Challenge: Launched in New York City in 2012, Via was created with a mission to reinvent carpooling transit from a regulated system of rigid routes and schedules to a fully dynamic, on-demand network. On the heels of ridesharing juggernauts Uber and Lyft, who were gearing up to launch their own carpooling services in the Windy City, Motion PR was tasked with introducing Chicagoans to Via’s carpooling service before the announcement of UberPOOL and Lyft Line.

Approach: Motion PR deployed a heavy media relations strategy, conducting outreach to local, national and trade media outlets to announce the official launch of Via in Chicago. In order to supplement the media relations strategy, Motion PR researched and conducted outreach to a number of local businesses for partnership opportunities, tying our efforts to the “giving” holiday season. Finally, Motion PR developed a social media strategy for Via’s Chicago accounts, creating content, building audiences and engaging with users on a daily basis. 

Outcome: The media relations outreach resulted in several placements within various print, online and broadcast media outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Inno and WGN-TV. Motion PR secured partnerships with local Chicago businesses including the Lincoln Park Zoo, Disney on Ice, Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria and Core Power Yoga, which enabled us to engage a wide-variety of audiences on Via’s social channels, providing lucky winners with gift cards and prizes. Motion PR worked quickly and efficiently in its strategy and outline, successfully beating the announcement of Via’s competitors to the punch, enabling Via to have carpool riders use its services first and be kept top of mind.