January 15, 2016

PR (or AR) pitch emails

I believe:

My support for these views includes:

My top tip for pitch emails is: Approve the pitch emails a PR firm writes before they are sent out!!!! There are two big reasons for this:  Read more

September 18, 2015

Third-party quotes in press releases

I’m generally a skeptic about the value of press releases. However:

So my current opinion is:

That fits with my general view that press releases:

That brings me to the subject of this post: third-party press release quotes. For starters, I think the following are pretty obvious: Read more

March 1, 2015

Marketing advice for young companies

Much of what I get paid for is advising early-stage companies, especially on messaging and marketing. So let’s try to pull some thoughts together.

For early-stage companies, I’d say:

Of course, these subjects are much discussed in this blog. The top three overview posts for young companies are probably:  Read more

July 3, 2012

Marketing communication essentials

I’m often asked how early-stage IT vendors should prioritize their marketing communications, and specifically their investment in collateral. They don’t have nearly the budget or management bandwidth to do everything; so what should they do first?

Most commonly, my answer is a variant on:

Beyond that, I’d say:

Where, by way of contrast, do I favor being frugal? Read more

June 5, 2012

Sizzle vs. smoke

All marketing communications attempt to cast their subject in a favorable light. I get that. But when your claim is obvious nonsense, you’re just doing yourself harm.

My best example this week (it’s only Tuesday morning) is an email from Vitria, which reads in part:

The world’s first Operational Intelligence (OI) app …

While it seems like everyone is jumping on the big data bandwagon, only OI can claim to be purposely built for tackling big data in motion …

That’s utter nonsense. We’ve had a CEP/stream processing industry for years. We’ve had stock-quote and network-monitoring systems for decades. Maybe Vitria has a good story, but the core claims in their email are obviously false. If you think I’m overreacting, it’s only because so many other companies also pitch blatantly untrue claims.

So do I want to talk with them? Well, their email suggests that if I do, they’re likely to start out by emphatically saying untrue things. Blech. I think most serious reporters, bloggers and analysts would feel much as I do on the matter. Even the ones who do take a briefing are likely to go in with a more negative attitude than they might if the pitch email had been more closely based on reality.

And if I do ever talk with Vitria anyway, they’ll need to start by climbing out of a credibility hole.

March 24, 2011

A PR choice

Choose one.

Asking for an embargo on information already in the public domain is really lame.

March 22, 2011

Public and analyst relations: An example of epic fail

I post from time to time about stupid PR tricks, but last night I had an experience that was a whole different level of appalling, for reasons of ethics and general incompetence alike. Within hours, the vendor’s CEO had emailed me that the offending PR person would be terminated this morning.*

*By the way, that means an intriguing New England startup needs a new PR firm. By tomorrow it should be obvious who I mean.

It started as an ordinary kind of bad pitch. The PR rep emailed offering a briefing with a mystery company. I immediately deduced that the company was one I was in fact set up to talk with today, and had indeed been writing about since 2009. Besides being annoyed that I’d had to scramble to set up my own last-moment briefing with a company I’d led the way in writing about, I also bristled at the fact that the pitch included quotes from a couple of my competitors, whom I shall unimaginatively refer to as Dave and Merv.* So far, no big deal.

*Both personally and professionally, they’re two of my favorites. Even so, I dislike being told that I should use them as authority figures to be copied in my own view formation.

But then it occurred to me that those quotes probably weren’t approved, but instead were just lifted in an unauthorized manner from conversations, and indeed probably didn’t reflect the analysts’ precise views. So I messaged Dave and Merv. Shortly thereafter, the PR rep emailed me:

Neither David or Merv have authorized the quote for publication.  It was sent in error to you, as I had believed you had agreed to the sharing of confidential information.

The bulk of my response to that — and the essence of this post — was:  Read more

February 28, 2011

Quotes from analysts in vendor press releases

For the second straight post, I’m mixing the general and the personal. Sorry!

I jumped into an #ARchat on Twitter Tuesday, and set off a discussion about the subject of analyst quotes in press releases. Since that chat has been blogged, starting with a partly accurate* paraphrase of my views, I figure I may as well state those myself.  Read more

January 26, 2011

What technology influencers really think about certain PR tactics

The following is a transcript of an actual IM exchange I had a few hours ago.

Bottom line: PR shouldn’t be a pompous ass, either on its own behalf or the client’s.

Read more

April 1, 2010

Often the best press release is the one you DON’T issue

I recently received an email that started

ENTERPRISEDB CEO ED GOES WITH THE BUFFET AT LOCAL SIZZLER FOLLOWING SPEECH AT OPEN SOURCE BUSINESS CONFERENCE

SAN FRANCISCO — EnterpriseDB CEO Ed Boyajian rejected a wide array of fixed, rigid, printed menu options at a local Sizzler this week in favor of the restaurant chain’s sprawling buffet.

“It was clear that the open, free, unconstrained nature of the buffet was the right choice,” Boyajian said.

This is not an April Fool’s joke. I really received that email a couple of weeks ago. True, it was a spoof, and came from somebody unaffiliated with EnterpriseDB. But the real EnterpriseDB press release it was spoofing was almost as bad, starting  Read more

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