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August 2nd, 2012

Prompt opens in Covent Garden!

Prompt opens in Covent Garden!

It is with great excitement that Prompt London announces its new home in central London, based in Covent Garden. We could not be happier about our new digs. As we’re unpacking boxes, we’re in love with the more urban vibe and know our clients will be as well.

Our central location is (dangerously) close to a bevy of boutique shops, pubs, restaurants and entertainment — the options are brilliant and lunchtimes are never going to be the same again. This spot is also in close proximity to Soho and its many publishing houses and creative agencies, putting Prompt right where the action is. Covent Garden tube station just around the corner, is connected to the Piccadilly Line, and we’re just a short fun walk from Leicester Square, Charing Cross, Embankment or Holborn.

To me, our latest London move is a significant milestone for Prompt. Over the past decade in business, we’ve seen plenty of evolutions in technology, shifts in the economy and changes in the style of services that clients expect. We’re excited to see the modern drive for a blend of media relations, public relations, copywriting, analyst relations and social media marketing. We are also relishing the increase in both early-stage tech companies and world-leading established companies that we work with, as well as new areas of business including green tech, social media training, plus growth in some fun non-tech areas.

At the same time, on the back of the Queen’s Jubilee, Wimbledon and now with the Olympics well underway, London certainly has a celebratory vibe – complemented by a series of discussions on the role of tech and innovation around the development of the capital’s Tech City.  As we expand once again in this city, we’re excited to be part of its debates, discussions and economy.

So, we very much hope to see you in the neighborhood soon! For once, we’ll be the ones getting a kick out of being the new kid in (central) town!

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July 30th, 2012

Things we love about the CIC: The Wellness Expo

Things we love about the CIC: The Wellness Expo

Here at @PromptBoston, we have the privilege of working in the Cambridge Innovation Center – a space where pie is served around Thanksgiving, Lego blocks are readily available to play with and interaction is encouraged amongst the growing start-ups and technology companies in the Greater Boston area.

Last week, the CIC spoiled us some more by hosting its first ever Wellness Expo.  Sponsors from TruNourish, Vita Coco, Weight Watchers, Whole Foods and many others lined the walls of the CIC’s fourth floor kitchen, as they exhibited the latest snacks and drinks to improve one’s overall wellness.

Which got us thinking – what exactly is wellness?

Ashley Heffernan, a Vita Coco exhibitor, said: “Wellness improves your overall quality of life.  Being physically well means having more energy at work, and doing things you normally wouldn’t have the energy to do.  It changes everything, for the better.”

As if the healthy (and delicious!) samples weren’t enough, music, yoga, massages, raffle prizes and presentations were also available to the crowd – a refreshing boost to the typical office workday.

We look forward to attending more Wellness Expo events in the future, and to improving our overall well-being – thanks for the inspiration CIC!

Vita Coco was one of the many exhibitors at the CIC's first ever Wellness Expo.

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July 26th, 2012

Newsweek announces plans to become an internet only source

Newsweek announces plans to become an internet only source

The next generation of readers will not be reading Newsweek in hard copy format. The publication plans on becoming an online only source in the next couple of months.

In an era where readers get the latest news and information from free online sources, print magazines and newspapers have been forced to adapt – and rather rapidly.

In a story announced yesterday, Newsweek is the latest print publication to buckle under the pressure of the Internet. The award-winning magazine, owned by InterActiveCorp (IAC), has released possible plans to become a primarily online source as early as September, according to IAC chairman Barry Diller.

The action is a direct result of lagging newsstand sales, which don’t cover the time and cost it takes to produce the print publication. Newsweek is projected to lose as much as $22 million this year, according to Bloomberg News.

This digital transition would mark the end of Newsweek’s 79-year run as a print publication, and mirror the format of the publication’s sister source, The Daily Beast.

As the Prompt team bids farewell to the hard copy of Newsweek, we are also not entirely surprised by the news.  Now more than ever, both readers and marketers are strategically investing in digital— a trend that is quickly changing the world and arguably killing print publications in the process.

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July 24th, 2012

Prompt Grammar Tip: Bronze, silver and gold medal mistakes

Prompt Grammar Tip: Bronze, silver and gold medal mistakes

With only three days left until this year’s Summer Olympics, @PromptBoston and @PromptLondon are eagerly awaiting countries from around the world squaring off in nearly every type of warm-weather sport.

But as a copywriting and public relations firm, our team has decided to hand out medals for another type of activity – grammar mistakes.  Here is our podium for the top three most impressive grammatical errors. Read on, as the most cringe-worthy error takes home the gold:

Bronze: Its versus it’s

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

Silver:  Who, which or that?

In second place is a grammatical error we stumble across almost every day – the incorrect use of ‘that’, ‘which’ and ‘who’. But the good news for frequent winners of the silver medal is that there are easy ways to remember which terms to use.  ‘Who’ refers to people, ‘which’ refers to animals and things, while ‘that’, can refer to either persons or things.

Gold: Words that sound the same, but are spelled differently

Bringing home the gold, are frustrating common misuses of similar words, such as ‘hear’ and ‘here’, or ‘there’, ‘their’ and ‘they’re’. Maybe even ‘where’ and ‘wear’, ‘bare’ and ‘bear’, ‘cereal’ and ‘serial’, ‘hole and ‘whole’, ‘right’ and ‘write’ and many, many others. These are just some of the many combinations of words that sound the same but are spelled differently, commonly known as ‘homophones’. Often their correct usages can elude people for many years. Although there is no sure-fire way to catch these errors, a thorough proofread will reveal all such mistakes.  Be sure to pinpoint sound-a-like words that often trip you up on your way to gold, and then train hard to use them in their correct forms!

So there you have it, our awards for the top three medal-worthy grammatical mistakes, just in time for the London 2012 opening ceremony.  Just be sure keep our Prompt Grammar Tips in mind the next time you find yourself long jumping into a writing assignment.

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July 19th, 2012

Meet the Superhumans

Meet the Superhumans

Only last night I was chatting to someone about adverts that make me cry. Then this morning my brother proved the point perfectly by sending me this link to Channel 4’s latest television campaign in support of its upcoming coverage of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. It successfully combines all the essential elements of great advertising: it makes you think; it’s very moving; it has a great slogan; and it has a thumping Public Enemy soundtrack.

Tom Tagholm, who created the ads for Channel 4’s in-house agency 4Creative, revealed the thinking behind the biggest campaign since the station launched in 1982: “We knew we had to make some noise. We knew we had to add some edge and grit and attitude. We narrowed it down to four or five concepts but then someone came up with this line: ‘Meet The Superhumans’. We loved the scale and the confidence of it. So we built up from there to create the strongest, most impactful concept we could get.”

And in just 90-seconds, this perfect blend has the power to move some of us to tears.

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July 12th, 2012

Prompt celebrates two decades of the first-ever Web photo

Prompt celebrates two decades of the first-ever Web photo

This photo, showcasing the parody band Les Horribles Cernettes, was the first to be uploaded onto the internet.

This photo, showcasing the parody band Les Horribles Cernettes, was the first to be uploaded onto the internet.

Here at Prompt, we are fascinated with the constant evolution of technology—as every high-tech and green-tech PR and copywriting agency should be. In fact, we couldn’t imagine spending a single day without one of the most innovative creations in the tech realm – the internet.

And what better way to acknowledge such a powerful resource than to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first Web photo upload.

This week marks 20 years since a picture of the parody band Les Horribles Cernettes entered the cyber world. The image was edited using the first version of Adobe Photoshop, and was then saved as a GIF file. And the photo upload created some revolutionary aftermath. The internet, which was originally used to conduct serious business and research, quickly became a social space for sharing photos, posts, location check-ins, and other personal information.

Here are some interesting statistics that were all derived from a photo of four women in a parody band:

250 million – photos are uploaded onto Facebook each day

1992 – the year the first photo was uploaded onto the Web

196 – hours of YouTube videos an average user will upload each year

11 – new users join Twitter every minute

2 – Twitter accounts where you can follow the Prompt team: @PromptBoston and @PromptLondon

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June 25th, 2012

Prompt Grammar Tip: affect or effect?

Prompt Grammar Tip: affect or effect?

Affect, effect, what’s the difference? Well, the common grammar mistake could affect (or is that effect?) your entire writing style, or worse, your credibility as an author.

Fortunately, there is a trick you can remember when trying to decide which word to use. The term ‘affect’ is almost always a verb. ‘Affect’ means to impact or influence an action, or simply, that which causes an effect.

Then, there’s ‘effect’, or the outcome of the action. Beware: while ‘effect’ is not often used as a verb, it can still be used as a transitive verb, which means to bring about or make happen. The rule is not foolproof, and so you must always consider the subject and action you are writing about when using either ‘affect’ or ‘effect’.

To guide you, here are some examples or the usage of these two tricky, and sometimes interchangeable words:

– Incorrect grammar affects the quality of a piece of writing
– This Prompt Grammar Tip has had a great effect on my writing skills

For more Prompt Grammar Tips, subscribe to Prompt’s weekly newsletter by email at newsletter@prompt-communications.com, or follow us on Twitter @PromptBoston or @PromptLondon today.

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December 9th, 2011

Voltage: Flavors to inspire the tastebuds (and press release writing)

Voltage: Flavors to inspire the tastebuds (and press release writing)

Voltage coffee shop: Ideal place to write press releases There are many reasons why Prompt Boston loves being at the Cambridge Innovation Center in Kendall Square: hundreds of innovators and early stage companies working in close proximity; the opportunity to host free tech marketing workshops and attend industry events; easy access to institutions such as MIT and NERD. As a high tech and green tech PR, copywriting and content strategy firm, there’s a wealth of ideas, things to do, and people to meet.

But there’s another reason: Voltage, a coffee shop with a difference. At first Voltage looks unassuming: white walls showcasing art pieces, wooden chairs, concrete floors. But the coffee, especially the flavored lattes, are nothing short of spectacular. Our current favorites are the ‘Paper Plane’ (cardamom and rosewater), and the ‘Atticus Finch’ (burnt sugar and vanilla). Though this morning’s fix was another hit – ‘Beyond the Sea’ – it’s made with homemade caramel and salt. The mixture of caffeine, fabulous flavors and a calming environment makes it an ideal location to write – whether it’s a press release on enterprise storage, an article on software testing or a newsletter article on iPhone games.

We’re also fans of Voltage’s background – it’s independent, founded by artist and businesswoman Lucy Valena, who secured a loan from Sam Adam’s ‘Brewing the American Dream’ fund. Coffee funded by beer – two of our favorite things working in harmony.

You don’t have to take our word for how great Voltage is – earlier this year Boston magazine named it Boston’s best coffee shop.

If you’re in the Kendall Square neighborhood and looking for a caffeine-adventure for your taste buds, we couldn’t recommend it highly enough. Look around – one of us may be near you, writing a news release whilst trying a new flavor.

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