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March 10th, 2016

PromptBoston

Crowdfunding Campaign PR: An Interview with Mitch Rosenberg, KinderLab Robotics

Crowdfunding Campaign PR: An Interview with Mitch Rosenberg, KinderLab Robotics

Mitch Rosenberg is the CEO and co-founder of KinderLab Robotics – a Boston-based company that’s created a developmentally-appropriate robot kit, KIBO, to help teach programming concepts to four- to seven year olds.

KIBO was funded on Kickstarter. We worked with the KinderLab Robotics team on crowdfunding content, blog content, social media content and working with the press to secure briefings and coverage with The New York TimesForbesBoing BoingGizmag,BostInnoBoston Business Journal and more.

KinderLab Robotics continues to work with the team at Prompt to share its vision, growth and successes.

We sat down with CEO and co-founder Mitch Rosenberg to talk a bit about his experience. See what he had to say about us below.

Why did you work with Prompt?

Mitch Rosenberg: Well, I went to a lot of firms in the Boston area. When we founded our company, we knew we were going to get it moving via Kickstarter. I asked many of the firms that are well-known in the area if they would sign up to help us publicize that Kickstarter, and most of them said no.

In contrast, Prompt came up with a very effective and creative approach for publicizing our company and a very creative way of financing it so we could afford it even as an early startup.  Because Prompt was unique in its ability to provide support for Kickstarter, we felt that it was a great fit for us.

So, we chose Prompt because it demonstrated a results-based program that was specifically designed for crowdfunding-based campaigns. Prompt worked with us on our successful Kickstarter campaign, and gave us valuable advice about our target audiences, helped us work with the press and created excellent copywriting. The Prompt team has a strong process, works methodically, and delivers results.

What results have you seen from working with Prompt?

Mitch: Working with Prompt, we have been featured in articles in The New York Times (more than once), Forbes, The Huffington Post, and many other local and radio media outlets and we’re very happy with the results.

And in addition to the media side, the Prompt team was instrumental in creating a social media presence for us that resulted in a wide variety of inquiries and sales. In summary, the results have been both prolific and business meaningful for us. We’ve gotten a lot of business because of our marketing with Prompt.

What has your experience been working with Prompt?

Mitch: The process working with Prompt has been really professional and fun. We have regular meetings, Prompt supplies us with a dashboard of statistics of how the various projects that we’re working on are fairing and we’re really happy with both the tone and results of working with Prompt.

Would you recommend Prompt?

Mitch: We highly recommend Prompt – especially for young and fast growing startups. But also for any innovative companies looking to make their presence known in the marketplaces they’re doing business in.

Interested in ensuring your crowdfunding campaign’s success? Check out our Crowdfunding Success 60-Day Program which leads you step-by-step on how we set up, run, manage and publicize crowdfunding campaigns.

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May 28th, 2015

PromptBoston

Free online event: How to drive enterprise technology sales with PR

Free online event: How to drive enterprise technology sales with PR

Are your PR efforts leading to sales? Throughout June we’ll be hosting free online events for enterprise technology marketers and entrepreneurs that want to create more leads and sales. In a 50-minute, information-packed webinar we will detail practical ways and techniques to shift PR processes to link them closer to sales and generate leads.

Hosted by Hazel Butters, who has 17 years’ of experience in technology PR and sales, ‘How to drive enterprise technology sales with PR’ will cover:

  • How to define your value proposition to increase sales
  • The ‘sales-marketing’ gap, and how to close it
  • Ten myths relating to PR and sales – and ten things you can do immediately to increase PR’s impact on your sales

Please join us and find out ways to change your approach to PR processes and to link them closer to sales. Register at: http://bit.ly/tech-PR-sales.

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May 20th, 2015

Hazel Butters

Myth #10: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

Myth #10: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

At Prompt we know that PR complements sales to drive influence, impact, and financial success.  Our PRISM methodology delivers the steps and processes involved in planning and executing PR programs in line with sales objectives. And our free webinar series ‘How to use PR to drive sales’ shares content created specifically for technology companies. We’ve gathered this content from working with global companies including Adobe, IBM, and Oracle, and hundreds of early-stage companies. This means that we’ve covered every level of complexity, type of technology, and (we think) almost every kind of sales process.

However, in our dealings with hundreds of technology companies, we are also aware of a number of sales ‘myths’ that we believe may be holding back technology entrepreneurs and technology  marketers from making the smartest decisions for their own business futures.Over the next few weeks, we’re setting out to share ten of the most common myths – some of which may be familiar to you.

Myth #10

“The sales challenge is the same as it ever was”

It might be comforting to think that ‘sales is sales’ and that nothing much has really changed over the past decade or two. But it really has!  Now prospects are ‘smarter’ – they have access to richer resources of information, methods of researching and channels of communication. By the time you speak to them they’ve already done their research and are armed with a drop-box full of PDFs, a desk full of papers and a head crammed with pre-formed opinions about your company, your products and your competitors. It’s vital that you demonstrate your awareness of this fact and come to the conversation ready to ‘restart’ it at the right point so you can best understand, and serve, them.

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May 19th, 2015

Hazel Butters

Myth #9: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

Myth #9: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

At Prompt we know that PR complements sales to drive influence, impact, and financial success.  Our PRISM methodology delivers the steps and processes involved in planning and executing PR programs in line with sales objectives. And our free webinar series ‘How to use PR to drive sales’ shares content created specifically for technology companies. We’ve gathered this content from working with global companies including Adobe, IBM, and Oracle, and hundreds of early-stage companies. This means that we’ve covered every level of complexity, type of technology, and (we think) almost every kind of sales process.

However, in our dealings with hundreds of technology companies, we are also aware of a number of sales ‘myths’ that we believe may be holding back technology entrepreneurs and technology  marketers from making the smartest decisions for their own business futures.Over the next few weeks, we’re setting out to share ten of the most common myths – some of which may be familiar to you.

Myth #9

“All of your prospects think like you do.”

You may sometimes find it helpful to visualize an average customer and their typical needs when honing your messaging, but never fall into the trap of thinking that all your customers fit such a simple mold. Each of your prospects has a completely different perspective, and few vendors take the time to really understand what each individual prospect is thinking about, stressed over or dreaming of. You do not have a crystal ball, or your prospect’s offices bugged (at least we hope not). It’s impossible to know the internal pressures they face, and the personal ambitions they have. Sales messaging that asks the right questions and presents authentic anecdotes will help these prospects to relate, and open up, with you.

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May 11th, 2015

Hazel Butters

Myth #8: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

Myth #8: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

At Prompt we know that PR complements sales to drive influence, impact, and financial success.  Our PRISM methodology delivers the steps and processes involved in planning and executing PR programs in line with sales objectives. And our free webinar series ‘How to use PR to drive sales’ shares content created specifically for technology companies. We’ve gathered this content from working with global companies including Adobe, IBM, and Oracle, and hundreds of early-stage companies. This means that we’ve covered every level of complexity, type of technology, and (we think) almost every kind of sales process.

However, in our dealings with hundreds of technology companies, we are also aware of a number of sales ‘myths’ that we believe may be holding back technology entrepreneurs and technology  marketers from making the smartest decisions for their own business futures.Over the next few weeks, we’re setting out to share ten of the most common myths – some of which may be familiar to you.

Myth #8

“Your prospects value your customer success stories”

Do your prospects really read, believe and find great use in the case studies that you created with past customers? Prospects are more used to being marketed to than you might think, and most now have very active marketing and sales BS monitors! Steer well-clear of cookie-cut formulaic success stories that espouse the virtues of your own business. Instead create authentic, genuine stories that focus on the business benefits to customers in a broad range of industries or sectors, maximizing the chance that prospects will identify with your existing customer base.

 

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May 4th, 2015

Hazel Butters

Myth #7: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

Myth #7: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

At Prompt we know that PR complements sales to drive influence, impact, and financial success.  Our PRISM methodology delivers the steps and processes involved in planning and executing PR programs in line with sales objectives. And our free webinar series ‘How to use PR to drive sales’ shares content created specifically for technology companies. We’ve gathered this content from working with global companies including Adobe, IBM, and Oracle, and hundreds of early-stage companies. This means that we’ve covered every level of complexity, type of technology, and (we think) almost every kind of sales process.

However, in our dealings with hundreds of technology companies, we are also aware of a number of sales ‘myths’ that we believe may be holding back technology entrepreneurs and technology  marketers from making the smartest decisions for their own business futures.Over the next few weeks, we’re setting out to share ten of the most common myths – some of which may be familiar to you.

Myth #7

“Potential customers care about your company”

One day, when they regard you as a trusted partner, your prospects might genuinely care about your company, its position and its successes. But right now all your prospects really care about is their own success. While they will certainly want to conduct due diligence and check that you aren’t about to go bust while supporting them, most prospects really won’t care about all your successes. Endorsements may be a key part of building up authority, but the sale isn’t about your company, it’s about theirs.

 

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April 29th, 2015

Hazel Butters

Myth #6: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

Myth #6: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

At Prompt we know that PR complements sales to drive influence, impact, and financial success.  Our PRISM methodology delivers the steps and processes involved in planning and executing PR programs in line with sales objectives. And our free webinar series ‘How to use PR to drive sales’ shares content created specifically for technology companies. We’ve gathered this content from working with global companies including Adobe, IBM, and Oracle, and hundreds of early-stage companies. This means that we’ve covered every level of complexity, type of technology, and (we think) almost every kind of sales process.

However, in our dealings with hundreds of technology companies, we are also aware of a number of sales ‘myths’ that we believe may be holding back technology entrepreneurs and technology  marketers from making the smartest decisions for their own business futures.Over the next few weeks, we’re setting out to share ten of the most common myths – some of which may be familiar to you.

Myth #6

“Prospects want loads of technical information”

Of course you need to have complete details of all the products, services, platforms and customizations you offer available on request. But there is no need to bombard prospects with complex tech details from the get-go and risk scaring them away. Sharing vast volumes of technical information, specs and customization details with prospects early in the sales cycle does not close the deal any faster, and could actually deter potential customers.

 

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April 17th, 2015

Hazel Butters

Myth #5: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

Myth #5: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

At Prompt we know that PR complements sales to drive influence, impact, and financial success.  Our PRISM methodology delivers the steps and processes involved in planning and executing PR programs in line with sales objectives. And our free webinar series ‘How to use PR to drive sales’ shares content created specifically for technology companies. We’ve gathered this content from working with global companies including Adobe, IBM, and Oracle, and hundreds of early-stage companies. This means that we’ve covered every level of complexity, type of technology, and (we think) almost every kind of sales process.

However, in our dealings with hundreds of technology companies, we are also aware of a number of sales ‘myths’ that we believe may be holding back technology entrepreneurs and technology  marketers from making the smartest decisions for their own business futures.Over the next few weeks, we’re setting out to share ten of the most common myths – some of which may be familiar to you.

Myth #5

“Prospects love to hear from you, and listen to everything you say”

They may be prospects to you, but to other people they are employers, employees, colleagues, partners, peers, investors and more. Your prospects are busy people and are not hanging on your every word, however carefully sculpted those words might be. So don’t shout more or louder; say more interesting things and be ready to share content that interrupts and disrupts. Linking PR activities with sales wins in your communications provides the best chance to engage and excite prospects sufficiently to get the chance of a fuller conversation.

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April 15th, 2015

Hazel Butters

Myth #4: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

Myth #4: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

At Prompt we know that PR complements sales to drive influence, impact, and financial success.  Our PRISM methodology delivers the steps and processes involved in planning and executing PR programs in line with sales objectives. And our free webinar series ‘How to use PR to drive sales’ shares content created specifically for technology companies. We’ve gathered this content from working with global companies including Adobe, IBM, and Oracle, and hundreds of early-stage companies. This means that we’ve covered every level of complexity, type of technology, and (we think) almost every kind of sales process.

However, in our dealings with hundreds of technology companies, we are also aware of a number of sales ‘myths’ that we believe may be holding back technology entrepreneurs and technology  marketers from making the smartest decisions for their own business futures.Over the next few weeks, we’re setting out to share ten of the most common myths – some of which may be familiar to you.

Myth #4

“Buyers are rational and will do the right thing”

Different prospects are motivated by wildly different sets of drivers, goals and concerns. If you try to sell your products and services solely on the basis that they present logical solutions to common problems, you will inevitably fail to push the buttons of many prospects with different agendas. For years the technology sales process was purely based in ‘rational’ thinking of the flow, structure and steps that vendors believed prospects ‘should’ take to buy complex technology. Today it is smarter to influence diverse business situations with more varied, subtle and sophisticated messaging.

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April 13th, 2015

Hazel Butters

Myth #3: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

Myth #3: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

At Prompt we know that PR complements sales to drive influence, impact, and financial success.  Our PRISM methodology delivers the steps and processes involved in planning and executing PR programs in line with sales objectives. And our free webinar series ‘How to use PR to drive sales’ shares content created specifically for technology companies. We’ve gathered this content from working with global companies including Adobe, IBM, and Oracle, and hundreds of early-stage companies. This means that we’ve covered every level of complexity, type of technology, and (we think) almost every kind of sales process.

However, in our dealings with hundreds of technology companies, we are also aware of a number of sales ‘myths’ that we believe may be holding back technology entrepreneurs and technology  marketers from making the smartest decisions for their own business futures.Over the next few weeks, we’re setting out to share ten of the most common myths – some of which may be familiar to you.

Myth #3

“Fear (FUD) is an acceptable way to engage prospects”

Fear, uncertainty and doubt – or FUD – is a well-established tactic used in sales, PR and marketing. It attempts to influence the decisions of prospects by exposing their pain-points and appealing to their predominant concerns. While prospects will always appreciate genuine empathy and understanding of the common business challenges they face, it is no longer acceptable to play the FUD card without also offering real-world, practical advice for identifying and counteracting these same issues. Your PR, messaging and sales communication should be about possibility – not fear.

Missed the previous myths? Check them out here.

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September 3rd, 2014

PromptBoston

Five things you may not know about the German media

Five things you may not know about the German media

Newspapers#1           Germans published the world’s first newspaper

In 1605, Johann Carolus from Strasbourg (then part of the German Empire) published the first newspaper titled ‘Relation’, which included news from all over the world. About four decades later another German, Timotheus Ritzsch, a printer from Leipzig, published with ‘Einkommende Zeitungen’ the first daily newspaper, which was issued six or seven times each week.

#2          For centuries, it was the country with the largest number of newspapers

Until the Nazis came into power in 1933, Germany was the country of the largest number of newspapers. Of the 4,700 newspapers published in Germany before the Third Reich, no more than 1,100 remained after World War II.

#3           It has one of the largest selections of newspapers

Germany offers the widest variety of newspapers in Europe: With 329 daily newspapers, Germany supplies a larger variety of papers than any other European country. Spain offers 130 newspapers, followed by Italy (97 newspapers) and the UK (95 newspapers).

#4           It has the world’s tightest newspaper dealer network

With 1.4 newspaper sellers per 1,000 people, Germany hast the tightest network of dealers in the world. In addition, over 400 sales outlets at airports and train stations make German and international publications available to travelers.

#5           The German press is (mostly) privately owned

Compared to many other countries such as the US or the UK, most of the German press is privately and family-owned. Axel Springer AG, one of the largest newspaper publishing companies in Europe, and Bertelsmann, one of the world’s largest media companies, are still in private hands.

 

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August 13th, 2014

Hazel Butters

Crowdfunding: Kickstarter is not the only fruit(ful way to fund your business)

Crowdfunding: Kickstarter is not the only fruit(ful way to fund your business)

The crowdfunding model is proving to be a spectacular success, boosting the prospects of tens of thousands of entrepreneurs while growing into a $5 billion industry. But despite conservative estimates that today’s business visionaries now have more than 450 different crowdfunding platforms to choose from, the vast majority of people still think that crowdfunding is synonymous with Kickstarter.

Now, Kickstarter is certainly a stunning platform. After five years in operation it has reportedly received over $1 billion in pledges from 5.7 million supporters backing over 135,000 projects. But it certainly isn’t the only game in town, and chances are that Kickstarter might not be the best match crowdfunding platform for your own project’s structure, audience, rewards, subject matter, ambition, location, financial model, equity structure, ethics – you name it. For example, you can’t use Kickstarter if you plan on giving money or goods directly to a charitable cause.

Fortunately you are only one fun afternoon’s online hunting expedition away from flushing out your perfect crowdfunding partner. Nail down your top priorities, get your fingers at the keyboard, and bag yourself that dream platform. To get you started, I thought I’d share some of the more interesting models out there to give you a little inspiration.  If you’re coming to our one-day crowdfunding comms and PR workshop on September 5 in Boston then we’ll be covering a number of these – and how to build a solid PR and marketing plan – in more detail.

  • Indiegogo – One of the very first crowdfunding sites and perhaps Kickstarter’s closest rival, Indiegogo is still the go-to platform for many start-ups and charity projects. It gets nearly ten million visits every month and runs on an investor/reward model that will pretty familiar to fans of the big K.  The most obvious difference is that Indiegogo offers project owners the choice to bag partial funding even if their initial goal isn’t hit – however Indiegogo does then take a greater slice of the pot
  • RocketHub – Another platform that offers the opportunity to take out funds even if goals aren’t realized, RocketHub is building somewhat of a reputation as a hothouse of community, arts, science and socially aware projects. Perhaps most interestingly, a recent partnership with US media company A&E Networks and the launch of ‘Project Startup’ can mean big exposure for some lucky project owners, and perhaps even direct funding from A&E itself
  • Fundable – Boasting $137 million in funding to date, Fundable does things a little differently. It’s a business-oriented platform focused on driving capital injections and even allows you to offer equity rather than rewards if that’s what you’re looking for. The Fundable team is very hands on with project owners and doesn’t take a cut from successfully funded projects, but it does charge you $99 a month in return for its training and marketing efforts
  • Razoo – One of an alternate breed of crowdfunding platforms focused exclusively on the needs of non-profits, Razoo has enabled nearly 90,000 fundraising projects to see the light of day, helping them to raise over $230 million to date. It’s free to start a fundraiser, visibility is particularly high in the US, but Razoo is still a business (even with a heart) and it will still take 4.9% of all donations for itself
  • Seedrs – As its name suggests Seedrs’ model helps financially sophisticated startups raise seed capital from independent investors as well as closer contacts like friends and families. The hope is that investors will be there to offer advice, mentoring and advocacy for early-stage businesses as well as raw capital. Equity purchases start as low as £10

These are just a few alternative options to the almighty Kickstarter. Remember there are hundreds of others out there filling pretty much every investment profile niche you can imagine. MoolaHoop focuses on female entrepreneurs, Trillion Fund favors renewables, Quirky likes whacky inventions, Unbound funds publishing projects, Gambitious rewards gaming developers, and appbackr… backs apps! You get the idea – let’s hope thousands of cash-rich investors get yours.

 

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