07/23/14

The Future of Television Might Not Be Televised: Aero Fights Back

By Dennis Anderson, Katja Schroeder, Robert Wu

Source: http://dpo.st/1lv20bM

Source: http://dpo.st/1lv20bM

Social media was a buzz in July about the World Cup events. The final game between Germany and Brazil was the most-tweeted sports event with 35.6 million tweets [1].  Where to watch the games and what countries’ teams were playing were among the different topics trending through various social media channels.  Many had simply planned to watch the games using their mobile devices through a platform known as Aereo. Subscribers pay a fee in exchange for almost real-time cable content streamed to their Internet-connected device. However, many of those subscribers who had planned to use Aereo to watch the games were largely left in the lurch, as service was abruptly suspended on June 28, 2014 in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in American Broadcasting Cos., Inc. v. Aereo, Inc.[2]. In that ruling, six Justices of the Court agreed the nature of Aereo’s streaming video service infringed upon the copyrights of television broadcasting companies.

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06/20/14

Northside Tradeshow 2014 Roundup

By Julian Steinforth, Expedition PR

northside_stageOn June 12- 13, 2014 technologists, hackers, entrepreneurs and artists came together for the annual Northside Tradeshow, which was held as part of the Northside Festival in Brooklyn and featured tracks on innovation, music and film. A range of companies, from mobile apps to 3D printing companies, and vertical garden manufacturers, had set up a booth in the giant 50,000-square-foot tent in the McCarren Park. Expedition PR was also part of this year’s exhibitors, offering PR and marketing counsel to startups and free copies of its Startup Marketing eBook series.

Here are three cool companies that I spotted at the festival:

Ussemble, an app that lets you capture and share ideas for activities that you’re interested in doing with your friends and make plans around those ideas. The Ussemble team is still testing and perfecting their app, but you can already download it and give feedback.
Tiggly, a New York-based company that develops interactive toys and apps for the digital generation. Their debut product, Tiggly Shapes, combines physical objects with iPad technology and creates great learning games for children between 18 months and 4 years old. The app helps toddlers and preschoolers develop spatial reasoning, motor skills, language, and creativity.

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06/17/14

3 Easy Ways to Measure the Impact of Your Communications Campaign

By Katja Schroeder, Expedition PR

 
Stan-05-PerceptionMeasuring the results of a public relations campaign goes beyond counting clips. While it is gratifying to read a positive story about your company in the Wall Street Journal or TechCrunch, it is even more gratifying to evaluate the story’s business impact.  Some measurement methods can show how the article shapes the perception about your company and trigger behavioral changes, such as website visits and downloads.

As a general rule of thumb, PR professionals look at three types of levels for campaign measurement:  communications output, communications outtakes and communications outcomes.

Communications output is the most basic way of measurement, evaluating the communications tools and materials that were used for the launch, such as press releases and social media posts.

Communications outtakes evaluate what has been achieved in terms of key message penetration and stakeholder engagement. Metrics include quantitative and qualitative media coverage analysis, share of voice, event attendance, Twitter chat attendance, number of social media likes and followers, and email newsletter opening rates. Outtakes measurements look at who engaged with the company and what was written/said about the company. However, we still don’t know how the outtakes have shaped the perception about the company and whether they have triggered behavioral changes.

This is why looking at communications outcomes is the best form of measurement. You can gage the actual impact of your communications program on the stakeholder perception and behavior; how the program moved the needle for your business. Metrics include perception audits, social media sentiment analysis and, in some cases, lead generation.

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06/12/14

8 Tips on How to Get Market Visibility on a Shoestring Budget as a Startup

by Katja Schroeder, Expedition PR

Startup New Business Project With Rocket Image Development And LAs a startup, chances are that you only have a limited budget for your marketing program. However, getting market visibility is crucial to your business success. How can you compete against large companies with vast marketing resources? Public relations can be a powerful and efficient tool to reach your customers, if used smartly. While you might not have the same marketing budget as your competitor, your advantage will be speed and focus. Following are eight PR and marketing tips to get your company on the map.

1. Focus on key influencer network: Scan the media, the blogosphere, social media and industry events to identify the top 15-20 influencers in your sector (media, analysts, academics, etc.).
2. Compile corporate quick facts: Develop a one-page backgrounder on your business:  who you are, and what you offer to whom.  Include third party validation, such as awards and market stats, as available. Turn technical language into simple words that clearly explain the business value of your product or services. If your grandmother can understand your description, you’re good to go. Post it on your site and social media platforms like LinkedIn and Google+.
3. Include key words in press materials.  Make a list of your top 10 key words. Use GoogleAdwords’ search-based keyword tool to find the right key words that improve your search engine pick up and website traffic. Use those key words consistently in your website and press materials and as tags.

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05/27/14

A Few Tips to Start Your Crowdfunding Campaign

By Julian Steinforth, Expedition PR

 

Crowd Funding Button.

Crowd Funding

To find out more about crowdfunding best practices, I recently attended the webinar “Learnings from Crowdfunding” with and the author Johanna Lehmann, author of “How to Love San Francisco” who is currently running her own campaign on Indiegogo. The webinar was hosted by EFactor Webinar.

Here is a quick recap of what companies should do to run a successful crowdfunding campaign.

A successful crowdfunding campaign needs planning in advance. There are three different stages that you have to consider, I) activities before the campaign II) activities during the campaign and III) activities after the campaign.

 

 I. Before the campaign

To ensure coverage of your crowdfunding campaign, start engaging with bloggers, reporters and journalists before you launch the campaign. Similarly, you need to build your social media channels prior to the campaign in order to have the reach to create some buzz at the launch. Facebook and Twitter are both highly effective channels for promoting a crowdfunding campaign. Invest some time – and maybe even some money – in your video. The funding community will most likely decide if they want to support you while watching the video. If they don’t like your video, they probably won’t even read the campaign’s summary. Also use crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo and if your campaign is film related we suggest Seed&Spark. People trust those platforms.

 II. During the campaign

Don’t aim too high for your financial campaign goal. You can run a series of crowdfunding campaigns; which means that you launch your first crowdfunding campaign to collect, for example, money for your prototype. In a second campaign you collect money for marketing activities. Remember that 30% of the donations will most likely be from friends and family. So make sure they know about your project first and contribute early on. This initial interest will encourage others to follow suit.

Your campaign summary should be as visual as possible; try to be emotional and give your campaign a personal touch. Do not use “Please guys, I need your help” sentences. Instead tell them why they should support you and what value you are bringing to them.

Try to offer exclusive or limited perks in your campaign. Don’t offer more than nine different perks. Also, think about cross marketing – is there another crowdfunding project with which you can exchange perks? Are there companies or friends you can partner with to offer exclusive perks?

To support the first days of your campaign organize a launch party for friends and family a day before you officially launch your crowdfunding campaign. Invite them for brunch, dinner or a glass of champaign and make sure they will support you during the first days after your launch. Put some thoughts in finding the right day for the launch of your campaign – usually Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days for crowdfunding launches. Schedule your campaign during a week in which YOU are not too busy, as running a crowdfunding campaign takes time. You will be busy promoting the campaign via social media, e- mail and phone calls.

After your campaign started, update your campaign about three times a week. Add new photos, introduce new perks or update the video and summery text.

III. After the campaign

If you were successful – good for you! But the work is not over yet. Make sure to thank everybody, send out the perks, and let them know what you are using the money for.  Stay in touch with your supporters. Think about what worked well, and what can work better next time. For example, what channel was the most successful to attract supporters?  What perks were the most popular? Chances are, you’ll be running another crowdfunding campaign, and you can perfect the art of running a crowdfunding campaign with every time.

04/8/14

NYC Startups, Know Your Incubators

By Andrés Uribe, Expedition PR

While there’s a lot of talk about startups in NYC and incubators to help fuel these growing businesses, not all incubators are one size fits all. Fact is, no matter what type of company it is that you’re working on, there is an incubator for you. Here are a few incubators to consider based off the type of company you’re trying to start.

2ec5098544966b82ff20a8b8898e8295Food – Hot Bread Kitchen Incubates
Perhaps one of the most obvious startup business categories that is going to need a little more than high speed internet and a shared conference room is the food category. Once you’ve outgrown your home kitchen, it’s time to give Hot Bread Kitchen (HBK) Incubates a call. HBK is a culinary incubator and business development program. As a member of HBK’s incubator, you will have the chance to rent commercial kitchen space at well below market rates, as well as attend commercial kitchen training courses and culinary workshops. You will also be immersed in a culture of food entrepreneurs with unique businesses and small but strong menu/product lines. Continue reading

03/14/14

Preparing For Your Product Launch: Knowing When You’re Ready

By Andrés Uribe, Expedition PR

Before you launch your product there are two important questions you have to ask yourself: 1) If everyone I’m alerting about my product’s launch decided to check out what I have to offer, am I prepared to offer them all a great customer experience? 2) If they all told three of their friends who ended up also checking out my product in the near future, will I be able to provide these new customers with the same great customer experience?

Harrison Interactive Customer Experience Impact ReportCustomer experience and scalability are the two essential factors to knowing you’re ready to launch your product. According to the 2013 Harris Interactive Customer Experience Report, 86% of consumers report to having quit doing business with a company due to a single negative customer experience. If you answered no to either of the previous two questions, then you are not ready to launch. If you answered ‘I think so’ or ‘maybe’ to either or both of these questions, don’t worry, there is a solution for you too. Continue reading

01/31/14

Technical.ly Brooklyn Puts a Spotlight On Diversity In Tech

By Julian Steinforth, Expedition PR

Picture by @TechnicallyBK

Picture by @TechnicallyBK

On Tuesday Technical.ly Brooklyn, a news organization and community builder covering technology,  hosted the “DIVERSITY In/ Tech” event at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center. After a warm welcome by Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams the event started with a panel discussion on the state of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. As these disciplines gain increasing importance in our current economy, so too does the necessity of STEM education in an effort to ensure future generations are equipped with the proper skills for the work force of tomorrow. But when does early specialization overburdens children and teenagers? All participators in the roundtable agreed that early education should be “well rounded”, and not pursuing the goal of breeding young adults with skills to serve corporations. Stephanie Cuskley of NPower also added that the perspective matters. Some people who come from a socially deprived background must make finding a job a primary driver of the educational path they choose.

Schools need to adapt technology further in their curriculum and open it to a wider range of students. Ben Esner, director at K-12 STEM Education, said that after the computer and internet have become part of our daily life in the past 50 years there are still no standards or requirements in NY State for computer science teachers in middle or high school.

Education will include more technology in the future, but there is a big need of qualified, educated role models who can reach out to the children.

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11/12/13

Fluent in Facebook, Basic Knowledge in Twitter: Student Entrepreneurs Diving Into Social Media Marketing

By Katja Schroeder, Expedition PR

According to the Kaufman Foundation, about 85% of all new jobs in the nation stem from entrepreneurial ventures. Companies like Google, Facebook, Reddit and FedEx proved that companies can successfully be started during college. Founding a company does not require a stint in the corporate world.  It can happen any time when you have the right idea. And, large corporations are also now looking for employees with an entrepreneurial spirit, to drive creativity and promote a “can-do” attitude. But an idea is not enough. Entrepreneurs, especially student entrepreneurs, need help with financing, operations, HR, and marketing.

Committed to assisting Brooklyn’s and New York City’s entrepreneurs, St. Francis College launched the SFC Center for Entrepreneurship. The center is providing classes, tools and academic research to support budding and existing entrepreneurs in the city. The first cohort of 18 students started this semester to learn the fundamentals of creating and running a business.

afkj-300x200I met the inaugural class of the Entrepreneurship Center last week to give a talk on how startups can use social media marketing.

At the beginning of each class, I typically survey what types of social media channels the students are familiar with. Millennials are the Facebook generation. 99%-100% of the students in my class are on Facebook to connect with their friends and family. They get their news on Facebook and YouTube, as opposed to newspapers. About 30-50% use Twitter and Instagram. Less than 5% are familiar with Pinterest and location-based applications like Foursquare. Even less students, about 1-2 in each class, use LinkedIn. No big bloggers or Yelpers, so far.

While budding student entrepreneurs have a great opportunity to apply their experience with using social media for their personal life to marketing their business, they asked the same question as any other entrepreneurs: How do I best use social media to engage with my customers? And, how do I start developing a good social media strategy?

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10/22/13

3D Printing: Is That Really A Thing?

By Andrés Uribe, Expedition PR

Look at the past 20 articles on TechCrunch, Wired, ZDNet, or any other tech/startup publication and you’ll probably see something about 3D printing. But walk over to your neighbor’s house and ask to use their 3D printer and prepare yourself for one of those ‘I-can’t-really-tell-if-he’s-kidding-or-if-he’s-gone-crazy-faces’. So for all this talk of 3D printing, where are all the 3D printers? Or at least where can I find something that has been created using a 3D printer? Here are 3 places to find a product of 3D printing technology that isn’t ad supported.

Blizzident Ever wish you could brush your teeth, tongue, and floss all at the same time? Well now there is a product just for this, and it’s 3D printed. In just 6 seconds Blizzident gives you the perfect oral clean that your mouth has been begging for.

In order to have one made, you must first go to your dentist and have a dental impression done. This dental impression is then sent to a lab where the Blizzident team will access it in order to create the 3D printed toothbrush that’s custom built to your mouth. Once you have your toothbrush, simply use your tongue to spread toothpaste on your teeth, then bite down on the brushes for about 6 seconds. The process looks something like this.

3D print sneakerFilaflex Sneakers – While you can’t exactly go out and buy these sneakers yet, it is possible to have them made for you through a company like Shapeways. The Filaflex sneakers shown in the above link are just one of an endless possibilities that can be created using Filaflex, an extremely durable and elastic material that can be used with 3D printers. This material, sold by Recreus in a variety of colors, fits most 3D printers and can be stretched up to 700% before breaking. The design for this shoe can be downloaded on the Recreus website. Check out this awesome video to see just what this stuff can do.

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