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October 21st, 2014

Hazel Butters

Tech PR perspective: Pitching to the national press

Tech PR perspective: Pitching to the national press

Last week saw a busy schedule of press briefings for clients of both Prompt Boston and Prompt London. I was very happy to accompany one client to a series of appointments which included a highly technical briefing, followed by a more general discussion with the Wall Street Journal. This made me think about several topics, which I’ll begin to discuss in this first of a new series of posts.

I’d like to start by talking about the importance of knowing how to pitch tech stories productively to the national press. Too often technology vendors and their technology PR partners are guilty of trying to say too much and making their pitches far too complex. Familiarity with the industry press makes them believe that they can simply contact editors, let them know a new product is being released, and then tell them all about each of their new product features. It might seem that the same strategy will work for the national press, but it’s vital to first think from the perspective of each publication.

PR pitching
Pick up a serious broadsheet on either side of the Atlantic – such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Financial Times or The Guardian. Even other styles of newspapers like the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, The Washington Post or USA Today. Read them objectively and try to picture whether or not you could honestly see your intended story running as you framed it through a technical press release. Remember that national newspapers have a wide circulation, and must appeal to a very broad range of people.

This requirement for a broad appeal means that national newspapers can’t afford to be too focused. Even if you’re talking to a section editor or an editor with a specialist beat, they still need to be aware of their entire readership. When pitching to the national press, a human interest angle is essential – I’ve written about this before, when I referred to each narrative behind a company as a ‘Pub Story’. This is what makes story hooks more compelling for national journalists. In a separate blog post, I will also deal with a connected issue: lazy pitching. This irritates me because I strongly believe that pitching is not about volume. Just like lazy sales – you can’t just buy a massive list, spam everybody and hope to succeed: instead you need hooks and honey.

But back to the nationals; if you’re going to pitch to national journalists, here are some considerations that I think are important:

  1. Think from a human angle, not from a technical angle. Why was the company started? How, by whom and what was their inspiration? Which team members have interesting stories that are pertinent to what is happening in the industry? What is the impact of those new products or services on a broader, cultural level, to the average human being?
  2. I’ve written before about ‘telling a pub story’, and the focus is the word ‘story’. This isn’t a marketing message or advertising spin, it’s a general interest story that hooks in to a company’s history, values, products or services
  3. Review key messaging that you want to get across, and work hard on fresh, relevant angles that link to those messages, and vice-versa
  4. Research and approach relevant journalists. Read their publication and recent stories that they have authored. Are there relevant angles you can contribute to? Steer? Disagree with? Do your homework and make your pitch as relevant as possible.
  5. Be honest and decide whether or not you could really see your story being published in your target publication. How would it look? What might the possible headline be? You cannot suggest content or headlines to the journalist, but it’s a valuable exercise in considering the link between your angles and the publication’s remit
  6. Keep your pitch short. It’s all about the story.
  7. Suggest convenient times and locations for any meetings. Offer specific times and locations from the outset and don’t make it a to-and-fro.

Remember that you are contacting a journalist under time pressure that needs to create relevant copy for their readers. Let them know that you have a relevant story opportunity, what precisely it is, who the person is that you’d like them to speak with, and why they will prove a valuable contact for the editor to meet. Next, make your client readily available at a time and location convenient to the editor.

I love what I do (but it’s not rocket science). Next up, how to be a spokesperson for the national press…

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May 17th, 2013

PromptBoston

Dr. Who becomes a new kind of practitioner (the PR kind)

Dr. Who becomes a new kind of practitioner (the PR kind)

Doctor WhoGood PR stories are not hard to find – whether it’s a great crisis management strategy or a dreaded PR fail, they are all out there. Every day, companies, organizations, celebrities and public figures coordinate with consultants to ensure they’re putting their best foot forward, in PR terms of course. This week, we’re taking a look at Dr. Who’s PR footsteps, and why there’s no need to backtrack.

It’s no secret that Dr. Who’s fan base is gigantic – the hit BBC science fiction program is broadcast in 48 different countries. Given the large international fan base, Dr. Who’s producers and PR team pulled off an impressive campaign after a pre-order crisis. Essentially, the problem boiled over when this season’s DVD compilation was sent out too early to pre-order customers, and included the not-yet-aired finale (oops!).

Now, as this finale is set to unveil some pretty heavy plot-twists, you can imagine the crew’s horror at the mass effect of today’s social media driven world. All of the secrets would be revealed before the finale, resulting in dangerously low ratings for the long-standing hit show.

In a swift effort to combat the problem, Dr. Who successfully turned the crisis into an opportunity. Using social media to reach fans, the television program’s producer has urged viewers to hold off watching, or to at least keep quiet, about what they’ve seen. In return, they will be rewarded with special clips featuring appearances by past Doctors, which to ‘Whovians’ is a pretty big deal.

The true genius behind the plan is this: it doesn’t matter if the producer’s plea succeeds or fails. The full finale could be bootlegged and put onto YouTube for the world to see but the show, regardless, has gained significant engagement and respect for not only owning, but compensating for, its mistakes.

Not to mention, those who have never watched Dr. Who want to know what all the fuss is about, and that already-aired finale will have more viewers than it would have sans-crisis.

To find out a bit more about how Prompt Communications can offer you this kind of effective PR, but without the need for a crisis,  visit our website today. Better yet, let one of our high-tech clients, Ipswitch File Transfer, tell you by reading our latest testimonial.

Will you be one of the many Whovians watching the ‘finale that will change everything’ on Saturday? Let us know – tweet us @PromptBoston or @PromptLondon!

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Posted in Media, PR Practices | 2 Comments »

 

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April 26th, 2013

Hazel Butters

Read all about it! Are print newspapers fated to fold? (Part 1)

Read all about it! Are print newspapers fated to fold? (Part 1)

As PR and comms consultants we have a keen interest in the spoken and printed word.  So, it’s no surprise that at Prompt Boston’s office there’s been a great deal of discussion about the potential sale of The Boston Globe. Current owners, The New York Times Company, are looking for bids for the New England Media Group, which includes the Globe as well as the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

If you have a spare $100 million or so, these great papers could be yours. The most likely interested parties, Heberden Ryan and Richard Daniels, certainly have a difficult decision to make. Should they even be entertaining this investment when the future of paper-based newspapers has never been so uncertain? In a statement, Ryan and Daniels couldn’t hide their love for traditional professional journalism, (“Our intention is to give these news organizations the economic viability they need to bring great journalism to their consumers and their communities.”) but only while underlining the importance of a strong complementary online presence (“the best and most important newspapers and digital media sources in New England.”)

What futures do newspapers as we know them really have? No-one would argue that print publications are suffering from declining fortunes. When the New York Times Company bought The Boston Globe back in 1993 it paid $1.1 billion. Since then, our news reading habits have changed dramatically, as we casually graze a far broader range of sources including websites, social media, pushed news feeds, mobile apps, and ever slicker and more competitive electronic versions of our habitual daily newspapers. Perhaps understandably in the face of such fierce competition, the readerships and advertising revenues of traditional papers have declined steeply.

Towards the end of 2012, Pew Research Center discovered that just 23% of Americans read a daily print newspaper, compared to 41% just a decade earlier. The same research revealed that 55% of regular New York Times readers now prefer to read it on a computer or mobile device, as do 48% of USA Today and 44% of Wall Street Journal readers. Britain’s much-loved broadsheets have fared no better, with the Telegraph’s daily readership dropping from over a million each day in 2000 to 555,000 today, the Independent falling from 222,000 to 71,000 over the same period, and the Guardian from 409,000 to 209,000. Tabloids have gone the same way, with the Sun going from 3.5 to 2.4 million, and the Mirror from 2.07 to 1.06 million.

In the US there are already clear signs that revenues lost in print sales and corresponding display advertising must and can be reeled back by various forms of paid digital channels. According to the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), print advertising remains the largest source of revenue for newspapers at 46%, but its value actually fell a further 6% year-on-year in 2012. Newspaper circulation revenues were actually up by 5% in 2012 at $10.4 billion – the first gain since 2003. This is all down to growing subscriptions to digital editions. Industry-wide, advertising spend was $18.9billion last year, supplemented by a growing $3.4 in digital ads.

NAA president Caroline Little said: “America’s newspaper media are transforming themselves… …they are finding new ways to serve audiences and local businesses.”

How do you see the future of the printed newspaper? Will it continue to thrive in niches, serve traditionalists, dominate regional and specialist markets? Will printed papers complement digital editions? Or are all printed newspapers fated to fold?   

Take the Prompt poll: 

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Posted in Boston, Copywriting, Hazel Butters: Opinion, Media, Polls | 3 Comments »

 

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February 20th, 2013

PromptBoston

Maker’s Mark: Social media turns up the volume (of alcohol)

Maker’s Mark: Social media turns up the volume (of alcohol)

If you’ve never seen or drank it, Maker’s Mark is a classic American whisky. But last week the company announced it would be dropping its alcohol content from 45% to 42%. The reason? The logic of supply and demand, and the need to meet demands in new markets such as India. In short the company planned to water down its alcoholic content to stretch it further.

Maker's Mark alcohol social mediaA number of customers were outraged, and vented their thoughts over social media. There was a sharp increase in tweets, Facebook posts, and blog posts.  One fan stated: “Maker’s Mark is going to destroy itself. Bad move.”

By Sunday Maker’s Mark had retracted its statement, assuring customers that their favorite bourbon would remain at 90 proof, or 45% alcohol by volume.  Yes, the company will still face shortage problems – and will probably need to scramble for new ways to get its product on the shelf. After all, three months of research and design were put into the ‘new proof’ solution – and as a high-tech PR consultancy, believe us when we say that’s an investment no company wants to scrap.

While Marker’s Mark is back at the drawing board, where does this leave business responses to social media?  After all, we each have opinions, but in the new world of social media, we are all equipped with a voice. Should businesses should simply resign their plans in the face of popular demands?

The alcohol industry is no stranger to this type of mayhem. Just last year the college favorite, Four Loko, was forced to remove a key ingredient: caffeine. There was a resulting social media frenzy, but ultimately sales began to return to normal – without the company changing policy.

Time will tell whether Maker’s Mark should have caved to popular opinion. To paraphrase a saying, the proof is in the whisky.

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December 6th, 2012

Hazel Butters

Which tablets do you take? And is the mouse a squeak away from extinction?

Which tablets do you take? And is the mouse a squeak away from extinction?

Prompt Communications Tech SurveyRegular market research is essential to ensure that you are still tapping the correct markets for your products and services. At Prompt, we undertake all aspects of research, data collection and statistical analysis. Perhaps the easiest and quickest way to take a rapid snapshot of market opinions, is to conduct a survey.

One recent survey we conducted across US and UK tech consumers proved to be a great example of rapid opinion gathering. The survey was conducted online and in-person. It revealed that Apple is still far more sought after than its competitors in the tablet world, and remains better thought of than its competitors in terms of innovation, design, usability, retail and marketing effort.

Perhaps most tellingly, despite significant launches from Microsoft, Samsung, Google and Amazon in 2012, more survey respondents are hoping for iPads, iPad minis and iPhones in their stockings this year, over other tablet-like devices!

In the tablet and smartphone market, companies are constantly looking for ways to become more innovative and to aggressively increase their market share. A responsibility lies with these vendors to be clearer about specs, features and benefits, and to help consumers to navigate the maze of new mobile devices. Clarity, common English and transparency are crucial. Meanwhile consumers are becoming increasingly aware of what products are available and the features they are looking for, while gaining a deeper understanding of comparable benefits.

In the same survey, we also found that although losing popularity with the rise of tablets, the computer mouse isn’t headed for extinction just yet.  That finding probably surprised me the most – personally I work at a touchscreen computer, a laptop with a touchpad, a tablet and a smartphone – all without a mouse in sight. I still carry one around in my handbag though, so perhaps I’m just sentimental…

Would you like to weigh in with your own opinions? Perhaps you’d like to add your own support for Apple, provide some vocal backing for other tablet brands, or just stick up for the mouse? We’d love to hear from you. The survey is still open. Please just click here to share views on tablets, mice and your holiday wish-list.

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Posted in Apple, Media, Microsoft, Prompt locations, Survey, Technology | Comments Off on Which tablets do you take? And is the mouse a squeak away from extinction?

 

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November 29th, 2012

Hazel Butters

Uk Public Relations viewpoint: The British press needs regulation

Uk Public Relations viewpoint: The British press needs regulation

As a public relations consultant I think today is a landmark day for the British press, with today’s publication of the Leveson report and a call for legislation to regulate press practices and ethics.  Press freedom, Leveson, Leveson inquiry, view from Prompt Communications: copywriting and tech PR firm

The 2,000 page report is an unprecedented examination of the British press, resulting from the much-publicised inquiry led by Lord Justice Leveson and launched by the British Prime Minister in July 2011.The inquiry itself was prompted by what can only be described as atrocious acts of phone hacking by a section of the press of a number of individuals. Of paramount public concern was the hacking of the mobile phone of murdered 13 year-old schoolgirl Milly Dowler, which gave her family false hope that she might still be alive. The culmination of these events led to the closure of The News of The World newspaper by the News International media group.

The damning report published today details the need for press regulation, sparking immediate consequences. Leveson concludes that a tougher form of press self-regulation should be imposed, backed by appropriate legislation necessary to uphold press standards. British PM David Cameron broadly welcomed the principles for change recommended in the report, but has expressed “serious concerns and misgivings” over the concept of statutory regulation. The PM articulated concerns over the curbing of Britain’s proud tradition of free speech and a free press, when he told MPs today: “For the first time we will have crossed the Rubicon of writing elements of press regulation into the law of the land. We should think very, very carefully before crossing the line.”

The Leveson recommendations do put the PM in a rather tricky position, with many media and public observers concerned that this might be the start of some kind of slippery slope as far as British press freedoms are concerned. Mr Cameron’s concerns also put him at direct odds with his deputy Nick Clegg, who made his own statement claiming the recommended changes in the law were “the only way to guarantee” the press remains in check in the future. This sentiment echoes that of opposition Labour leader Ed Miliband, who is today urging the government to adopt all the recommendations of the Leveson report by 2015.

As Brit, I’ve always been very proud of our press freedoms, and the acutely balanced edge that this has encouraged. But no-one can deny that the much-publicised phone hacking scandals, highlighted by the awfulness and moral wrongness of hacking Milly Dowler’s phone, revealed a need for restraint. Like many others, I had assumed to this point that publishers and editors would continue to serve as moral compasses for their own publications. However, since the phone-tapping accusations and the arrests that have followed, my view has changed, despite my sadness at the very thought that any legislation is required to underpin the regulation of the practice and ethics of our press.

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November 28th, 2012

Media interviews: Some quick tips and a free Public Relations guide

Media interviews: Some quick tips and a free Public Relations guide

Yesterday, one of our clients had a phone interview with the Boston Globe, and after a successful discussion with the journalist (more on that to follow), the client thanked us for our advice which comprised simple best practices that have a real impact. We thought we’d share some here with you.

You can also download our handy ‘Dos and don’ts guide to phone interviews’.

Tip #1: Speak slower than you typically feel comfortable

Media interview quick tipsEspecially on phone interviews, it can be difficult to gauge how fast you’re speaking because you can’t see the journalist furiously typing or writing your every word. But just because you can’t see them, you need to assume the person you’re talking to is transcribing the conversation in real time. Therefore during every phone interview try to: take a breather between each sentence; enunciate, especially words that are complicated or overly technical; and speak as slowly as possible. This will ensure the journalist represents your words as accurately as possible.

Tip #2: Nail down your three main points prior to speaking with a journalist      

The internet has proven to be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to interviews – a blessing because journalists rarely ask the correct spelling of your company’s name or when it was founded, as the internet has already provided them with that information. A curse because the interviewer can get to the hard-hitting question faster and without much context. One of the most important things you can do to prepare for this is determine your three main talking points before that phone rings. If you have a 20 minute interview, have a sheet in front of you with point #1,# 2, and #3, most often around your company’s market offerings, and strive to discuss those points in as many of your answers as possible.

Tip #3: Just answer the question

While getting your three main points into each of your answers is the goal of any interview, don’t spend too much time over-analyzing or picking apart the journalists questions. If he asks your opinion on an industry trend, answer it from whatever perspective you feel most comfortable with (yours or your company’s). Oftentimes journalists will ask questions they know they want to include in their article, regardless of your answer. So the less time you spend figuring out how to answer the journalist’s question as precisely as possible, the more time you can spend getting your points across during the interview.

Like with most things, mastering media interviews takes practice, so continue to look for interview opportunities as often as possible. And if you’re still interested in learning more about how to become media interview expert, email us at info@prompt-communications.com for a free hour of consultation and don’t forget to download our dos and don’ts guide to phone interviews.

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Posted in Communications consultancy opinion, Copywriting, Media, PR Practices | Comments Off on Media interviews: Some quick tips and a free Public Relations guide

 

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November 2nd, 2012

Can I get some PR with my coffee?

Can I get some PR with my coffee?

Earlier in the week, one of our favorite neighbors in CIC, CEOExpress, sent us a link to this story about British department store Debenhams offering a ‘plain English coffee menu’, or a list of drinks that describe caffeinated goodness in the simplest possible terms.

It prompted (geddit?) much discussion in our Boston, London and San Francisco offices, and across the Atlantic, as from @PromptLondon to @PromptBoston we have varied coffee drinking tastes. Debenham PR coffee menu

From a copywriter that, regardless of the menus in coffee shops, always orders a black coffee and not an Americano – because if he does he is then asked if he wants milk.  He says a black coffee is a black coffee:  it’s direct and descriptive.  Although if he wants an espresso, he’ll order an espresso, as that’s what it is called, and the most understandable term for what he wants.   Meanwhile we have Boston-based PRs that love the range of lattes available at Voltage, the awesome local coffee shop near the CIC. Some of our favorites at Voltage are the ‘Paper Plane’ (cardamom-flavored and rosewater), ‘Atticus Finch’ (vanilla with burnt sugar) and ‘Beyond the Sea’ (caramel with a hint of sea salt).

Then there’s the coffee station on every floor of the CIC. Take your pick of flavor shots – from the standard hazelnut and French vanilla, to seasonal pumpkin and Irish cream. As if that weren’t hard enough to choose, then you have the choice of coffee to drink – 50/50, Columbian, or café mocha. Yum, one of each please!

Whatever our coffee preferences are, I think we’re in general agreement that the repeat of ‘really’ in Debenhams’s new coffee signs could be interpreted as a little, well, patronizing.

You could argue that this is also very clever PR on Debenhams’s case – from speaking to PromptLondon-ers, a lot of Brits remember going to town centre department stores like Debenhams, C&A, British Home Stores, and Co-Op as children, and stopping halfway through a tiring shop to get a cup of tea or coffee in the in-store ‘caff’.  And renaming products may ring a chord for Brits, and garner some sympathy (and custom) for the shop.

This could also be seen as a reaction to the continued drowning influx of global coffee shops brands into the British retail segment.  If you go to any town centre today the reality is that you’ll find a Starbucks where once you would have found ‘Poppy’s Coffee Shop’, and although it’s just one more inevitable change in a global retail world, it doesn’t mean that everyone in small town Britain, or anywhere else for that matter, sees it as progress or evolution.

It’s not all about the half-and-half vanilla skinny mocha latte than it is about friendly service, a smile and a chat with a familiar local face over a cuppa.

One of the biggest changes we’d like to see in coffee shops is the refusal to serve people who say “Can I get a…”  – it’s not self-service. It’s “May I please have…” – and don’t forget to say thank you. Take that for a personal PR tip.

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Posted in Boston, Communications consultancy opinion, Copywriting, London, Media, Opinion, PR Practices, Prompt locations, UK press | Comments Off on Can I get some PR with my coffee?

 

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October 19th, 2012

PromptBoston

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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October 12th, 2012

PromptBoston

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 10th, 2012

PromptBoston

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).

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