API.AI: From Launch to Acquisition

Meet the evolving PR needs of API.AI, from the company’s initial launch as the Speaktoit virtual assistant app to its growth into the B2B-focused API.AI conversational user experience platform. Clement | Peterson helped distinguish the technology’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 exact time that 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 a more-than-capable “Siri for Android users” and available as a free download as Siri launched.

When the dust settled, Speaktoit received more than 150 media pieces in the first few days of its launch, including coverage in The New York TimesBusiness InsiderThe Wall Street JournalPC MagazineLifehacker, and Computerworld.

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 a tool for developers working in the chatbot and connected car spaces (among other Internet of Things disciplines).

Careful research of business and IT media contacts informed pitches that would capitalize on relevant industry trends, from the growth in bot development to advances in natural language understanding to machine learning adoption. Creating, pitching, and placing thought leadership articles helped carry momentum during slower product news cycles, providing the company visibility that led to significant VC investment. Clement | Peterson also earned coverage for API.AI customers (on how those customers leveraged the API.AI platform), coordinated briefings with industry analysts, and secured conference speaking opportunities sans-sponsorship (including at Connected Car, Re:Work, SpeechTEK, Wearables Techcon, and Cisco Live).

PR efforts ultimately helped API.AI (since rebranded to Dialogflow) become acquired by Google.