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March 23rd, 2015

The Prompt Byte: March 23, 2015

The Prompt Byte: March 23, 2015

Miniature engineers fixing error on chip of motherboard


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The how-to newsletter from Prompt PR

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London


22 Upper Ground

Eighth Floor

London

SE1 9PD


Boston


745 Atlantic Ave

Third Floor

Boston

MA 02111


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Welcome…

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Happy Monday! Welcome to the Prompt Byte. This week we share thoughts on how to plan the distribution of a press release (hint, try to give your PR team more than 10 minutes’ warning); the difference between further and farther; the original meaning of BASIC and introduce you to a digital lost-and-found platform called Rejjee, based in Boston.

Enjoy, and as always, happy reading!

Hazel

Hazel Butters

CEO

Prompt PR

Twitter: @PromptLondon and @PromptBoston

Facebook: Prompt London and Prompt Boston

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How to
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How to time a press release

“We have something new and the press release is going out tomorrow.” It’s a phrase to make any PR consultant shudder.

Yes, if it’s merger-and-acquisition news, or an announcement that simply has to be created and shared with no-excuses urgency, then this is not just permissible but a necessity — and every good PR person is equipped to turn around an important announcement in a limited timeframe.

But if the announcement relates to something more standard: a product that has been in research and development for months or years, a business partnership, news of a new customer sale or implementation, research or survey work that has been compiled, then WHY the need to suddenly throw the news out without taking the time to plan when and how to share it?

As a rough guide, we like to have any news scheduled in a rolling news pipeline, and to have a press release for deliberate pitching at least two weeks before it going to be released ‘in the wild.’ Longer is better, but we realize not frequently possible, and we certainly can and do work with less.

Yes, there are differences in pitching to press in Europe and the United States. There’s a whole different way of working with embargos on both continents, and different press expectations on handling news.

Today many vendors are simply too reliant on just ‘throwing releases on the wire’ and taking Google alerts, syndicated links and temporary online hits as ‘coverage.’ They are not deliberately planning news and miss the opportunity for it to be genuine, relevant and compelling to target press — and that’s a wasted release. You deserve more from your company news. So, take the time to make your announcement shine and ensure it reaches the right journalists, in the right way, and at the right time.

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Rising stars
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Rejjee

Working in technology hubs on either side of the pond, at Prompt we’re always keen to get to know more about the innovators on our doorsteps in Boston and London. Each week, we’ll interview a local startup to learn more about technology and inspiration that can be found at home.

Recently, we chatted with Gary O’Neil, founder and CEO of Rejjee — a crowd-sourced lost-and-found platform set to revolutionize the way you find and replace your most prized possessions.

Tell us a bit about Rejjee.

Rejjee is in a category all by itself. We register, report and then replace stolen or lost goods through the use of a smartphone application. We are the first digital platform in lost and found that brings the added bonus of matching users with replacement partners — ensuring that their lost or stolen goods will be returned to them one way or the other.

We work closely with insurance companies, law enforcement and retailers and the platform is free to use for retailers and the community. There is also a public incident-mapping feature — so you can report a stolen item in real time and alert others in the area.

Unlike other finder applications, this is not a battery-driven device vulnerable to technology or process mishaps. It is a complete free SaaS system anybody can use. You can even use Rejjee to find your lost puppy.

Read more, here.

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App of the week
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Network Toolbox


Network Toolbox

This app really is ridiculously cool — if you like that sort of thing. Sure, you’ll need to have spent some hard hours/years sniffing networks and pinging endless silence to really appreciate Network Toolbox. But if you were that soldier then wow, this is like a normal civilian discovering Facebook or FlappyAngries or whatever on their phone for the first time. Get this. For less than five bucks (or four quid) you can analyse local and public networks from your phone. That includes IP and port scanning, rich device and domain information, ping (of course!), FTP/SSH/SFTP client, socket analysis, trace route, spider, Bluetooth detection, SHODAN and Morpheus search integration — too many techy things to throw a screwdriver at, basically. Do you KNOW how much this stuff cost in the 1990s? Well do you? Blimey.

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Copy corner
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Further or farther?

Leading grammatical sources including Oxford English dictionaries increasingly refer to ‘further’ and ‘farther’ as interchangeable synonyms. It’s certainly the case that ‘farther’ is rapidly falling out of common usage, and that ‘further’ can now be used in any context without fear of ridicule or misunderstanding.

However there remains an historical distinction between the two words, and sticklers for grammatical accuracy will still strive to discern between the two in specific contexts. Strictly speaking then, it is preferable to use ‘farther’ in relation to physical distances: “Is the mountain farther away than the river?” “How much farther is it exactly?” This is pretty easy to remember because the word ‘far’ is right there in the word. In all other circumstances though, ‘further’ works just fine: “I’m no further in my understanding.” “Did you get much further with your research?”

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Copy corner
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Normally, we utilize this space to bang our own drum, but our hands are getting tired. So we thought we’d let some of our public relations and copywriting customers do the talking for us this week.

“In Prompt we feel we have found a public relations company that matches our own personality. Together we are goal focused and strategic, targeting relevant media audiences in key territories, and concentrating on very specific markets. Prompt has understood our ambitions to produce some excellent and metric-based results to date, including opinion pieces, interviews and coverage in core automobile, aerospace and manufacturing press.” — Rick Burke, aPriori

You can find more testimonials here.

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App of the week
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BASIC

Most people above a certain age will be somewhat familiar with BASIC. For many of us it was the first general-purpose programming language that we bumped into, while ’10 PRINT “HELLO WORLD” 20 GOTO 10’ was frequently the first ‘computer program’ that would-be techies ever wrote. But fewer people know, or have even considered, that BASIC was an acronym. It is, and it stands for ‘Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.’ The language originated at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire in the early 1960s, to help students outside of scientific disciplines use and understand computers. It was immediately well-loved and extremely successful, shipping with all of the successful microcomputers of the 70s and 80s, becoming established in education systems around the world. It’s less popular today amid a great deal of more advanced competition, but is still significant in the guise of Visual Basic (fundamental in the development of .NET) and, going back to its roots, was recently made available by Nintendo on its 3DS and DSi hand-held gaming consoles.

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Geek speak
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“Do you realize if it weren’t for Edison we’d be watching TV by candlelight?”

Without the help of Google, can you identify the voice behind this quote?

Tweet us at @PromptBoston and @PromptLondon if you can.

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Contact Prompt
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We hope you find our newsletter an interesting read. For any feedback on our newsletter, or to discuss how we can help you with your PR, marketing, social media/blogging initiatives, copywriting or surveys, please contact us using the details below. We are always delighted to hear from you.


London


22 Upper Ground

Eighth Floor

London

SE1 9PD


Boston


745 Atlantic Ave

Third Floor

Boston

MA 02111

info@prompt-pr.com | www.prompt-pr.com

space man
Prompt

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March 23rd, 2015

The Prompt Byte: Rising Stars – Rejjee

The Prompt Byte: Rising Stars – Rejjee

RejjeeLogo HiResWorking in technology hubs on either side of the pond, at Prompt we’re always keen to get to know more about the innovators on our doorsteps in Boston and London. Each week, we’ll interview a local startup to learn more about technology and inspiration that can be found at home.

Recently, we chatted with Gary O’Neil, founder and CEO of Rejjee – a crowd-sourced lost-and-found platform set to revolutionize the way you find and replace your most prized possessions.

1. Tell us a bit about Rejjee.

Rejjee is in a category all by itself. We register, report and then replace stolen or lost goods through the use of a smartphone application. We are the first digital platform in lost and found that brings the added bonus of matching users with replacement partners — ensuring that their lost or stolen goods will be returned to them one way or the other.

We work closely with insurance companies, law enforcement and retailers and the platform is free to use for retailers and the community. There is also a public incident-mapping feature — so you can report a stolen item in real time and alert others in the area.

Unlike other finder applications, this is not a battery-driven device vulnerable to technology or process mishaps. It is a complete free SaaS system anybody can use. You can even use Rejjee to find your lost puppy.

 

  1. What does innovation mean to you?

My partner and I started in the ad world years ago. In that world, we use the word ‘creativity.’ Creativity and innovation are two words that run parallel; but innovation goes a step further — the step of usefulness. If you can merge creativity and innovation, you have something special.

  1. Why is New England such a hotbed for innovation?

New England celebrates education beyond belief. It is a perfect place for innovation, because it is all coming out of our universities. The churn of students, professors and ideas is enormous — it drives us all.

The West Coast is sunny, but our development and innovation district is fantastic. If you were holding a light bulb as you emerged from the “T”, it feels as if it could be lit just from the energy in the air. You can’t replace that.

  1. Do you have any concerns about the New England growth and innovation culture?

The biggest problem for everybody is money. We need to build upon the investor community — angels, VCs — all of that. And you need money to drive that. You have to feed the engine, and the energy is money. Money enables creativity. The investors we’ve spoken with have provided invaluable feedback, but the fact remains that West-Coast deals have more zeros than East Coast deals. It’s the only thing holding the area back.

  1. What are some of the trends and challenges you’ve seen in the New England tech scene?

Of course, medical innovation is rooted here in New England. But, its also worth looking at what the younger generation is doing — social apps and their revenue streams.

The collaborative nature of the actual people in New England is fabulous. More collaborating is welcome by everybody in the technology community.

But, we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of what Boston can do. The 2024 Olympics would be an excellent stage to showcase this.

  1. If you weren’t based in New England, which city and/or country would you want to be based in and why?

I would be in Key West. Of course, there is no innovation economy there … I’d just be sitting down with Jimmy Buffet, learning to love margaritas. To me, Boston is the only place to be. The churn, diversity, and the city itself is gorgeous — it has everything.

  1. If you could meet any single innovator (alive or dead) over a coffee, who would you want to meet?

Jonathan Ive from Apple.

  1. Name a piece of technology you’ve bought personally that you love — either recently or in the past — and why you bought it.

My smartphone. My MacBook Air. My Garmin multifunction display for my boat — it does everything. Though, I think the fish display is only designed to make me buy more Goldfish.

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March 17th, 2015

Prompt to the rescue: New crowdfunding PR packages

Prompt to the rescue: New crowdfunding PR packages

Crowdfunding can be exhilarating with ups and downs against the backdrop of constant momentum. That’s why the team here at Prompt loves working on crowdfunding journeys.

Over the years, we’ve worked on many rewards and donation-based campaigns (think Kickstarter and Indiegogo, though there are plenty of others to choose from) campaigns to help bring innovative, creative and fun products, services and offerings to new audiences. We may come out the other side of a campaign a little tired, but never worse for wear – and with even more ideas and experience.

We’ve spent a long time bringing together all of our hard-earned crowdfunding expertise and created the perfect package – the Crowdfunding Rescue PR Package. It’s a step-by-step public relations program designed specifically forcrowdfunding campaigns.

We’ll provide you with a detailed review of current communication, media and PR activities – because you can’t get anywhere without proper analysis and planning. Then we’ll get going on coaching calls, Q&A sessions and some pre-made templates to nail down messaging, content, goals, media engagement best practices and ultimately, a customized launch plan.

Intrigued? Check it out here – you won’t want to hit launch without us.

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March 2nd, 2015

The Prompt Byte – Rising Stars: Riskified

The Prompt Byte – Rising Stars: Riskified

Working in technology hubs on either side of the pond, at Prompt we’re always keen to get to know more about the innovators on our doorsteps in Boston and London. Each week, we’ll interview a local startup to learn more about technology and inspiration that can be found at home.

We caught up with Andy Freedman of Riskified; a company dedicated to eliminating the security risks and inefficiencies in the world of eCommerce. The Israeli startup has recently opened a new Boston office and we’re here to find out why.

  1. Tell us a bit about what Riskified is all about and how it got started. Riskified is an end-to-end risk management solution. We help more than 2,000 eCommerce merchants to prevent online fraud by reviewing, approving and guaranteeing their orders. We launched Riskified with a goal to build the world’s best eCommerce fraud team. We stop online fraudsters and allow merchants to focus on growing their business without fear of fraud.
  1. What does innovation mean to you? 
Innovation is the ongoing process of solving real customer pain. It involves endless iteration, learning by doing, and constantly validating your product or service by maintaining an active conversation with customers.
  2. Why is Boston such a hotbed for innovation? 
As an Israeli startup opening our first US offices in Boston, there are several similarities between our two vibrant startup communities. As well as boasting a wealth of talent, Israel and Boston also share a sense of passion and pride for their local ecosystem. Each community seizes every opportunity to collaborate, rejoice in success and be vocal advocates for startups on a global scale.
  3. Do you have any concerns about Boston’s growth and innovation culture?
I think it is natural to fear that successful Boston startups will be lured away into other markets on the promise of greater exposure and financial gains. However I believe that a key driver for the incredible growth we are seeing in Boston is a shared sense of pride in making Boston a global powerhouse across a wide-range of industries.
  4. What are some of the trends and challenges you’ve seen in the Boston tech scene?
Having spent time living in both Palo Alto and Tel Aviv it has been fun to watch Boston’s emergence as a consumer technology powerhouse, alongside traditionally strong industries like SaaS, biotech and robotics. I look forward to seeing Boston continue to attract tech companies of all stages from other global communities – like Israel, Europe and Asia – and continue to expand our international reputation.
  5. If you weren’t based in Boston which city and/or country would you want to be based in and why?
I may be a bit biased but Tel Aviv, hands down. Despite the massive weather upgrade (it will be in the 70s and sunny all next week), the number of game-changing products and services being built in such a small country is inspiring to be around.
  6. Name a piece of technology you’ve bought personally that you love – either recently or in the past – and why you bought it. 
I finally started using my Cuisinart Food Processor that was given to me as a wedding present almost 4 years ago. Now I’m addicted. I’m looking for any recipes to try, so if you’re reading this and have any suggestions, I’m all ears!

To learn more about Riskified, browse their site or follow them on Twitter.

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