, Michael Kaye, Global Communications Manager, OkCupid, previews his session on pitching in the shadow of 24/7 breaking news.

PRNEWS: Can you share a recent piece of news that made your usual media plan difficult to execute?

Michael Kaye, Global Communications Manager, OkCupid

Michael Kaye: During the pandemic, Match Group supported the White House’s efforts to increase the number of people getting vaccinated. At OkCupid, we released an “I’m Vaccinated” profile badge and stack so daters could feel safe meeting in person.

It was amazing to see other dating apps, like BLK, Chispa, Hinge, Match, Plenty of Fish and Tinder, support this White House initiative.

It also meant we had to find a way to stand out.

So we leaned on our data, which comes primarily from matching questions in the app.

We saw the phrase “I’m vaccinated” on OkCupid profiles increase by more than 1,400%. And more than 7 out of 10 daters said they will get the Covid-19 vaccine. Daters who planned to get the vaccine, or who had already received it, received 15% more likes and 14% more hits. They also had 4.5% more calls.

By providing media data we could get a feature story.

PRNEWS: What challenges are there when talking about big stories?

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Kaye: We are in an extremely crowded market. There are now over 1,500 dating apps or sites. So it’s a constant battle to break through.

Often, if there is a dating trend the media is interested in, they will often hear from different apps. That’s why it’s important to unlock stories that just [your company] can tell. An example of this was a story about the impact of climate change on online relationships.

OkCupid’s in-app questions about climate change and the environment have been answered about 15 million times so far. 97% of OkCupid respondents believe climate change is real. 81% of 7 million people on OkCupid are concerned about climate change.

We leaned into this data and leveraged environmental activist Greta Thunberg’s popularity to create OkCupid’s first dating term, Thunberging. This is when two people match online over a shared belief in climate change and passion for the environment.

In less than three years there have been around 500 press articles around the world on this subject.

PRNEWS: How do you decide when to piggyback on a story?

Kaye: It depends on whether we have room in the conversation. Do we add value? Or will we take away people or organizations that should have a louder voice?

And if we choose to engage in the discussion, is it a way to lift others up?

For example, when we launch features for LGBTQ+ daters, we always work with the Human Rights Campaign. We use our platforms to encourage donations to the organization.

For more from Kaye, register for the virtual PRNEWS Media Relations Workshop here.

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