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September 10th, 2013

aPriori signs new European PR contract with Prompt

aPriori signs new European PR contract with Prompt

International agency to continue to drive European media relations for PCM innovator

10 September 2013 Prompt has been appointed by enterprise product cost management software specialist aPriori to run targeted 2014 European media campaigns covering Britain, France and DACH (Germany, Switzerland and Austria).

Headquartered in Concord, Massachusetts, aPriori develops and markets enterprise product cost management software to reduce the costs of products both post- and pre-production. aPriori Product Cost Management software platform is the first solution of its kind that allows companies to maximize savings throughout the development and manufacturing stages. The software provides real-time product cost assessments, enabling discrete manufacturers and product companies to make informed decisions to drive down product costs. aPriori helps world class manufacturing corporations stay on budget and reduce excess spending. The company recently announced $6 million in additional funding on the back of a record financial year which included annual revenue growth of 84% and a 62% increase in customers alongside a fifth year of 90% customer renewals.

Rick Burke, VP of Marketing for aPriori, said: “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. We now look forward to continuing our momentum, press coverage and sales-focused PR activities in 2014.”

Prompt is a PR consultancy that has gained significant experience in the technology industry with PR, copywriting and marketing clients from early stage technology companies to global organisations such as Dell and Oracle Corporation. The company also offers early stage companies an introduction to PR with packaged services called ‘First Byte’ with sales-focused, ‘no surprises’ PR, thought leadership, media coverage and sales-related content.

Hazel Butters, CEO, Prompt said: “aPriori is a unique company that provides a high quality product with huge value for any businesses looking for an innovative way to make more informed manufacturing and sourcing decisions that drive significant cost out of products. Rick and his team are great to work with – and they’re incredibly focused, providing our team with the goals and objectives essential for effective, results-driven PR. We very much look forward to continuing our work with aPriori into 2014.”

About aPriori
aPriori software and services generate hard-dollar product cost savings for discrete manufacturing and product innovation companies. Using aPriori’s real-time product cost assessments, employees in engineering, sourcing and manufacturing make more-informed decisions that drive costs out of products pre- and post-production. With aPriori, manufacturers launch products at cost targets, maximize savings in re-work projects and never overpay for sourced parts.
www.apriori.com

About Prompt Communications

Founded in January 2002, Prompt Communications is a communications agency with European offices in London and US offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts and San Francisco, California. Prompt Communications offers expertise across all marketing disciplines, teaming its consultants’ extensive knowledge of start-ups, technology market with experience of pan-European and American media, analyst and marketing campaigns. Using highly targeted marketing, PR, analyst relations, social media and corporate copywriting initiatives, Prompt helps its clients gain the visibility they need to achieve their business objectives, from increasing sales to enhancing reputation with stakeholders.
www.prompt-communications.com

Media Contact:
Jackie Fraser | Prompt
Tel: +44 845 053 9121 | +1 617 401 2717
press@prompt-communications.com

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September 5th, 2013

Technology PR travels: Around the technology world in 80 days – Day #12: Bulgaria

Technology PR travels: Around the technology world in 80 days – Day #12: Bulgaria

Photo courtesy of: http://www.cosmostoursandcruises.co.uk

Photo courtesy of: http://www.cosmostoursandcruises.co.uk

Just a bat’s flit from Bucharest (well, an overnight train) is Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. This ancient city overshadowed by Mount Vitosha is the 15th largest in the EU, with a booming population of more than 1.2 million citizens.

Unsurprisingly Sofia is the business heart of Bulgaria. Following nearly a century of technological advances (Bulgaria was the sixth country in the world with a man in space, and invented the digital watch!) the country experienced a decade of decline in the 1990s, but is now experiencing somewhat of a renaissance in cutting edge technology (it has a national nanotechnology R&D centre, scientists on the ISS, a joint lunar mission with India in the pipeline, and the highest density of certified IT specialists in Europe).

In January 2009, the government approved a 10-year plan for funding scientific development in ‘innovative potential sciences’ (biotechnology, healthcare technology, alternative energy sources, nanotechnology and communications), ‘sustainable development sciences’ and ‘scientific studies for the support of industry’. Scientists from Sofia University and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) operate the most powerful supercomputer in Eastern Europe, an IBM Blue Gene/P, which resides at the State Agency of Information Technology. BAS scientists also have access to a mothballed electrostatic accelerator, research reactor and neutron generator.

Today Sofia is a major outsourcing location for some of the biggest technology companies in the world, including Apple, HP, IBM, SAP and Siemens. But it is also ‘outsourcing’ expertise of its own – CERN now employs more than 90 Bulgarian scientists with 30 participating in Large Hadron Collider experiments, and maintains a permanent Antarctic research base on Alexander Island!

Next stop? The wonders of Greece!

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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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July 15th, 2013

Technology PR travels: Around the technology world in 80 days – Day #8: Slovenia and Croatia

Technology PR travels: Around the technology world in 80 days – Day #8: Slovenia and Croatia

 

Photo courtesy of: www.slovenia.info

Photo courtesy of: www.slovenia.info

An overnight train from Rome to Trieste leaves us with just a short bus hop across the border to Slovenia, and on to the capital of Ljubljana. This beautiful city of bridges, parks and squares has endured a difficult few years during the recent economic slump, with austerity taking its familiar toll on business growth and development. But there is now a renewed sense of optimism in the air, and even talk of Ljubljana as a future technology hub for this crossroads in Central Europe.

Attractively high salaries for web and mobile OS developers have spurred a surge in interest in technology careers among Ljubljana’s student population. Longstanding software developers like ComTrade have now become the model for modern Slovenian business – court outsourcing contracts from the rest of Europe while the local economy continues to recover. Road and rail links, especially those with neighbouring Italy, Croatia, Austria and Hungary, plus regular cheap flight connections with Europe’s larger capitals, are not only boosting Slovenia’s outsourcing opportunities, but encouraging a burgeoning start-up community specializing in web technologies, telecommunications, online marketing and of course software development.

Late in the day, it takes us just an hour and a half to drive the 85 miles from Ljubljana to Zagreb in Croatia – once home to Eduard Progovecki, Jospi Vucetic, and Nikola Tesla. We arrive amid mass firework-lit celebrations to mark the country’s induction as the 28th member of the European Union (EU). Although many citizens remain understandably wary of the move amid more economic turmoil, it’s certainly going to make life easier for fledgling businesses working to expand by trading across borders.

Technology entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses now hope their government will listen to their pleas for reduced regulation and bureaucracy – until recently it was illegal for any business to be named in any language other than Croatian – and afford their enterprises every chance to grow and be successful.

Next stop? Ohhhhhhhhhhhh Vienna!

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June 18th, 2013

Around the technology world in 80 days: Day #1: London, UK

Around the technology world in 80 days: Day #1: London, UK

Yesterday we promised you a trip around the technology world in 80 days, and today we’ve set out on our travels and arrived in London!

No longer the bustling centre of the British Empire that it was in Verne and Fogg’s day, London still remains a thriving city of diversity, and one of the world’s pivotal hubs of finance, culture, politics, education, arts, science, entertainment and of course technology.

Over the last 2,000 years or so, London has been the birthplace of far too many notable fathers and mothers of technology to mention (including Prompt London!). But if we were to assemble a select crowd of notable historical figures to send us off on our travels, we would definitely have to make room for Michael Faraday, Charles Babbage, Alan Turing, Ada Lovelace, Edmond Halley, Jonathan Ive, Tim Berners-Lee and many, many ‘plus ones’. And let’s not forget all the notable technologists travelling from the rest of the UK, including Frank Whittle, Robert Watson-Watt, John Logie Baird, George Stephenson, Percy Shaw, Christopher Cockerell, Thomas Wedgewood, Joseph Swan, Alan Blumenlein, Alexander Graham Bell and more than enough fellow geniuses to pack out the platform at Liverpool Street station.

So, with the electric motor, trains, cat’s eyes, jet engines, photography, stereophonic sound, light bulbs, radar, iPods, television, telephones, computing and the world wide web pretty much covered before our first embarkation, it’s definitely time to brush over the UK’s other technology luminaries in order to leave a few discoveries for our other destinations.

Like Phileas Fogg, we’re proud of our London roots, but we expect to find other countries contending some of the UK’s claims during our expedition.

Next stop – the Netherlands!

MAP_UK in red

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