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First, Cause No Confusion

First, a caution: This item will read like a rant, but there is a point. I recently emailed a PR firm to check the status of a vendor’s product. The only update I needed to finish my story was whether their client’s software had moved from it’s previous alpha (early test) status into beta (customer […]

Positioning Paralysis

I recently completed a positioning project that highlighted some of the more dangerous black holes a vendor can fall into in trying to explain their technology. This client wanted to 1) describe their new, complex “secret sauce” technology while 2) explaining how these new capabilities would work with older, more well-known technologies to 3) create […]

Going Public Too Soon

PR agencies and investors constantly wrestle with the question of when to announce a new company or a new product. Going public too long before product actually ships and you run the risk of peaking too soon – getting editors, analysts and customers jazzed about your product, only to have them lose interest (or dismiss […]

Explaining OEM Deals

I recently ran into a friend at a trade show who had a batch of great news, including the fact that a major OEM had just adopted his software in favor of technology the OEM had tried to develop internally. He was justifiably thrilled that this well-known OEM had in effect admitted his start-up did […]

What Works, What Doesn’t: Me-Too Claims

What Works, What Doesn’t: Me-Too Claims My daughter is currently attending college information sessions, and the other day complained about how useless most of them are. “Everyone uses almost the same words when they talk about how you’ll `get to work closely with professors,`” she complained. “And every dean of admissions tells us that life […]

Talking to Yourself

Watching somebody talk to themselves is always an upsetting experience. It’s even worse when that someone is a customer, they’ve hired you to help them communicate with the outside world and they’re still only talking to themselves. I recently had this experience writing a white paper for a large technology company promote its technology licensing […]

How to Offer An Expert Source

Offering an expert source to comment on a news event is a time-tested and perfectly honorable way to pitch a client to the media. But often such pitches are so vague they reduce your chances of success. I recently received an e-mail offering a source to discuss "the Yahoo-Zimbra deal or the Mozilla Thunderbird announcement." […]

A Newsy Pitch That Worked

About a week before the launch of Windows Vista, I got the following e-mail from Courtney Smith, PR coordinator at network security vendor Still Secure. "As you may know, Microsoft is launching Windows Vista for enterprise customers tomorrow.  While Vista brings promises of better security, it only marks the client phase for Microsoft Network Access […]

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