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April 1st, 2015

The Prompt Byte: April 1, 2015

The Prompt Byte: April 1, 2015




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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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Welcome to a mid-week edition of the Prompt Byte! We hope you’re soaring through the days productively.

Today, spare a few seconds to learn what you’ll need to ask for in your upcoming crowdfunding campaign and when it’s right to use an apostrophe. Also keep reading if you’ve ever wondered exactly what a PDF is and why the format exists in the first place.

Here for the answer to last week’s Geek Speak? It was said by actor and writer Al Boliska. Got it right? Then go grab yourself a treat and don’t forget to let us know your guesses this week.

Oh, and have a great week!

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 work out how much to ask for in a crowdfunding campaign

The main point of crowdfunding is, well, to raise funds from a crowd. So you would think that every team heading towards a crowdfunding launch would have carefully done its math. However in our experience this isn’t always true. Every crowdfunder seems to know their financial goal, but the supporting calculations are rarely as strong as they should be.

Some things to consider:

  • It’s important to be very clear not only about how much money you need, but also why you need it, how you will justify the figure to potential backers, and how you plan to spend their money to reach your mission
  • Be very clear about your vision. You need to communicate the core of your ambition so that potential supporters understand precisely which part of the world you want to change and how you intend to achieve it
  • Have a good mix of rewards or perks, and make sure these support your goals. Don’t have too many rewards and don’t do that ‘annoying wedding list’ thing by which you either (a) only have an overwhelming array of cheap low-priced items, or (b) only have options for the big spenders (fridge-freezers, hand-engraved crystal glasses from Paris, grand pianos…)
  • Give insight and details into any operations and finances to date. What have you raised or created so far? How have you spent and managed that money? And how has this past investment helped you to get closer to your mission?
  • Don’t over-ask, however tempting. Because you are fully committed to your campaign you might almost feel like you have to ask for as big a bucketful of cash as possible. But over-asking can make potential backers wary
  • Calculate all the costs of any rewards and add in at least a 20 percent buffer. We’ve seen campaigns slip up on the sudden unexpected costs of a backer event – even on t-shirts
  • If you are offering rewards or perks that must be physically mailed out, be very deliberate and clear about who is paying the shipping costs. If it is you, then be sure you have a buffer for any unexpected changes in delivery charges. For example, we worked on a project with physical perks in which the first items sent backers required an additional piece to be shipped out – at the vendor’s expense
  • Calculate every single manufacturing cost. If you are going to manufacture after crowdfunding, you may be working off estimates, so add in a further 20 percent buffer to ensure you are ready for any nasty surprises
  • Have stretch goals at the ready. Factor these in at the planning stage, so if/when you reach your campaign goal, you are not left scrambling to plan

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Rising stars
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Melius

Prompt works in technology hubs on either side of the pond, so we’re always keen to get to know more about the innovators on our doorsteps in both Boston and London. Each week, we’ll interview a local startup to learn more about the technology and inspiration that can be found at home. Recently we chatted with RJ Irving, co-founder and CEO of Melius. This Boston-based startup develops an application that collects your basic financial information and identifies inefficiencies to help improve your money planning for the future.

1) Tell us a bit about Melius.

Melius helps financial advisors with the front-end of their business. Most of the technology built for the financial space is geared toward making existing businesses more efficient. The trouble is that most people cannot build a business. That is where we come in. Melius is a simple tool that advisors use with their prospects to educate them about the building blocks of a strong financial plan. Built into our tool is a direct link between advisors and prospects to accelerate the on-boarding process. Most other fintech companies start with the idea of replacing the advisors all together. Melius is designed to enhance the human relationship, not replace it.

Read more, here.

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App of the week
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Scanner Pro 5


Network Toolbox

Until you actually try and do it, you probably think that you’ve got scanning covered on your smartphone or tablet. Just take a photo, save it and mail it right? But actually doing this for multiple documents in a slick business-class way is another story entirely. The day you actually need this to go well and you find yourself hovering over a scribbled Moleskin on the ‘T’, you’ll remember that you could have bought Scanner Pro5 for less than three bucks. Developed by Readdle, the creators of PDF Office, Scanner Pro 5 transforms your device into a fast and capable scanner that quickly turns any paper document into a PDF ready to upload, mail or send to Dropbox or Evernote. It even does all the tricky edge-detection and geometry stuff for you – very handy for all your crumpled expenses paperwork!

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Copy corner
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Its versus it’s

Ah, yes, 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 and not it’s to mean belonging to it – the word it never takes on an apostrophe when it gets possessive.

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Copy corner
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It’s hard for anyone to buy anything off you if they don’t (a) know you, (b) like you and (c) trust you. One of the best ways that your prospects can get to know, like and trust you is PR. That’s why we think that PR should support sales, and we know that great PR is sales-led. We’re always keen to share our views on PR and how it should support and drive sales.

So we are holding a free 50-minute webinar on Friday April 3 at 11am ET (4pm BST) called: ‘How to drive technology sales with PR’. We’ll repeat the webinar (again, live) on Friday April 10, again at 11am ET. Please register at: http://bit.ly/technology-PR-sales (April 3) or http://bit.ly/tech-PR-sales-April10 (April 10).

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App of the week
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PDF

“On second thought, let’s not go to Camelot – it is a silly place.” Unless of course, you happen to be John Warnock, co-founder of Adobe Systems. Back in 1991, he outlined a document file format that he proposed to be independent of hardware, operating systems or application software. His idea was to make sharing documents easier for users amid a computing scene that was becoming increasingly disparate and fragmented, and relied upon people to use the same systems as each other if they wanted to share information in anything like its original state. Back then Warnock called his fledgling system Camelot, but two years later it was released as the PDF, or Portable Document Format. And 22 years later still, it endures as an enormously popular and accessible specification – particularly for scanning or digitally archiving paper documents.

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Geek speak
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“One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.”

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

space man
Prompt

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Copyright Prompt Communications 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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This email was sent to ~Contact.Email~.

You have recieved this email because Prompt Communications thinks you have given it permission to do so.

You can manage your newsletter and email subscriptions here: ~OptOut_15~

or if you want to unsubscribe from all emails from Prompt Communications, Prompt PR, Prompt Ed and Prompt Social then please click on this link: ~OptOut_0~

This email was sent by Prompt Communications

745 Atlantic Avenue, Floor 3 Boston, Massachusetts 02111

United States (857) 277-5140


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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


dividing line Prompt Byte

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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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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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

space man
Prompt

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Copyright Prompt Communications 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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This email was sent to ~Contact.Email~.

You have recieved this email because Prompt Communications thinks you have given it permission to do so.

You can manage your newsletter and email subscriptions here: ~OptOut_15~

or if you want to unsubscribe from all emails from Prompt Communications, Prompt PR, Prompt Ed and Prompt Social then please click on this link: ~OptOut_0~

This email was sent by Prompt Communications

745 Atlantic Avenue, Floor 3 Boston, Massachusetts 02111

United States (857) 277-5140


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March 23rd, 2015

The Prompt Byte: Rising Stars – Rejjee

The Prompt Byte: Rising Stars – Rejjee

RejjeeLogo HiResWorking 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.

1. 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.

 

  1. What does innovation mean to you?

My partner and I started in the ad world years ago. In that world, we use the word ‘creativity.’ Creativity and innovation are two words that run parallel; but innovation goes a step further — the step of usefulness. If you can merge creativity and innovation, you have something special.

  1. Why is New England such a hotbed for innovation?

New England celebrates education beyond belief. It is a perfect place for innovation, because it is all coming out of our universities. The churn of students, professors and ideas is enormous — it drives us all.

The West Coast is sunny, but our development and innovation district is fantastic. If you were holding a light bulb as you emerged from the “T”, it feels as if it could be lit just from the energy in the air. You can’t replace that.

  1. Do you have any concerns about the New England growth and innovation culture?

The biggest problem for everybody is money. We need to build upon the investor community — angels, VCs — all of that. And you need money to drive that. You have to feed the engine, and the energy is money. Money enables creativity. The investors we’ve spoken with have provided invaluable feedback, but the fact remains that West-Coast deals have more zeros than East Coast deals. It’s the only thing holding the area back.

  1. What are some of the trends and challenges you’ve seen in the New England tech scene?

Of course, medical innovation is rooted here in New England. But, its also worth looking at what the younger generation is doing — social apps and their revenue streams.

The collaborative nature of the actual people in New England is fabulous. More collaborating is welcome by everybody in the technology community.

But, we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of what Boston can do. The 2024 Olympics would be an excellent stage to showcase this.

  1. If you weren’t based in New England, which city and/or country would you want to be based in and why?

I would be in Key West. Of course, there is no innovation economy there … I’d just be sitting down with Jimmy Buffet, learning to love margaritas. To me, Boston is the only place to be. The churn, diversity, and the city itself is gorgeous — it has everything.

  1. If you could meet any single innovator (alive or dead) over a coffee, who would you want to meet?

Jonathan Ive from Apple.

  1. Name a piece of technology you’ve bought personally that you love — either recently or in the past — and why you bought it.

My smartphone. My MacBook Air. My Garmin multifunction display for my boat — it does everything. Though, I think the fish display is only designed to make me buy more Goldfish.

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March 2nd, 2015

The Prompt Byte – Rising Stars: Riskified

The Prompt Byte – Rising Stars: Riskified

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.

We caught up with Andy Freedman of Riskified; a company dedicated to eliminating the security risks and inefficiencies in the world of eCommerce. The Israeli startup has recently opened a new Boston office and we’re here to find out why.

  1. Tell us a bit about what Riskified is all about and how it got started. Riskified is an end-to-end risk management solution. We help more than 2,000 eCommerce merchants to prevent online fraud by reviewing, approving and guaranteeing their orders. We launched Riskified with a goal to build the world’s best eCommerce fraud team. We stop online fraudsters and allow merchants to focus on growing their business without fear of fraud.
  1. What does innovation mean to you? 
Innovation is the ongoing process of solving real customer pain. It involves endless iteration, learning by doing, and constantly validating your product or service by maintaining an active conversation with customers.
  2. Why is Boston such a hotbed for innovation? 
As an Israeli startup opening our first US offices in Boston, there are several similarities between our two vibrant startup communities. As well as boasting a wealth of talent, Israel and Boston also share a sense of passion and pride for their local ecosystem. Each community seizes every opportunity to collaborate, rejoice in success and be vocal advocates for startups on a global scale.
  3. Do you have any concerns about Boston’s growth and innovation culture?
I think it is natural to fear that successful Boston startups will be lured away into other markets on the promise of greater exposure and financial gains. However I believe that a key driver for the incredible growth we are seeing in Boston is a shared sense of pride in making Boston a global powerhouse across a wide-range of industries.
  4. What are some of the trends and challenges you’ve seen in the Boston tech scene?
Having spent time living in both Palo Alto and Tel Aviv it has been fun to watch Boston’s emergence as a consumer technology powerhouse, alongside traditionally strong industries like SaaS, biotech and robotics. I look forward to seeing Boston continue to attract tech companies of all stages from other global communities – like Israel, Europe and Asia – and continue to expand our international reputation.
  5. If you weren’t based in Boston which city and/or country would you want to be based in and why?
I may be a bit biased but Tel Aviv, hands down. Despite the massive weather upgrade (it will be in the 70s and sunny all next week), the number of game-changing products and services being built in such a small country is inspiring to be around.
  6. Name a piece of technology you’ve bought personally that you love – either recently or in the past – and why you bought it. 
I finally started using my Cuisinart Food Processor that was given to me as a wedding present almost 4 years ago. Now I’m addicted. I’m looking for any recipes to try, so if you’re reading this and have any suggestions, I’m all ears!

To learn more about Riskified, browse their site or follow them on Twitter.

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January 29th, 2015

Make 2015 about growing (and appreciating) technology sales

Make 2015 about growing (and appreciating) technology sales

Finance concept: Growing Sales on computer keyboard backgroundI’ve worked in technology marketing for, well, a long time. I remember America Online, AltaVista, Sun Microsystems and paper press releases. I’ve written case studies by hearing IT directors enthuse about water-cooled mainframes.

I was never originally headed for a career in technology, sales or marketing. It was originally more dinosaurs and journalism. It’s funny how things work out. But fro 16 years I have worked in a business that I love covering a sector that constantly fascinates me. And yet while technology changes at break-neck speed, I sometimes find that marketing is constantly playing catch-up in order to connect more directly to sales. I understand and appreciate the value of sharing a vision, showcasing a product, demonstrating business benefits through customer case studies and testimonials. But I still feel that marketing in all its form needs to have stronger links with sales.

Some sales professionals seem to have developed a fixed perception of marketing people, and it’s fair to say there is a similarly skewed perception in the opposite direction. I’ve worked in technology sales cold-calling and loved everything about the sales process. But I think many people have an under-appreciation for sales and misguidedly think of it as pushy. I realize that sales involves, well, selling – but it’s so much more than that. It’s also about solving problems, and having the right answer for the right people at the right times. Whatever business you work for, dig deep enough and they are certain to be selling – a product, a service, a notion, a principle, or maybe just a new way to do something.

Marketing needs a much firmer foothold in sales. It should link back to sales, be tracked in relation to sales, and connect more directly with the leads and prospects which ultimately contribute to any organizations’ success. This is why we have launched PRISM, our PR and Insight Sales-based Marketing methodology. PRISM outlines steps and processes to help technology companies to target, plan and execute sales-guided marketing. While whitepapers, messaging documents, visibility, understanding, engaging influencers and securing column inches remains very valuable, for many businesses sales is the most important metric.

Want to hear some of the things that we know work? Register now for a free Friday webinar that is all about how to communicate, connect and sell: ‘Get more customers: A sales workshop for technology startups‘. Meanwhile, happy selling!

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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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April 12th, 2014

Tech PR viewpoint: IBM Mainframes turn 50!

Tech PR viewpoint: IBM Mainframes turn 50!

Did you know that there are probably people working in the same room as you who were born in the late 1990s? I’ve got documents older than that stored on my laptop. Tell them to ‘change the record’, or try making the ‘call me?’ signal at these bright young things, and they will stare at you blankly through Google Glass and race off on their hoverboards. Or something like that.

I always act like this when a nostalgic technology milestone makes me feel about 100 years old. In last week’s Prompt newsletter we wrote about the Netscape browser’s launch 20 years ago. This week I find out that the IBM mainframe is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Fifty years? Seriously? And later this year the British rival to the System 360 — the ICL 1900 — will also turn 50. How can that possibly be?

Regular readers and personal friends will know that I have a bit of a ‘thing’ for ‘proper’ computers like the IBM mainframes. Digital Equipment Corporation, or DEC, was the first tech vendor I worked with, and of course everybody knows that I have a PDP in my kitchen. But I might have to start covering it with a tablecloth now, just in case visitors get the wrong idea about the longevity of my career, and start searching for IBM 360s in my spare bedroom.

Those particular mainframes from Big Blue were – unbelievably — launched on 7 April 1964. They were upgradeable, backwards-compatible, future-proof, all-powerful, the size of a small family car, and are still in widespread operation today. Charlie Ewen, CIO at the Met Office, a user of mainframes for 40 years, told the BBC this week: “We don’t see mainframes as legacy technology. They are resilient, robust and are very cost-effective for the work we do.”

Aren’t we all eh, Charlie? Aren’t we all…

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October 9th, 2013

Ten reasons your technology marketing is pants*

Ten reasons your technology marketing is pants*

*British phrase for ‘not awesome’

1. Lack of clarity: it’s not clear what you sell – or why (i.e. why your business even exists)
2. Too many acronyms and market-created terms (see #1)
3. Tendency to make ‘me too’ claims, (frequently associated with self-constructed vendor charts)
4. A sales-marketing gap: one group is selling one thing while the other is saying another
5. Not enough customer-based content and testimonials
6. Company news/press releases aren’t being pitched to the press (hitting ‘send’ on a wire service isn’t pitching)
7. You don’t have the right sales content to help shorten the sales cycle
8. No engagement with the industry analysts (we don’t mean buying relationships)
9. You need to get some swagger and show (not tell) what is different about your business, your solution and how you work
10. You’re not explaining the solution to a problem, you’re trying to sell something

Want to hear Prompt’s ‘Ten Ways’ and get some ideas of how to create content and campaigns to help technology sales?Join us for a free ‘Ten Ways to Promote your Technology Product, Service or App’ webinar that’s being held on October 10 at 11:30am ET / 4:30pm BT. Register here: http://www.prompt-the-crowd.com/technology-pr-webinar/

Missed it/unable to attend but would like the reply? Email us at ten@prompt-communications.com

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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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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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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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October 25th, 2012

LinkedIn vs. Pinterest

LinkedIn vs. Pinterest

Prompt Poll:

As a high tech PR, copywriting and social media agency, we’re naturally fascinated with how people use social media – and recently wrote about the changes that LinkedIn and Pinterest underwent.  But, given the choice, which do people prefer?….

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