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June 12th, 2013

PromptBoston

Prompt Boston attends Mass Innovation Night, #MIN51

Prompt Boston attends Mass Innovation Night, #MIN51

As a group of technology-savvy PR consultants, we’re fortunate to be located in a city full of innovation. With offices in Kendall Square, right across the river from the heart of Boston, we regularly brush shoulders with innovative individuals, start-ups and groups who are looking to launch a new idea into the marketplace that could completely change the way we think and act.

One event in the area that does a phenomenal job of gathering such innovators together is Mass Innovation Nights (MIN). Launched in April 2009, the monthly event showcases ten comMass Innovation Nights MIN51panies, and the community turns out to visit vendor booths, promote the products via social media and sit in on pitch presentations. In the last two years alone, MIN has helped launch more than 475 products and connect many job seekers with hiring managers.

Last night, Prompt Boston attended the 51st MIN at the Microsoft New England Research and Development Center (better known as the NERD Center). As soon as we entered and put on our flashing #MIN51 pin, which read ‘I helped launch 500 new products!’, we got the chance to learn more about some up-and-coming local innovators, including:

–       Agency Spotter: This integrated platform makes finding a creative agency a quick and easy process. Simply enter the type of agency you are looking for, and voila! In minutes, a refined search appears, taking the search process “from months to minutes”.

–       Delightfully: If you’re an online shopper and like sending e-gifts, this interactive webpage is just for you. Think of Delightfully as digital gift wrapping, where you can compile your favorite photos and content to present a customized e-gift.

–       Equiso Smart TV: This thumb-sized device plugs into TV screens and projectors to create a smart, interactive viewing experience. From Angry Birds, to Pandora and Pinterest, the Equiso Smart TV gives viewers access to 700,000 apps in the Google Play Store – right on a large HD TV screen.

–       Fuzzycover: Want a fun, creative way to protect your tablet, e-reader, iPhone and spiral bound notebook? Fuzzycover’s protective covers are the perfect solution, and are available in animal prints, cool colors, fuzzy or leather-bound material.

The event also featured delicious drink samples from Izze, and was topped off with Equiso Smart TV receiving the most votes as the best product at MIN51. It was a night full of innovation, networking and support for local start-ups, and we hope to relive it all again next month.

For more information on Mass Innovation Nights, be sure to visit the website here or read founder Bobbie Carlton’s round-up of the event on MIN’s blog. For those on Twitter, be sure to read all of the event’s tweets by searching #MIN51 or read the corresponding Storify piece here.

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May 16th, 2013

PromptBoston

Pitch it perfectly with Prompt: Come visit us at CIC’s Venture Café Office Hours

Pitch it perfectly with Prompt: Come visit us at CIC’s Venture Café Office Hours

Venture CafeAre you looking to spark genuine, valuable, press interest and conversation around your technology product, app or service? It’s certainly not an easy task, but we’re here to help.

On Thursday, May 23, 2013 Prompt Communications will be hosting ‘Office Hours’ at the Cambridge Innovation Center’s Venture Café event, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. We’ll be ready to discuss what you need to do to gain the media and audience visibility that your company deserves. Come along for a 20-minute tech PR consulting session with Prompt CEO Hazel Butters and get to grips with the objectives, strategies, and tactics that work best for catching the eyes of the press.

With years of experience in the technology sector, Prompt consultants know how to perfectly tailor your PR approach to garner the best results. Are you struggling to identify your target audience? No problem. Would you like to ramp up your core messaging? We’ve got you covered. Simply don’t know where to start? We’ll help you take those first steps.

After just 20 minutes you will walk away with valuable resources from our very own tech PR toolkit, which you can then customize to fit your exact PR needs. Please come equipped with any and all questions you can think of – we can’t wait to answer them!

To put us on your calendar or to learn more information about the Prompt Communications office hours, please visit the Venture Café website.

*This event will take place at the Venture Café, located at the Cambridge Innovation Center, One Broadway, 4th Floor. Visitors must comply with Venture Cafe attendance policies (see http://bit.ly/vc-credo for more details).

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April 15th, 2013

PromptBoston

Go Figure: The Boston Marathon

Go Figure: The Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon 2013Every two weeks in Prompt’s marketing, tech and innovation newsletter Impromptu, we feature a section called ‘Go Figure’, in which we look at statistics relating to an interesting news headline or topical technology. In honor of today’s Boston Marathon, we thought we’d turn our Go Figure heads to the race, and to some interesting facts behind this grueling athletic event.

  • Marathon: Battlefield in Greece from where legend says Greek messenger Pheidippides set off to inform the people of Athens that the Persian army had been beaten
  • 490 BC: Year (roughly) that the Battle of Marathon took place
  • 26.2 miles, 26 miles and 385 yards, or 42.195 kilometers: Official distance of a modern marathon
  • 1896: Year the modern marathon was introduced at the Athens Olympics
  • 1897: Year the Boston Marathon started, making it the world’s oldest annual modern marathon
  • 18: Runners in the first Boston marathon
  • 27,000: Runners in  this year’s Boston Marathon
  • 500,000+: Expected crowd of spectators at this year’s marathon
  • 0: World records recognized at the Boston Marathon, which the IAFF considers ineligible due to the drop in elevation from start to finish
  • 02:03:01: Current Boston Marathon record for the men’s open race made by Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya) in 2011
  • 02:20:43: Current Boston Marathon record for the women’s open held by Margaret Okayo (Kenya) since 2002
  • 1908: First time a marathon was 26 miles and 385 yards. The course was the 26 miles from Windsor Castle to the London Olympics stadium, with an additional 385 yards added so that runners would finish in front of the royal box. In 1921 this distance was adopted by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) as the official marathon distance
  • 500: Average number of marathons organized worldwide each year
  • 1974: First wheelchair marathon held in Toledo, Ohio
  • 02:03:38: Current world record for a men’s marathon (as recognized by the IAFF), held by Kenya’s Patrick Makau Musyoki, achieved at the Berlin Marathon in 2011
  • 02:15:25: Current women’s world best for marathon (as recognized by the IAFF), held by Britain’s Paula Radcliffe in the 2003 London marathon
  • 2,000 –  Calories in glycogen that the average body can  store; enough energy for 18-20 miles
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March 27th, 2013

PromptLondon

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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March 7th, 2013

PromptBoston

Technology, Marketing, and Hipsters

Technology, Marketing, and Hipsters

Hipster Glasses MemeOne of Prompt’s most recent revelations came in the form of fashion, and somewhat surprisingly, it came at a technology event– tech gurus having taken a liking to wearing hipster glasses. At two recent events, one for data center storage and the other for marketing technology, we came face to bifocal-ed face with more than a few pairs of the trendy specs.

The Prompt team began to feel a wee bit left out, so naturally we came up with a solution – create our very own cut-out and ready-to-wear hipster glasses. If you’re feeling as behind the times as we were, head on over to our newest Impromptu newsletter and download a pair for yourself! If you’re looking to take the trend a few steps further, read these critical steps to perfect hipster-ism.

 Hipster Glasses

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January 15th, 2013

Hazel Butters

Why your business should hire a Cambridge teenager in 2013

Why your business should hire a Cambridge teenager in 2013

Here at Prompt we’re all big fans of innovation, of being active in our community, and of all the opportunities that are created when innovation and communities come together.

Yours truly with Dr. Jeffrey Young and Cambridge City's Mayor Henrietta Davis

Yours truly with Dr. Jeffrey Young and Cambridge City’s Mayor Henrietta Davis

At our @PromptBoston office, overlooking the Boston skyline from the inspiring Cambridge Innovation Center, being part of a community expands beyond the scope of our own building to the broader Cambridge community. This manifests itself in many ways, one of which includes our support of Cambridge youth projects, including the Cambridge Challenge. This multi-year initiative led by the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce’s Community Outreach Committee, brings businesses and youth together. Just last week we were invited by the Cambridge Challenge to a guest reception, where we were able to meet Cambridge City’s Mayor Henrietta Davis, as well as Cambridge Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Young.

CIC’s Tim Rowe greeted everyone at the event, including companies and organizations like us that had recruited Cambridge teenagers over the previous year, as well as representatives from the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce. Tim then introduced Mayor Davis who explained how being introduced to business at an early age – particularly in Cambridge’s hotbed of science, technology, engineering and mathematics – can really give teenagers a feel for what is possible in life. The Mayor’s comments were complemented by thoughts from Jeffrey Young who talked about the immeasurable gains for youngsters participating in programs such as the Cambridge Challenge, as well as the many benefits for the businesses involved. From Prompt’s experience of working for a number of years with local Cambridge teenagers, we couldn’t agree more.

One of the talking points that really resonated with me personally was the broader opportunity for the Cambridge community. Working at this unique confluence of world-leading universities – including MIT and Harvard – businesses with cutting-edge technologies have a huge opportunity to make a real difference in teenager’s lives; inspiring and shaping them for the challenges that lie ahead.

It’s not the first year that @PromptBoston has been involved in the Cambridge Youth employment program, and it certainly won’t be our last.  We encourage other companies – within the CIC and in the wider area – to really participate in this. You can sign up by emailing teenjobs@cambridgema.gov

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January 10th, 2013

Hazel Butters

Mass Innovation Nights: #MIN46 and its ‘Innovation Optimists’

Mass Innovation Nights: #MIN46 and its ‘Innovation Optimists’

The human drive to innovate overwhelms me.  I’m reminded of this most days, as I have the luxury of working with technology enthusiasts, those driving startups — the people I see as innovation optimists (because you have to not only come up with the idea, but have to have the passion, enthusiasm and belief in it as well).

Prompt Communications Lightbulb earthLast night, PromptBoston attended the latest Mass Innovation Night, #MIN46, at the IBM Innovation Center in Waltham.  Run by the brilliant Bobbie Carlton, a woman who is unafraid to use a bullhorn, this is a chance to meet, speak and hear from a range of innovators – and is a key part of the New England innovation community. Some of the highlights from last night’s MIN event include, in alphabetical order:

Amico Bracelets: Startup Trovare Inc. has enhanced the way society connects in real-time, face-to-face interactions — all through tech-powered, silicone Amico Bracelets. Along with being quite the fashion statement for techies, Amico Bracelets are completely touch-based and come in several different colors. A user simply downloads the Amico app, connects it to his or her bracelet and social media accounts, and the device will blink or vibrate once others with the same interests and hobbies are nearby. The bracelet overcomes any shyness or fear of rejection when reaching out to new contacts — the perfect accessory for those who want to network and be stylish at the same time.

Cleverhood: Based in Massachusetts’ neighboring state of Rhode Island, Cleverhood aims to bring together style and sustainability in a smart-looking, durable rain cape. At $239 apiece, more than 400 Cleverhood cloaks have been sold since April. The ponchos, which are designed, produced and manufactured in the US, strive to promote walking and biking as a means of transportation — reducing pollution and heavy traffic flow stemming from automobile use. Last night, founder Susan Mocarski admitted the idea stemmed from her aggravation in hoarding women’s rainwear and yet having nothing practical to wear to face the elements — and we whole-heartedly relate!

Urvideoprofile: Hiring a caregiver for a loved one is difficult — especially when making the decision solely from a paper resume. With this idea in mind, Urvideoprofile created a safe, online video platform, where applicants can log in, create a brief video profile explaining their experience, and interact with families looking for homecare, childcare, nannies and more. The local invention seems a perfect fit for today’s society, in a world that relies heavily on technology and visual aid.

ViralGains: This Cambridge-based startup is redefining video marketing. ViralGains is an ad technology company with a focus in viral video advertising. ViralGains’ co-founder Kate Willett, explained to MIN attendees how ViralGains’ platform is built on social syndication, or people-powered placements. Willett highlights the fact that people are 90 percent more likely to watch a video if it has been recommended or shared by a friend through social media. From there, people who share the video are five times more likely to purchase your product. Current clients for this brilliant startup include Pepsi, Sears and Life is Good — all investing in the integration of social media and video. By creating this online strategy, companies can maximize views on videos, at a low cost.

Along with meeting great people, we also left the event with some treats, including UNREAL candy samples from CandyUnjunked (yum). We’re looking forward to the next Mass Innovation Night, and seeing even more innovation optimists take the stage to showcase such great local talent.

For more information on the events, be sure to visit the Innovation Night website. Also, to view Bobbie’s take on the event, read her blog post here – thanks for including us in the round-up, Bobbie!

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January 9th, 2013

PromptLondon

Table-sized tablets and mind-controlled helicopters: A look into CES 2013

Table-sized tablets and mind-controlled helicopters: A look into CES 2013

As tech-talking PR specialists, and self-proclaimed ‘geeks’, this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), hosted in Vegas, has captured our attention throughout most of the week.

CES 2013 eventWhile the tech extravaganza doesn’t wrap up until Friday, many around the globe are already abuzz about what 2013 will have to offer in the way of smarter, more innovative technology. The annual gathering aimed at developers, manufacturers and suppliers of consumer technology hardware is the marketplace for new gadgets and gizmos, with vendors vying for business sales and press attention. Speaking of attention, here are some futuristic products that caught ours at this year’s show:

Televisions: On day one, we saw Haier preview its latest smart TV that uses eye movement to control the panel – we’re sure this provides great excitement for long-standing and occasional couch potatoes alike.  But perhaps the TV that truly wowed CES-goers the most was Samsung’s 110-inch UHD TV, which is rumored to be made available to the public in late 2013.

Tablets: Meanwhile, at a different display, Plastic Logic unveiled its revolutionary PaperTab tablet, marketed as the thinnest and lightest tablet to date. The product remains true to its name – it’s as thin as a sheet a paper, and features a 10.7-inch screen. In contrast, Lenovo attempted to take computing from the desk to a coffee table (literally), with its IdeaCentre Horizon. The device comes with a 27-inch screen that can be used as both a table surface and a massive tablet.

Gaming: NeuroSky, a California-based tech company, really impressed us at CES, partnering with Focus Pocus to create a $200 video game to help children with ADHD. According to the Los Angeles Times, the game improves concentration by focusing on impulse control, attention span and memory, having the player complete a series of wizardry tasks, like creating potions and racing with broomsticks. Reports are then sent to the child’s caretakers – a great indication of the scientific impact technology can have. As if that weren’t amazing enough, NeuroSky then joined Puzzlebox to showcase a mind-controlled helicopter, appropriately dubbed as Orbit. Put that on our future Christmas wish lists!

Accessories: SealShield debuted the Sea Lion, the world’s first fully-functional, antibacterial and waterproof phone case for the iPhone5. The phone case was one of many in a series of new designs, but this one stood out for its abilities to clean and stop the growth of microbial bacteria, mold, mildew and fungi on an iPhone’s surface.

Although we can’t be there in person, we’re excitedly trawling news updates and social media posts – awaiting reports from what’s left of CES 2013. From what we’ve seen so far, the tradeshow provides us with a glimpse into a future filled with smart technology, which is bound to impact our daily lives in the years to come.

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October 29th, 2012

PromptBoston

Recap: Innovation Week — Boston, Massachusetts

Recap: Innovation Week — Boston, Massachusetts

With offices in Boston, San Francisco, and London, every Prompt team member is always interested in what is going on in the local community.  The Boston office, located in Cambridge’s Kendall Square, is also eager to attend local events and keep up with the happenings around the area.  The past seven days proved to be no different when Deval Patrick, governor of Massachusetts declared the week (Oct. 22-26) Innovation Week.

Innovation Week, an idea adapted by the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, fuses several simultaneous vents together to create an ‘experience larger than sum of its parts’.  Boston’s Innovation Week played on the city’s influential technology and innovation community with eight conferences and events in total: MITX FutureM conference; MassChallenge 2012 Awards Ceremony; EU-US eHealth Marketplace; EmTech MIT; Boston Region Entrepreneurship Week (BREW); Xconomy Forum: The Future of Big Data; Tie Boston’s Best Practices on Global Innovation; and UMASS Boston’s IDEAS Boston.

Innovation plays a big part in the Massachusetts culture, with history dating back to the Industrial Revolution (learn more at the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation), and now with heavy influence by new businesses, start-ups, research and development, and inspiring entrepreneurs.  Massachusetts recently ranked number one for entrepreneurship in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln State Entreprenuership Index survey, for the second year in a row.  Among the ever-expanding businesses in Massachusetts (according to Kendall Square’s Entrepreneur Walk of Fame, the area has five times more startups per square mile than any other location) many of the colleges in the area also consider entrepreneurship a course of study, including Babson College and Northeastern University.

What are your thoughts on innovation in your local community?  Are there some really innovative companies you know of that deserve a mention?  Tweet them to us at @PromptBoston and @PromptLondon.

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October 12th, 2012

PromptBoston

Social media buzz and the 2012 presidential election

Social media buzz and the 2012 presidential election

Social media has so many different purposes and each user’s habits are unique.  From communicating with family and catching up with old friends to sharing content and breaking news, it is one of the easiest ways to connect with friends, family, and strangers alike.

As most of us know, Election Day is less than a month away, and the presidential and vice presidential debates are flooding the TV channels around the US.  However, it’s not just TV talking-heads that are having an input – opinions of candidates, issues and everything in between are being shared by all types of people across social media, specifically Twitter.
Social media buzz hits the 2012 presidential and vice presidential debates.

The Pew Research Institute reports that 66% of online adults and 80% of online teens use social media.  With Facebook reaching one billion users just last week, social media is being used now more than ever.  With the presidential election in full swing, it seems users have one eye on the television and the other on their computer or smart phone, typing their opinions on every move the candidates make.  The Twitter blog reported that the first presidential debate, on October 3, was the most tweeted about event in US politics, with 10 million tweets.  The conversation consisted of a wide variety of topics, leaving nothing to the imagination – and yes, this includes Big Bird.

The first and only vice presidential debate aired yesterday, and there were 4 million tweets – featuring opinions on everything from foreign policy and tax reform, to Paul Ryan’s water drinking habits and Joe Biden’s laugh.  The debate saw the highest tweet per minute rating (58,275) when Biden asked Ryan, “Now you’re Jack Kennedy?”

The numbers surrounding the debates and Twitter usage are astounding proof that social media isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.  With the number of new users joining the Twitter-sphere growing each day, the possibility of the second presidential debate nabbing the title for most tweeted-about event in US politics seems very likely.

For the latest news in PR, marketing, tech and even the presidential debates, be sure to follow the Prompt team on Twitter: @PromptBoston or @PromptLondon. Don’t be shy – tweet us your thoughts on social media today!

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October 2nd, 2012

PromptBoston

Boston meets Bulgaria: An international feel to Friday

Boston meets Bulgaria: An international feel to Friday

As an international media relations and copywriting firm with offices in Boston, San Francisco and London, the team at Prompt Communications is always interested in meeting notable leaders and business professionals from around the globe.

This past Friday, @PromptBoston had the chance to sit in on an informational speech given by the president of the Republic of Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev. President Plevneliev visited the Cambridge Innovation Center (a workspace we’ve raved about in some of our past posts), as he was in the Kendall Square area to visit the Bulgarian Consul in Boston and attend the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York the following week.

The day was topped off with savory Bulgarian food and a musical performance by Divi Zheni, Boston’s own Balkan women’s chorus, directed by Tatiana Sarbinska – an acclaimed Bulgarian folk singer, instructor and conductor.

It was a Friday for Prompt’s memory book – meeting the leader of a southeastern European country and diving into the traditions and culture of the land.

For the most recent updates on all of Prompt’s activities, follow us on Twitter at PromptBoston or PromptLondon. For more information on how our professional public relations and copywriting services can benefit your international business, please email info@prompt-communications.com.

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September 21st, 2012

PromptLondon

It’s all about ad:tech

It’s all about ad:tech

Prompt London visits ad:tech London 2012 with Crimson HexagonThe last two days saw the coming together of the digital media community at ad:tech London 2012. Considered to be the number one event for interactive marketing, it brings together a whole host of marketing, technology and creative types under one roof to buy and sell products, exchange ideas and discuss the latest trends and initiatives. So after all the buzz, preparation and organising Prompt London’s visit flew by in the blink of an eye. We networked with many a marketing mogul, and shamelessly directed people to Booth 315 where Crimson Hexagon was demoing ForSight, the leading social media monitoring and analysis platform currently on the market. We surveyed social media types until the early hours of the evening, exchanged cards and drank fruity cocktails shaken by the smooth-talking liquid chefs. All in all, we’d say it was a socially successful ad:tech London.

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