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October 31st, 2012

Toil and trouble: Five scary PR and marketing facts

Toil and trouble: Five scary PR and marketing facts

To celebrate Halloween, we thought we’d round up some of the most terrifying PR and marketing facts out there, and give each of them Prompt’s ‘arrrghhhhhhh factor’ (that’s us collectively screaming into our keyboards) out of ten.

1. A new report from eMedia, which we spotted in a report from B2B Marketing, found that only 26 percent of marketers surveyed  have a distinct content strategy to drive lead generation.

Prompt’s arrrghhhhhhh factor:  Seven bats.

Really? A quarter of marketers said they had no content strategy at all?  Shame, and no candy for you.

2.  Not terrifying, but a scarily good opportunity for companies that want to engage with audiences over video: ATYM surveyed 400 YouTube users to ask them about their search and viewing habits – 61 percent of respondents said they searched for content directly on YouTube, 30 percent turn to search engines, and 30 percent click from social media sites. This is an enormous opportunity for marketers to create video content that is fun, engaging and relevant, and to use YouTube to create a channel and capture these audiences.

Prompt’s arrrghhhhhhh factor:  One (lowly) bat. 

The ‘arrrghhhhhhh’ factor here is understanding some of the underlying ‘video discovery features’ (as YouTube calls them) which recently changed. Metrics used to be based off of ‘view count’, but earlier this month YouTube changed this to ‘watch time’.  The news was announced on the YouTube Partners and Creators blog and talks of ‘less clicking, more watching’.  It also means you can’t count videos that viewers click and abandon – instead you need great content that people want to watch.  No bad thing.

3. Three words: QR code madness. Enough said.

Prompt’s arrrghhhhhhh factor: Nine bats.

Yes, they can be a useful way to summarize data but it’s certainly a case of right time and right place. Some photos here of QR codes on the back of (moving) trucks, across subway tracks, in urinals and on motorway billboards are pretty chilling.  Sometimes a fun, memorable and short URL is all you need.

4. In a recent HubSpot Inbound Marketing report, it was found that nearly one third of companies only blog once a month (or worse, less).

Prompt’s arrrghhhhhhh factor:  Five bats.

We’ve said it time and time again – blogging (and writing posts regularly) is key to any company’s success. Not only does it increase SEO (search engine optimization), but it also refines your writing skills, helps shift you into the role of thought leader and, most importantly, generates leads. The more often you blog, the more visibility your company will receive. So, what are you waiting for – put the candy down and start blogging (or at least try to do both at the same time)!

5. In a recent survey from Stanford University’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance and The Conference Board, only 24 percent of senior managers and only eight percent of directors said they receive metric reports on their company’s social media activity.

Prompt’s arrrghhhhhhh factor:  Four bats.

Whether you’re using social media to promote your own business, or you’re active on behalf of a client, gathering data – summary, metric or otherwise – in an integral part of understanding and optimizing social media ROI (return on investment). If you aren’t tracking and analyzing your social media actions, then you won’t have the background to alter strategy and get the most out of social media’s business benefits. Simple and free tools (such as HootSuite or TwitSprout) make collecting social media information and metrics a breeze, and removes any room for excuses.

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Posted in Boston, Communications consultancy opinion, Copywriting, Holidays, London, PR Practices, Technology, Twitter | Comments Off on Toil and trouble: Five scary PR and marketing facts

 

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October 30th, 2012

Poll: Which tablet is most innovative?

Poll: Which tablet is most innovative?

Yesterday, we wrote a blog post on innovation in Massachusetts.  As a high-tech media relations and copywriting agency, we are constantly interested in learning about the latest tech gadgets.  This poll below highlights some of today’s top tablets on the market.  Which do you think is most innovative?

Which tablet is most innovative?
Amazon Kindle Fire
Apple iPad
Apple iPad mini
Barnes & Nobles Nook
Google Nexus 7
RIM BlackBerry PlayBook
Samsung Galaxy Note
View Result
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Posted in Apple, Boston, Google, Innovation, Microsoft, Polls | Comments Off on Poll: Which tablet is most innovative?

 

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October 29th, 2012

Recap: Innovation Week — Boston, Massachusetts

Recap: Innovation Week — Boston, Massachusetts

With offices in Boston, San Francisco, and London, every Prompt team member is always interested in what is going on in the local community.  The Boston office, located in Cambridge’s Kendall Square, is also eager to attend local events and keep up with the happenings around the area.  The past seven days proved to be no different when Deval Patrick, governor of Massachusetts declared the week (Oct. 22-26) Innovation Week.

Innovation Week, an idea adapted by the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, fuses several simultaneous vents together to create an ‘experience larger than sum of its parts’.  Boston’s Innovation Week played on the city’s influential technology and innovation community with eight conferences and events in total: MITX FutureM conference; MassChallenge 2012 Awards Ceremony; EU-US eHealth Marketplace; EmTech MIT; Boston Region Entrepreneurship Week (BREW); Xconomy Forum: The Future of Big Data; Tie Boston’s Best Practices on Global Innovation; and UMASS Boston’s IDEAS Boston.

Innovation plays a big part in the Massachusetts culture, with history dating back to the Industrial Revolution (learn more at the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation), and now with heavy influence by new businesses, start-ups, research and development, and inspiring entrepreneurs.  Massachusetts recently ranked number one for entrepreneurship in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln State Entreprenuership Index survey, for the second year in a row.  Among the ever-expanding businesses in Massachusetts (according to Kendall Square’s Entrepreneur Walk of Fame, the area has five times more startups per square mile than any other location) many of the colleges in the area also consider entrepreneurship a course of study, including Babson College and Northeastern University.

What are your thoughts on innovation in your local community?  Are there some really innovative companies you know of that deserve a mention?  Tweet them to us at @PromptBoston and @PromptLondon.

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October 25th, 2012

LinkedIn vs. Pinterest

LinkedIn vs. Pinterest

Prompt Poll:

As a high tech PR, copywriting and social media agency, we’re naturally fascinated with how people use social media – and recently wrote about the changes that LinkedIn and Pinterest underwent.  But, given the choice, which do people prefer?….

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October 19th, 2012

LinkedIn and Pinterest get a [not so extreme] makeover

LinkedIn and Pinterest get a [not so extreme] makeover

As a high-tech communications consultancy agency with offices in Boston, London and San Francisco, we are constantly on the lookout for the latest updates in social media. Just when we think we’ve seen it all on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more, along comes a new update to really get our heads spinning.

Sometimes the makeover consists of a complete page redesign, but more often than not, a social platform adds a few modified features that almost resemble the look and feel of the original version. This week, two of the most popular social media sites underwent slight modifications: LinkedIn (one of our personal favorites) and Pinterest. LinkedIn and Pinterest introduce new social media features

On Tuesday, LinkedIn turned to its blog to announce three big changes coming to the professional networking platform. Updates include a new visual design to the profile page, allowing users to share their stories, skills and accomplishments on a more appealing landing page, and new editing tools intended to make updating profiles quicker and easier.

Another new feature mentioned in the announcement allows the most recent activity to circulate to the top of a user’s profile, keeping them up-to-date on what is going on across their network. By the looks of it, LinkedIn seems to be determined to improve user engagement – with past additions of polls, a like/comment/share feature and a notification feature.

Meanwhile, in another social realm, Pinterest’s new updates were all about privacy (we question if such a term exists in the social media world). In a blog on Thursday, Pinterest announced two major changes surrounding confidentiality and notifications on the online pin board.

Pinners can now block or report inappropriate content, preventing others from following, re-pinning, or liking one another’s pins. Users can also use the report a pin function, which sends an alert to the Community team. Similarly, Pinterest addicts now have the ability to choose to shut off or turn on email notifications for new followers, likes, and several others – a past nuisance that many Pinners complained about.

The LinkedIn and Pinterest makeovers will be debuted throughout the week, so keep an eye out. Still can’t get enough of social media? Then connect with us, and tweet us your thoughts on the social space today: @PromptBoston and @PromptLondon.

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Posted in Boston, Innovation, London, Media, Prompt locations, Technology | Comments Off on LinkedIn and Pinterest get a [not so extreme] makeover

 

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October 12th, 2012

Social media buzz and the 2012 presidential election

Social media buzz and the 2012 presidential election

Social media has so many different purposes and each user’s habits are unique.  From communicating with family and catching up with old friends to sharing content and breaking news, it is one of the easiest ways to connect with friends, family, and strangers alike.

As most of us know, Election Day is less than a month away, and the presidential and vice presidential debates are flooding the TV channels around the US.  However, it’s not just TV talking-heads that are having an input – opinions of candidates, issues and everything in between are being shared by all types of people across social media, specifically Twitter.
Social media buzz hits the 2012 presidential and vice presidential debates.

The Pew Research Institute reports that 66% of online adults and 80% of online teens use social media.  With Facebook reaching one billion users just last week, social media is being used now more than ever.  With the presidential election in full swing, it seems users have one eye on the television and the other on their computer or smart phone, typing their opinions on every move the candidates make.  The Twitter blog reported that the first presidential debate, on October 3, was the most tweeted about event in US politics, with 10 million tweets.  The conversation consisted of a wide variety of topics, leaving nothing to the imagination – and yes, this includes Big Bird.

The first and only vice presidential debate aired yesterday, and there were 4 million tweets – featuring opinions on everything from foreign policy and tax reform, to Paul Ryan’s water drinking habits and Joe Biden’s laugh.  The debate saw the highest tweet per minute rating (58,275) when Biden asked Ryan, “Now you’re Jack Kennedy?”

The numbers surrounding the debates and Twitter usage are astounding proof that social media isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.  With the number of new users joining the Twitter-sphere growing each day, the possibility of the second presidential debate nabbing the title for most tweeted-about event in US politics seems very likely.

For the latest news in PR, marketing, tech and even the presidential debates, be sure to follow the Prompt team on Twitter: @PromptBoston or @PromptLondon. Don’t be shy – tweet us your thoughts on social media today!

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Posted in Boston, Communications consultancy opinion, Events, Media, Technology, Twitter | Comments Off on Social media buzz and the 2012 presidential election

 

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October 11th, 2012

Footballer falls foul on Twitter

Footballer falls foul on Twitter

Perennially controversial footballer Ashley Cole now has officially been charged by the Football Association following his impulsive Twitter outburst, in which he directed the abusive hash tag  ‘#abunchof*****’ towards the FA.

Cole quickly deleted the offending remark and has since had his apology accepted and witnessed his reinstatement into the current England national squad. But the Chelsea player’s actions didn’t go unpunished, and he was warned about his conduct and fined two weeks wages by the club. The 31-year-old is now left pondering his long-term future with the European champions.
FA general secretary Alex Horne has been quick to draw up a formal social media code of conduct for players, in an effort to avoid any future embarrassment. According to some media reports, this should not be considered a direct response to Cole’s tweet or online reactions to the recent John Terry racism case.

With social media outlets continuing to expand in influence at such a rapid pace, Twitter in particular is increasingly regarded by public figures as a very convenient way stay connected to the public.  However, because of the immediate nature of Twitter, thoughts and comments can quickly spiral out of control, especially when emotions are running high. This has been especially evident in Ashley Cole’s case, as things were very much said ‘in the heat of the moment’. Tweets can quickly and easily be written without much thought or consideration for the consequence. So, whilst the response from the FA is not surprising, some are questioning why there wasn’t already a suitable social media policy in place before recent events.

Everyone of course has a right to freedom of speech, but regardless of your job title or position in society, it’s never a good idea to bite the hand that feeds you or to share anything controversial over a public forum written in the heat of the moment.

But what do you think? Should celebrities or ‘role-models’ be subject to greater social media censure than the rest of us? Have you ever blurted online in the heat of the moment and had to face the consequences? Should social media be a greater focus of moral outcry than other forms of personal conduct or communication? Was the Ashley Cole incident a storm-in-a -teacup, or a moral outrage? As ever, please let us know your thoughts.

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Posted in Technology | Comments Off on Footballer falls foul on Twitter

 

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October 10th, 2012

Prompt appointed by Crimson Hexagon to drive UK public relations

Prompt appointed by Crimson Hexagon to drive UK public relations

As a transatlantic copywriting and public relations agency with offices in London, Boston and San Francisco, Prompt works with an array of clients in the technology industry – an innovative sector that is both thriving and constantly evolving.

Our latest appointment by software company Crimson Hexagon proves no different. Headquartered in Boston, MA with offices in London, Crimson Hexagon provides big data analysis software focusing on social media posts and other data sources to global organizations, including well-known companies like Microsoft and Starbucks, for insight into social sentiment and improved  business intelligence.

What is most exciting about this new client is its state-of-the-art ForSight™ platform, which was originally developed at Harvard University’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science. The platform breaks the traditional social media monitoring mold by relying on both human judgment and computer scalability. The platform currently holds an estimated 175 billion social media posts in its database, and adds an additional 1 billion posts to its database every two days.

Prompt will work on Crimson Hexagon’s UK public relations campaigns, which includes targeted media relations, opinion placement and securing editorial opportunities to support the company’s sales to B2C and B2B marketers, data specialists and business strategists.  Prompt will work on campaigns targeting marketing, business, retail, and consumer publications.

The Prompt team is looking forward to working alongside one of Fast Company’s ‘Top Ten Most Innovative Web Companies’, and has already begun working with top-name press on coverage and editorial opportunities.

For more information on Prompt’s appointment by Crimson Hexagon, read the press release here. To learn how Prompt Communications can produce the most effective communications for your sales and stakeholder value, email info@prompt-communications.com.

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Posted in Boston, Copywriting, Innovation, London, PR Practices, Prompt locations, Technology, Twitter, UK press | Comments Off on Prompt appointed by Crimson Hexagon to drive UK public relations

 

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October 10th, 2012

Prompt Communications wins Crimson Hexagon UK PR account

Prompt Communications wins Crimson Hexagon UK PR account

– Prompt to drive UK media relations and copywriting for social media platform based on patented technology originally developed at Harvard University –

London, UK and Boston, MA – 10 October 2012 – Prompt Communications, a digital communications agency with offices in Boston, San Francisco and London, has been appointed by Crimson Hexagon as its UK public relations firm.

Under the new contract, Prompt will work on targeted media relations, opinion placement and securing editorial opportunities to support Crimson Hexagon’s sales to B2C and B2B marketers, data specialists and business strategists. Prompt will work on campaigns targeting marketing, business, retail, and consumer publications.

With offices in Boston and London, Crimson Hexagon provides big data analysis software that delivers business intelligence derived from social media and other data sources to global organisations including Microsoft, Starbucks and the United Nations. Crimson Hexagon was named one of the ‘Top Ten Most Innovative Web Companies’ by Fast Company, along with Twitter, and Google.

The technology behind Crimson Hexagon’s ForSight™ platform, was originally developed at Harvard University’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science and is supported by an intelligent, customisable algorithm. The ForSight platform surpasses traditional social media monitoring software by relying on a unique combination of human judgment and computer scalability. The platform currently holds an estimated 175 billion social media posts in its database, and adds an additional 1 billion posts to its database every two days.

Wayne St. Amand, VP of Marketing for Crimson Hexagon, said: “With our growing international presence, we needed a communications agency that had experience in working with US-headquartered companies that are ramping up in the UK and Europe. Prompt was the perfect fit. We’re familiar with some of the team members and how capable they are, and we know that they will give us the drive, expertise and momentum to support our UK sales efforts.”

Prompt Communications is a digital public relations consultancy with industry expertise in the technology industry since its founding in 2002. It has worked with clients such as Dell Compellent and Oracle Corporation, as well as a number of early-stage technology companies.

Hazel Butters, CEO of Prompt Communications, said: “Crimson Hexagon’s ForSight platform is a brilliant piece of technology that analyses a phenomenal volume of social media data. As a result, the company is seeing a real demand for its platform and we’re excited to support the sales efforts and to demonstrate the need for organisations to understand social sentiment, and to apply it to business strategy.”

About Crimson Hexagon, Inc.
Crimson Hexagon, founded in 2007, is the leading provider of analysis software that delivers business intelligence from big data sources like social media and other data types for global corporations. Powered by patented technology developed at Harvard University’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science, the Crimson Hexagon ForSight™ platform delivers the industry’s most comprehensive Big Data analysis capabilities for a variety of large-scale data sources. Clients include leading global organizations such as: CBS Films, Microsoft, Paramount Pictures, Starbucks, Simon & Schuster, Twitter, The United Nations, and many more. For more information go to: http://www.crimsonhexagon.com or read the Crimson Hexagon blog: http://www.crimsonhexagon.com/blog/.

About Prompt Communications
Founded in January 2002, Prompt Communications is a communications agency with offices in London, Boston and San Francisco. Prompt offers expertise across all marketing disciplines, teaming its consultants’ extensive knowledge of technology with experience of pan-European and American media, analyst and marketing campaigns. Using highly targeted marketing, PR, analyst relations, social media and corporate copywriting initiatives, Prompt helps its clients gain the visibility needed to achieve their business objectives. www.prompt-communications.com

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October 5th, 2012

Apple addiction: A direct effect from its marketing strategy

Apple addiction: A direct effect from its marketing strategy

As a content creation, copywriting and public relations firm working with numerous technology companies, we constantly keep up with the latest innovations in the digital world. Lately, Apple has caught our eye – in a very strategic manner.

Every time Apple releases a new product, Apple addicts and newbies alike line up at the nearest Apple Store, some even camping out for days, to be the first to get their hands on the latest and greatest product. It’s become a cycle we’ve grown all too familiar with.

While sitting in the office the other day, this was mentioned and it got me thinking. I bought my iPhone over a year ago, after using a BlackBerry Curve for two years. I am now 99% team iPhone (my only complaint being the battery life). Prompt discusses Apple's marketing strategy and iPhone 5

The company’s approach is simple: Apple is always very hush-hush about its product debuts. A buzz is created around new technology, and weeks or months later, Apple announces the date for a launch event, where it will announce the date of availability and pre-order specifics.

Take for example the iPhone 5, the most recent addition to the iPhone family. Blogs and tech sites had been talking about the iPhone 5 for months, with Apple keeping tight lipped about the whole thing. On Tuesday, September 4th, Apple finally sent emails to the media inviting them to an ‘invitation-only event’, news that many had been waiting for.

The event and teaser invites secured endless amounts of Apple coverage, which then created a mob of people waiting outside the Apple Store for hours on release date (pictures were tweeted out from both @PromptLondon and @PromptBoston). Seems like simple cause and effect, right? No, it’s just Apple’s genius marketing strategy (business owners take note).

For the latest technology news, marketing strategies and Apple updates, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter here.

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Posted in Apple, Communications consultancy opinion, Copywriting, Innovation, Media, Technology | Comments Off on Apple addiction: A direct effect from its marketing strategy

 

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October 2nd, 2012

Boston meets Bulgaria: An international feel to Friday

Boston meets Bulgaria: An international feel to Friday

As an international media relations and copywriting firm with offices in Boston, San Francisco and London, the team at Prompt Communications is always interested in meeting notable leaders and business professionals from around the globe.

This past Friday, @PromptBoston had the chance to sit in on an informational speech given by the president of the Republic of Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev. President Plevneliev visited the Cambridge Innovation Center (a workspace we’ve raved about in some of our past posts), as he was in the Kendall Square area to visit the Bulgarian Consul in Boston and attend the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York the following week.

The day was topped off with savory Bulgarian food and a musical performance by Divi Zheni, Boston’s own Balkan women’s chorus, directed by Tatiana Sarbinska – an acclaimed Bulgarian folk singer, instructor and conductor.

It was a Friday for Prompt’s memory book – meeting the leader of a southeastern European country and diving into the traditions and culture of the land.

For the most recent updates on all of Prompt’s activities, follow us on Twitter at PromptBoston or PromptLondon. For more information on how our professional public relations and copywriting services can benefit your international business, please email info@prompt-communications.com.

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