The marketplace first launched in 2012 and offered to connect startups with the right PR representation. (It opened more broadly the following year.) However, it’s not AirPR’s only product — the company also launched an analytics platform to track a PR campaign’s effectiveness, and CEO Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer told me that’s what his team will focus on moving forward.
“I’d say that the vision of the company has always been to leverage technology to increase PR performance,” he said.
The marketplace was the first piece of that vision, but Fouladgar-Mercer said he realized the company needed an analytics product, if only to measure effectiveness within the marketplace itself.
Ultimately, it seems Fouladgar-Mercer found the analytics side more promising — for one thing, he said AirPR encountered a number of customers “who wanted the analytics product but didn’t necessarily need the marketplace.” Plus, going after ongoing analytics customers probably makes more business sense than pursuing one-off marketplace users.
In terms of how this fits into the broader landscape of PR industry analytics and data, Fouladgar-Mercer argued that most existing products are focused on tracking all the times your company or product get mentioned in the press.
“The next step after that, where we really focus, is measuring the value of PR — the efficacy of your various PR efforts all the way down to traffic to your site and revenue to your business,” he said.
AirPR’s analytics customers include Rocket Fuel and Rackspace.
The company isn’t disclosing financial terms of the deal, but Fouladgar-Mercer said The CHR Group made the best of multiple offers, and that it will continue to operate and grow the PR Marketplace while the CHR team is “also scaling their own business and focusing on being a leading player across marketing services space.”