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December 22nd, 2014

Prompt loves London: The London Eye

Prompt loves London: The London Eye

London Eye

Q: Why is the London Eye like a cell phone?
[A: Because it’s full of names and numbers!]

Most call it the London Eye. But this iconic structure is formally known as the Millennium Wheel. Depending on which company or corporation has sponsored it, it’s also gone by the British Airways London Eye; the Merlin Entertainments London Eye; and EDF Energy London Eye. Come 2015, the Ferris wheel goes fizzy: Coca-Cola will sponsor the wheel beginning at the end of January.

No matter what it’s called, Europe’s biggest Ferris wheel overlooks the River Thames, not far from Prompt London’s new offices on London’s South Bank.

Climate-controlled passenger observation capsules carry seated or standing passengers for a beautiful bird’s-eye view of the city. It’s beautiful to see it all lit up at night.

As for the numbers?

• The London Eye was built in 1999
• It is over 135 metres tall (it was the world’s tallest Ferris wheel until 2006)
• It has over 3.5 million visitors each year
• Six countries supplied the wheel’s construction components
• It has 32 passenger capsules, carrying up to 25 people in each
• The capsules are numbered 1 to 33; Number 13 is left out
• One revolution takes about 30 minutes

So if you’re in London, be sure to get a ticket for the best Ferris wheel ride in Europe.

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June 23rd, 2014

Securing press coverage: Media results for file transfer

Securing press coverage: Media results for file transfer

Over the past couple of years we’ve had the pleasure of working as part of the team for file transfer specialist vendor Ipswitch File Transfer. 

vault door secure file transfer blog post We’ve achieved a pace and volume of coverage and results for this client, Ipswitch File Transfer, that we’re proud of – that have supported the division’s sales, and driven the business forward in both UK and DACH regions.  We developed a PR plan consisting of press releases, thought leadership articles, case studies, web copy, events, and helped to launch an international customer reference programme to align with sales goals and wider businesses strategies.

Copywriting
From media alerts, to opinion piecesand social media, we have a proven track record when it comes to generating great thought provoking copy and securing coverage in top trade titles such as Computer Weekly, SC Magazine, Computing, and IT for CEOs.

As well as coverage in UK press, we’ve placed a number of news articles, and opinion pieces in DACH publications including iMittelstand, entwickler, IT Daily, and IP Insider to name a few. Wunderbar!

Customer Reference Programme

Prompt was instrumental in helping this file transfer client to launch an international customer comms programme.  We’ve dealt directly with the end users, resellers and distributors to produce relevant and timely releases, case studies and create marketing collateral.  Ipswitch has clients across UK and DACH regions that they secure file transfers for in the government, healthcare and financial industries such as NHS Wales, Cambridgeshire County Council, Transport for London, Capita TDS and German manufacturer Lantiq.  These studies have been featured in target publications including Government and Public Sector Journal, IT Pro Portal, and Channel Biz.  

Event Management
Events are expensive – so whenever you’re at an event you want to be maximizing your time, budget and efforts with great PR. For this client we attended and ran PR for Infosecurity 2013 and Infosecurity 2014 – we organised and supervised press briefings, handled prospects at the booth, created briefing documents, ensured the web portal was kept up to date with all the latest company news and completed an in-person survey on the show floor.  We designed and ran an industry survey, created press releases, opinion pieces and a supporting infographic.The data protection survey results were also featured in Information Age, Industrial Compliance, Information Security Solutions and a number of other IT, security and compliance titles.

To find out more about Prompt PR, and how we can help align your PR to drive visibility and sales, email us on: info@prompt-pr.com

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February 27th, 2014

Just how much is your smartphone worth to you?

Just how much is your smartphone worth to you?

According to Business Insider Intelligence, six percent of the global population have a tablet, twenty percent use a PC, but twenty two percent own smartphones. That’s phenomenal penetration for a technology platform in relative infancy. The first-generation Apple iPhone was launched in June 2007. Today analysts believe there are more than 1.4 billion smartphones in use around the world.

So why is the lure of the smartphone so strong? For those of us who have seen a few more computing dawns than perhaps we’d like to admit, it’s surely the fact that we’ve finally got all of the fun, features and functionality we ever really wanted in one elegant device that fits in a pocket and is there whenever we need it. It’s hard to remember now, but the idea of so much connect computing power in such a slick form that pretty much works all the time, and exactly how we’d want it to, was completely unthinkable even a decade ago. For younger people who expect this kind of performance and flexibility, well why wouldn’t they want one?

Smartphones are so compelling that some academics even think we’re becoming addicted to them – and you have to admit they may have a point. Take Leslie Perlow, the Konosuke Matsushita professor of leadership at the Harvard Business School for example. Her study of 1,600 business professionals revealed that 70 percent check their smartphone within an hour of waking up, 56 percent check within an hour of going to sleep, 48 percent check over the weekend, 51 percent check continuously when on holiday, and – perhaps most worryingly of all – 44 percent said they would experience “a great deal of anxiety” if they lost their phone and couldn’t replace it for a week.

Of course at up to £500 for leading unlocked handsets and minimum contract durations of typically two years, these are first-world problems that most of the global population cannot afford to suffer even if they wanted to. Well, until now it seems. This week Mozilla, the firm behind the Firefox browser, showed crowds at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona a smartphone built specifically to unlock emerging markets. And it could cost as little as $25 (£15). A partnership struck with Chinese cheap chip manufacturer Spreadtrum has enabled Mozilla to produce a workable smartphone for very little money, and while it won’t compete with the latest Apple or Samsung, it will open up the mobile internet to people who have never experienced it before.

Mozilla will be seeking a pioneering anchorage for fresh markets, from which it can expand its influence and introduce further devices to a new population of consumers and business users. The $25 phone may feel clunky and poorly featured to those of us who have been using evolving smartphones for up to eight years, but it’s represents a huge leap in what is possible for the very low-cost handset market. And is it any good? Not really, is the verdict from both the BBC and PC Advisor. But of course ‘any good’ is entirely relative, and compared to simple text communications – or no digital communication at all – the $25 phone has every chance to change many more lives than the next iPhone or Galaxy.

Please let us know what you think about the advent of the $25 smartphone. What are the pros and cons of this development for everyone concerned as you see it? We’d love to hear from you.

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January 28th, 2014

Prompt Ed – Our free WordPress taster workshops (London edition)

Prompt Ed – Our free WordPress taster workshops (London edition)

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know we’re enthusiastic WordPress users at Prompt (and if you haven’t, well, we are). We’re also a nice team and like to share what we know – whether it’s our free ‘WordPress on Wednesday’ tips (sign up and test them out), or hosting free events. Last week we held two free events at our London offices over in sunny Shoreditch.WordPress workshop tweet Jan 2014

The event was led by senior WordPress coach, Max. As our free events attract a range of WordPress enthusiasts including absolute beginners, Max started with an overview of what WordPress is and how it works, then went on a tour of the WordPress Administration Panel, covering topics and specifics including themes, categories, tags, the differences between WordPress’ text and visual editors, as well as touching on more detailed subjects like featured images, post types and advanced image settings.

If you missed these sessions, be sure to sign up for future free WordPress workshops. The next events will take place in Boston, Massachusetts on 13 February at 8:30am, 10:30am, and 12:30pm ET.

Keen to learn more about WordPress? Please sign up for our free weekly WordPress tips to learn great tips about plugins, using tags, optimising posts, shortcodes and more.

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October 30th, 2013

Fours reasons you should learn WordPress (and four reasons you should learn it with Prompt)

Fours reasons you should learn WordPress (and four reasons you should learn it with Prompt)

Four reasons you should invest in WordPress training:

  1. WordPress is really popular, and it’s not just about blogging anymore. This is a fully-featured content management system (CMS) with a bazillion widgets (okay, thousands), a huge community, and over 65 million sites trusting it to do the business.
  2. WordPress skills are an excellent addition to your résumé or CV.  Only an employer headquartered in a cave with no Wi-Fi or 3/4G access would now argue that flexible digital skills aren’t absolutely essential!
  3. Your job, boss and colleagues will increasingly expect you to be able to work with WordPress, almost magically. And while the system is extremely user-friendly, unless you only have ambitions to do the most basic things, then it’s worth learning your way around its features and functions thoroughly.
  4. Building confidence in WordPress is empowering. If you don’t know how it feels to be able to create your own websites, publish your own content, choose a great domain and install that perfect theme without relying on others, then you really should try it.

…and four good reasons why you should learn WordPress with Prompt

 

  1. Our course is designed and taught by experienced (and friendly!) PHP programmers, and that’s the code that WordPress is built on
  2. We will give you your very own digital sandbox – a place for you to play in, try different things out, install and test widgets, look at themes and generally get your hands dirty. Our course tutors provide careful supervision and feedback, and there’s zero risk of publishing anything by mistake, or doing digital harm to your own site or brand
  3. It’s incredibly cost-effective at just $475
  4. You can get started whenever you want – sign up today and you’ll be confident and raring to go for 2014!

Sign up today for our hands-on 60-day online training, and gain control of your own website, skill yourself up and expand your digital horizons.

And why not also sign up for to receive our free ‘WordPress Wednesday’ tips, delivered each week to your inbox?

 For any further enquiries, please feel free to get in touch with a Prompt consultant at wordpress@prompt-pr.com. Thank you.

 

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October 18th, 2013

Supercell soars to success

Supercell soars to success

We were excited to hear the news about Supercell, the Finnish video game developer.

This week, Supercell made headline news as it was valued at $3bn following Japan’s Softbank acquisition of a 51% stake. The purchase places Supercell firmly at the top of the table as Europe’s fastest growing technology company.

Fans of our newsletter will be familiar with our regular ‘Go Figure’ column, but with so many exciting numbers to crunch, we just couldn’t wait until next week:

£3 bn – Current market value of Supercell

1.5bn – The amount paid by Softbank of Japan to acquire a 51% stake in the Finnish video game developer

2 – Current number of games in its inventory – Clash of Clans and Hay Day (Battle Buddies was pulled due to poor revenue figures, whilst online game Gunshine.net stopped running in November 2012)

2010 – The year Supercell was founded. Based in Helsinki, the company’s debut game was Gunshine.net which could be played in any browser and on any operating system

122 – Number of countries Clash of Clans is the top grossing iPad game in

78 – Number of countries Hay Day is the top grossing iPad game in

100 – Current number of staff employed at Supercell

Enjoyed our breakdown? Why not sign up for our bi-weekly Impromptu newsletter and read our next Go Figure column and all the other tech happenings:

Sources: Supercell, BBC News, Financial Times, Wikipedia

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October 8th, 2013

Prompt technology PR client Q&A: Crimson Hexagon

Prompt technology PR client Q&A: Crimson Hexagon

A tech PR interview: Wayne St Amand, Crimson Hexagon

At Prompt, we spend our time immersed in technology. Whether it’s high-level enterprise storage, security solutions that address advanced persistent threats, or cleverly-engineered gadgets, we’re there with our clients coming up with great ideas to engage with the media and to pen perfect (and relevant) messages.

This week I caught up with a Prompt client I really admire: social media sentiment analysis vendor Crimson Hexagon. Crimson Hexagon is the company behind ForSight, a unique software platform based on an algorithm that combines human judgment with computer scalability to measure sentiment across billions of social media conversations – including its expanding social media database of more than 350 billion posts. This amazing technology was developed at Harvard University’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science, and is now used by big brands, agencies and household name organizations.

I asked Wayne St. Amand, VP of marketing for Crimson Hexagon, about his experiences working with Prompt.Prompt technology PR client: Wayne at Crimson Hexagon

Sinead: Crimson Hexagon has been working with Prompt in Europe for over a year now. What’s been good about the experience?

Wayne St. Amand: Working with Prompt has been a delight since day one. In every aspect of PR – and far beyond – Prompt’s consultants have consistently supported our business with expertise, timeliness, creativity, honesty and most importantly, results.

Sinead: How has working with Prompt contributed to your business?

Wayne: Not only are Prompt’s consultants public relations practitioners and copywriters, they are also keen technologists and supporters of our product, vision and mission. They engage with our teams, understand our technology, develop ideas for communicating its benefits, and then deliver on those ideas. Through content creation, media relations, events or market research, we know that plans will be created, objectives fulfilled and results delivered.

Sinead: How does Prompt stand out amongst competitors in the ever-changing worlds of both technology and public relations?

Wayne: With a long history of experience working in technology sectors across the globe, Prompt is insightfully attuned to our market, as well as the specific needs of Crimson Hexagon. The team at Prompt has genuinely become an extension of our own

Sinead: Would you recommend the team here at Prompt?

Wayne: Yes, I’d highly recommend them to any technology company that is looking to maximize visibility, press coverage and PR momentum.

Would you like to see your thoughts here next? Contact us today for further information on how Prompt can help you own hone communication plans, decrease the technology sales cycle and much more. Are you a startup or an early-stage tech company? Please check out our ‘First Byte’ packages, designed just for you.

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August 22nd, 2013

From white to green: President installs photovoltaics panels (and six facts about solar panels)

From white to green: President installs photovoltaics panels (and six facts about solar panels)

The news that the White House is reinstalling solar panels on the roof demonstrates a real commitment from the Obama administration to encourage green energy management and sustainability across the country.  Photovoltaic technology, however, is not a new initiative. In fact, back in the 70’s President Jimmy Carter had about 30 panels installed on the roof of the White House before President Ronald Reagan had them removed in 1986.

Prompt London: Green tech PR opinion on solar panels and PVAs we’re interested in all kinds of technology – including green and sustainable technologies – we thought it would be interesting to look at some facts around photovoltaics , also known as PV, or more simply, ‘solar panels’:

  1. Photovoltaics is a method of generating renewable power by allowing sunlight to be converted directly to electricity using semiconductors
  2. Photovoltaic cells are comprised largely from silicon and can be mounted on buildings or on standalone frames. A number of cells are connected to form an array, either to cover basic home energy needs  or to feed the national grid, or both
  3. Solar power has increased in popularity over the years, with many common devices now powered by the sun’s energy – anything from e-readers and radios to mobile phone chargers and kids’ toys are powered by the sun’s rays. Hey, we once thought solar-powered calculators were impressive!
  4. Although there is an initial cost to install equipment, solar energy is ultimately clean, free and infinite, and thanks to some considerable technological advances, the price of photovoltaic panels has steadily fallen in recent years. It now costs around $1 to $1.3 per PV watt installed.  Cost of Solar has a great info graphic to demonstrate the costs of the panels over the years
  5. A report from IMS Research suggests that the market will grow from under $200 million in 2012 to $19 billion by 2017. Germany is currently leading the way after a home energy storage subsidy went into place on 1st May.  IMS predicts Germany will account for nearly 70 percent of storage installed in residential PV systems worldwide in 2013.
  6. Although solar power can only capture light when there’s, er, daylight, it’s estimated that by using a solar PV system, a typical home could save over a tonne of carbon dioxide per year – that’s more than 30 tonnes over its lifetime.  PV panels are low maintenance, have a long component life and are silent when converting energy.  However one of the biggest disadvantages of solar panels is their limited efficiency levels in comparison to other renewable energy sources such as solar thermal.  Many also argue that they are visually intrusive and the performance is intermittent, a common complaint being the variation in performance over different seasons
  7. In the next decade, it is predicted that photovoltaic power will be similar in price to traditional sources of electricity and that PV panels will be a standard feature for newly constructed homes.  So while solar energy may not provide answers to all our environmental problems, it certainly goes some way to reducing our carbon footprint – and saving a few pennies along the way

Want to find out more?  – check out these solar energy resources:

http://solarenergy.com/

http://www.uk-ises.org/

http://www.solarenergy.net/

http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Generating-energy/Choosing-a-renewable-technology/Solar-panels-PV

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August 8th, 2013

Technology PR travels: Around the technology world in 80 days – Day #11: Romania

Technology PR travels: Around the technology world in 80 days – Day #11: Romania

Following our technology PR trawl through Budapest, we set out for the  ancient land of Romania,  sailing a boat gently down the Danube to Bucharest, Romania’s capital city.  The Danube forms much of Romania’s southern border and was given its name by Greek historian Herodotus, who dubbed it ‘The King of the European Rivers’.  Just as we were marveling at the architecture of the Drobeta Bridge and exploring the Topolnita caves, we found ourselves in Giurgiu; a hop, skip and a jump later and we had finally arrived in Bucharest.

Photo courtesy of: www.romaniatourism.com

Photo courtesy of: www.romaniatourism.com

Famed for its somewhat spooky history and once home to Vlad the Impaler (or Count Dracula as he is more commonly known) Romania is much more than a setting for many a horror film.  With its rich history of old world lore, it may not seem  an obvious choice for modern-day innovation, but Romania has contributed much to science and technology.For example,  in May 1981, Astronaut Dumitru Prunariu gave Romania a firm footing in the stratosphere when Romania became the 11th country in the world to put an astronaut in space. Incidentally, Prunariu is now the president of the Romanian Space Agency.

As well as space success, Romania is also reported to have one of the highest levels of computer programmers in the world.  Biologists are also a big deal in Bucharest; bacteriologist Victor Babes discovered more than 50 different types of germs, making significant inroads into the study of infectious diseases, including rabies, leprosy and diphtheria.  Physiologist Nicolae Paulescue discovered insulin, and George Emil Palade won the Nobel Prize in 1974 for his contributions to cell biology.

And the country also keeps current, forging the way for innovation. Teenager Ionut Budisteanu recently scooped the top prize at the International Science and Engineering fair – the largest high school science research competition in the world – for his creative research into a self-driving car. Ionut’s idea uses processing webcam imagery and artificial intelligence technology. Eliminating the use of a high-end 3D radar to achieve this goal makes the car more affordable.

Check back in next time as we head to Bulgaria – and get to grips with the Cyrillic alphabet!

The Rasnov Fortress in Romania (image courtesy of romaniatourism.com)

The Rasnov Fortress in Romania (image courtesy of romaniatourism.com)

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May 31st, 2013

Remembering London’s colourful past

Remembering London’s colourful past

LondonLondoner Claude Friese-Greene was the inventor of an additive colour film process called Biocolour, or the Fries-Green Colour Process. In 1927 he filmed one of the first coloured motion pictures ever made, documenting London life when the city wasn’t just capital of England, but remained the centre an enduring British Empire accounting for more than a fifth of the world’s population.

This remarkable film captures a snapshot of hatted Londoners enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of the city between the wars. Interstitial captions point out that more than ‘4000 motor busses’ now patrol London’s streets, and that “more than one American has offered to buy our Tower and erect it on Palm Beach as a bungalow!”

By exposing alternate frames of black and white film through a different-coloured filter, then staining the resulting prints either red or green, Friese-Greene was able to project an illusion of genuine colour. The British Film Institute (BFI) has now used the very latest computer techniques to clean up the nostalgic film and reduce flickering so it can be enjoyed by a modern audience.

The results, which we first viewed courtesy of PetaPixel, are fascinating for anyone like us here at Prompt London who work in the city daily, and still walk the same streets, only with very different views. Still, some things haven’t changed – Petticoat Lane market is still impossibly busy, Hyde Park and St. James look just as inviting on a sunny afternoon, and we’re still winning Cricket test matches!

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March 28th, 2013

By the numbers: 72.4 million reasons why you should be on WordPress (and attend our London WordPress training)

By the numbers: 72.4 million reasons why you should be on WordPress (and attend our London WordPress training)

So if you haven’t noticed, we’ve launched WordPress Training – starting off in our London offices next month.  You can read more details about it here.

For most of us, WordPress is synonymous with easy-to-use, customizable blogs, websites and content, utilized by companies and individuals from all over the world. But the Open Source project, which was launched 10 years ago, didn’t always start out that way — WordPress admits it started with “fewer users than you can count on your fingers and toes.”

Today, the content management system offers plugins, widgets and themes, customizable to your heart’s content, and is used by millions for projects as small as class assignments to full-blown websites, like ours [link]. Haven’t tried WordPress for yourself? Here are some interesting facts that are sure to get your creative coding juices flowing:

72.4 – millions of websites around the world using WordPress

48 – percentage of the top 100 ranked blogs using WordPress as CMS

2003 – the year WordPress was started

500,000 – average new daily posts on WordPress

53.8 – WordPress’s market share of the content management system industry

73 – languages WordPress has been translated and localized into

19,017 – number of available WordPress plugins

 

Sources: Yoast.com,wpmu.org

 

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March 27th, 2013

Calling all software testing professionals: TESTA nominations now open

Calling all software testing professionals: TESTA nominations now open

The European Software Testing Awards, commonly referred to as TESTA, has officially opened its doors for nomination entries. The awards ceremony, set for Wednesday, November 20th in Grosvenor Square, London, is the premiere place to meet some of the most innovative individuals and teams in the software testing industry today. Naturally, as a high tech public relations firm with a nearby office in Covent Garden, we are already counting down the days until the big event.

Software testing awardsOrganised by the leading industry journal Test Magazine, TESTA is open to any individual or business within the software testing community, regardless of vertical sector or business size. Categories include (but are not limited to) Best in Agile, Mobile and Testing Automation Projects, along with Best Use of Tools and Young Tester of the Year. Finalists will be judged beside the best of the best, so snagging one of these coveted awards is a true honor.

When it comes to TESTA, the phrase “everybody’s a winner” is no longer an elementary sports mantra – it holds true. With countless opportunities given to those in attendance, including valuable networking and the acquisition of knowledge from Europe’s most highly regarded software testing professionals, the event is the perfect place for industry and personal growth.

To learn more about submissions, sponsorship and the judging process, please visit TESTA’s official website here and be sure to keep us up-to-date on your nomination.

For more on Prompt’s past experience with high tech clients, read up on case studies from KANA Software, Orchestria, Tatara Systems and more on our site, or email one of our consultants today.

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