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March 23rd, 2015

The Prompt Byte: March 23, 2015

The Prompt Byte: March 23, 2015

Miniature engineers fixing error on chip of motherboard


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The how-to newsletter from Prompt PR

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London


22 Upper Ground

Eighth Floor

London

SE1 9PD


Boston


745 Atlantic Ave

Third Floor

Boston

MA 02111


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Welcome…

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

Enjoy, and as always, happy reading!

Hazel

Hazel Butters

CEO

Prompt PR

Twitter: @PromptLondon and @PromptBoston

Facebook: Prompt London and Prompt Boston

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How to
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How to time a press release

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Rising stars
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Rejjee

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

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

Tell us a bit about Rejjee.

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

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

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

Read more, here.

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App of the week
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Network Toolbox


Network Toolbox

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

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Copy corner
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Further or farther?

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

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

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

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

You can find more testimonials here.

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App of the week
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BASIC

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

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

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

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

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


London


22 Upper Ground

Eighth Floor

London

SE1 9PD


Boston


745 Atlantic Ave

Third Floor

Boston

MA 02111

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

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Prompt

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Copyright Prompt Communications 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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October 21st, 2014

Tech PR perspective: Pitching to the national press

Tech PR perspective: Pitching to the national press

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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September 3rd, 2014

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 7th, 2014

Kickstarter woes: Coping with crickets, tumbleweed – and direct user feedback

Kickstarter woes: Coping with crickets, tumbleweed – and direct user feedback

Over the last few days I’ve spoken a great deal about crowdfunding, with a focus on Kickstarter, so thought I’d share a few thoughts about ‘crowdfunding fear’.

I’ve previously written about ‘launch jitters’ – that moment when a start-up team or entrepreneur has to unveil its project to the big, bad outside world.  It can be a terrifying moment.

TumbleweedTake that anxiety and add a boatload more scrutiny, remorseless user comments and sudden exposure to the industry limelight and you have yourself a crowdfunding launch.

On a basic level, that is what crowdfunding may initially deliver –intense scrutiny of everything you have worked to deliver. It can be very challenging, unforgiving, harsh and intimidating. And if you think that sounds unnerving, just think about the reverse experience – post-launch tumbleweed. You hit the launch button, brace yourself for the severest of comments, and instead there’s… nothing at all. Crickets!

This is why crowdfunding is never an easy option for the faint of heart. It’s raw, immediate, unpredictable and involves direct contact with users. And yet it’s also an amazing market in which to float your idea.

According to Massolution Crowdfunding Industry Reports, crowdfunding platforms raised $1.5 billion in 2011, $2.7 billion in 2012 and $5.1 billion in 2013.

Crowdfunding has transformed how start-ups and entrepreneurs choose to launch products. They can retain equity. The success and relevance of their product or service is not determined by a room of VCs or even a single investor but by their target audiences. And the sum they actually raise might easily exceed what they targeted – just think of projects such as Star Citizen ($500,000 goal versus $2.1million funded through Kickstarter and an additional $49 million as funding continued on the company’s website), Pebble ($100,000 versus $10.3 million) and OUYA ($950,000 versus $8.6 million).

You certainly need to have a lot of confidence to secure high-figure funding on a crowdfunding platform, but it’s not always about the money. Crowdfunding is also an amazing way to test a market. Just think how Canonical’s bid for $32 million to support the Ubuntu Edge phone really dipped more than a toe (it didn’t get funded). Crowdfunding sites can be just that – a great, low-cost yet far-reaching way to test a product or idea that has  immediate and unfiltered feedback.

In our next post we’ll be reviewing some ideas for pledges and rewards to encourage backers.

Meanwhile, if you’re based on the East Coast of the US and are planning a crowdfunding launch, please sign-upfor our one-day intensive PR workshop for potential crowdfunders on September 5th.

 

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June 6th, 2014

Prompt press coverage round up – Spring / Summer edition

Prompt press coverage round up – Spring / Summer edition

We’ve hit the half-way mark for 2014. ‘June already’, I hear you cry! As we take stock of the past six months and look at our highs and lows, we realise how much fun we’ve had ringing bells and batting down journalist’s doors to garner press coverage for our clients. We love shouting about their news, products and opinions and we’d be happy to shout about yours as well.

Below is just some of the titles we’ve secured coverage in for our clients so far in 2014.  So if you’re looking for ideas on how to get more press attention, our media relations service is just one of the many ways we are able to help. Email us at info@prompt-pr.com for more information.

Coverage_June14

 

We also offer free 30-minute one-to-one consultations sessions, so send us an email or call us on +1 857 277 5140 to find out what we can do for you.

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May 23rd, 2014

The benefits of good press coverage and how to get it

The benefits of good press coverage and how to get it

Here at Prompt PR, one of our core objectives for our clients is securing stellar press coverage. Whether it’s a two-page spread in the print (and online) edition of SC Magazine, influential fintech commentary on the Wall Street Journal or file transfer thought leadership in Storage Networking Solutions Europe, the value of a good media hit is immeasurable (unless of course, you’re still in the dark ages calculating AVEs…).

Scoring visibility in large-scale national press, like our clients have seen in USA Today, NBC News or The Drum, brings unparalleled levels of exposure and as such it’s important to keep a constant eye on the press. Always keep your wheels turning: What’s newsworthy right now? What can I add to the conversation?

While big national media attention is great, sometimes the vertical press is the biggest bang for your buck. When it comes to sales conversion, getting your company’s message – and wherever possible, your thought leadership and expertise – in front of a highly targeted audience is tremendous. Are you in the business of hospitality technology? Then contributing to a highly relevant piece in Eastern Hotelier, or offering industry tips in Hotel Management, is probably right up your alley – or should be.

If any of the coverage above has you feeling a pang of jealousy, get in touch! We’d love to help you secure opportunities and hard-hitting results. Reach us at boston@prompt-pr.com or london@prompt-pr.com.

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December 9th, 2013

Media relations: Getting going when you’re an early stage company

Media relations: Getting going when you’re an early stage company

Last week we had some brilliant ‘Ten Ways’ calls and meetings with software companies and app developers. If you’re not familiar with our Ten Ways calls, it’s an offer of free consultancy time to talk about PR, media and analyst ideas relevant to your business based on our favorite webinar (you’ve guessed it) ‘Ten ways to promote your technology product, service or app’. Want to sign up? Simply click here and book an appointment.

One common media relation question I hear from start-ups and early stage companies is where to start. Picture it: you have a brilliant idea, an early stage venture and a swathe of passion and motivation to realize it, but you need to communicate it to relevant media. You look at the press out there: online, print, and broadcast press and you feel, well, overwhelmed. It’s understandable: the breadth of media, the pace it works at, the number of outlets and the volume of news can be dizzying. Though personally I think the speed, volume and pace make this the most fascinating market to work in.

Anyhow, if you are feeling media relation starter overwhelm, here’s some of my thoughts on how to gain perspective and begin:

• Align your media relations strategy very closely with your business strategy. If your strategy is to secure B2B partnerships, then speak to relevant press. If you want to sell a new product to female consumers, then target the outlets they are reading and influenced by. If you are looking for local funding, start sharing your ideas with the local business press.

• Don’t create a massive press list and just start spamming random press, or send them anything that’s blatantly promotional. These are professionals that are looking to educate, inform and entertain their audiences — give them interesting and relevant stories that will help them do just that.

• Call people. If you’re too scared to or simply don’t have the time, then buy some media calling time from a company such as Prompt which works with start-ups and works on a flexible basis to do things such as media-calling-by-the-hour.

• Be genuine. Share the reasons why you started your company, or the mission behind your organization. This is typically personal, genuine and relevant — it also helps all the people you want to communicate with to feel more engaged and to understand you better.

• Think like a reporter. Read, watch and listen to the press you want to engage with. Then think from their perspective (imagine being a reporter working in that newsroom) about which stories would be relevant to their readers, viewers or listeners.

• Have fun! We work in a fabulous, fast-paced and engaging industry — enjoy the thrill of being part of it.

Have some questions on specific media, PR, content creation, customer programs or analyst topics? Please take a few minutes and book a free call to hear our ‘Ten ways to promote your technology product, service or app’.

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August 29th, 2013

Prompt launches flexible ‘First Byte’ PR packages for tech start-ups

Prompt launches flexible ‘First Byte’ PR packages for tech start-ups

Customizable service bundles also offer ‘add-on’ options for rapid response to market opportunities

Boston, MA – August 28, 2013 – Prompt Boston has launched a range of PR, marketing, content creation and social media service packages designed specifically to benefit technology start-ups. Prompt’s ‘First Byte’ packages support key business activities that promote thought leadership, media relations and content creation. Nicknamed ‘Megabyte’,‘Gigabyte’,‘Terabyte’ and ‘Petabyte’, each scale of package also offers add-on options through a ‘Byte Size’ menu, enabling companies to respond easily to sales and growth-related opportunities, or swiftly trigger specific activities when most benefit can be gained. These optional add-ons include analyst relations, customer case studies, media training, event support and even award programs.

The programs also cover PR, media relations and copywriting in the UK, France and DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), enabling American-headquartered companies to easily extend their marketing activities to new territories and to maximize the return on their marketing dollars.

Hazel Butters, CEO of Prompt Boston, said: “With the fast-paced nature of today’s technology industry, many companies, particularly start-ups, need PR programs that are flexible, scalable and economical. Increasingly we find ourselves working with start-ups and tech companies that have previously been scared away from PR by hefty six-figure fees and teams that seem to consist of a cast of thousands.  Prompt’s ‘First Byte’ packages help our clients to build impactful, results-driven PR programs which remain focused, manageable and affordable.”

Prompt’s ‘First Byte’ PR packaged activities are delivered with full transparency to ensure clear visibility of progress and results. Through this certain and honest approach, Prompt’s specialist teams work as true extensions of clients’ internal PR and marketing teams.

Hazel concluded: “PR is an important component of any business plan or strategy. With Prompt’s packages, companies can reap valuable results and predictable returns on their investments. It’s all too easy for start-ups to regard PR as just another cost, because they aren’t made plainly aware of the tangible benefits PR brings. Others may understand the advantages of PR but feel that hidden costs make it prohibitive for them to adopt. Our start-up packages are exclusively designed for early stage companies; they contain no nasty surprise costs, and are created specifically to help smaller teams harness the power of PR as part of a viable and sustainable business strategy.”

Tammy Kahn Fennell, CEO of MarketMeSuite, a user-friendly social media platform trusted by 30,000 users to organize, prioritize and engage smarter on social media, said: “As a growing software company with commitments in engineering, new product development, customer service, partner strategy and sales, it can be challenging to free up budget and dedicate time for specific media activities. We worked with Prompt when we needed set-price media work because the team could commit to a predictable fee that helped us to plan financially, while prioritizing activities that complemented our immediate sales and growth strategy.”

To learn more about Prompt’s ‘First Byte’ PR packages, visit the website. To receive more information on pricing and package details, please fill out Prompt’s form here.

About Prompt
Prompt is a communications agency that enables marketers and entrepreneurs to increase sales and marketing effectiveness. Specializing in innovative markets including technology, green tech and sustainability, 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. Prompt Communications has offices and consultants spanning in London, Massachusetts and California. Prompt’s current and former clients include Adeptra, Adobe Systems Incorporated, Aperture, Corizon, Dell Compellent, Foviance, Genesys Telecommunications, GenSight, Grouptree, IBM, jovoto, KANA, Oracle Corporation, smartFOCUS and Webtide.
www.prompt-communications.com

Media contacts:
Hazel Butters or Jackie Fraser
1 (617) 401-2717
press@prompt-communications.com

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July 23rd, 2013

Reaching out to your audience – PR lessons from the Tour de France

Reaching out to your audience – PR lessons from the Tour de France

Tour de FranceA sultry Sunday evening in Paris was the spectacular setting for the end of the 100th edition of ‘La Grande Boucle’. The epic tour saw 20 teams compete over 3,404 km of picturesque French landscapes, arduously climbing up and down peaks in the Alps and the Pyrenees that would send most of us scrambling for the nearest cable car.

The Tour de France is an endurance event, and it has certainly had to endure a lot over its 110 year history. Drug cheat Lance Armstrong stripped the Tour of seven winners in recent times – the same number of races lost to the Second World War. As a result even this year’s whiter-than-white winner of the overall General Classification, Brit Chris Froome, had to deflect a now familiar shower of scepticism before receiving the trophy in his ‘maillot jaune’ on the ChampsÉlysées. Throughout the tour, French newspapers and magazines routinely questioned Froome’s integrity, and all were batted away comprehensively with volumes of data supplied willingly by his loyal Sky team (we’ll talk more about how that was handled in a separate post).

If you’ve ever watched a stage of the Tour de France you’ll know that the spectacle of riders and supporters is unmatched in any other sporting arena. It’s not just the athleticism of the cyclists that catches the eye – it’s the enthusiasm, engagement and frightening proximity of the crazed fan base. Thousands of fully-grown men run alongside the stream of high-speed bikes sporting very little apart from their pride and a few well-placed flags. One spectator at this year’s race was holding a stuffed hog under one arm and a duck aloft with his other.

If the route of the Tour goes through your own town or city, then it is considered a very prestigious event. Locals and visiting spectators alike – as many as 15 million people may have watched this year’s Tour – embrace it wholeheartedly. Fans camp at roadsides to gain the best vantage point before the cyclists pass. Spectators lean in to shake flags directly in front of cyclists. It’s not unknown for there to be injuries caused by this fervour, and there are moments watching it when I find myself shouting at those who appear dangerously close to cyclists – endangering themselves and potentially interfering with the momentum of athletes who may have cycled thousands of miles to reach that point. Well-meaning supporters even stretch out and back-slap tired competitors to help fight gravity on those final killer-climbs.  Although the last kilometre of each stage may be railed off, the rest of the course is completely open to its supporters.

There are so many sports in which spectators are charged a fortune and then kept at a great deal more than an arm’s length away, but not in this sport. The result of this openness  is a passionate and strikingly diverse base of supporters who feel genuine empathy with their heroes.

So here are some lessons that we might all learn from the Tour de France:

  • If you are accessible, people will love you for it. Audiences engage with individuals, groups, companies and products they feel they know, but you need to be open and honest to make this happen
  • It’s crucial to give your fans, whoever they might be (and whatever they might be wearing) recognition for their support. The cyclists of the Tour embrace the swathes of spectators and regularly thank the immense fan base they have, and their contribution to the sport
  • There is huge value to be had in listening to your audience. In 2010 the UK Sky team, home to the winner of the last two Tours, decided it would maintain a ‘closed’ area at the beginning of each stage to help cyclists focus. An immediate backlash from fans led to the team’s sporting director apologising before folding up both the idea and the barriers
  • Let your audience be the way they are. One thing I love about the Tour is that fans and supporters are not corralled, dictated to or limited. They are celebrated for the way they are, and as a result make the sport more fun, thrilling and engaging for  it
  • If you are honest to yourself and to your supporters then it doesn’t matter if you crash and suffer a few bruises from time-to-time – someone will help you back up and tell you that you can be a winner
  • It’s okay to appear on TV in your underpants with your stuffed hog and get away with it
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June 10th, 2013

Technology PR recap: The software testing industry

Technology PR recap: The software testing industry

The final entry in Prompt’s blog series,

Prompt Technology PR Snapshot: Software Testing 

Over the past six weeks, we hope you’ve learned a lot about the software testing industry, and ways to maximize your PR efforts. We’ve walked you through the various types of press, including IT publications, business journals, and newspaper journalists. Even if it seems near impossible, there is a way to make it into your favorite publication – all it takes is the right angle.

As your company’s spokesperson, it’s your duty to protect your business’s reputational frontline and reach target audiences. Through PR, media and analyst relations, these goals are achieved, along with boosting sales revenue and industry thought leadership.

So, whether you’re a well-known global company, or a small software testing start-up, reaching the press follows the same tips as discussed in our blog over the past month. In case you missed it, Prompt has compiled them all into one free, handy download – all you need to do is fill out the form below.

Ultimately software testing makes a significant and concrete difference to customer confidence, corporate reputation and that all important bottom line. And PR should be doing just that for you too.

To speak to one of our PR consultants, please contact us today. In a short time, our expert team can discuss your specific situation and some activities that will get you traction in relevant press as a software testing thought leader.

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June 7th, 2013

Prompt Boston hosts successful ‘Office Hours’ at Venture Café

Prompt Boston hosts successful ‘Office Hours’ at Venture Café

At Prompt Boston, we’re fortunate to work near the hub of technology and innovation, with our offices being walking distance from MIT, Harvard and more. In fact, right in our office building, the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC), these techies come together every Thursday night for a networking social better known as Venture Café.

Last month, Prompt CEO Hazel Butters hosted ‘Office Hours’ at Venture Café, where an array of technology start-ups stopped by to discuss future goals, technology PR strategy, thought leadership and the nature of the press with us. Meanwhile, otVenture Cafeher Prompt team members hit the event floor – with surveys in hand to ask some of the latest hard-hitting questions in tech and PR.

With Prompt specializing in media relations and press training, we thought we’d start our round of questioning by asking attendees, ‘Who is the greatest tech spokesperson of all time?’ Not surprisingly, the most popular response was the legendary Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple. Other notable mentions included Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle Corporation, and Nikola Tesla, Croatian inventor, engineer and physicist best known for his contributions to air conditioning.

Our next question was even tougher. As part of our media outreach and news pipeline creation, we’re constantly reading the latest trends and news in technology. With so many outlets in publication, it’s hard to pinpoint our all-time favorite newspaper or magazine. But we just had to ask, ‘If you were stranded on a desert island with access to only one source of technology news, what would you choose?’  The New York Times topped the list, but a slew of other well-known publications also caught our attention, including Mashable, Engadget, VentureBeat, TechCrunch, the Wall Street Journal, and perhaps the most resourceful in real-time, Twitter.

Red pencil and questionnaireWhat we really wanted to know, though, was how these technology-invested, business-minded individuals would rate themselves on their own spokesperson skills. At Prompt, we ensure our newly-acquired clients go through media training, to get company representatives press-ready and confident. Intimately, it comes down to the age-old PR question: If the Wall Street Journal called you tomorrow, would you know what to say? So we asked Venture Café guests, ‘How good of a media spokesperson do you think you are?’

Nearly two-thirds of respondents (61%) expressed an air of confidence when speaking to the press, despite the nerves that accompany such certainty. Others believed they could handle a press interview, just as long as any “trick questions” aren’t thrown into the mix.

No matter where you fall on the spectrum, media training fortifies your public speaking abilities, which is crucial when jumping on the phone line with a journalist. Even seasoned speakers go through such training, to avoid any ‘oh no’ moments or damaging blunders. If you’re interested in media training, and transforming your company representatives into properly trained press spokespeople, please contact a Prompt consultant today.

Interested in attending the next Venture Café? Take a look at the upcoming event and speaker schedule – we hope to see you there!

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April 29th, 2013

Software testing and the PR opportunity

Software testing and the PR opportunity

Part one of six in our new blog series,

Prompt PR Snapshot: Software Testing

software testing PR

As a transatlantic PR and copywriting firm, we’ve worked with high tech clients spanning the globe, from Boston start-ups to key players like Dell and Oracle. Since 2005, we’ve worked with Sogeti UK, one the UK’s leading provider of software testing services, to deliver a powerful media outreach programme, securing coverage in popular titles like Computerworld, ComputerWeekly, Tech World and TEST Magazine.

From our experience in working with high tech clients, in particular the software testing industry, we’ve compiled a Prompt blog series highlighting key tips when reaching out to various types of press covering the sector. Consider this your weekly inside scoop when it comes to PR and software testing, compiled from our media relations expertise dating back to 2002.

Why software testing needs PR

If you manage, market or work for a software testing or quality assurance firm, then you are on the reputational frontline. Your customers operate in increasingly competitive markets and know that the quality and speed of software delivery can be the difference between success and failure. They depend on you to make their businesses work, because when technology fails and transactions stop, business processes halt and customers get frustrated. And when today’s customers get angry, they talk about it online; on blogs, Facebook and Twitter.

Your opportunity to comment

Business managers are painfully aware of the need to ‘get up to speed’ with testing tools, applications and processes that are of critical strategic importance. This is the opportunity for you to educate, inform, prove, and even entertain – with fresh ideas, expert insights, real authority, fun and enthusiasm for your business.

The media opportunity

Prompt has worked with the media in the US, the UK, France and Germany. These are the countries where our clients operate, where we employ consultants to work in local languages, and where we know the press. We regularly work with all areas of the media in these territories to protect and reflect our clients’ objectives and interests. Join us next week, as we take our first look into some of the different print and online influencers that we advise and target for software testing vendors. We’ll start our series off with the specialist press, which includes the SD Times, Programmez! and Professional Tester.

To discuss your specific situation, targets and activities that will get you traction with relevant press as a software testing thought leader, please email agile@prompt-communications.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

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