Zozi is an online adventure discovery platform where users can buy
experiences such as trekking, surfing, or swimming with sharks in their
local city or around the world.
It was founded in San Francisco in 2009 by TJ Sassani after he had been
traveling and wanted to create a simple way for people to book
high-quality activities. The startup has since grown to 40 people and
recently raised $10 million, bringing total investment to $17.5
Zozi worked with boutique firm PKPR before hiring Tian Lee as PR manager
about two years ago, bringing communications in-house.
While the product is the main focus, Sassani recognizes the power of
leveraging PR to bring the brand to life. “We sell adventure trips and
dreams,” says Lee. “PR is a vital way of telling our story and connecting
with customers.” An example of its PR activity was a Zozi-sponsored
wedding performed on jetpacks for a couple who got engaged on a Zozi
adventure, which generated worldwide press coverage.
One of Zozi’s main challenges is differentiating itself from other daily
deal sites, such as Groupon, which have fallen out of favor with the
Lee says Zozi is focused on putting out the right messages to differentiate itself.
Zozi has no plans to hire an agency. “At the moment, it’s a bigger
value having PR in-house to really understand the inner workings of the
startup” Lee explains.