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August 7th, 2013

Prompt Boston launches free weekly technology PR workshops

Prompt Boston launches free weekly technology PR workshops

 Advice and insights for New England companies with practical technology PR courses in Kendall Square 

Boston, MA – Prompt Boston, the East Coast office of Prompt Communications, a technology specialist public relations and digital communications agency, has launched free weekly ‘PR and Pizza’ workshop series for New England technology companies, at the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC).

The workshops offer free ideas and advice to technology marketing professionals and entrepreneurs in start-ups and early-stage ventures to enterprise companies. Workshop topics include messaging, news creation, news distribution and pitching, media and analyst training, social media, PR measurement and ROI.

Each workshop is run by Prompt Boston’s PR, copywriting and social media consultants.

Caroline Egan, social media and content strategist, 360Chestnut said: “As a technology company that is focused on educating consumers on energy-efficient and cost-effective solutions for their homes, we understand the benefits of PR. Being able to join Prompt’s workshops has given us the opportunity to hear about fresh strategies and tactics, and discuss ideas to help us to promote our own services as efficiently as possible.”

Geoff Mamlet, managing director, Cambridge Innovation Center said: “As one of the largest communities of early-stage ventures, start-ups, innovators and entrepreneurs in the world, we welcome community members such as Prompt that are keen to share information and ideas. Knowledge-sharing plays an important role in innovation.”

The one-hour workshops take place each Friday in Kendall Square. Workshops can be reserved on Prompt Boston’s Eventbrite page.

Prompt’s CEO, Hazel Butters, said: “Prompt Boston enjoys being part of this vibrant local community. This series of free workshops helps us to share our knowledge with the community. We want to help technology companies that may lack financial resources, as well as established vendors that are keen to sharpen the marketing and promotion of technology products, services or apps.”

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Prompt Communications:
Prompt is a communications agency that enables marketers and entrepreneurs to increase their sales and marketing effectiveness. Specializing in innovative markets, Prompt helps its clients communicate effectively and authentically with core audiences online and offline through PR, media relations, copywriting, webinars, market and industry analysis, social media, video content and customer reference programs. Founded in 2002, Prompt Communications has offices in London and US offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts and San Francisco, California. www.prompt-communications.com

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Posted in News, Prompt news | Comments Off on Prompt Boston launches free weekly technology PR workshops

 

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July 1st, 2013

Boston technology PR team ponders: How to ‘connect the lots’ at CIC …

Boston technology PR team ponders: How to ‘connect the lots’ at CIC …

Cambridge Innovation Center has recently expanded its business location, One Broadway, to a new building on 101 Main Street, just around the corner.

The technology PR team at Prompt Boston used to be based in the old building at One Broadway, but we can’t resist the lure of a new, shiny building, not to mention an amazing 14th-floor view of the Boston skyline and the Charles River (see below).  Plus, we’ll be back in close proximity to some of the amazingly talented individuals and brilliant companies that we got to know while they were based in our old building.

Boston view

Earlier this week, while we were making the increasingly frequent trip between One Broadway to 101 Broadway, we got to thinking: seeing that the CIC community is all about innovation, what are the most innovative ways that the two buildings could be connected? Zipline? Secret underground passageway?

We’re open to suggestions, and the person who comes up with the most fun suggestion wins a $50 voucher to one of the eateries* we pass on our Broadway-101 commute (I say commute, it’s about 200 paces). You can add your suggestion to our Facebook page, or tweet it to us at @PromptBoston with the hashtag #CICwalkway.

* So that’s Dunkin Donuts or Firebrand Saints!

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Posted in Boston, Prompt locations | 2 Comments »

 

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May 3rd, 2013

Innovation Nation: Celebrating a proud pioneering tradition

Innovation Nation: Celebrating a proud pioneering tradition

Massachusetts, and the twin cities of Boston and Cambridge in particular, has been a thriving hotbed of innovation and pioneering spirit since its very foundation. From Harvard intellectuals to ground-breaking glass and ink industrialists, from the earliest computing visionaries to modern green tech and life science visionaries, innovation has always been second nature in this part of the world.

To celebrate the vibrancy, optimism and can-do determination of business and individuals that still thrives in the area today, Prompt Communications has decided to produce a series of short videos showcasing the rich talents of start-ups operating out of the Cambridge Innovation Center.

We’re interviewing truly inspiring, innovative businesses at CIC, and can’t wait to share the passion and enthusiasm they have for their products and markets with you. We’ll reveal what makes the people behind these organizations tick, what fuels their ideas, and how they became so ambitious and driven to succeed.

Join us as we showcase our nation’s greatest innovations, and celebrate the proud pioneering spirit of some of the most exciting businesses in operation today.

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Posted in Boston, Communications consultancy opinion, Innovation, PR Practices, Technology | Comments Off on Innovation Nation: Celebrating a proud pioneering tradition

 

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March 18th, 2013

Prompt’s content marketing Monday tip #7: Partner up!

Prompt’s content marketing Monday tip #7: Partner up!

Most marketers know all too well that one of the biggest challenges of great content marketing is developing that great content.

There is always high demand for compelling content, and while we would naturally recommend partnering with a professional PR and content creation agency such as ourselves, we know that outsourcing isn’t always an option for everyone. However, we also realize that internal bandwidth in any expanding businesses is generally limited, and any wishes you may have for a few more hours in the day – or for a time machine – are probably falling on deaf ears.

Business partnersSo where to turn? How about to other like-minded businesses? Partnering up for the exchange of ideas and content will not only expand your ideas and your audience, it should also prove a fun thing to do. At the end of the day, business is about exchanging ideas and opportunities, and you should never be too shy to collaborate.

For example, we’ve been working with MarketMeSuite, a company that we met just by chance – a benefit of working in a space like the Cambridge Innovation Center, located right in tech-savvy, booming Kendall Square. We really liked the company, its product and its vision, so we got to know them better. We talk about the markets we both work in, areas that interest us, and trends that we both see.

Recently, we decided to work together on some mutually-benefiting content. We completed a post for MarketMeSuite’s blog, which we called ‘Tweet The Press: Prompt’s Guide to Twitter Media Relations’. Our new friends shared our post with their audience across social media and their newsletter, and we posted a really great article from them on our blog, shared it over social media, and published it in our own Impromptu newsletter.

From experience then, here are a few tips on how to create the perfect content marketing partnership:

  1. Find a good partner. Think of people and companies that you like, respect and are sure would be fun to work with. MarketMeSuite has a really engaging team with great ideas, so we knew it would be enjoyable, and mutually beneficial
  2. Think about what you each bring to the table, including content ideas, company visions, ideals and audiences. You need to make sure that any content you are developing is relevant to your partner’s audiences. Yes, it’s an opportunity to expand horizons, but not to alienate
  3. Set deliverables. Just like any business partnership, it’s best to have it all agreed and laid explicitly. If you think that you’re writing something for a partner’s newsletter but your partner doesn’t plan on including your content, then you’re going to run into problems. Keep things clear from the outset
  4. Consider how to approach numerical goals: This is business, so it’s not out of the realms of possibility that one party may be thinking strictly in terms of the number of unique views, downloads or even sales queries your reciprocal arrangement might generate. Be clear and realistic – if you’re just starting a content partnership then you need to get content out there, see what the reaction is and then determine your next steps
  5. Be collaborative. Brainstorm and share ideas, look for overlap
  6. Have fun. These are great opportunities to exchange fun ideas, new ways of thinking and to engage with someone new. Have fun with it!
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Posted in Boston, Communications consultancy opinion, Content Marketing, Copywriting, Social Media | 2 Comments »

 

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January 15th, 2013

Why your business should hire a Cambridge teenager in 2013

Why your business should hire a Cambridge teenager in 2013

Here at Prompt we’re all big fans of innovation, of being active in our community, and of all the opportunities that are created when innovation and communities come together.

Yours truly with Dr. Jeffrey Young and Cambridge City's Mayor Henrietta Davis

Yours truly with Dr. Jeffrey Young and Cambridge City’s Mayor Henrietta Davis

At our @PromptBoston office, overlooking the Boston skyline from the inspiring Cambridge Innovation Center, being part of a community expands beyond the scope of our own building to the broader Cambridge community. This manifests itself in many ways, one of which includes our support of Cambridge youth projects, including the Cambridge Challenge. This multi-year initiative led by the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce’s Community Outreach Committee, brings businesses and youth together. Just last week we were invited by the Cambridge Challenge to a guest reception, where we were able to meet Cambridge City’s Mayor Henrietta Davis, as well as Cambridge Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Young.

CIC’s Tim Rowe greeted everyone at the event, including companies and organizations like us that had recruited Cambridge teenagers over the previous year, as well as representatives from the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce. Tim then introduced Mayor Davis who explained how being introduced to business at an early age – particularly in Cambridge’s hotbed of science, technology, engineering and mathematics – can really give teenagers a feel for what is possible in life. The Mayor’s comments were complemented by thoughts from Jeffrey Young who talked about the immeasurable gains for youngsters participating in programs such as the Cambridge Challenge, as well as the many benefits for the businesses involved. From Prompt’s experience of working for a number of years with local Cambridge teenagers, we couldn’t agree more.

One of the talking points that really resonated with me personally was the broader opportunity for the Cambridge community. Working at this unique confluence of world-leading universities – including MIT and Harvard – businesses with cutting-edge technologies have a huge opportunity to make a real difference in teenager’s lives; inspiring and shaping them for the challenges that lie ahead.

It’s not the first year that @PromptBoston has been involved in the Cambridge Youth employment program, and it certainly won’t be our last.  We encourage other companies – within the CIC and in the wider area – to really participate in this. You can sign up by emailing teenjobs@cambridgema.gov

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Posted in Boston, Events, Hazel Butters: Opinion, Innovation, Opinion, Prompt locations | 1 Comment »

 

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November 2nd, 2012

Can I get some PR with my coffee?

Can I get some PR with my coffee?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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October 29th, 2012

Recap: Innovation Week — Boston, Massachusetts

Recap: Innovation Week — Boston, Massachusetts

With offices in Boston, San Francisco, and London, every Prompt team member is always interested in what is going on in the local community.  The Boston office, located in Cambridge’s Kendall Square, is also eager to attend local events and keep up with the happenings around the area.  The past seven days proved to be no different when Deval Patrick, governor of Massachusetts declared the week (Oct. 22-26) Innovation Week.

Innovation Week, an idea adapted by the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, fuses several simultaneous vents together to create an ‘experience larger than sum of its parts’.  Boston’s Innovation Week played on the city’s influential technology and innovation community with eight conferences and events in total: MITX FutureM conference; MassChallenge 2012 Awards Ceremony; EU-US eHealth Marketplace; EmTech MIT; Boston Region Entrepreneurship Week (BREW); Xconomy Forum: The Future of Big Data; Tie Boston’s Best Practices on Global Innovation; and UMASS Boston’s IDEAS Boston.

Innovation plays a big part in the Massachusetts culture, with history dating back to the Industrial Revolution (learn more at the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation), and now with heavy influence by new businesses, start-ups, research and development, and inspiring entrepreneurs.  Massachusetts recently ranked number one for entrepreneurship in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln State Entreprenuership Index survey, for the second year in a row.  Among the ever-expanding businesses in Massachusetts (according to Kendall Square’s Entrepreneur Walk of Fame, the area has five times more startups per square mile than any other location) many of the colleges in the area also consider entrepreneurship a course of study, including Babson College and Northeastern University.

What are your thoughts on innovation in your local community?  Are there some really innovative companies you know of that deserve a mention?  Tweet them to us at @PromptBoston and @PromptLondon.

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October 2nd, 2012

Boston meets Bulgaria: An international feel to Friday

Boston meets Bulgaria: An international feel to Friday

As an international media relations and copywriting firm with offices in Boston, San Francisco and London, the team at Prompt Communications is always interested in meeting notable leaders and business professionals from around the globe.

This past Friday, @PromptBoston had the chance to sit in on an informational speech given by the president of the Republic of Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev. President Plevneliev visited the Cambridge Innovation Center (a workspace we’ve raved about in some of our past posts), as he was in the Kendall Square area to visit the Bulgarian Consul in Boston and attend the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York the following week.

The day was topped off with savory Bulgarian food and a musical performance by Divi Zheni, Boston’s own Balkan women’s chorus, directed by Tatiana Sarbinska – an acclaimed Bulgarian folk singer, instructor and conductor.

It was a Friday for Prompt’s memory book – meeting the leader of a southeastern European country and diving into the traditions and culture of the land.

For the most recent updates on all of Prompt’s activities, follow us on Twitter at PromptBoston or PromptLondon. For more information on how our professional public relations and copywriting services can benefit your international business, please email info@prompt-communications.com.

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September 12th, 2012

Spotted: Wizards on broomsticks in the city of Boston

Spotted: Wizards on broomsticks in the city of Boston

As a copywriting, media relations, and digital communications firm located in the bustling Kendall Square, we love venturing out into the city scene and discovering all that the streets of Boston have to offer.

You never know what you’re going to find – street performers playing great beats on bucket brims, vendors selling the latest Red Sox apparel, and wizards and witches playing Quidditch in the Boston Commons.

Four years ago, Emerson College (Prompt Boston’s neighbor, located on the other side of the Charles River) formed its own Quidditch club based off the hit novel-turned-movie series, Harry Potter.

However, this past weekend, Boston.com reported that city park officials swept the broom players out of the Common, banning the students from using the public space for games and practices until a permit is obtained. In the past, the college has secured a permit, but miscommunication barred the Quidditch club from getting the magic pass this year.

For those of you unfamiliar with Harry Potter -isms, Muggle (non-magical humans, like the majority of Emerson College students) Quidditch consists of two teams of seven players, who run (‘fly’) with brooms between their legs as they toss around a deflated volleyball (the ‘Quaffle’scoring ball) through hoops that act as goal posts. As if that didn’t sound distracting enough, two other balls (‘Bludgers’ – like a kickball aimed at your face) are used to disrupt scoring.

So, the next time you find yourself in the middle of the city with nothing to do (which is near impossible), we recommend trying something new like joining a Quidditch league – you may just be the next Muggle champion of Quidditch.

To stay up to date on the latest media and city happenings, be sure to ‘like’ the Prompt Boston Facebook page or follow the Beantown team on Twitter: @PromptBoston.

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August 9th, 2012

Prompt begins work with The Big Studio

Prompt begins work with The Big Studio

While Prompt is known for working with clients all around the world – from Los Angeles to the Middle East – we also enjoy collaborating with clients who are located in the same neighborhood; and our newest client is no exception.

Prompt Communications wins account with The Big StudioThe Big Studio, located in the same Kendall Square neighborhood as Prompt Boston, is an innovative consulting group that helps companies use digital, web, and mobile technologies to generate fresh ideas, drive product innovation and meet business goals. The Big Studio and its hand-picked team have worked with Fortune 500 companies, leading brands and household names.

Prompt will work with The Big Studio on a US public and media relations program including a highly focused media outreach campaign, content creation, and social media support.

The Big Studio’s co-founder, Robert Gauvin, said: “We searched for a public relations firm that would understand the style of innovative, outside-of-the-box services we offer, and after high-quality recommendations, we found our solution with Prompt. This team is collaborative and eager to grasp the concept of design-thinking, even hosting numerous face-to-face brainstorm sessions itself. We’re confident that its experience in technology, along with its professionalism and enthusiasm, will help The Big Studio to deliver its message of true innovation.”

The Prompt Boston team is excited to be working with a company that provides and delivers on such a non-traditional business offering, and has already begun working with top-name press on coverage and editorial opportunities.

For more information on Prompt winning The Big Studio, read the entire press release here. And to learn how Prompt Communications can increase your company’s public visibility, email info@prompt-communications.com.

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July 16th, 2012

Potato/Patattah…Fries or chips?

Potato/Patattah…Fries or chips?

As a copywriting and public relations firm located in the heart of a bustling Kendall Square, it’s not uncommon for us to sneak out of the office every once in a while to grab a bite to eat and soak up the city scenery.

What does come more often than not, however, is the naming difference @PromptBoston and @PromptLondon discovered over lunch one afternoon, when a steaming plate of greasy goodness hit the table – fried potato (err…patattah) strips.

What would you call the image above? Chips or fries, potatoes or patattahs?


In North America, the side dish and its variations (thin, thick, curly, waffle, etc.) are all automatically referred to as French fries.

But take a trip anywhere else in the world, and you’ll find yourself paying very close attention to the type of potato side dish you order.  In British English, ‘chips’ are the equivalent of an American’s piping hot ‘French fries’. Similarly, ‘chips’ to @PromptBoston, or the cold potato snack food, are referred to as ‘crisps’ by the @PromptLondon team.

Now, just to make it even more trickier, we ask the age old question: Why do Americans say ‘fish and chips’?  Shouldn’t it be ‘fish and French fries’?

Some answers, we will never know.  And just when you think of a neutral term like fried potato strips, someone comes around and calls them ‘patattah’ strips. Such is life!

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June 5th, 2012

A speckle on the sun: Transit of Venus 2012

A speckle on the sun: Transit of Venus 2012

Yes, we know we are not astronomers. But as a copywriting and public relations firm, we recognize interesting, rare astronomical events when we learn of one. Today, marks one of those events – we get to witness something that won’t happen for another century or so – the transit of Venus.

The transit occurs when Venus passes directly in between the Sun and Earth. This is the first transit since June 2004, and will be the last time until December 2117. Such an event takes place every 105.5 to 121.5 years, and occurs in pairs eight years apart. This year’s transit is expected to begin at around 6:00 p.m. EST and end around 12:50 a.m. EST. Many astronomers are posting up shop in Alaska, but the transit will be visible from parts of North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

According to many of the stories we’ve read, for best results, experts recommend finding a spot on high ground facing the Northwestern horizon. Those in most areas in North and Central America will see the start of the transit until the sun sets, while those viewing in Western Asia, the eastern half of Africa and most of Europe will catch the transit’s end during sunrise.

Of course, viewing all depends on the weather and cloud condition in your area throughout the day. Here in the heart of Kendall Square in Cambridge, where we are located, the weather is too overcast to witness such a momentous event. So tonight, if you’re luckier than we are weather-wise, sit back, grab a telescope and prepare yourself for an astronomical sight.

Sources: FoxNews.com

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