Tech PRose

January 27, 2011

Creating a Content Chop Shop

Chop Shop

You’ve just put the finishing touches a killer video for your client. It has taken hours of time to schedule, produce and edit, but the final product is a true masterpiece. Do you sit back, and rest on the laurels of your success?

The folks over at MarketingProfs did not. After publishing an extensive research report entitled State of Social Media Marketing in December of 2009, they took to repurposing their masterpiece. From there, they created a webinar, an article and a series of smaller articles and blog posts with morsels of the original report (source: Ann Handley’s Content Rules), reaching new audiences across various channels, stemming from one piece of content.

This doesn’t mean that your team has to scramble to pen dozens of new, unique pieces of content from scratch every week. Repurposing already created content across traditional and new media channels can be quite effective for a business-to-business communications program, and will keep that content engine chugging and boost search engine optimization(SEO) without the process becoming too much of a time sink.

A company announcement that might have just merited a press release a few years ago can be sliced and diced into a corporate blog post, a topic for discussion on an industry-specific forum on LinkedIn, and even a tweet to share with followers.  Every channel has the opportunity to reach a different audience, whom content should be tailored to resonate and engage with.

Each iteration of your original killer content piece is one component of your overall strategy. When a corporate blog post is part of a thought leadership campaign, a linked tweet can serve to drive traffic to your site. This way, you have a series of small, measurable goals that work towards realizing your overall plan.

Think of it the way Ann Handley, the CCO of Marketing Profs, describes it- “as a content plan fueled by a single Big Idea.”

She elaborates: “The ensuing material can rely on that fuel as source material, allowing for new distribution and new channels, reaching new audiences along the way, and propagating your ideas through social media channels.”

Have you or your clients had success in repurposing content?  Share your stories!

by Dan McDonnell


January 25, 2011

Innovation vs. Invention

Filed under: Philip Anast,Technology Industry — techimage @ 4:15 pm

Chicago Innovation Awards co-founder Tom Kuczmarski writes about innovation trumping invention in his most recent Bloomberg Businessweek column. In a very cogent and simple way, he delineates the differences between invention and innovation, and urges governments and the private sector to support innovators, the true harbingers of change and economic growth in society. His approach got me thinking about Tech Image’s own public relations methodology for helping technology companies reach audiences and differentiate themselves in the marketplace. While it’s easy to talk about technology for technology’s sake and the cool features that often accompany new hardware, software or services, a PR practitioner worth her mettle illustrates the ways in which a technology helps people – be it through greater productivity, creativity, security, job fulfillment or an enriching life.

Kuczmarksi writes, “Spending time at the front end on what the marketplace needs, rather than trying to build a slick marketing campaign around a nifty invention that nobody cares about, is such a certain way to succeed that a business plan can include the guarantee of new revenue streams courtesy of innovation.”

A company considering PR to further its goals should keep this in mind when engaging a PR firm. The PR experts should be talking from the perspective of a constituent and underscoring the benefits derived from a product or service, rather than telling the company’s story strictly in the organization’s own lingo or from its point of view.  If they aren’t, then such an approach should give the company pause about engaging with that firm.

– By Philip Anast

January 24, 2011

Who are the Gatekeepers of Social Media?

Filed under: Social Media,Tim Boivin — techimage @ 10:23 am

Folio magazine’s Matt Kinsman has an excellent post titled “For Publishers, Who are the Gatekeepers of Social Media?” The separation of church and state (sales and editorial) continues to be blurred as traditional print publications try to monetize their offerings online. For instance, the article raises the question of who should be tweeting – editorial, sales…or even IT? PR agencies and all corporations today face this new twist on the same old challenge – basically, who should be the face of your organization? How are you deciding? What role is marketing playing that used to be handled by PR, for instance, and why has that shift occurred in your organization?

— By Tim Boivin

January 20, 2011

Review: Flip Video Mino HD (8GB)

Filed under: Christine Rojewski,Reviews — crojewski @ 2:53 pm

I’ll admit, since the Flip Video was introduced I have been anxiously waiting to get my hands on one. But after learning my lesson from splurging on the first generation iPhone, I decided to wait for at least the next generation before buying. Well, about four years after market launch, I finally purchased the 8G Flip Mino HD.

Since this is my first video camera since my 2002 Sony DCRTRV340, the size of the Flip isn’t the only thing that astonished me, so did the clarity of the video. It’s amazing that the precision of something the size of my iPod outshines a camera more than triple its size.

While I think the Flip lacks in a few areas (focus, options, settings, greater zoom and the several steps it takes to delete a video from the device), it’s expected since the device so small and thin. It has a very sleek design that’s extremely easy to use with a one-touch design that reminds me of a child’s first phone. The videos are easily uploaded to your computer via the flip USB on the top of the device. The manufactured uploaded software works with both Mac and Windows which is a huge plus for many users.

Waiting four years after the launch to buy the Flip has also paid off, since I was able to buy a unit with double the record time and storage. Its also now equipped with image stabilization – what I feel is a must for any video recording – and it records at 60 frames per second.

After first charging the Flip I tested it in two areas: my home- which was lit by natural light at the time of taping- and outside in the dark. After noticing how crisp the image was during playback, my initial reaction was toward the sound. Again, seeing as the device fits in the palm of my hand, I was surprised by how clear and loud the sound was. Both the bright and dark lighting proved not to be an issue for recording and viewing in either case. I thought for sure the night images would be difficult to view, but they weren’t. After uploading the videos to my PC, I was also happy to see how easy the editing software was to use, and the simplicity of video sharing via email and social networks.

I would say my two largest complaints about the Flip Mino HD are the lack of recording options (it’s almost too simple to use and navigate meaning several features are lost) and the rechargeable battery isn’t removable or replaceable (it can only be recharged when the USB is connected to your PC). But since I only bought the device for fun video capturing, it gets the job done nicely.

To check out all of the product specs visit

And here are a few links to reviews from the professionals … which go into much greater detail and testing than I think I ever could:

PC Mag,2817,2369938,00.asp

Maximum PC

— By Christine Rojewski

January 17, 2011

Time for Analyst Relations?

Filed under: Lawren Markle,Social Media — techimage @ 11:45 am

When was the last time you went through a list of industry analysts and reached out to offer a briefing on your company’s technology? I’m guessing you’ll give yourself low marks for followup and consistency of outreach. Why? Because almost every company has difficulty sustaining analyst relationships due to busy schedules and issues of timing.

This past year has seen big changes in the analyst landscape, notably the Gartner acquisition of AMR Research. Analyst beats have changed significantly too. It could be time to audit your list of “key” analysts in your technology space and update it. For example, you might want to see if any research papers been published that are highly relevant to your offering, and determine whether the authors are on your list.

This kind of research, identification, and prioritization of analyst targets is a great place to start.  Next you’ll want to consider what interesting things your company has been up to lately that might influence analyst opinions of your company. Analysts are interested in news that might point to a need to include you in upcoming research or put you on a list of interesting vendors for their clients.   Once you have that hook, it’s time to start the often laborious process of scheduling a briefing.
You probably know that an analyst briefing doesn’t resemble a sales pitch. The analysts need to be sold on your concepts, yes, but they are primarily interested in where you fit in the ecosystem, which means naming competitors in your presentation and talking more about the basic business problems you do and do not solve for customers. Finding and coaching the right spokesperson in your company is important.

For those of you with paid analyst relationships, it’s time to take stock of the value you are getting and engage more. For example, we find that most clients with Gartner contracts are leaving a lot on the table. In particular, Gartner analysts will accept requests for 30-minute “inquiries” from vendor clients, and these inquiries potentially have much more value than a standard 60-minute briefing. An inquiry requires the analyst to answer a few questions you pose regarding your company, so they need to do some thinking and that brings their focus to bear on your company. The question could be on a topic such as pricing strategy, which you will use to help the analyst get a better understanding of your value to your target prospects. You can then use this discussion to highlight competitive strengths and create advocacy with the analyst. A lot of vendors never even use the inquiry as an engagement tool, and that’s too bad.

One of the bigger challenges our clients have is finding time to do all this on a consistent basis. We try to keep the time commitment manageable to help our clients stay on target and make sure the analyst community is talking about your offering to buyers at the right times and in the right context.

— By Lawren Markle

January 7, 2011

Strategic Thinking

Filed under: B2B,Philip Anast,Technology Industry — techimage @ 9:04 am
Tags: ,

Consulting guru McKinsey & Company gives large and small companies alike food for thought in 2011 on whether one’s strategy is passing the test of time

Taking its 10 tests can drive dialogue and debate, two healthy and necessary activities for any organization that seeks to grow and manage competitive threats.

— by Philip Anast

January 4, 2011

Who Tweets?

Filed under: Dennis Collins,Social Media — techimage @ 10:21 am
Tags: , ,

Some interesting stats from Pew – they isolated Twitter from other social media usage as part of their ongoing online behavior study.

No surprise, the users seem to be polarized – the two largest user categories are those that update multiple times daily and those that never check.

My take:  While the overall base is still a small subset of the population, it reinforces that the ere can be a place for Twitter in a communications mix, if you are looking for a young, urban audience and have timely info to share.

— by Dennis Collins

Some interesting stats from Pew – they isolated Twitter from other social media usage as part of their ongoing online behavior study.

No surprise, the users seem to be polarized – the two largest user categories are those that update multiple times daily and those that never check.

My take:

While the overall base is still a small subset of the population, it reinforces that the ere can be a place for Twitter in a communications mix, if you are looking for a young, urban audience and have timely info to share.  Those criteria need to be remembered in any discussion with clients regarding adopting Twitter as a medium

December 23, 2010

20 Things That Will Become Obsolete This Decade

Filed under: Kevin Johnson,Social Media,Technology Industry — techimage @ 4:42 pm

I’m not a real big fan of the Puffington Host (hat tip: James Taranto), but this is an excellent compilation.   Can you even imagine what will become obsolete next decade when we are reading something similar in 2020?  Wow.

20 Things That Will Become Obsolete This Decade
Courtesy of The Huffington Post

Kevin Johnson

December 21, 2010

Predicting a Happy Tech Year for 2011

Filed under: B2B,Technology Industry,Tim Boivin — techimage @ 9:50 am

“Computers in the future will weigh no more than 1.5 tons.”
-Popular Mechanics, forecasting advance of science, 1949

“I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year.”
-Anonymous Editor for Prentice Hall, 1957

“There is no reason why anyone would want to have a computer in their home.”
-Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp, 1977

“The Chicago Cubs will win the World Series in 2011.”
-Kevin Johnson, Tech Image, 2010

One of these days (…years? …decades? …centuries?), Kevin’s going to be right.

That must be it.  That must be why people continue to insist on making predictions, especially around the New Year.  As usual, here at Tech Image we have been bombarded with the thoughts of technology experts heading into 2011 but I thought the blog Technobable 2.0 did a nice job of compiling the thoughts on the future of technology from several places.  And Laurie McCabe takes her usual insightful look at the top 10 SMB technologies as well.

I hope you find these predictions interesting and enjoyable.  It will also be handy place for you to check up on how they fared with their predictions at the end of 2011.

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year from Tech Image.

— by Tim Boivin

August 30, 2010

Whip It: Good

Filed under: Ken Krause,Reviews — techimage @ 2:36 pm

The other night, I was scanning through the cable movie guide when I saw that Whip It is now available. I remember being interested in seeing the film when it came out, but it was gone before I had the chance. Thankfully, the good folks at Comcast usually provide, sooner or later.

Lest you think this is a late-night Cinemax offering, Whip It is the story of how Bliss Cavendar (played with winning vulnerability by Ellen Page), a 17 year old diner waitress living in a small town near Austin, Texas finds herself in the small-time world of local roller derby.

Most of Bliss’ life (as well as her younger sister’s) has been spent on the Texas beauty pageant circuit. Her mother Brooke (Marcia Gay Harden) is a former beauty queen herself, and she sees the pageant circuit as a way for her daughters to improve their lot in life while learning to become proper young ladies.

Bliss has no real interest in the competitions but is a good and dutiful daughter and goes along with it. Her father (Daniel Stern) is a big football fan and obviously wishes he had boys instead of girls. This is shown when he watches with envy as his neighbor pounds in a yard sign showing his sons’ names and their numbers on the local high school football team.

That is until she and her friend Pash (Alia Shawkat, Maebe from Arrested Development) shoot up to Austin one night and wind up watching a match between the Holy Rollers, the New York Yankees of Texas roller derby and the Hurl Scouts, the league’s doormats. Bliss is fascinated with the whole thing, and when Maggie Mayhem (Kristen Wiig) sees that, she suggests that Bliss attend open tryouts for the league the following week.

Of course, Bliss’ mother would be horrified if she knew her precious flower daughter was even considering getting into such a rough-and-tumble sport, so Bliss has to sneak out of town with Pash’s help to attend the tryout. At the tryouts she demonstrates tremendous speed, and gets placed on the Hurl Scouts, where her roller derby name is Babe Ruthless. Since the league requires all participants to be at least 18 years old, Bliss lies about her age, saying she is 22.

“21 sounds fake,” she tells Pash when asked why she said 22. “22 sounds more believable.”

From there the stage is set. Bliss meets a guy, becomes a star, and just when everything seems to be going her way it all falls apart.

Part of the tension of the movie comes from Babe Ruthless’ rivalry with Iron Maven (Juliette Lewis), the bad girl of the Holy Rollers as well as their number one jammer (point-scorer). She views Bliss as a threat – or is it merely gamesmanship to gain an advantage over a worthy opponent?

The tone of the movie is very quiet. It reminded me of Napoleon Dynamite and the little bit I’ve seen of that other Ellen Page vehicle Juno. We’re not talking larger-than-life action. The movie is really about relationships – between Bliss and her parents, her friend Pash, her boyfriend and her teammates on the Hurl Scouts. But first-time director Drew Barrymore does a great job of keeping those relationships real while still injecting fun into the story. (Every time she appears on-screen as Smashley Simpson she ups the energy level considerably.)

Everything about this movie feels genuine, from the camaraderie of the team to the tensions between Bliss and her parents to the portrayal of life in a small, boring Texas town. Barrymore even resists the temptation to turn the roller derby matches into the types of action that can only be performed by super-athletes. Instead, it looks like average women stepping out of their everyday lives to do something they love. Which is as it should be.

If you get a chance, check it out. I think you’ll find you’ll feel good afterwards – without feeling manipulated.

— Reviewed by Ken Krause

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