Session 15: Site Launch Campaign

Session 14: Site Launch Press Release
Session 16: Mini-Retrospective for Social Media Campaign

Hi. Welcome to this session of Online Notes – the project for creating an online system for logging Cryptiquest projects. In the last session, I worked out the press release for the site launch. This session will focus on the social media campaign surrounding the launch.

Here are previous notes regarding the social media campaign:

So, what if I celebrate the anniversary in an informal way on the “brand” accounts and interact with those accounts via the “company” account? That might work. So, Cryptiquest makes a stodgy celebration announcement, the crazy developer goes rogue and punches things up, and corporate (gently) reprimands the developer? Sounds good. The developer can also lament about being trapped in a lonely workshop with no one to expound his discoveries to – could use that to explain all absence from social media.

How should the developer punch things up? What if he vandalizes the message sent out by Cryptiquest – what if it is a graphic that he hacks? Perhaps I should make the final graphic first then strip it down to basic components for the original message. What would that final image look like? The developer could come back with something like “Come on suits, this is a celebration, not one of your “bored” meetings – let’s get festive!” then he draws balloons, confetti, and a cat in a party hat on the original. Then Cryptiquest claps back with an actual photo of the office party that he wasn’t invited to – balloons, confetti, and an actual cat in a party hat. Could I pull something like that off in three days? With stock photos, yes.

– Online Notes, Session 13: Site Launch Design and Deliverables

So here are the three main announcements:

Tuesday: Cryptiquest releases 5 year anniversary announcement
Wednesday: Developer vandalizes the message, chiding the “suits”
Thursday: Cryptiquest releases “photo” of actual celebration that developer was not invited to which looks exactly like the vandalized message

Okay, let’s walk through this, step by step. If Cryptiquest releases an official 5 year anniversary announcement, followers will like and potentially comment on the posts. If they do comment on it and then I “poke fun” at the original message, will those who liked and comment on the original post feel like am poking fun at them? I don’t think so. I’m not actually making fun of the message or those who support it, right? Just making fun of the lackluster presentation.

So the developer posts the hack, poking fun at the “suits” boring message. How would followers react to that? This “feud” seems like it would only really work on Twitter. On Facebook, the developer would have to respond to the original post, right? So any comments on that post would also be part of the discussion – wait – that’s a good thing. Okay cool.

Why would corporate wait a full day to respond? Perhaps they say something like, “We’ve debated showing this to you, but you sort of asked for it. We actually did have a celebration here at the office but didn’t have the heart to tell you.” That would be accompanied with the image.

The developer has several ways to respond at this point from a simple “touché” to a more complicated “You keep me locked away in this workshop doing all this work for you and don’t even invite me to the office parties?” That feels a little too sinister. Maybe, instead of the whole “we had a party and didn’t invite you” angle, the corporate response should be something like, “We here at Cryptiquest take suggestions from supporters, customers, and employees to heart. So, we have thrown a party and here was the result.” At this, the developer could reply with “But you didn’t invite me!”

Not sure why I’m trying so hard to make this developer suffer. Is there a way where corporate and developer can both come out on top while still having conflict wrapped in playful banter? Maybe something like, “When you’re right, you’re right. Here is our party!” Ugh. That’s dull. How would “corporate” respond to an employee calling them out like that? “While we prefer you bring matters like these directly to management, we do recognize the merit in your suggestion. Here is the result:”

That’s funny. I like it. It captures the stuffiness of corporate while not being belittling. In addition, it lays a serious foundation to give a chance for the absurdity of the image to contrast nicely. The developer can respond in kind: “Best. Party. Ever.”

Okay, next step: Make the third image. I need to find free stock photos to build the “Best. Party. Ever.” then I need to make the first image – the one that needs to be mocked. Then, finally, I need to make the second image – which will take the first one then “draw” in elements that represent the third image.

To make the third image, I will collect a bunch of stock photos that will be easy to isolate the element I want from the background. As I find them, I’ll put them here:

Photo by Bo Salem-Nieuwenhuizen
Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom
Photo by Pixabay

…trying to find a royalty-free photo of a cake that’s not obviously made for a wedding and is at the same angle as that table is not working out. Apparently, there isn’t a high demand for high quality images of sheet cakes…

Photo by Bryan Schneider

I want a party hat for that kitty…

Photo by Pineapple Supply Co.

Okay, so far I have the makings of an office with a cake, balloons, and a cat wearing a party hat. Ooh. Make that TWO cats in party hats:

Photo by

I’ll throw this together now and see how it looks. My fear is that it won’t be “absurd” enough, especially for those who don’t realize that I don’t actually have an office (seeing how I’m typing this from a booth in a café in a grocery store – no time to explain, you’d have to see it). But I’ll give it a go and report back here in a bit…

So, it’s been about 90 minutes and this is what I came up with:

First attempt at the third image

I’ll send this out to get an opinion. It just needs to be realistic enough to impress the gist of the scene. I have a “feline” that the only thing that needs updating is the message. Maybe I should go with something like “Join Cryptiquest In Celebrating Our Five Year Anniversary”? Meh. The message needs to make sense with and without the image. “It’s Our Five Year Anniversary!” Then I could put more information in the accompanying text. “For our fifth anniversary we are making our project documents and tools freely available to you! Visit the new site at”

Hmm… will I need a separate post from Cryptiquest that announces the press release? It seems odd to bury a product launch press release in a feel-good story, no? I think what I’ll do is post an official post about the press release the week after and post-mark it for 1/29 so it doesn’t muddy the campaign.

Second attempt at the third image

I lightened up the image a bit, played with the contrast/colors and changed the text. Okay, I’m going to make those other images now…

First attempt at the first image

I just realized that in order to “hack this” I will probably need this text on a solid color background…

Second attempt at the first image

And here is the vandalized image:

First attempt at the vandalized image

It’s cute. I think I might like it a million times better than the stock photo version. Ha.

After looking through everything, I think this will turn out really nice. Hopefully people will get as much of a kick out of it as I do. Heh.

Okay, so I have the images and I have the copy, and I have the press release. I have everything I need to automate Tuesday’s launch so I might get that stuff set up. Oh! While I’m thinking of it, I should check the analytics app to see if it is picking up data. (Woo hoo! It’s working!)

Aw man. I forgot that I’ll need a feature image for the press release. I will throw one together real quick.

For the Press Release on Cryptiquest’s website

Okay that is scheduled to go live at 9:00 am on Tuesday. Now I will set up the Facebook post. And now that’s ready to go at 11:00 am. Not super sure what times to post these at. I try to do it in the morning as it seems like I have better read success rates for the newsletter when I do so.

I’ll set up the Twitter one now, too.

And done. That is ready to go. I guess this session is finished. It took me about 9 hours to put this all together. In the next session I will hit up the welcome message and about page updates. I’m not sure I’ll be able to get to the social media cards before the launch, but that’s okay. That’s why I prioritized the materials by necessity for the launch. Anyway, that’s all for now. See you in the next session.

Session 14: Site Launch Press Release
Session 16: Mini-Retrospective for Social Media Campaign