Sittercity: A Quick Pivot in a Time of Crisis

May 1, 2020

When we first met Sittercity CEO Elizabeth Harz at Dos Tacos in San Francisco, we knew we'd found a kindred spirit. A badass working mom, she was laser focused on fixing the child care system. After working together for almost a year it's been truly fulfilling to help her and the entire Sittercity team provide families with reliable care while creating jobs for thousands of women around the country. Following is a snapshot of our latest work for them, a quick pivot to continue fulfilling their mission during COVID-19.

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First and foremost, The Key prides itself on being a true partner to clients - in good times and bad. When COVID-19 started to change daily life for American families, Sittercity knew parents working from home were left scrambling, trying to figure out how to find a balance between caring for their children and their jobs.

For over a year, The Key has been helping Sittercity build their brand as the most trusted source for reliable and safe child care. When COVID-19 hit and the company looked to use its platform in new ways to help during the crisis, we knew we could help them amplify their efforts to help families sustain during this unprecedented time.

Senior leadership at The Key worked closely with Sittercity CEO Elizabeth Harz and her executive team to quickly ramp two strategic media relations initiatives:

Chicago Responds: Working in close collaboration with the City of Chicago, The Key helped to message and spread the crucial partnership between Sittercity and Chicago to help its most essential workforce find reliable child care amid COVID-19. The Key built the press and marketing materials and social media copy, helped message key spokespeople, and sourced sitters and first responders to provide testimonials -- all in two days' time during stay-at-home measures. The Key secured dozens of hits from local Chicago broadcast and NBC News to major consumer outlets like Travel + Leisure and Romper. During the first days of launch, over 100 first responders and 450 new sitter volunteers joined the Chicago Responds program.

“I have worked with dozens of PR firms in my career, and the Key tops the list,” said Elizabeth Harz, CEO of Sittercity. “The team is bright, creative, hard working, connected and fun to partner with. I think of them as an essential department of the company, not an external vendor. And keep in mind, they are a company full of working parents who had their own families to take care of amidst the demands we were placing on them at all hours, I could not be more impressed or thankful.”

Virtual Sitting: Since its founding, millions of families and sitters have trusted Sittercity to help them find child care or job opportunities. Along the way, they’ve developed processes and tools to help their community make decisions with greater confidence. This commitment carries through every step of the process: from educating their members on best hiring practices to collecting detailed ratings and reviews after working relationships have begun. Amidst COVID-19, Sittercity knew families couldn’t bring new sitters to their homes, but had greater child care needs than ever due to daycare and school closures. The company quickly launched a “virtual sitting” solution and The Key helped Sittercity reinvent the category they created. Being nimble, The Key quickly created core messaging and developed a formal press release announcing the new “product.” Through strategic and impactful media relations, the team secured coverage with Good Morning America, ABC & CBS News,  Forbes, Red Tricycle, Lifehacker and the New York Times creating a 10X increase in demand for virtual sittings in the last month and it’s continuing to grow!

Read more Key Case Studies here.

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