Archive for the ‘philosophy’ tag
All conversations about public relations reflect specific worldviews – and this is something we should examine when developing theory, considering practice or undertaking research in the field. Our opinions, prejudices and arguments are the outcome of personal and professional experience, our educational background, our values and perspectives on how things are – or should be – and how we assimilate the views of others into our existing mental frameworks. Likewise when reading the work of others, we need to consider their particular worldview.
There are plenty of academic terms derived from philosophical traditions to summarise the nuances of various worldviews. You may be a pragmatist, or consider yourself to be a critical theorist. Perhaps you demonstrate a modernist or post-modernist perspective in your thinking. Or you may lean more towards a scientific, artistic, social sciences or humanities approach to understanding public relations. Some people are pluralistic and open-minded in their worldview – others reflect single minded thinking that is resistant to change.
You might think this is all mumbo-jumbo – but that same dismissal of academic concepts is indeed a worldview. The University of Life, learning by doing, experience over qualifications – however you wish to sum up your thinking, it reflects a way of looking at the world.
Differing worldviews underpin much of the debate on this blog, as well as in academic and practitioner oriented forums. Look at a PR LinkedIn group and you’ll see similar variety of perspectives to that found in academic journals or at any real world gathering of PR folk.
This rumination is a prelude to a short series of three posts which will present an outcome of a recent offline discussion between three respected and insightful thinkers in public relations: Toni Muzi Falconi, Robert Wakefield and Jim Grunig.
What this introductory post aims to do is to examine that conversation process and how it sought to establish a shared – or at least co-oriented – worldview between the three writers regarding conceptualising a public relations paradigm at the present time.
In editing the conversation for publication, I had a choice in whether to read the discussion from beginning to end or from the last comment back to the original suggestion. Whichever direction I read, I found an interesting dimension of the conversation, which is how responses combined three aspects:
- immediate reaction to the last comment,
- considered reflection against previous work, and
- suggestions of development (often in a new direction) for the discussion.
Each participant brought his own worldview into the discussion and enriched it, redirected it and re-presented it back to the others. There was a politeness in the discussion rather than great opposition or argument – but still I could see how ideas were being challenged and developed.
I wanted to share some thoughts on this creative cognitive process as often readers (particularly those studying PR) view blog posts, academic papers or other publications as complete, final works. In truth, most writing is the result of discussion, reflection, ongoing research and previous forays into print – that is, it represents a progressive worldview and as such is open to further development.
In reading the conversational thread, I found my own worldview being invoked. I didn’t necessarily agree with what I was reading – but my role wasn’t to participate in the discussion. But as I craft the series of posts, my worldview will be implicit within how I narrate the perspectives of our learned colleagues. Such is the nature of secondary reporting.
The idea being discussed relates to establishing some generics of the profession of public relations (my worldview would question the use of the term profession, but as this isn’t my conversation, I will not interject further – for now).
The goal is to develop some common understandings that could be applied by PR practitioners in any organisation, much as accountants and lawyers have a toolkit of informed practice that they apply – and indeed, are required to demonstrate within their role.
However, the conversation recognises that as well as common understandings of possible industry standards, the nature of public relations requires consideration of how the field operates in respect of specific organisations and other varying cultural dimensions.
The conversation pondered the difference between proposed generic and general principles, which would allow for commonality and difference respectively.
This paradigm was thought by the participants in the conversation to warrant revisiting existing literature (particularly that which related to a so-called generic/specific theory of public relations). It was recognised that other issues may arise in considering the suggested distinction between generic and general standards away from the initial conversation.
There was also concern to review and reflect on what would be published, to give it a polish or at least to check the validity of initial raw expressions. This was matched to an excitement to see what others would do with the concepts when they were published.
As well as reaching sideways and forwards, the conversation stretched backwards into earlier studies that had been articulated and developed by other contributors over time.
It then reached a point between Toni and Rob when it had been sufficiently explored to present possible ground breaking to involve Jim’s input. As Toni wrote: Jim provided some agreement, but also more substance to the reflection. This process brought consensus on a need to initiate public review of the concept – with the hope that other viewpoints would focus, challenge, debate, adopt and otherwise develop the issue.
Agreeing there is value in shining such a light on the initial idea and its development, I took on the challenge of turning it into a series of posts. My aim is to convey clarity from the conversation, which reflected linearity within the initial Muzi Falconi-Wakefield main conversational course, with a side order of Grunigian input as relish.
Whether or not the proposed paradigm will be viewed as a reconstruction of a classic dish – a la Heston Blumenthal (innovative British chef) – or will be considered as fare that is lacking in flavour or gastronomic value, is to be decided. It will undoubtedly reflect an attempt to develop a worldview for public relations – which in itself is a challenge when each reader and anyone prepared to join the conversation will have their own worldview from which they will applaud or critique the concept.
I trust I have now whet your appetite for the following bon mots. But also would like to ask for you to share your own experiences of the creative process involved in developing concepts for publication. From crowd-sourcing, to co-authorship and group work (as per the Stockholm Accords and the Melbourne Mandate), the idea of working with others to formulate and refine ideas is increasingly common. Alternatively, individual authors involve editors or peer review in enhancing the veracity of their writing. Or perhaps you feel there is more merit in the approach of a single voice presenting premises that are unsullied by the input of others – does that result in more or less originality? How do you suggest we should develop a worldview of public relations?
NOTE: This is the first part of a series of 3 posts. Part 2: Generic principles and specific applications in public relations - appeared on Monday 15 April with Part 3: Three wise men – homage to a public relations paradigm – published on Friday 19 April.
I had an interesting comment from someone at an event recently. We were picking apart my Twitter stream and I was explaining my philosophy around it. He raised his hand and said, “Well, to be really honest, I wouldn’t be all that interested in seeing your pictures of bacon.” In this case, he meant quite literally the picture above, but in the larger sense, he was saying, “I want a business-focused person to follow.”
My response was that it was perfectly fair to feel that way, but that it also meant that he wasn’t likely my buyer. In my very specific case, I tend to work with companies that value personality as well as professional ability. It’s every bit as important to me that my kind of customer have an interesting personality, a quirkiness, and a tolerance for the atypical. That’s a choice, though, and it’s something I encourage you to consider.
We Choose Our Customers
Look, when we’re hungry for business, we just want to see the cash register ring. I’ve been there, and I’ll be there again. But when we do have the opportunity to consider our ideal client, it’s important to take a moment and work through that, to really determine what it is that will help you qualify who works with you or not.
In the case of media making and your online presence, what you put out there for the world to see on your social channels and your blog is what people are going to weigh into other equations when determining whether to buy from you. At the moment I’m writing this blog post, my last 20 tweets say nothing about what kind of business I’m in. My Facebook account is completely personal and not for business. My last few posts on Google+ are actually more business-focused, but that’s just happenstance. Why? Because I use social networks as a kind of liner notes for the personality behind the business.
Why Choose Your Customers?
Hold on there, Brogan. It’s a barely recovering economy and my kids have to eat. Why should I choose who my customers are? Why should I go out of my way to disqualify potential buyers?
Because customers that aren’t a fit create friction.
Simple. The deal you make when you take on a customer that doesn’t fit your personality or work style is that you’re asking for their money and signing up for however you will clash with them. This, in turn, may (will!) cause procrastination, may (will!) cause a less-than-stellar effort on your part, and will detract from the kinds of customers and clients you have more in common with. Those, by the way, are the people who will spend more with you over the long term, and who will form the core of your business relationships, not these folks you accept because you “need the money.”
Is This Crazy Talk?
I’ll let you tell me. Jump into the comments. Tell me about the times you’ve taken that customer who wasn’t really down with your particular kind of crazy. Hey, if you’ve had the opposite experience, that’s cool, too. I know someone out there wants to share some Kumbaya story about how working through one’s differences is a rewarding experience. My take? Life’s too short.
“Remain true to yourself and your philosophy. Changing in the face of adversity will in fact diminish your credibility with your customers.
[…] you can’t become credible overnight just on the basis of huge advertising campaigns.
[…] To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail.”
Fair weather tactics will only take you so far. (and so will fair weather relationships). Short cuts will only net you ill fitting clothing.
Admittedly I combined a few things Armani said in interviews in this quote. His creations and work ethics have remained incredibly disciplined over the years. One detail at a time have now formed a instantly recognizable pattern and style.
Like another fascinating figure in Italian commerce and craftsmanship based in my region (Emilia Romagna), Enzo Ferrari, Armani started his venture in mid life — Ferrari was 48, he was 41.
Overnight success more than twenty-five years in the making.
Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a speaking engagement click here.
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In a speech at the British Embassy’s Creative Summit on Monday, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Industrial Design Sir Jonathan Ive gave an inside look at the company’s design process and philosophy, two assets many have credited as being key to the iPhone maker’s great success.
August Capital has raised $550 million for a new fund, according to August Partner Howard Hartenbaum. The fund, which is the sixth for the Menlo Park-based venture capital firm, includes $300 million for early stage investments and $250 million for “special opportunities” such as growth equity and buyouts. This is the same structure as August’s previous funds.
The firm plans to start investing immediately. Hartenbaum said August has historically done about eight investments per year and expects to maintain a comparable pace moving forward.
Hartenbaum also said the firm is not focused on a particular market segment, citing Partner David Hornik’s early investment in Splunk as an example of the company’s investment philosophy to find companies before there is a clearly defined market. Splunk, a software company that raised its first round from August Capital in 2004, went public earlier this year.
“When [Hornik] funded Splunk in 2004, nobody had ever heard of big data,” Hartenbaum said. “Now, Splunk is the poster child for big data. We are looking for comparably interesting things right now that may not yet have a market segment attached to them. By the time there’s a well-defined market segment, it’s a little bit late.”
August Capital was co-founded in 1995 by David Marquardt, an early investor in and current board member of Microsoft. Recent August investments include PubMatic, SAY Media and WePay. The firm last raised $650 million in March 2009.
Filed under: VentureBeat
Earlier today Darren talked about content marketing as a traffic generation strategy, and he mentioned the content marketing we did for the launch of Blog Wise.
The table he showed in that post, which breaks down the different sites we guest posted at, and the key messages we presented, points to an important fact about content marketing: planning really counts.
Where you’re used to writing for your own blog and readership, when it comes to writing for someone else’s (as in guest posting), planning is critical if you’re to make the most of that opportunity.
But even if you’re simply trying to use an email series or whitepaper to convert more of your site’s current, lurking readers into subscribers, you’ll want to plan the content to meet your needs, and those of the audience you’re targeting with it.
So I wanted to follow up Darren’s post with an explanation of how you can create a content outline that does both those things.
What is an outline?
An outline is not a headline. It’s not a rough explanation of what your post will cover (although this is what I’m usually sent as pitches for guest posts at ProBlogger).
An outline is a clear roadmap for the content that shows how that content will meet the needs of your blog business, and those of the target readers or users of that content.
Why write an outline? Because once you have that, you won’t have to worry about these strategic issues when it comes to creating the content. Instead of writing, freeform, until you’re done and then hoping that the content does what you want it to, this process lets you sit down and think strategically about what you’re doing, then sit down again, separately and in a different headspace, to write productively to meet that strategy.
Also, if you’re offering the content through some offsite location—say, as a guest post on someone else’s blog—once you have a good outline, it’ll be easy to chip off the relevant bits to send to the host blogger so that they can see that your content will meet the needs of their readers.
Creating your outline
Ready? Let’s get to it. First, we’re thinking strategically. So stop thinking like a writer, and start thinking like a marketer.
For the purposes of this exercise, I’m going to look at the guest post I wrote for Goinswriter to promote Blog Wise, and show you how that developed.
Look at your needs
What do you need the content you’re using as a marketing tool to do?
With Blog Wise, we wanted our guest posts to:
- promote the ebook
- encourage clickthroughs to the sales page.
Pretty basic, right? Right.
Look at your audience’s needs
What does your audience need the content to do?
To answer this, you need to get to know your audience. In our case, that was pretty easy—we could look at Jeff’s blog and comments, and his social media interactions on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, and get a feel for what his readers felt, needed, and wanted.
If you’re creating content—say a whitepaper—that you’ll distribute through someone else’s site, you’ll need to do similar research. Don’t hesitate to ask the site owner for information on their audience, though, as this can be a great help to you.
What did I feel Jeff’s audience needed the content to do? Here were my thoughts:
- inspire their passion
- help them write, whether they were bloggers, fiction writers, copywriters, or whatever
- provide them with something candid and new.
Meet those needs with a concept
By “concept” I mean an idea that you want to communicate. I wanted to talk about Blog Wise in a way that:
- inspired Jeff’s readers’ passion: so I decided to use Jeff himself (and the interview he did with us for Blog Wise) as the hook
- helped them write: so I thought about a technique that helped me as a writer, regardless of what I’m writing
- provided them with something new: the technique I thought about—having a “writer’s mindset”—wasn’t something I’d heard talked about before. I gave it a catchy name, “constant writing,” to give the article more obvious value, a title hook, and some serious punch.
Using this information, I decided I’d write a guest post that showed readers how to become constant writers. This met my needs and those of my readers—easily checked against the bullet points I made above.
Aspects of “concept” you might want to consider here include:
- catchwords or phrases
- content format
- hooks and angles
Extend that concept into a content plan
Obviously your content plan will depend entirely on your concept and the format you’re using. A guest post outline is not an ebook outline, nor is it an email series outline, a video plan, or an infographic storyboard.
But whatever your format, your outline needs to be based around the key messages that communicates your concept to your audience. So you need to develop it with your target readers in mind.
By now, the needs you’re trying to meet should be ingrained and inherent in your thinking, so you can focus entirely on the readers and creating content that meets their needs.
Write down the key points you want to communicate to them, as sentences, subheadings, questions—whatever feels right. For my guest post, those key points were:
- Jeff’s philosophy: just get started
- Problem: how do you “just get started”?
- Identify technique: pro writers are constant writers
- What is constant writing? (explain the concept)
- How does it work? (explain how it works in practice)
That’s a good start, but it’s not really detailed enough for me to write the article yet, particularly in those latter sections. So I built it out.
- Explain Jeff’s philosophy: just get started.
- Mention interview, and expand on what Jeff said.
- Detail the problem: how do you “just get started”?.
- Identify technique: pro writers are constant writers.
- What is constant writing? (explain the concept)
- Mention writing “addiction” and the importance of loving expression.
- Explain what constant writing isn’t: writing, completion, skills, becoming a “serious” writer or taking writing “seriously”.
- Explain the point of constant writing: playing with words.
- How does it work? (explain how it works in practice)
- Pay attention to your expression (with examples: email, text, etc.).
- Read (examples: signs, t-shirts, books and magazines).
- Listen (conversations, announcements, songs).
- Conclusion: Show readers how they’ll change if they put this philosophy into practice, to become constant, addicted, writers.
Houston, we have an outline
Yes! We have an outline! As you can see, some of those bullet points from my concept have become section subheads. Where I’ve needed to clarify my own thinking, I’ve expanded on those points.
Now I can objectively sit back, read this outline, and make sure that I honestly feel it will meet Jeff’s readers’ needs, as I listed them at the outset.
Next? The pitch.
Pitching your content
I could have sent Jeff this outline, but I expected he probably didn’t need to see the inner machinations of my mind. Instead, I summed it up in an email…
“I wanted to ask if we’d be able to write a guest post for your blog to help promote your inclusion in the ebook. The post I had in mind would take your “just get started” philosophy of productivity and present one idea for making that happen. The idea is creative practice, rather than creative production. So, rather than sitting down to write an article, this post argues, sit down to play with words and ideas.
“Write without a goal; write to experiment; write to get practice working with words—this would be the thrust of this article, which provides practical tips for getting started, and argues that an experimental approach takes the pressure off, allowing the writer the freedom to sit down and write a five-line lyric if they want, or 500 words of prose. The post would advocate this as a good way not just to build the creative muscle, but also, to give yourself the potential to discover new aspects of your writing which could be useful, or easily translate, into better, more resonant professional writing/blogging.
“I expect this piece would come in at around 1000 words, and it would of course include a link back to the productivity ebook on ProBlogger. Let me know if you’d be interested in this post for your blog, because I’m really keen to write it and see how your audience feels about the idea Of course, if you don’t feel it’s appropriate, that’s no problem at all.”
As you can see, this summation is a digestible, sensitive version of the nuts-and-bolts outline. I’m trying to tell Jeff what I’ll communicate and why it’s of benefit to his readers, rather than give him a laundry list of subheadings. That said, sometimes, a laundy list of subheadings is a great thing to send through, especially with posts that seem nebulous or unusual. I guess the most important thing to note here is that I didn’t write to Jeff and say something like this:
“I have an idea for a guest post on your site about writing productivity. The article is “Constant Writing: the productivity secret of pro writers”. Do you think it would be of interest?”
This is no way to either build rapport with the person who’s hosting your marketing effort, or inform them of the value of your piece. The outline I sent Jeff explains specifically:
- what his readers will get out of the content,
- through what discussions, and
- how the content will benefit the host blogger himself.
If your content marketing pitch does this, you’re on a winner. From here, it’s likely you’ll be able to navigate any hurdles the host blogger throws up and, when it comes to write your piece, you’ll basically know on a subconscious level what you’re doing and why—which will show clearly in your writing.
Do you plan your content marketing efforts?
if you think having an outline like this would be handy in giving your guest posts the greatest impact, imagine what it can do for your email subscription series, your free ebook, or your whitepaper.
Outlines make content marketing easier. Do you use them? Will you try? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments.
Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
We are headed towards Durham right now in the TCMobile but we have some very urgent news: the event will be held down the street from Tyler’s at the American Tobacco Event Space called Bay 7. Bay 7 is two doors down from Tyler’s.
You can RSVP here and we would love to chat with you tonight. We want to hear from everyone but if we miss you please email us at email@example.com with the subject line DURHAM ROCKS.
Special thanks to the fellows at GBW Strategies who helped us organize the event.
GBW Strategies is a new era, Triangle-based public relations and marketing firm serving clients such as Facebook and the Cherokee Challenge.
Special thanks to Packard Place for hosting the event.
Packard Place is the hub for entrepreneurship and innovation in Charlotte. Our mission is to develop fast-growth businesses and the professional community to drive them.
Greenville is happening on July 12th at 411 University Ridge. RSVP here.
StrikeIron is the leader in Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), delivering data quality and communications solutions via our cloud platform IronCloud. We provide address verification, email verification, phone validation, phone append, SMS text messaging, and sales tax solutions to customers in a variety of markets. Our solutions are delivered as Web services that can be easily integrated into any application or system. Additionally, our solutions are pre-integrated into leading platforms like: Magento, Eloqua, Salesforce.com, Informatica, Oracle CRM On-Demand and more.
American Tobacco Campus has evolved from an abandoned industrial husk to a thriving hub for cutting edge companies, restaurants and festivals. In addition to longtime tenants Burt’s Bees and global advertising firm McKinney, American Tobacco recently welcomed a R&D arm of HTC. Late last year, Brooklyn-based Wireless Generation chose the campus for a development branch expressly because of its cultural verve and access to top talent.
American Underground (inside American Tobacco) is home to the most capitalized technology accelerator in the southeast, startups, a gaming incubator, and resources such as NC IDEA and CED The Underground has become a model for other cities eager to foster entrepreneurialism, and an attractive asset to larger companies looking for spark, ideas and talent.
Triangle Startup Factory, the most highly capitalized technology accelerator in the southeast, runs an intensive, three month program customized for early stage startup companies. Startups receive seed capital, hands-on mentorship, and access to a network of active angels, veteran startup founders, and experienced technology experts.
Digitalsmiths is the technology leader in video search and recommendation; with customers such as Warner Brothers and Paramount.
Argyle Social is a Durham based marketing software company committed to helping their customers “harness the social channel and bend it to their will.
Netsertive drives increased local sales opportunities and targeted online exposure by providing technology-driven, high-performance online marketing to businesses and their related brands.
Geomagic is a leading provider of 3D software for creating digital models of physical objects.
SciQuest helps organizations streamline their entire source-to-settle process, and is the only company that provides the scale, expertise and transparency that your organization requires to improve your bottom line.
Relevance delivers open source software solutions to help businesses succeed.
Sharefile/Citrix provides business solutions that are enabling mobile workstyles and powering cloud services.
NC Idea is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization created to serve as a catalyst for young, high-growth, technology companies in North Carolina. They help these innovative companies mainly by providing early financing in the form of grants.
Groundwork Labs is a catalyst to generate momentum for North Carolina startups and help prepare them for funding opportunities such as grants, accelerators, or angel investment.
Idea Fund Partners is a seed and early stage venture capital firm with offices in Durham, North Carolina and Orlando, Florida. They invest mainly in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, focusing on companies developing software, medical devices or other technologies where intellectual property is an important asset and source of differentiation from competitors.
Shoeboxed provides the fastest way to turn a pile of receipts into digital data for effortless expense reporting, accounting, bookkeeping, and tax preparation.
Bandwidth.com provides Internet and telephone solutions to power business.
ReverbNation provides a central site for musicians, producers, and venues to collaborate and communicate.
The Durham Chamber serves the needs of businesses, non-profits and government agencies of all sizes in the greater Durham-area.
The Escapist is a multiple Webby Award-winning internet site focusing on games and entertainment, and is the leading voice in videogame culture for 4 million fans worldwide. This year, The Escapist will host the Escapist Expo, North Carolina’s premier consumer convention, which will unite fans of videogames, tabletop games, comics, music and more in a celebration of everything great in multi-media escapisim.
Contactology is the go-to provider of email marketing software for white labeling, API integrations, enterprise and startups. Marketers know we’re the ESP they’ll never outgrow.
Total Server Solutions was founded in 2005 with the goal of providing unsurpassed support and technical services to the web hosting community. Over the years, Total Server Solutions has grown to offer some of the finest colocation facilities in the world as well as fully managed dedicated server offerings, custom solutions, and cloud computing services.
Thumb Friendly helps local businesses and national brands acquire new customers with powerful mobile marketing strategies. With web access at their fingertips, mobile users are ready to learn, ready to interact, and ready to buy; but a mobile optimized website is only the beginning. Our m360 Strategy Plan is a complete management program proven to drive new visitors to your site, retain them with a great user experience, and convert them into revenue generating customers. Our solution tracks and records visitor engagement through a sophisticated monitoring program. The real power behind m360 is our consultative approach to building a mobile marketing strategy. We provide detailed reports and analysis of your campaign’s performance which we use to refine your strategy to its optimal state. No contracts, just results!
Yovia is a People Engine – a technology that monetizes social media. Yovia enables individuals and businesses to spread the word® profitably and organically throughout Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+.
PrivateDocs is the first enterprise social network with a core emphasis of document management and collaboration among internal teams, personal and business relationships. Secure, fast and beautiful- PrivateDocs is the next generation of business collaboration. Come share with us- we’re Awesome!
Atlanta Capital is an SEC registered investment advisory firm that specializes in managing high quality stock and bond portfolios on behalf of institutional and individual investors. For over 40 years, Atlanta Capital has remained dedicated to a single investment philosophy which has been successfully executed over a variety of market conditions. Today, our philosophy is consistently applied across a broad range of traditional equity and fixed income investment strategies. We believe the experience and stability of our investment professionals are the hallmarks of our organization.
Levitate Media develops video for the tech market. We help companies explain their offerings more effectively through animation, 3D, motion graphics, live video capture, testimonials, and more. Our productions help simplify complex ideas and are viewed on websites, during sales presentations, at trade shows, and anywhere else video can be played.
The StartupChicks mission is to build a world-wide community of like-minded female founders, to educate, coach and mentor entrepreneurs to help accelerate their businesses, and to inspire aspiring female entrepreneurs to take the leap.
The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) is a startup accelerator that helps technology entrepreneurs in Georgia launch and build successful companies. Founded in 1980, ATDC has helped create millions of dollars in tax revenues by graduating more than 130 companies, which together have raised over a billion dollars in outside financing. Headquartered in Atlanta’s Technology Square, ATDC serves as the hub for technology entrepreneurship in Georgia. ATDC provides business incubation and acceleration services to hundreds of startups through coaching, connecting and community. Membership is open to all technology startup companies in Georgia, from those at the earliest conception stage to revenue generating, venture-fundable companies.
?Pardot is a B2B cloud marketing automation software provider that increases revenue and maximizes efficiency for companies with multi-touch sales cycles. Pardot’s platform features CRM integration, email marketing, lead nurturing, lead scoring and ROI reporting to help marketing and sales teams work together to generate and qualify sales leads, shorten sales cycles, and demonstrate marketing accountability. Pardot offers affordable pricing for the SMB market.
Social Fortress is data security and information privacy reinvented. Backed by the people who originally invented it. For both the enterprise and the consumer.
Badgy delivers “SEO for Social” for major brands, increasing the reach of their content on Facebook and Twitter. It’s the fastest and most seamless way for a brand to operate a social loyalty program. Most recently, we’ve made it dead simple to get any Facebook app page using the extremely effective Facebook Timeline Actions.
CodeGuard provides automatic cloud website backup and restore built upon Amazon Web Services: WordPress, MySQL, and FTP/SFTP. Restore files or entire sites whenever your want, and be notified when content on the site changes. Launched May 2011 at TechCrunch Disrupt – NYC, CodeGuard received the Audience Choice Award. Since then over 4 billion files have been examined and they recently announced the closure of a 1.3M Series A financing.
Collectors are the best consumers…crazy and passionate. CollectorDASH gives collectors a community-based experience making collecting more fun and affordable. With an innovative and integrated solution, the CollectorDASH platform is set to disrupt this multi-billion dollar market.
In the growing e-commerce market, small and medium businesses with online stores often choose to drop-ship products direct from supplier to customer to compete with the big players. eCommHub is a drop shipping platform that integrates with your online store to automate inventory management and order fulfillment through a third-party, effectively allowing you to expand product offerings, route orders intelligently, and minimize backorders. With its easy setup process and pay as you grow™ pricing, eCommHub can serve smaller online retailers, allowing them to grow their business, increase their margin and improve customer retention.
Employees today are publishing and sharing their valuable product and process optimization ideas almost everywhere except where they are needed the most – inside their own companies. What we do at IdeaString is help companies capture the innovation and genius of their employees, customers and partners —then efficiently identify the best ideas so they can put them to work in their own business – instead of having to read about it on the internet, in the media or even from a direct competitor. IdeaString’s patent-pending technology puts the human spirit at the center of innovation – every employee’s unique talents and behaviors are intelligently leveraged to optimize the innovation process for richer, more creative Ideas that equals more valuable outcomes for business.
We’re fans of innovation and we’re completely sold on startups. It’s in iFusion‘s DNA. In addition to providing chief marketing officer counsel on a fractional basis, we also provide a full-range of marketing services to emerging growth companies. We’ve been in the trenches and understand the unique demands of taking a start up from idea to market. Ours is a customer-centric approach to marketing that raises awareness, nurtures leads and generates revenues.
TAG educates, promotes, influences and unites Georgia’s technology community to foster an innovative and connected marketplace that stimulates and enhances Georgia’s tech-based economy.
Here’s the rest of the program:
Honda has long viewed itself as a mobility company, focused on creating new value for its customers and society through innovations developed from the initiative and original thinking of Honda associates around the world. The willingness to pursue new dreams for the customer, which Honda expresses as “The Power of Dreams,” has been at the core of the company’s success and comes not only from new ideas but also from the determination of Honda associates to make these ideas come true for the customer. By creating new value for its customers — and by focusing on areas of critical social concern, such as the environment — Honda hopes to gain recognition throughout the world as a company that society wants to exist.
NexTable started with an idea to make reservations better and more affordable to our restaurant community. NexTable was founded by a group of dedicated entrepreneurs, restaurateurs and developers. Together with the assistance of local restaurateurs and mentors, we are committed to serving the restaurant industry by creating a revolutionary iPad real-time reservation, table management and marketing system that simply excels in value, innovation, features, and ease of use. Our objective is to liberate restaurants from using manual booking systems and costly competitors.
Virtual Race Bags provides a fully-integrated online platform for Event Directors to efficiently and cost-effectively deliver sponsor messages to event participants. Much more than a simple “virtual goody bag,” Virtual Race Bags delivers sponsor deals, offers and messages to event participants using an online platform that is customized for each event. In addition, through our network of events, national brands can reach over 1.5MM participants in 2012. Virtual Race Bags was founded in 2010 by a team seeking to leverage their professional experience in the Endurance industry and as Athletes to help significantly improve upon the iconic race bag.
Founded by a team of compassionate doctors, WeRx.org believes that all patients deserve the right to be fully informed about their healthcare. WeRx.org provides a community of caring advocates and patients a platform to share and compare the most up-to-date prescription drug costs between their local and online pharmacies. If you believe that every American deserves the right to have access to their needed medications, join us!
Autopilot allows you to book a vetted, professional driver on demand when you can’t, shouldn’t, or simply don’t want to drive your own vehicle. You can reserve a driver with the push of a button, track their arrival, and enjoy the benefits of automated, cashless payments all from your mobile device.
mailVU.com provides an business video platform to service providers. Our API and private label accounts enable businesses to easily integrate video recording and distribution functionality into their own service. mailVU’s combination of mobile and computer apps allow real-time video recording of testimonials, pitches, applications, or personal messages and presentations. Customers access a private content library where videos can be viewed and managed, and then distributed in a variety of manners including social media, newsletters and email, or embedding onto websites.
Umatch combines cutting edge technology, proven research and retention principles, and dynamic machine learning into a proactive, holistic approach to improving enrollment yields, student retention rates, and graduation rates.
NEXT is an economic development program of the Greenville Chamber uniquely focused on the growth and attraction of early-stage knowledge-based companies in Greenville, South Carolina.
The Iron Yard provides innovation, education, coworking, mentorship, capital, and events for the technology and design communities.
The Upstate Carolina Angel Network, LLC (UCAN) is a group of accredited investors located in Upstate South Carolina who invest in and support start-up and early-stage, high-growth businesses in the Southeastern United States. Since its inception in 2008, UCAN has invested more than $5.6 million in 22 companies.
The mission of the Arthur M. Spiro Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership is to support educational, research and outreach programs that promote entrepreneurial activity and economic development of the region, state and nation. The focus is on wealth creation through entrepreneurial activity.
Dealer Ignition is the fastest, easiest, most effective way for brands and dealers to market online.
Servosity’s Mission is to: Deliver Mission-Critical Backup and Disaster Recovery to MSPs and IT Resellers in a way that makes their brain do the happy-dance.
Mailprotector provides a suite of SaaS based email security and management solutions to over 3,000 organizations across six continents.
Foxfire specializes in Warehouse Management Software solutions and services. Our warehousing software is available as Level 1: Inventory Management, Level 2: WMS Express, and Level 3: WMS Enterprise. Foxfire warehousing software is ideal for start-up to mid-sized warehouses that want to optimize production and processes. Foxfire WMS provides the flexibility to use the system as is or to configure to exact specifications.
RAP Index is a key contacts software service, developed by advocacy experts for advocacy professionals, that uses a patent-pending scoring process to decisively identify and measure the Relationships, Advocability and Political Capital of an organization’s stakeholders, to find their key contacts and activate their best messengers. RAP Index is an indispensable service that helps organizations Know Who They Know? from the Capital to Main Street.
Fusion Web Clinic is the smartest Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system in therapy. It is the first and only system that automatically keeps track of daily, required tasks for each staff member, and graphs patient progress. Fusion allows you to work smarter, not harder.
Vigilix helps companies improve the value of their technical support services through PCI validated proactive monitoring and remote access. Currently over 20,000 systems are supported by companies using Vigilix’s POS Monitoring & Management solution.
ProActive Technology delivers dynamic solutions to help clients identify what data is necessary for improved business performance and then to develop the most efficient software for that purpose. Specializations include SharePoint Development, Custom Programming, and Database Management. ProActive provides fully-managed, worry-free custom software development that’s sensitive to your budget, schedule, and business model.
Loc Engine: You are here. They are there. Let’s share. Real-time tracking and location management.
tribr is taking the hassle out getting together with a group of your friends. More fun with your tribe, and less hassle!
Pathwright is a platform for creating, teaching, and selling beautiful online courses.
Eleos Technologies is on a mission to eradicate fax machines from the face of the earth. Our cloud- based mobile platform enables businesses to capture documents and photos from remote workers and customers.
When The Book of Gossage was first released in the mid-90′s, I was a student in ad school. I’d never heard of Howard Gossage or seen his work, but his philosophy about advertising and his work clearly had an influence on many ad professionals. Still, he remained a bit of an enigma, a sort-of cult favorite among ad people.
Thankfully, British author and veteran adman Steve Harrison has written a wonderful new biography of Gossage entitled Changing the World is the Only Fit Work for a Grown Man that takes a closer look at the man, his business, and his work.
Harrison talked at length with Gossage’s business parters and other people who were frequent guests at his agency, famously located in a old San Francisco firehouse. Sadly, Howard Gossage died in 1969. But much of his work (reprinted in the book) features reader engagement ideas and some very innovative calls to action. So you can definitely connect his print-based, copy-heavy work with a lot of the interactive and multi-faceted ideas we see today.
I spoke with Harrison about his new book, and the legacy of Howard Gossage:
Q. Why did you decide to write a book about Howard Gossage?
A. He was a hero and, my goodness, we need one or two of those at the moment. By that I mean he’s a role model not just to advertising people but for everyone who feels the individual is nowadays powerless in face of forces beyond their control. When he saw a problem, he didn’t complain about it. He’d say, “You can’t stop dogs pissing on fire hydrants” (a more elegant form of the current: “shit happens”) and set about putting things right. If this meant taking on forces stronger than himself, then he welcomed the fight … spending his own money, then he stuck his hand in his pocket … courting controversy, then he relished the spotlight.
This made him the kind of old fashioned “can do” paragon who is so rare in today’s dependency culture. Whereas we’re only too willing to defer to the state, the government, the corporation or whatever big institution we see as controlling our destiny, Gossage would have rejected this as another pernicious form of consumerism. I think his is a very uplifting and inspirational story. If Frank Capra was around today, he’d have made a film about Gossage.
Q. You mention that you first read Howard’s book “Is there any hope for advertising?” when you came across it in the Ogilvy & Mather NYC office library. As someone who was a Creative Director and later, agency owner, did you ever try to apply Howard’s philosophy to your own work?
A. Gossage was the first adman to see PR as an integral part of his campaigns. So, if it’s possible to be an “early adopter” thirty years after the event, I’d say our agency was one of the first to emulate him. And we were emulating him. I made everyone at HTW read The Book of Gossage and from that came a style of work that got noticed by the media. And then by awards judges – I think we won more Cannes Direct Lions than any agency in the world. Some of those Cannes Lions were for the press and posters we did for M&G Investments. That campaign was our six year long homage to Howard Gossage.
Q. What’s the one (or two) biggest misconceptions people who are familiar with Howard have about him?
Many people believe he hated advertising. He just hated the thoughtless crap that predominated (and still does). As the personal letters that he wrote to his friends Barrows and Dagmar Mussey show, he had a lot of respect for Bill Bernbach’s work, and he admired David Ogilvy to the extent that, on occasion, he even showed him his ads before sending them to print.
The other misconception is that he was an idealist who spurned the opportunity to make money. Yes, he was an idealist but, again as his personal letters indicate, he was pretty shrewd with the money. For example, in 1957, Gossage was charging clients a minimum of $50,000 a project (that’s $420,000 in today’s money). The agency was never more than 12 strong, so that’s quite a lot of profit coming in (and Gossage knew how to spend it).
Moreover, on the occasion when he famously resigned Paul Masson Wines “because I don’t like the advertising I’m doing”, he’d anticipated that he was going to be fired and got his resignation in first. Even smarter was his manoeuvring to hold on to the bits of the account that were making money and recommending that the labor-intensive advertising go to DDB.
Q. If Howard were alive today and still working in advertising, what type of work would he be doing? How would he be using today’s technology for his clients?
I know that Gossage invented interactive in the 1950s and I everyone says, “Oh Howard would be having a ball with social media”. But I think Facebook has proven to be most useful in customer service and the hygiene aspects of brand relationships – which were exactly the bits of the job that bored Gossage rigid. He much preferred the big galvanising ideas that got everyone talking. Which means he’d have been the master of the PR Ad events that now lie at the core of every big award winning campaign you care to mention.
As to the type of work; someone recently said Howard would be writing coruscating copy about the bankers. He probably would. But he was also a great believer in personal volition and honesty and I suspect he’d also be pointing out the unpalatable truth that individuals have a responsibility for managing debt.
Having said all that, it amuses me when people tell me what Gossage would be doing and thinking now. He was such a contrarian that he’d probably be appalled to discover that his interactive style and PR Ad events are now the orthodox approach. And he was such an original thinker that it’s dumb to shoe-horn him into out our own ideological positions.
Q. How important is it for today’s young creatives to learn and appreciate Howard’s story?
A. Back to question 1. He was a “can do” hero and I think that’s what our respective countries need now if we’re going to get ourselves out of the economic – and moral – mire.
On a slightly more prosaic level, young creatives (and old) must understand his most important message about advertising; that thing about “People read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad.” What he meant by that was: don’t try to write a better ad than anyone else; that’s easy. What you’ve got to do is write something that is more interesting than everything else surrounding the ad. So, for example, in the press, you’ve got to write something more interesting than the editorial. That’s what he strove to do. And that’s why, as Jeff Goodby says, “the best of Gossage is the best advertising ever done.”
Stop pretending to be a rap star. That’s the note on the front page of California Headphones’ website and the driving philosophy behind the company’s Laredo and Silverado headphones. You see, these headphones, much like Beats By Dr. Dre, are targeting a specific demographic with clear marketing and unique styling. But these headphones are more than just looking the part. They’re tuned to better match the musical style of rock and country, with less pounding bass and a heaver investment in mids and highs.
California Headphones is onto something here and has turned to Kickstarter to help advance the cause. The lifestyle headphone market has long focused on the urban culture. Since these headphones are tuned to match rap and R&B’s style, they often do not reproduce rock or country accurately. Sure, there are always the great standby options of Sennheiser, Shure and other traditional audio companies, but more often than not, the styling is anything but inspiring. There’s nothing wrong with wanting good looking headphones.
The headphones play the part very well, too. I found the audio and build quality to exceed the norm at their respective price points. The $199 Silverado’s are built very solid, with large foam surrounds and a comfortable over-the-head leather band all held together with a sturdy metal frame. The 40mm driver is clearly built to focus on the mids and highs, but the bass is sufficient as well (the large foam surrounds help a lot). The imaging is very good and the headphones have a very large virtual soundstage.
The $99 Laredo is probably the best bet, though. Hitting at $100 less than the over-the-ear Silverados, the on-ear Lardeos are a better value, feel a little better on the head and have most of the audio quality found in the more expensive model. Unfortunately the less expensive models do not fold up, kind of negating the draw of owning smaller headphones.
Tim Hickman, CEO of California Headphones, tells TechCrunch that Kickstarter allows the company to ramp up production quicker than through traditional means. Rather than placing small orders, waiting for them to sell, receiving payment, and then repeating, the $100k they hope to receive from Kickstarter will eliminate the need to place separate orders. Plus, with Kickstarter, the company gets to interact with hundreds of buyers prior to the product’s release.
California Headphones turned to Kickstarter for its first round of units. As of this post’s writing, the company has raised $35k in pre-orders. If successful, backers will get a set of headphones at a significant discount from the eventual MSRP. Pledge $65 to get a Laredo or $135 for the Silverado.
- How the 10 Words have come from both his early life and also through the experience of leading a successful retailer
- What he learned from writing the book.
- Truth – why business is bad at confronting reality and why the truth is vital.
- How the way a corporation thinks is so vital to success
- How being led by the consumer created a new culture and more value for shareholders and customers
- How the customer can be incorporated into the business strategy and even save you money!
- How to assign responsibility to put the customer first
- The 5 stages of getting something to happen
- How technology should free to people to human not replace them
- How data is only valuable if you use it to create customer loyalty and how marketing should use data
- How and why Tesco created Clubcard and what data is for…
- The paradox of the abundance of choice and the need to help customers make choices
- How to learn from competitors rather than dismissing their weaknesses
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