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May 8th, 2015

Hazel Butters




dividing line Prompt Byte

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 Friday everybody and welcome to another edition of the Prompt Byte. We hope you’ve had a great week and are ready for some new tips.

This week, we talk about ‘social’ acceptable copy, the three things to focus on while gearing up for a product launch and having a good newsletter. And don’t forget – we want to hear your Geek Speak guesses! Get in touch on Twitter.

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 think about product launches: Vision, authority and impact

At Prompt we help entrepreneurs and businesses launch products: apps, hardware, consumer technologies, innovative gadgets, business products and services, and high-end, complex enterprise products.

Many product launches are driven by a desire to increase sales. But selling your product, service or idea isn’t just about money – it’s about something much bigger than that. It’s about having an impact.

When we are talking to clients on the essential groundwork for effective communication that engages, influence (and helps to drive sales) we work on three core areas: vision, authority and impact.

Vision
This is the purpose behind the company or organization – the why, the reason for existing and the rationale for your anticipated path. In short, this is why your organization exists. It’s important to be clear on your vision, because it’s also the underlying ‘why’ for your product or service. Without a why it’s hard to have a passion. With it, all marketing and sales comes from a place of passion and belief.

Authority

Authority is about sharing your expertise – both in your market and on your product. It’s important to be an authority and consistently demonstrate it. This is why it is important to grasp opportunities to share your views, insights and advice on a market – speak with press, brief industry analysts, share expertise over social media and comment on relevant forums and blogs. Within your company you have experts, so allow them to have their expert opinions – on the market, on what prospects needs to be aware of and to ask – and to express these opinions and demonstrate their authority.

Impact

Impact is about results – not for your organization or company, but the impact your product, service or app has on your users’ lives. Impact could relate to a cause, emotional results, or tangible results such as saving time or money and increasing business efficiency. It’s about the transformation. Sharing examples, transformations and support from existing customers is a great way to help explain this impact to prospects.

Want to hear more about how to define your vision, authority and impact to drive technology sales? Then join our ‘How to drive technology sales’ webinar on May 15 – simply register here.

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App of the week
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Opinion 2


Opinion 2

Opinion Podcasting has been the free podcasting tool of choice for many for some time now. It’s a brilliant little app that allows you to create high-quality audio podcasts, then trim and edit them with natty drag & drop tools that make the whole experience fun and easy. But in its latest update, Opinion 2 has made the logical step to add online publishing and sharing options, removing the need for a third-party export service. Opinion 2 now provides your podcast with its own webpage and an RSS feed — and it’s all still free.

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App of the week
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Linux

The correct way to pronounce the name of this revolutionary open source operating system is NOT ‘line-ux’ to rhyme with ‘mine-ux’ or ‘pine-ux’. The creator of the Linux Kernel has always been very clear that his OS should be referred to as ‘Linux’ to rhyme with ‘Win-ux’, ‘Pin-ux’ or perhaps more pertinently, ‘Finn-ux’. That’s because the Finnish born software engineer is called Linus Benedict Torvalds, and in Scandinavia everybody pronounces Linus with a short ‘I’, not a long ‘I’ like Charlie Brown and Snoopy’s friend. But there’s no need to take our word for it when you can listen to the man himself explaining. The poor chap has been trying to tell everyone since 1991…

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Geek speak
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“Get a pocket computer, try to do what you used to do, yeah.”

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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Copy corner
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Social acceptable copy

There was a time when writing for the web was considered to be a specialist skill, separate from other forms of copywriting. Content was king, but only if it was direct, pithy, succinct, short enough to fit on one screen, and compelling enough to prompt action. Webmasters and writers determined that people online were either too busy or too fickle to devote much attention span to reading tranches of text (while presumably those who preferred to read their news printed on pulped up trees had more time to fritter away digesting long features and turning pages).

Today lines have blurred considerably and pretty much all timely, consumable, disposable writing is published on the web in some form or another. This means that all content must be written with online readers in mind. It’s entirely reasonable to expect a higher degree of skipping, scanning and flicking from someone with multiple sources of information available simultaneously at their fingertips, than just one newspaper on their lap. Immediate copy writing that fits ‘above the fold’ of most computer screens is more likely to get noticed by more people. There’s still space for quality long-form copywriting online, but if anything that initial need for brevity has been compounded further by the ubiquity of small screen mobile devices and social media.

Away from more technical considerations of SEO and keywords then, are there any enduring rules of web writing that remain appropriate for social writing? We can certainly offer half a dozen quick tips that might help if you’re struggling to be heard above the hubbub:

1. Headlines must still work hard whether you are writing a 3,000 word feature or a 200 word blog post. It’s your only chance to seize a reader’s attention with big bold type and hold it for as long as you can. A clever headline is also extremely tempting and easy to forward and share without explanation

2. Only post copy that really matters to somebody, because whether your target readers are devoting 30 seconds to your piece or 30 minutes, they still need to understand clearly why you wrote it in the first place, and why they should care enough to come back for more

3. Try and make readers think ‘huh!’, or better still to utter it out loud in a cryptic way that makes other people nearby say ‘wuh?’ Copy shared is exponentially more valuable than copy swiped away, and those social media buttons are so very easy to click

4. Have faith in good copy and be patient with it. Online writing may sit on the back burner for days, or weeks, and still pick up hits and comments months or years later. Today’s copy is no longer tomorrow’s fish and chip paper

5. Be fresh, make a clear point, and ask for feedback. You’ll quickly lose trust and return visitors if you say the same old woolly things over again and never ask readers what they would like to read

6. Don’t be afraid to go long occasionally. Not everything can be explained sufficiently in 140 characters, one smartphone page, or even above the fold on a laptop screen. Never be afraid to trust your instincts and write your ideas to their natural length if you believe they need room for expression. You can always create teaser posts on your favorite social media platforms that link to the full article for those readers who trust your judgement (and have the social stamina).

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Copy corner
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Newsletters

Do you have a big email list? A small email list? Working to build an email list of any kind? No matter the you’re situation – you should absolutely be sending out e-newsletters.
Over the years, we’ve created countless newsletters for a number of clients. They’re all different lengths, different structures and are send out at different frequencies but they all wielded results.

Newsletters give you the opportunity to educate your potential, existing and past customers about your field and your company. It opens the doors for two-way communication, sparks interest and allows you to leverage existing content in new ways.

I mean, you’re reading this after all — aren’t you?

Not sure where to start? Get in touch today!

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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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Copyright Prompt Communications 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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Posted in Newsletter | Comments Off on

 

By

April 1st, 2015

PromptBoston

The Prompt Byte: April 1, 2015

The Prompt Byte: April 1, 2015




dividing line Prompt Byte

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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Welcome to a mid-week edition of the Prompt Byte! We hope you’re soaring through the days productively.

Today, spare a few seconds to learn what you’ll need to ask for in your upcoming crowdfunding campaign and when it’s right to use an apostrophe. Also keep reading if you’ve ever wondered exactly what a PDF is and why the format exists in the first place.

Here for the answer to last week’s Geek Speak? It was said by actor and writer Al Boliska. Got it right? Then go grab yourself a treat and don’t forget to let us know your guesses this week.

Oh, and have a great week!

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 work out how much to ask for in a crowdfunding campaign

The main point of crowdfunding is, well, to raise funds from a crowd. So you would think that every team heading towards a crowdfunding launch would have carefully done its math. However in our experience this isn’t always true. Every crowdfunder seems to know their financial goal, but the supporting calculations are rarely as strong as they should be.

Some things to consider:

  • It’s important to be very clear not only about how much money you need, but also why you need it, how you will justify the figure to potential backers, and how you plan to spend their money to reach your mission
  • Be very clear about your vision. You need to communicate the core of your ambition so that potential supporters understand precisely which part of the world you want to change and how you intend to achieve it
  • Have a good mix of rewards or perks, and make sure these support your goals. Don’t have too many rewards and don’t do that ‘annoying wedding list’ thing by which you either (a) only have an overwhelming array of cheap low-priced items, or (b) only have options for the big spenders (fridge-freezers, hand-engraved crystal glasses from Paris, grand pianos…)
  • Give insight and details into any operations and finances to date. What have you raised or created so far? How have you spent and managed that money? And how has this past investment helped you to get closer to your mission?
  • Don’t over-ask, however tempting. Because you are fully committed to your campaign you might almost feel like you have to ask for as big a bucketful of cash as possible. But over-asking can make potential backers wary
  • Calculate all the costs of any rewards and add in at least a 20 percent buffer. We’ve seen campaigns slip up on the sudden unexpected costs of a backer event – even on t-shirts
  • If you are offering rewards or perks that must be physically mailed out, be very deliberate and clear about who is paying the shipping costs. If it is you, then be sure you have a buffer for any unexpected changes in delivery charges. For example, we worked on a project with physical perks in which the first items sent backers required an additional piece to be shipped out – at the vendor’s expense
  • Calculate every single manufacturing cost. If you are going to manufacture after crowdfunding, you may be working off estimates, so add in a further 20 percent buffer to ensure you are ready for any nasty surprises
  • Have stretch goals at the ready. Factor these in at the planning stage, so if/when you reach your campaign goal, you are not left scrambling to plan

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Melius

Prompt works in technology hubs on either side of the pond, so we’re always keen to get to know more about the innovators on our doorsteps in both Boston and London. Each week, we’ll interview a local startup to learn more about the technology and inspiration that can be found at home. Recently we chatted with RJ Irving, co-founder and CEO of Melius. This Boston-based startup develops an application that collects your basic financial information and identifies inefficiencies to help improve your money planning for the future.

1) Tell us a bit about Melius.

Melius helps financial advisors with the front-end of their business. Most of the technology built for the financial space is geared toward making existing businesses more efficient. The trouble is that most people cannot build a business. That is where we come in. Melius is a simple tool that advisors use with their prospects to educate them about the building blocks of a strong financial plan. Built into our tool is a direct link between advisors and prospects to accelerate the on-boarding process. Most other fintech companies start with the idea of replacing the advisors all together. Melius is designed to enhance the human relationship, not replace it.

Read more, here.

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App of the week
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Scanner Pro 5


Network Toolbox

Until you actually try and do it, you probably think that you’ve got scanning covered on your smartphone or tablet. Just take a photo, save it and mail it right? But actually doing this for multiple documents in a slick business-class way is another story entirely. The day you actually need this to go well and you find yourself hovering over a scribbled Moleskin on the ‘T’, you’ll remember that you could have bought Scanner Pro5 for less than three bucks. Developed by Readdle, the creators of PDF Office, Scanner Pro 5 transforms your device into a fast and capable scanner that quickly turns any paper document into a PDF ready to upload, mail or send to Dropbox or Evernote. It even does all the tricky edge-detection and geometry stuff for you – very handy for all your crumpled expenses paperwork!

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Copy corner
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Its versus it’s

Ah, yes, the all too familiar confusion of its and it’s. The error is incredibly common and crops up in places one would never imagine, including many corporate websites and brochures. So how do you avoid a mistake that’s so easy to make? Well, it’s easy: Use it’s only when it is a contraction and you mean ‘it is’ or ‘it has’. But always use its and not it’s to mean belonging to it – the word it never takes on an apostrophe when it gets possessive.

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Copy corner
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It’s hard for anyone to buy anything off you if they don’t (a) know you, (b) like you and (c) trust you. One of the best ways that your prospects can get to know, like and trust you is PR. That’s why we think that PR should support sales, and we know that great PR is sales-led. We’re always keen to share our views on PR and how it should support and drive sales.

So we are holding a free 50-minute webinar on Friday April 3 at 11am ET (4pm BST) called: ‘How to drive technology sales with PR’. We’ll repeat the webinar (again, live) on Friday April 10, again at 11am ET. Please register at: http://bit.ly/technology-PR-sales (April 3) or http://bit.ly/tech-PR-sales-April10 (April 10).

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App of the week
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PDF

“On second thought, let’s not go to Camelot – it is a silly place.” Unless of course, you happen to be John Warnock, co-founder of Adobe Systems. Back in 1991, he outlined a document file format that he proposed to be independent of hardware, operating systems or application software. His idea was to make sharing documents easier for users amid a computing scene that was becoming increasingly disparate and fragmented, and relied upon people to use the same systems as each other if they wanted to share information in anything like its original state. Back then Warnock called his fledgling system Camelot, but two years later it was released as the PDF, or Portable Document Format. And 22 years later still, it endures as an enormously popular and accessible specification – particularly for scanning or digitally archiving paper documents.

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Geek speak
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“One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.”

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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Copyright Prompt Communications 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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This email was sent to ~Contact.Email~.

You have recieved this email because Prompt Communications thinks you have given it permission to do so.

You can manage your newsletter and email subscriptions here: ~OptOut_15~

or if you want to unsubscribe from all emails from Prompt Communications, Prompt PR, Prompt Ed and Prompt Social then please click on this link: ~OptOut_0~

This email was sent by Prompt Communications

745 Atlantic Avenue, Floor 3 Boston, Massachusetts 02111

United States (857) 277-5140


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By

March 23rd, 2015

PromptBoston

The Prompt Byte: March 23, 2015

The Prompt Byte: March 23, 2015

Miniature engineers fixing error on chip of motherboard


dividing line Prompt Byte

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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Copyright Prompt Communications 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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This email was sent to ~Contact.Email~.

You have recieved this email because Prompt Communications thinks you have given it permission to do so.

You can manage your newsletter and email subscriptions here: ~OptOut_15~

or if you want to unsubscribe from all emails from Prompt Communications, Prompt PR, Prompt Ed and Prompt Social then please click on this link: ~OptOut_0~

This email was sent by Prompt Communications

745 Atlantic Avenue, Floor 3 Boston, Massachusetts 02111

United States (857) 277-5140


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Posted in Newsletter | Comments Off on The Prompt Byte: March 23, 2015

 

By

February 16th, 2015

PromptBoston

The Prompt Byte: February 16, 2015

The Prompt Byte: February 16, 2015




dividing line Prompt Byte

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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This past weekend we celebrated Valentine’s Day, and the Prompt team is still thinking about love. How much we love public relations, copywriting, social media, crowdfunding, WordPress – the list goes on. This week, we’re particularly in love with boilerplates, the effect using the word effect could have on your writing, more polished podcasts, and more.

Did you try and guess the voice behind last week’s Geek Speak? The answer is none other than Bill Gates. Don’t forget to let us know your thoughts this week on Twitter.

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 draft a boilerplate

(one that people won’t hate / laugh at / ignore)

The term ‘boilerplate’ hails from the earliest days of printing. Text that would be used repeatedly and unchanged, such as syndicated or standing copy, would be cast in metal and distributed directly to newspapers by suppliers such as Western Union. Today it is still used to describe text (or code) that is used repeatedly and without change. In the world of PR, it most commonly refers to the paragraph (or two) at the end of a press release that describes a company and what it does.

Perhaps because typing on a screen is a simpler process than casting words in metal, a lazy paradox has developed in a number of modern boilerplates. Often the more that is written, the less useful information is actually shared. Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing a boilerplate yourself:

• It’s not War and Peace. If your boilerplate is more than two paragraphs in length then we’d recommend tightening it so that it only contains useful, factual information

• Don’t be vague and state things such as ‘a leading provider of soup-to-nuts solutions’. We know it’s hard for companies to resist the self-proclamation trap, but try to be as informative as possible

• Just the facts. The notion of a boilerplate is to help people (i.e. the press) that don’t know your company, understand what it does, where it is and so on. Include essential facts such as what your company manufactures, who it serves, where its headquarters is, how large it is, and whether it is public or private

• Include numbers. Wherever possible, share relevant numbers, such as the size of your company in terms of employees, locations or turnover. How many years have you been in business for? How large is your retail or reseller base? How many countries do you operate in?

• Demonstrate success. How many customers do you have? Can you name some high profile customers as examples? Include any highly acclaimed awards, but don’t talk about that obscure thing you won back in 2002; it looks desperate

• Avoid acronyms, jargon or terms that won’t be understood by people outside your immediate market

• Add stock tickers if you are publically held. Include your URL and any links to social media feeds that you are active on. Only include phone numbers if they’re relevant to the geographies you are sharing the release in – i.e. don’t include ‘Call us on 0800-boilerplate’ if you are only distributing the release in the UK

• Keep it updated, fresh and relevant

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How to
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CoPatient

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.

Today, we’ll hear from Rebecca Palm, co-founder of CoPatient; a system designed to help enable patients to manage and minimize medical expenses.

Tell us a bit about what CoPatient is all about and how it got started.

It all started while my co-founder, Katie Vahle, and I were working at AthenaHealth. We consistently noticed that people weren’t paying their medical bills on time. Through research, we found that people were actually just confused and skeptical about what they owed with no resources to guide them. Together, we left Athena to create a technology driven, patient-centric solution. Just like that, CoPatient was born. CoPatient acts as every consumer’s trusted advisor for healthcare bills. We review and negotiate bills on the consumer’s behalf and typically find errors or overcharges on 80% of the bills we review.

Read more, here.

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App of the week
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Overcast


Overcast

Apple’s Podcasts app has been under fire ever since its breakaway from Music with the launch of iOS 7. Users hate its clunky interface, the need to configure options in iOS General Settings, constant syncing and download errors, system crashes and more. Worse still, it comes perma-loaded with iOS 8 and you cannot get rid of it. So that’s another app to shove in your ‘Junk I don’t need but cannot delete’ folder along with all the other Apple apps you’ve found better alternatives for. Speaking of which, our current favorite podcast app is Overcast from Marco Arment (creator of Instapaper). Available in free or premium versions, Overcast offers downloads over 3G, remote storage, intelligent playlists, enhanced audio options, smarter search directories, social media integration and a generally happier, more reliable way of keeping up to date with Serial and the rest…

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Affect vs effect

Affect, effect; what’s the difference? One of the most common grammar mistakes could affect (or is that effect?) your entire writing style, and worse, your credibility as an author.

Here is an easy way to distinguish these two words. The term ‘affect’ is almost always used as a verb. ‘Affect’ means to impact or influence an action. ‘Effect’ is usually used as a noun to describe outcome of the action, but it can be also be used as a transitive verb, in which case it means to bring about or make happen. You must always consider the subject and action you are writing about when using either ‘affect’ or ‘effect’.

To make things clearer, here are some examples or the usage of these two tricky and occasionally interchangeable words:

Here are some examples or the usage of these two tricky, and sometimes interchangeable words:

• Incorrect grammar affects the quality of a piece of writing

• This Prompt grammar tip has had a great effect on my writing skills

• How can I affect the result? What will the effect be?

Got a grammar question? Email us at grammar@prompt-pr.com.

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Linking PR to sales: The metric that matters

This week we’re banging the drum about our commitment to PR linking back to sales. We think that it is so important, we developed PRISM — our ‘PR and Insight Sales-based Marketing’ methodology. PRISM outlines steps and processes to help technology companies to target, plan and execute sales-guided PR and marketing. While whitepapers, messaging documents, visibility, understanding, engaging influencers and securing column inches are each valuable, every businesses need sales to simply exist.

If you’re a technology start-up, you know that you need PR and marketing, but more than anything you first need sales. Please register for one of our Friday webinars. We’ll show you how to communicate, connect and sell. Sign up today and attend ‘Get more customers: A sales workshop for technology startups‘.

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App of the week
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PBX

A private branch exchange, or PBX, is the traditional on-premises business telephone exchange switching system, used to manage all the telephone lines and other telecommunications services required by a business or private organization. It manages internal and external calls, handles connections with the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and can also provide more sophisticated service such as conferencing, caller ID, call forwarding, paging, missed call notifications and more. The biggest downsides to an on-premises PBX were always the initial price of the equipment together with ongoing management and maintenance overheads. Today the majority of organizations — particularly rapidly expanding small businesses — instead opt for a secure, managed, virtual / cloud-based communications platform. These systems deliver all the functions of a traditional PBX (plus many more sophisticated features) as a flexible service that adapts and grows with changing business needs.

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Geek speak
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“Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.”

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

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Prompt

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Copyright Prompt Communications 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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This email was sent to ~Contact.Email~.

You have recieved this email because Prompt Communications thinks you have given it permission to do so.

You can manage your newsletter and email subscriptions here: ~OptOut_15~

or if you want to unsubscribe from all emails from Prompt Communications, Prompt PR, Prompt Ed and Prompt Social then please click on this link: ~OptOut_0~

This email was sent by Prompt Communications

745 Atlantic Avenue, Floor 3 Boston, Massachusetts 02111

United States (857) 277-5140


Posted in Newsletter | Comments Off on The Prompt Byte: February 16, 2015

 

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January 30th, 2015

The Prompt Byte: January 30, 2014

The Prompt Byte: January 30, 2014




dividing line Prompt Byte

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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Welcome back to The Prompt Byte—have you missed us? Before the Boston-office runs off to get ready for the Super Bowl, we wanted to bring you some advice on how to talk about your product’s benefits—not features—and the difference between the worst and worse.

If you’re here for the answer to last week’s Geek Speak—it’s Scott Cook. Don’t forget to tweet us your guesses for this week’s quote.

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 seperate features from benefits

There’s a problem with technology vendors. When it comes to talking about their product, many go into overdrive about the features. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with features—they are a good thing to have and to know. But when you are speaking with prospects and customers, it’s important to separate features from benefits.

First of all, you have to consider the shocking fact that your customers and your prospects don’t care about your business or your products. And they don’t care about the number of features you have. What they care about how is how it’s going to benefit them. Another shocking fact is your prospects aren’t telepathic. They don’t know why they need to buy your product or service. You have to help by stating and explaining the benefits.

Yet the problem with features and benefits is that they are quite often lumped together in marketing materials, in collateral and in sales conversations. This becomes confusing for buyers in technology, an industry that has an inherent complexity, where there can be an overwhelming number of features and specs. For an excited and proud technology vendor it can be very easy to get worked up and want to share all the brilliant features you’ve developed.

Features are important. They help prospects understand exactly what they are buying. But there is a complexity of the environment, infrastructure, choice of vendors, and the array of options. There’s a lot of ‘me too’ claims in the market, a huge amount of volume and noise. There’s a pain of switching technologies for many buyers. Prospects can be very cautious in terms of making the decision to switch. So they need to clearly understand the benefits.

Instead, regardless of the technology you sell (this applies all the way up to high-end enterprise tech), think: what is the benefit to the user? How have existing customers benefited? What non-physical benefits do you have in terms of simplicity, time saving, emotional, more personal factors? How will you change their business, their working life? Will you increase processing speeds, protect existing investments? Save time, money, space, stress?

Remember, vendors speak in terms of features, but customers buy in terms of benefits.

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How to
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Mobco

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.

This week, we talked with Ulrik Van Schepdael, the founder of Belgium-based Mobco. Mobco is helping companies mobilize their IT infrastructure with secure device management and mobilizing applications.

What does innovation mean to you?

Innovation is for me the practical application of an invention (technology, process, …). One of the key roles of our company is just to do that for our customers. We scan the mobile technology, apps and possibilities and translate that into practical and applicable “tools” for our customers businesses.
An iPad in business is not an innovation as such, but the fact we can remotely configure those devices and enable mobile sales or field force to do their job more efficiently, that’s innovation.

Read more, here.

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App of the week
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Picdeck


picdeck

Social media buffs like us know all too well the limitations of Instagram’s phone-based system. You can’t upload images on your computer, it’s a hassle to switch between accounts, and there is so much to consume. Enter Picdeck: a web-app made as a ‘one-day hack’ by London-based Marvel. Perhaps, since it was created so quickly, it can’t solve the first two problems just yet. But, it does provide a beautiful new way to organize what you need to see, what you want to see, and how many people are uploading selfies to that special hashtag of yours. Tracking and interacting just got better. Check it out!

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Is it worse, or the worst?

Worse and worst are two of those words that some people use incorrectly. It doesn’t make you the ‘worst’ linguist around if you get these two words mixed up, but grammatically speaking there are some easy concepts to keep in mind when using these words in everyday language.

Worse is the comparative for ‘bad’. It can be used as an adjective or an adverb, and is usually used to compare one thing unfavorably with another.

For example:

• The snow in Boston was much worse than in London [true].

• He thought the book was bad, but the movie was worse.

Worst is the superlative of bad, and refers to the most inferior, or the least good. There’s no comparison here; worst is just as bad as it gets. It’s a very dramatic adjective, or sometimes a noun, and should be used when expressing the ‘worst’ case scenario.

For example:

• Data backup is vital because losing those critical files is the worst thing that could happen.

• My typing skills are the worst.

Got a grammar question? Email us at grammar@prompt-pr.com.

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Crowdfunding success webinar

Your #SundayFunday is about to get a whole lot more fun. Each week, our CEO Hazel Butters hosts a free webinar to offer you fifteen ways to increase your crowdfunding success. If you’re even debating crowdfunding a new product, service or app this year, you’ll want to sign up for advice on messaging, connecting with the press, how to handle social media, creating content and ways to accelerate your crowdfunding success.

Register for this Sunday, or any Sunday now to March here.

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App of the week
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JPEG

Selfies, food photos and party pics are ubiquitous in today’s world of social media. On a daily basis, we like to upload, download and share — and when we do, JPEG, with its support of 16 million colors, is one of the most popular formats.

JPEG has been around since 1986 and got its name from the Joint Photographic Experts Group, the committee that originally created the standard. Technically speaking, JPEG is a lossy compression method for digital images that eliminates redundant or unnecessary information. Even at a compression ratio of 10:1, there is only an imperceptible loss of image quality.

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Geek speak
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“Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.”

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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Copyright Prompt Communications 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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This email was sent to ~Contact.Email~.

You have recieved this email because Prompt Communications thinks you have given it permission to do so.

You can manage your newsletter and email subscriptions here: ~OptOut_15~

or if you want to unsubscribe from all emails from Prompt Communications, Prompt PR, Prompt Ed and Prompt Social then please click on this link: ~OptOut_0~

This email was sent by Prompt Communications

745 Atlantic Avenue, Floor 3 Boston, Massachusetts 02111

United States (857) 277-5140


Posted in Newsletter | Comments Off on The Prompt Byte: January 30, 2014

 

By

January 5th, 2015

PromptBoston

The Prompt Byte: December 19, 2014

The Prompt Byte: December 19, 2014




dividing line Prompt Byte

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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…back to the Prompt Byte — Prompt’s weekly newsletter filled to the brim with PR wisdom and helpful tidbits. If you’re looking for some copywriting guidance, head on over to Copy Corner where we talk about building your reader’s trust. If you’re wondering how to tell if your technology marketing is pants, we’ve got you covered. If you’re looking to get in the holiday spirit, make sure to make time for our app of the week.

If you’re just here for the answer to last week’s Geek Speak, it’s: Douglas Adams.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, just ping us! And if you don’t know what ping is… keep scrolling.

Happy holidays,

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 decide if your technology marketing is pants*

*British phrase for ‘not awesome’

As you peer into the technology sales crystal ball that is 2015, we thought we’d share some tell-tale signs that your technology marketing may need some clearing. Here’s ten signs that you may need to change something in your technology marketing to help drive sales in 2015.

  • Lack of clarity: it’s not clear what you sell – or why (i.e. why your business even exists)
  • Too many acronyms and market-created terms (see #1)
  • Tendency to make ‘me too’ claims, (frequently associated with self-constructed vendor charts)
  • A sales-marketing gap: one group is selling one thing while the other is saying another
  • Not enough customer-based content and testimonials
  • Company news/press releases aren’t being pitched to the press (note: hitting ‘send’ on a wire service isn’t pitching)
  • You don’t have the right sales content to shorten your sales cycle

  • No engagement with the industry analysts (we don’t mean buying relationships)
  • You need to get some swagger and show (not tell) what is different about your business, your solution and how you work
  • You’re not explaining the solution to a problem, you’re trying to sell something

Want to hear some ideas of how to create PR content and campaigns to support technology sales? Send us an email for a replay of our ‘Ten ways to use PR to drive sales of your technology product, service or app’ webinar by emailing ten@prompt-pr.com.

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Synchrony Innovations

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

This week, we spoke with Adam Caper, CEO of Synchrony Innovations about its newest invention, innovation, Boston and his first fast car.

Tell us about Synchrony Innovations.

Synchrony Innovations was spun out of Synchrony Venture Management, a global leader in the development and support of strategic Corporate Venture Capital programs, in 2013. We recently created and launched TiCR Innovation Analytics, a robust, visual tool built for large enterprises to successfully evaluate the fit between their innovation investment options — R&D projects, corporate venture capital deals, partnerships, etc. — with their strategic priorities. TiCR is based on a patented system for quantifying strategic value in large enterprises, and as far as we know is the only SaaS-based system that allows companies to measure the degree of relevance of innovation targets & projects to their overall corporate goals.

Its key for companies to understand where innovation is likely to be important, and to be able to quantify innovation in a tangible way. The world’s largest companies spend $800 billion a year on innovation — but according to Booz Allen Hamilton 70 percent is wasted. It is a big problem, and we’re fixing it with TiCR.

TiCR provides a robust, visual tool for mapping a firm’s ‘innovation topology’ to identify innovation strengths and weaknesses, critical gaps in capabilities, and strategically relevant external innovation activity. Using this map, companies can easily identify the most strategically relevant areas for innovation investment.

Read more, here.

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App of the week
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A Charlie Brown Christmas

Opinion AOTW

“Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”—Charlie Brown
Okay, it’s not a serious app—but it is the time to be jolly. So this week we’re going to suggest that you all get into the festive mood and download the ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ app. Complete with original narration by Peter Robbins you can help Charlie Brown and Snoopy find the true meaning of Christmas. Then play Schroeder’s piano, sing carols with the Peanuts gang and decorate your own Charlie Brown tree.

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App of the week
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PING

We’re really not sure how popular this expression is in other offices around the world, but it’s frequently used across Prompt’s continental divide. “Ping me when you’re ready to chat, okay?” “Can you ping me so I can see if it works?” “Ping me when it’s done will you?” Today ‘ping’ is used interchangeably to mean message, remind, poke, text, nudge, tweet — whatever it takes to quickly alert someone that you’re ready, that they should be ready, that something is ready. Back in the early days of computer networking, ping was also an actual admin utility in its own right, used to test connections and response times just to make sure everything was hooked up and working as intended. The name derives from sonar — a signal that bounces back with a comforting acknowledgement that all is well.

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Trust me, I’m a writer

The web is full of content, ranging from indispensable resources to time-wasting filler. It can take a lot of time and effort to sift through it all in order to decide what’s worthwhile and what isn’t. That’s why most web users tend to identify trustworthy sources and then stick with them. They’ll pause to read news, reviews, analysis, features and the rest. But they’ll quickly label sites as sources they should trust or dismiss and hold that opinion for, well, ever.

So here’s some advice. Work hard to build trust with your readers. Don’t lie to them or let them down. Make them feel like they can come to you for authoritative content that isn’t just made-up junk or old hat. Set out your stall, tell your readers what they can expect from you, and then keep your promises. You cannot buy trust — you have to earn it. But once word gets around that your content is worth a read, you’re sure to get noticed — and repeat visitors.

Here are some quick tips you can use as rules of trust while you get started. Be honest, accurate and factual — backing up your opinions with links to other trusted sources. Make sure your content is regularly updated to ensure it stays accurate, as well as giving visitors a reason to come back regularly. Stay on topic so that your visitors know what they are going to get from you. Put some effort into the quality of your writing, spelling and grammar to inspire confidence in what it says. Credit peers wherever applicable. Never break reciprocal trust or privacy agreements. And be as accountable as you can by allowing readers to contact you, comment on your efforts (and let you know if there’s anything you might improve to make them trust you even more).

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CSI

Do you hear what I hear? We know the sleigh bells ringing may be distracting, but right this second; people are probably talking about you. At the very least, they’re talking about something relevant to you. And they’re doing it publically – on social media. Prompt Social — the social media monitoring branch of Prompt Communications — has recently completed an in-depth analysis for a worldwide technology corporation with a service we like to call CSI, or Channel Social Influence.

In addition to helping businesses understand what their customers are saying about them and how to engage with new prospects, Prompt now provides technology enterprises with insight into the social media activities, reach and engagement of business and channel partners, broken down into easily understood categories, ranks, tables and charts. Sound valuable? Get in touch: social@prompt-pr.com.

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Geek speak
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“Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all.”

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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Copyright Prompt Communications 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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This email was sent to ~Contact.Email~.

You have recieved this email because Prompt Communications thinks you have given it permission to do so.

You can manage your newsletter and email subscriptions here: ~OptOut_15~

or if you want to unsubscribe from all emails from Prompt Communications, Prompt PR, Prompt Ed and Prompt Social then please click on this link: ~OptOut_0~

This email was sent by Prompt Communications

745 Atlantic Avenue, Floor 3 Boston, Massachusetts 02111

United States (857) 277-5140


Posted in Newsletter | Comments Off on The Prompt Byte: December 19, 2014

 

By

December 12th, 2014

The Prompt Byte: December 12th, 2014

The Prompt Byte: December 12th, 2014




dividing line Prompt Byte

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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…back to the Prompt Byte newsletter. We hope you enjoyed the first edition of our brand new how-to newsletter, and that you had a chance to browse our freshly revamped websites — Prompt PR, Prompt Social and Prompt Ed. This week, we offer advice for how to write the perfect press release and challenge you to identify this week’s Geek Speak. Think you can? Please tweet us your answers at @PromptBoston or @PromptLondon.

Last week’s quote — “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” — came from Carl Sagan, the American astronomer, popular science author and narrator of the Cosmos television series.

Thanks,

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 write a good press release

Not all content is destined to be shared via a press release. But let’s assume that you have the perfect subject for a release and are about to write it up to share with relevant press. What should you include? How should you deliver the information? How long should the release be? And what information do you place at the beginning, in the middle or at the end?

We’ve prepared a rapid 20-point checklist that touches on some elements of a good press release. See how you get on following our advice. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any of our consultants should you still find yourself in need of a professional touch. You can download the whole list of 20 ideas, but here’s a selection to get you started:

  • Jot down some facts that you need to include in the release. Make sure you frame facts so that a journalist or editor can quickly grasp the complete story. Put yourself in the position of the reader of a publication, and think about the questions they might ask. ‘When is it available?’ ‘How much does it cost?’ ‘Where can I get one?’ There may be business situations in which a client can’t answer even quite simple questions due to competitive reasons. But try and answer probable questions wherever possible. Offer contact details for follow-up discussions when not
  • Write your headline in the present tense. Make it short, relevant and to-the-point. Keep it factual. Include a subhead on anything but the shortest release, also in present tense. Ensure that it adds detail for the reader, and gives more weight to your headline
  • Add a ‘boilerplate’ about the company at the end of your release. If there are other parties involved with the release, consider also including boilerplates about them. These short paragraphs should always and only include core information each company
  • Most press releases will mention companies or organizations in some form. Please remember that in business these are always referred to in the singular form, and never in the plural. So always check that ‘IBM is opening a new office on Venus’ and that ‘Greenpeace has saved the Arctic’. Don’t use ‘are’ or ‘have’ by mistake. There are exceptions — for example, sports journalists often prefer to refer to teams in the plural. But singular is the global standard
  • Add contact details in an obvious place, either at the top of the release or at the end. Include a phone number, email address and social media handles. We would also recommend an out-of-hours phone number for journalists and editors that work outside typical office hours

Happy press release drafting! Remember, you can download the full list of 20 ideas here.

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Fund Wisdom

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.

Today, we talk with Brian Thopsey of Boston-based company Fund Wisdom, a company that connects investors and entrepreneurs with financial wisdom and investment opportunities from platforms like AngelList, SeedInvest, WeFunder and more.

1. Tell us a bit about Fund Wisdom and how it got started.

I always wanted to create a successful business and as I began building I learned the difficulties entrepreneurs faced accessing capital. I wished there was a company like Fund Wisdom, a place that connects investors and entrepreneurs with the financial know-how they need. So I found team members like Renato Francia Castillo, Kyle Austin of Beantown Media Ventures, Devin Basinger of Accenture, along with several other advisors and created it.

Fund Wisdom connects investors and entrepreneurs with financial wisdom. We provide investment opportunities, access to capital, and the insight needed to succeed, saving you time and money. Two things you could always use investing and raising money.

Read more, here.

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App of the week
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XSS Hole

Cross-site scripting, or XSS, is a security vulnerability most often found in web applications. It allows hackers to inject client-side dynamic script into web pages so that dodgy content can be viewed or served to any site visitors. An XSS hole can be used to bypass access controls and create mischief or mayhem. It all depends on the website being attacked and the intention of the hackers…

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Get Chunky!

The copy you write today is destined to go online. It might still be read in a newspaper or a magazine. But it will definitely be read on laptops, smartphones and tablets. This is something you need to grasp when typing up your prose. Most web users have no time for beautiful phrasing and impeccable sentence structure. They just want the facts. Preferably sculpted perfectly for a 5-inch screen.

So here’s the message to take away. Don’t be afraid to get clause happy when that national newspaper feature editor calls. But also be prepared to let a few traditional rules slide when writing web copy. Use short paragraphs consisting of chunky sentences. Make your point and start a new one.

Chunky writing is powerful. See? It’s direct and helps busy readers swallow more information faster. It’s not always elegant, sure. And it can be hard for a writer taught not to kick-off with conjunctions. But it works perfectly online. Try it.

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Local press coverage

Recently over on the Prompt PR blog we talked about pitching to the national press — how they work and how to get their attention. We highlighted the human-interest angle a lot, a key component in capturing such a broad audience.

The human-interest angle is also important for the local press but luckily, it’s already built in. People have a natural interest in the community directly surrounding them. So, whether you’re selling spaceships or shoes in your area — there is a home for you in the local papers.

And local press is effective. People want to support their neighbors, peers and economy. This week, one of our favorite Boston-based clients KinderLab Robotics had its robot kit, KIBO, featured in both the Boston Business Journal and the Improper Bostonian — just in time for the holidays.

It is as important to build relationships with journos down your own street as it with those on Wall Street. If capturing the attention, and loyalty, of your local press is something you could use a hand with, then please get in touch today.

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Geek speak
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“We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.”

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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App of the week
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Opinion

Opinion AOTW

If you think podcasting is soooo 2008, you’d better think again. More varied audiences listen to more podcasts than ever before. And the numbers continue to grow. Around 15 percent of Americans have listened to a podcast in the last month, compared to 9 percent six years ago. Podcasting is bigger than you think. Watch this quick video about the Share of Ear from Edison Research — it’s a real ear opener! Hopefully now you won’t be quite so surprised that our App of the Week is Opinion for iPhone. This powerful, more human way to make podcasts on your phone is as easy as taking photos. It’s also free to get started, so why not find yourself a fresh idea and a nice quiet corner?

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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

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Prompt

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Copyright Prompt Communications 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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Posted in Newsletter | Comments Off on The Prompt Byte: December 12th, 2014

 

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November 16th, 2014

PromptBoston

The Prompt Byte: January 16, 2014

The Prompt Byte: January 16, 2014




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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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We’re so glad you’re back for another edition for the Prompt Byte. Putting pen to paper each week to write about technology, PR, copywriting and social media is a lot of fun for us. We hope you enjoy it.

This week, we break down acronyms, enthusiasm, crowdfunding, and let you know our ZIP code. If there’s something you’d like to see in next week’s edition, let us know!

Thanks,

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 handle acronyms

A tough but important skill in marketing is the ability to explain complex concepts in a manner that is easy to understand. From the perspective of technology, this means using plain English, being honest about what you do, describing big ideas clearly — and not going overboard with acronyms and abbreviations.

Acronyms and abbreviations are undoubtedly useful in the right place. But they can confound and irritate. This is particularly true in the world of IT (Information Technology — see?), an industry rife with shorthand, but which really can be abstract without adding word puzzles into the mix.

Using language shortcuts is acceptable, even encouraged, when done with care. There are many guidelines and recommendations on this topic commonly adhered to by copywriters and technical authors, and some of which evolve organically over time — but here are a few quick and dirty rules we advise for helping your readers stay focused and prevent live audiences becoming baffled by geek speak:

  • Whatever copy you are creating, whether it is a snappy blog post or a lengthy corporate PowerPoint presentation, always expand acronyms and abbreviations the first time that you use them and again, periodically, in particularly lengthy documents. That way your plans to build a MAN (metropolitan area network) will rarely be misunderstood for cyborg megalomania
  • Consider replacing outmoded or lesser-used acronyms with plain English wherever appropriate, even if it isn’t perfectly synonymous. Most people will actually be happier for you to say ‘text’ or ‘in the datacenter’ rather than to repeatedly explain SMS (short message service) or CPE (customer premises equipment), for example
  • Understand your audience and talk at their level at all times. If you are one of many presenters at a conference for e-commerce technical support teams, then feel free to bandy around TLAs (Three-Letter Abbreviations) like CRM and BPM to your heart’s content. But if you are trying to sell CRM (Customer Relationship Management) or BPM (Business Process Management) software to small businesses looking to modernize sales, then you can safely spell it all out for them without coming across as patronizing
  • If in doubt, spell it out
  • Never, ever use acronyms or abbreviations to cover up for gaps in your own knowledge, to make yourself appear somehow smarter, or to blind your audience with science in the hope that you won’t be asked to explain yourself. People won’t like you for it and one day you may be exposed and embarrassed for not actually knowing your BSS (Basic Service Set) from your BS…

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App of the week
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Focus Lock

Admit it, sometimes you get distracted at work (we won’t tell your boss). With more than 500 million tweets sent a day, 864 million people logging onto Facebook a day, and almost 200 billion emails sent each day, it’s all too easy to be distracted by dings, bleeps, beeps, and buzzes.

Wouldn’t it be great if something existed to cut out the constant chatter?

Check out Focus Lock. It’s an Android app that will block out phone notifications. And don’t be nervous — it’s perfectly customizable to your own personal level of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). You select which apps to block and for how long. Just please don’t block our emails.

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App of the week
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ZIP Code

What’s your zip code? You probably know it by heart. But do you know it means? Zone Improvement Plan Code. Why? Because if you remember to put this code on your packages, it will improve the speed of which it arrives in the zone you’re sending it to.

The United States Postal Service introduced the idea way back in 1963 to simply make mail more efficient. Around the same time, they brought us two-letter state abbreviations. We’re so happy to be in MA, 02111.

So, if you’re looking for zippy service — don’t forget the ZIP code.

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Copy corner
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Be enthusiastic (but not toooooo enthusiastic)

A premise of marketing is to engage. To do that requires enthusiasm for your product or service, your team and company, your customers, your business partners and route to market. Without enthusiasm your marketing efforts and your marketing content can seem flat. After all, no one wants to buy or try a product or service that a company cannot enthuse about, and having the right level of enthusiasm will increase the energy and engagement of both your employees and potential customers. When it comes to marketing, information is like a sundae and enthusiasm is the cherry on top.

There is a caveat about having the right amount of enthusiasm. You don’t want to be shouting: ‘YOU NEED TO BUY THIS RIGHT NOW AND YOUR LIFE WILL CHANGE BEYOND RECOGNITION!!!’; make spurious claims; act like a preachy know-it-all or use an unhealthy amount of exclamation marks (in many cases, one can be too many). You need to have an authentic and genuine excitement for your product, its features and its positive effects on your customers. So remember in your copy to be genuine and honest, to keep it simple — and to skip the marketing overdrive.

Click here for Prompt’s ‘Why is your company different’ download and UNICORNS WILL DANCE ON YOUR DESK AND YOUR LIFE WILL CHANGE FOREVER!! — See what we mean?

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Copy corner
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Crowdfunding guidance

We’re a PR firm with a passion for technology. We love it in all its forms. As such, we’re always on board for a good crowdfunding campaign. It’s an innovative tool to bring the world more innovative tools. In 2014, we worked with a number of startups to boost visibility and bring ideas to life on various platforms including Kickstarter and Indiegogo. It’s a short but wild ride.

If you’re thinking of crowdfunding this year, you don’t want to do it without our checklist of questions you must ask yourself before deciding to hit launch and our brand spankin’ new ‘Launch Your First Crowdfunding Campaign’ blueprint. The checklist is free — download it here.

Our blueprint is worth $650, but one of you could get it for free. We’re giving one away on Facebook. Enter here.

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Geek speak
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“We’re still in the first minutes of the first day of the Internet revolution.”

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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Copyright Prompt Communications 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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This email was sent to ~Contact.Email~.

You have recieved this email because Prompt Communications thinks you have given it permission to do so.

You can manage your newsletter and email subscriptions here: ~OptOut_15~

or if you want to unsubscribe from all emails from Prompt Communications, Prompt PR, Prompt Ed and Prompt Social then please click on this link: ~OptOut_0~

This email was sent by Prompt Communications

745 Atlantic Avenue, Floor 3 Boston, Massachusetts 02111

United States (857) 277-5140


Posted in Newsletter | Comments Off on The Prompt Byte: January 16, 2014