Go to blog home page

Archive for October, 2013

By

October 30th, 2013

Fours reasons you should learn WordPress (and four reasons you should learn it with Prompt)

Fours reasons you should learn WordPress (and four reasons you should learn it with Prompt)

Four reasons you should invest in WordPress training:

  1. WordPress is really popular, and it’s not just about blogging anymore. This is a fully-featured content management system (CMS) with a bazillion widgets (okay, thousands), a huge community, and over 65 million sites trusting it to do the business.
  2. WordPress skills are an excellent addition to your résumé or CV.  Only an employer headquartered in a cave with no Wi-Fi or 3/4G access would now argue that flexible digital skills aren’t absolutely essential!
  3. Your job, boss and colleagues will increasingly expect you to be able to work with WordPress, almost magically. And while the system is extremely user-friendly, unless you only have ambitions to do the most basic things, then it’s worth learning your way around its features and functions thoroughly.
  4. Building confidence in WordPress is empowering. If you don’t know how it feels to be able to create your own websites, publish your own content, choose a great domain and install that perfect theme without relying on others, then you really should try it.

…and four good reasons why you should learn WordPress with Prompt

 

  1. Our course is designed and taught by experienced (and friendly!) PHP programmers, and that’s the code that WordPress is built on
  2. We will give you your very own digital sandbox – a place for you to play in, try different things out, install and test widgets, look at themes and generally get your hands dirty. Our course tutors provide careful supervision and feedback, and there’s zero risk of publishing anything by mistake, or doing digital harm to your own site or brand
  3. It’s incredibly cost-effective at just $475
  4. You can get started whenever you want – sign up today and you’ll be confident and raring to go for 2014!

Sign up today for our hands-on 60-day online training, and gain control of your own website, skill yourself up and expand your digital horizons.

And why not also sign up for to receive our free ‘WordPress Wednesday’ tips, delivered each week to your inbox?

 For any further enquiries, please feel free to get in touch with a Prompt consultant at wordpress@prompt-pr.com. Thank you.

 

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in WordPress | Comments Off on Fours reasons you should learn WordPress (and four reasons you should learn it with Prompt)

 

By

October 28th, 2013

Prompt goes PR (as in Prompt PR)

Prompt goes PR (as in Prompt PR)

Hello from Prompt PR!

Who are we to you? Ideally you already know us as that tenacious team that delivered results for your business across time-zones. Or maybe to date you know us largely through all those great downloads, courses, newsletters, blog posts and social media feeds that we create and share? Perhaps you don’t know us yet – in which case, why not join us to learn Ten Ways to Promote your Technology Product, Service or App?

However you are familiar with us, you probably just know us as ‘Prompt’. Or our more formal – and much longer – name of Prompt Communications. But not any longer. Last week we updated our digital presence to Prompt PR and prompt-pr.com. This doesn’t mean much to many people, especially as the beauty of the internet means that ‘prompt-communications.com’ will continue to persist in our digital timeline, but from this point forward our digital identity and our domain will be prompt-pr.com.

So why the change? Well, a number of reasons including:

  • – ‘PR’ is much snappier than ‘communications’. It’s easier to say ‘Prompt PR’ over the phone, quicker to type, simpler for journalists, shorter for social media, easier to fit into forms with restricted address width, and more memorable to shout out at strangers from buses (if so inclined)
  • – PR is what we do. Yes, we also communicate, but we regard PR as our core, our bread and butter. If you want to relate to ‘publics’ of any kind – journalists, prospects, customers – and your business is in any way related to technology, then we’re the team for you (if you want to check us out, why not sign up for our ‘Ten ways to promote your technology product, service or app’ webinar?)
  • – We like alliteration. But don’t worry; we won’t go any further with this and start promoting and proclaiming Prompt PR profusely and prosaically to produce plentiful pizzazz, or anything like that

Clients and friends that we have already spoken to about the change think it makes a whole lot of sense to shorten our email addresses and domain – do please remember to use our new domain when contacting us. Thank you.

www.prompt-pr.com/contact-us
info@prompt-pr.com
hbutters@prompt-pr.com
@PromptBoston
@PromptLondon

Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in Hazel Butters: Opinion | Comments Off on Prompt goes PR (as in Prompt PR)

 

By

October 23rd, 2013

Then and now – Tips for using iframes in WordPress sites

Then and now – Tips for using iframes in WordPress sites

In order to explain the benefits that iframes will bring to your WordPress website, I’ll need to begin with a brief history lesson. When iframes first emerged ten years ago, there were real problems with the internet. Browsers were far less secure, and it was also much more difficult to get content to display the same way in all browsers. For example, if you wanted to embed an advertisement, video, widget or badge on your page, there were lots of hurdles to jump in order to gain consistency across browsers. One answer was to use the <iframe></iframe> HTML tag to display the content because the iframe very cleverly allowed you to display a whole different webpage within an area of your main page. Furthermore, the content could be pulled from anywhere – any domain at all – and it could contain all of the specific formatting it needed to be seen.

Sounds good? No way. In short, iframes used to be really bad. Can you see the problem?

The iframe became a huge security leak. But as is often the case, the need for usability was greater than the regard for security, and so the iframe never quite went away completely. It almost did, but with the rise in popularity of embedding videos and social plugins – such as Likes and Pins and ‘Tweet This’ – numerous third-party websites like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and so on hopped aboard the iframe bandwagon. In order for these sites to adopt iframes successfully, two things needed to happen: firstly, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) needed to improve iframe specifications and secondly, internet browser coders needed to make their browsers better.

Today, the HTML5 specification for <iframe> is much better, having introduced the sandbox attribute to control security. So iframes are back with a vengeance – they are ubiquitous, in fact. Every YouTube, Vimeo, Pin, Like, Twit, Instagummy and so on, resides within its own little iframe. The reason why I’m not a huge fan of this technique is that some of these little buttons demand very large pages that they haul into your page load, as every party bundles each new feature into their little buttons. The fact remains however, that iframes are standard practice now. If you have ever been frustrated by restrictions in your WordPress theme, then why not just use an iframe in your post to include any content you’d like on your page from anywhere on the internet? A very practical use for iframes with WordPress is to display PDF documents in blog posts. For example, many of our clients wish to show visitors an agenda under an event details page. They can publish these as PDFs using iframe.

1) Go to ‘Media’-> ‘Add New’, and drag-and-drop the PDF document you wish to upload (note the full path to the PDF)
2) Navigate to your blog post by clicking ‘Posts’ -> ‘All Posts’ and searching for your draft. Once you’re there, switch to the text editor (sometimes called the HTML editor if you haven’t yet updated your WordPress install) and enter the HTML for your iframe like so:

<iframe src=” http://example.com/wordpress/uploads/my-pdf-file.pdf” style=”width:100%;height:1200px;”>Any alternative content you like here. Typically a simple message to say that this browser does not have a plugin that supports reading PDF content in the browser and a <a href=”http://example.com/wordpress/uploads/my-pdf-file.pdf”>link to the PDF file</a> instead</iframe>

Hint: You will need to experiment with the height:1200px; style attribute. Change this number up or down so that the height of the iframe matches the height of your PDF document when you view it on your site.

One last tip before we leave you to experiment on your own: avoid putting iframes inside of iframes. It will work, but it makes for a very slow page load.

Still wrestling with WordPress? Sign up for to receive our free ‘WordPress Wednesday’ tips delivered each week to your inbox, or register for a more hands-on 60-day online training.

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Technology | Comments Off on Then and now – Tips for using iframes in WordPress sites

 

By

October 18th, 2013

Supercell soars to success

Supercell soars to success

We were excited to hear the news about Supercell, the Finnish video game developer.

This week, Supercell made headline news as it was valued at $3bn following Japan’s Softbank acquisition of a 51% stake. The purchase places Supercell firmly at the top of the table as Europe’s fastest growing technology company.

Fans of our newsletter will be familiar with our regular ‘Go Figure’ column, but with so many exciting numbers to crunch, we just couldn’t wait until next week:

£3 bn – Current market value of Supercell

1.5bn – The amount paid by Softbank of Japan to acquire a 51% stake in the Finnish video game developer

2 – Current number of games in its inventory – Clash of Clans and Hay Day (Battle Buddies was pulled due to poor revenue figures, whilst online game Gunshine.net stopped running in November 2012)

2010 – The year Supercell was founded. Based in Helsinki, the company’s debut game was Gunshine.net which could be played in any browser and on any operating system

122 – Number of countries Clash of Clans is the top grossing iPad game in

78 – Number of countries Hay Day is the top grossing iPad game in

100 – Current number of staff employed at Supercell

Enjoyed our breakdown? Why not sign up for our bi-weekly Impromptu newsletter and read our next Go Figure column and all the other tech happenings:

Sources: Supercell, BBC News, Financial Times, Wikipedia

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in News, Tech news, Technology | Comments Off on Supercell soars to success

 

By

October 15th, 2013

Don’t be short-sighted – The pros of using short codes in WordPress

Don’t be short-sighted – The pros of using short codes in WordPress

Now that you’ve updated your WordPress site to the latest version and have a good understanding of roles, it’s time to reevaluate how you create and edit posts. Short codes are very versatile and can greatly improve the content on your WordPress site. Their purpose is to help you to embed and format special content in your posts.

If you use the Visual Editor to create and publish your posts, then you may have noticed that it is limited in its ability to format the style to your liking. The Text Editor allows you to create a finished product in whatever style you like using HTML. But the catch is that you need to have a fairly good understanding of HTML to be able to code the formatting and content you wish. But even administrators with a basic understanding of HTML will be able to create and manipulate short codes using the Text Editor – we promise, it’s not that scary.

WordPress logoSo what can you do with short codes?

Short codes can be used for a range of applications. They provide an easy method of adding image galleries, videos, web forms or column formatting to your posts. The hard part is that WordPress doesn’t publish available short codes, and they are generally theme specific, or at least specific to the plugins you have added. This means that I can’t provide you with an exhaustive list of short codes to use – you’ll need to look at your theme and plugin documentation for that. But I will give you some examples of short codes you might see:

[gallery]

Note the syntax: short codes are always wrapped in square parentheses, []. This short code will make a gallery out of all the images that are attached to your blog post. What will the format of the gallery be? That depends on your theme, so you will need to try it out for yourself and see.

[caption id="attachment_90" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Some caption text here"]<a href=”http://example.com/path-to-your-image.jpg”><img src=”http://example.com/path-to-your-image.jpg”></a>[/caption]

Again note the syntax: Short codes can have attribute-value pairs in the form ‘attribute=”value”’ to set values. Here, you can see the text for the caption is passed in as the “value” to the caption attribute’. Also note that short codes can enclose content, denoted by the [/caption] which tells WordPress where the content that is meant to be formatted ends. In the example above, the content is an image that is hyperlinked.

[contact-form-7 id="1234" title="Contact form 1"]

This short code displays the contact form with ‘ID 1234’ in your post if you have installed the most popular Contact Form 7 plugin – and more than 13 million people have installed it so far.

In summary, short codes provide great opportunities to integrate dynamic content into your website or blog. Though some knowledge of HTML is helpful, the nature of their simplicity makes short codes relatively easy to use, even for beginners.

Still wrestling with WordPress? Then please sign up to receive our free ‘WordPress Wednesday’ tips delivered each week to your inbox, or register for more hands-on 60-day online training.

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Training, WordPress | Comments Off on Don’t be short-sighted – The pros of using short codes in WordPress

 

By

October 11th, 2013

‘Ten ways to promote your technology product, service or app’: A free Prompt webinar

‘Ten ways to promote your technology product, service or app’: A free Prompt webinar

Technology marketing specialist shares ideas, opinions and experience on how to communicate technology benefits, differences and features to prospects  

October 11, 2013Prompt, a digital PR consultancy based in Boston and London, is hosting its first webinar in a series on PR, positioning and sales tactics for tech vendors. The webinar: The webinar: Ten ways to promote your technology product, service or app, will be held on Thursday October 17 at 11.30am EDT / 4.30pm BST.

The 45-minute webinar will outline challenges, tactics and opportunities facing technology vendors in communicating, planning and executing marketing and PR plans to drive sales – and offer suggestions to tech entrepreneurs and marketers that want to increase business momentum, drive marketing results and shorten their sales cycles.

The webinar will be hosted by Hazel Butters, a technology marketing specialist with 15 years’ experience of working with tech start-ups, early-stage VC-funded software companies and global technology companies.  It will cover:

  • Messaging and positioning to increase relevance and drive sales
  • How to identify and target key audiences
  • Ways that PR can support technology sales
  • The role of customer testimonials
  • Advice on demonstrating thought leadership
  • How to work with industry analysts

Hazel Butters, CEO of Prompt said: “This webinar is the first of a series of event and will be an introduction of ideas and examples of how to use PR and marketing to effectively communicate the relevance of a technology product or service – regardless of whether it’s high technology, like a high-end storage enterprise application; a consumer-leaning gadget or app; a green technology application or a medical technology device. Whatever the technology type, there’s an underlying need to be able to explain its intricacies, features and benefits to potential users. Meanwhile, buying technology has become a complicated and time-consuming activity: IT prospects are overwhelmed and uncertain. In many cases buyers find themselves inundated with content, and yet short of facts.”

Hazel concluded: “At Prompt we thrive off technology – it has an impact on how we live, communicate, work, and travel. I’m personally thankful for the opportunity I’ve had to work with global technology leaders, software companies across the globe, and some of the most fun and creatively innovative emerging tech vendors. As marketers our task is to present compelling, appropriate and honest details to relevant audiences to increase the understanding and knowledge, or to motivate a behavior – such as wanting to buy a technology product, service or app. I’m looking forward to sharing our ideas, forging new relationships and hopefully giving attendees some food for thought.”

Attendees will receive a copy of Prompt’s e-book: ‘Ten ways to promote your technology product, service or app.’

To attend ‘Ten ways to promote your technology product, service or app’ on Thursday October 17 at 11.30am EDT / 4.30pm BST, please register here.

For more information about Prompt’s technology PR, social media and copywriting services, please email info@prompt-communications.com

 ###

 About Prompt 

Prompt is a digital PR agency that enables marketers and entrepreneurs to increase sales and marketing effectiveness. Specializing in innovative markets including technology, green tech and sustainability, Prompt helps its clients communicate effectively and authentically with core audiences online and offline through PR, media relations, copywriting, webinars, market and industry analysis, social media, video content and customer reference programs. Prompt Communications has head offices in London and Boston.  Prompt’s current and former clients include Adeptra, Adobe Systems Incorporated, Aperture, Crimson Hexagon, Dell Compellent, Genesys Telecommunications, GenSight, Grouptree, IBM, Ipswitch File Transfer, jovoto, KANA, NTT Com, Oracle Corporation, Sepaton and Webtide. www.prompt-communications.com

Media contacts: Jackie Fraser | press@prompt-communications.com | Tel: 617 401 2716

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in News, Prompt news | 1 Comment »

 

By

October 9th, 2013

Ten reasons your technology marketing is pants*

Ten reasons your technology marketing is pants*

*British phrase for ‘not awesome’

1. Lack of clarity: it’s not clear what you sell – or why (i.e. why your business even exists)
2. Too many acronyms and market-created terms (see #1)
3. Tendency to make ‘me too’ claims, (frequently associated with self-constructed vendor charts)
4. A sales-marketing gap: one group is selling one thing while the other is saying another
5. Not enough customer-based content and testimonials
6. Company news/press releases aren’t being pitched to the press (hitting ‘send’ on a wire service isn’t pitching)
7. You don’t have the right sales content to help shorten the sales cycle
8. No engagement with the industry analysts (we don’t mean buying relationships)
9. You need to get some swagger and show (not tell) what is different about your business, your solution and how you work
10. You’re not explaining the solution to a problem, you’re trying to sell something

Want to hear Prompt’s ‘Ten Ways’ and get some ideas of how to create content and campaigns to help technology sales?Join us for a free ‘Ten Ways to Promote your Technology Product, Service or App’ webinar that’s being held on October 10 at 11:30am ET / 4:30pm BT. Register here: http://www.prompt-the-crowd.com/technology-pr-webinar/

Missed it/unable to attend but would like the reply? Email us at ten@prompt-communications.com

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Hazel Butters: Opinion, PR Practices | Comments Off on Ten reasons your technology marketing is pants*

 

By

October 9th, 2013

Understanding roles in WordPress

Understanding roles in WordPress

For those of us who manage or contribute content to websites using WordPress, roles can be difficult to understand right away and things may get messy over time, especially if the site has many users. Users may hesitate, misidentify or complicate the workflow when the distinction between ‘administrator’ and ‘contributor’ has not been communicated properly.

Whether you are about to set up a new blog or have been using WordPress for years, it is important to ask yourself – Who should have administrator access? How do I want to manage editors, authors and contributors?

Below are some helpful definitions of common WordPress roles, which are further discussed on WordPress.org. We encourage you to bookmark this page to serve as reference when you go to set up your site.

  • Administrator: Administrators have full access to every corner of the website. They can install and access WordPress, add or remove users, install and edit plugins and themes, as well as post and manage posts.
  • Editor: Editors can publish and manage their own blog posts, as well as the posts of others.
  • Author: Authors can write, publish and manage posts, but are not able to manage posts written or published by other users.
  • Contributor: Contributors can write and manage posts, but are not able to publish them on their own.
  • Subscriber: Subscribers have a user name and password which allows access to your website, but are only able to manage their own posts, which tend to take the form of comments.

Still confused? Here is a handy matrix for you to keep on hand that explains the differences.

WordPress_understanding-roles-graphic2

A clear understanding of roles is critical to maintaining a successful website or blog. At Prompt, we recommend carving out time before launching your site to set yourself up for an effective workflow that meets the demands of your timeline and readership.

Did you learn something new? Share this tip on Twitter and sign up for WordPress Wednesday – free tips to improve your website delivered to your inbox each week – or sign up for our 60-day online WordPress training and gain control of your website.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Technology, Training, Website development, WordPress | Comments Off on Understanding roles in WordPress

 

By

October 8th, 2013

Prompt technology PR client Q&A: Crimson Hexagon

Prompt technology PR client Q&A: Crimson Hexagon

A tech PR interview: Wayne St Amand, Crimson Hexagon

At Prompt, we spend our time immersed in technology. Whether it’s high-level enterprise storage, security solutions that address advanced persistent threats, or cleverly-engineered gadgets, we’re there with our clients coming up with great ideas to engage with the media and to pen perfect (and relevant) messages.

This week I caught up with a Prompt client I really admire: social media sentiment analysis vendor Crimson Hexagon. Crimson Hexagon is the company behind ForSight, a unique software platform based on an algorithm that combines human judgment with computer scalability to measure sentiment across billions of social media conversations – including its expanding social media database of more than 350 billion posts. This amazing technology was developed at Harvard University’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science, and is now used by big brands, agencies and household name organizations.

I asked Wayne St. Amand, VP of marketing for Crimson Hexagon, about his experiences working with Prompt.Prompt technology PR client: Wayne at Crimson Hexagon

Sinead: Crimson Hexagon has been working with Prompt in Europe for over a year now. What’s been good about the experience?

Wayne St. Amand: Working with Prompt has been a delight since day one. In every aspect of PR – and far beyond – Prompt’s consultants have consistently supported our business with expertise, timeliness, creativity, honesty and most importantly, results.

Sinead: How has working with Prompt contributed to your business?

Wayne: Not only are Prompt’s consultants public relations practitioners and copywriters, they are also keen technologists and supporters of our product, vision and mission. They engage with our teams, understand our technology, develop ideas for communicating its benefits, and then deliver on those ideas. Through content creation, media relations, events or market research, we know that plans will be created, objectives fulfilled and results delivered.

Sinead: How does Prompt stand out amongst competitors in the ever-changing worlds of both technology and public relations?

Wayne: With a long history of experience working in technology sectors across the globe, Prompt is insightfully attuned to our market, as well as the specific needs of Crimson Hexagon. The team at Prompt has genuinely become an extension of our own

Sinead: Would you recommend the team here at Prompt?

Wayne: Yes, I’d highly recommend them to any technology company that is looking to maximize visibility, press coverage and PR momentum.

Would you like to see your thoughts here next? Contact us today for further information on how Prompt can help you own hone communication plans, decrease the technology sales cycle and much more. Are you a startup or an early-stage tech company? Please check out our ‘First Byte’ packages, designed just for you.

Tags: , , ,
Posted in Technology | Comments Off on Prompt technology PR client Q&A: Crimson Hexagon

 

By

October 2nd, 2013

Updating your WordPress site – Are you scared to press the update button to reach 3.6.1?

Updating your WordPress site – Are you scared to press the update button to reach 3.6.1?

There’s been a lot of press coverage about WordPress security this week, including this piece in Information Week and this one in Techworld.

If you’re a WordPress user there are several things that you can do to secure your site – but one of the biggest (and easiest) is to keep your WordPress site updated with the latest version of the software.

Seems simple enough and yet it seems that WordPress users aren’t keeping up to date: research from EnableSecurity found out that only 7,814 WordPress websites upgraded to the latest WordPress 3.6.1 a day after it was released – that’s out of 42,106 WordPress websites ranked in Alexa’s top 1 million websites. That’s a shocking less than a fifth, or 18.55 percent, of users.

It’s not as if updating your WordPress version is tricky – it is (literally) the push of a button.

So why the reluctance to update? From our experience of training people in WordPress, whether it’s in-person or our classroom-style online courses, we find that many WordPress users are hesitant to update their WordPress blogs because they’re worried the update may cause problems, or they see warnings about backing up (and many people we talk to aren’t even sure if they are backing up…) and they worry they will screw their site up. So the update is simply ignored.

Well, while we’ve found it to be rare that a WordPress upgrade can go wrong, we would agree with those warnings – it’s important to back up your site anyhow, and there’s lots of options including plugin such as backWPup.

Unsure if you’re backing up? Or how to backup? Or you’re pretty sure you’ve backed up but are still feeling scared about pressing the update button? Don’t be – if you want to understand how to back up your site and confidently press that update button, sign up for one of our online classroom-style WordPress training courses to improve your WordPress skills. Or just sign up for our free weekly WordPress tips below!

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Training, WordPress | Comments Off on Updating your WordPress site – Are you scared to press the update button to reach 3.6.1?