Wednesday, October 29, 2008

LinkedIn's Applications

Hi all, it's been a while since I last posted. With the market gyrating and Sequoia's famous powerpoint presentation scaring the bejesus out of everyone (btw, you should read this is you haven't already), I've been busy focusing on new business development activities and developing a new marketing initiative. I believe in the theory that companies that can invest in marketing to maintain positive cash flow and compete effectively in a downturn can take market share and drive some competitors out of business.

One company that seems to have the same approach is LinkedIn. They announced the launch of their applications platform today. I've been very impressed with the groups feature they added earlier this year. In terms of traffic to my website, and generating conversations, it's the best, most immediate return on my investment of time, I find.

I'm eager to explore the apps they currently offer and I'm excited to see what apps are developed down the road. My concern however is that LinkedIn will have to gradually loosen the restrictions on contacting people you don't know. Now, any email you receive is going to be legitimate and, most likely, worthwhile to read. It would be a shame if they killed the golden goose by letting LinkedIn turn into a spam machine.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Oscar Fuster! ePok! Straight to the Point podcast!!

Yes, it's very exciting! Last week, I was lucky enough to sit down with Oscar Fuster, the VP of Marketing and Strategic Alliances at ePok, an access management software company based in Bethesda, MD. Oscar is an experienced marketer having lead marketing teams at iGov, International data Products, SMS Data Products Group. He shares his experiences working in growth environments and the impact of social media. Oscar's been with ePok for less than a year- would you market ePok differently?

(In the interests of transparency, ePok and Strategic (my firm) are working together. We were picked to develop and run the social media/PR aspect of Oscar's marketing strategy.)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Creativity and BMW GINA

At work, we talk a lot about creativity and creating content that has a "wow" factor. A PR agency, at heart, is about creating content that is entertaining a well as engaging and educational and then distributing it to the right audience at the right time. Being creative and/or innovative, however, is hard.

I think it's hard because it's so rarely seen. Our imaginations seem to have a difficult time re-imagining common things or creating entirely new things.

So, when I saw the following YouTube video from the folks at BMW, I thought, "this is a true example of re-imagining a known thing, playing around with the idea and seeing what it does." Usually, I think, you end up with something that has a "wow" factor.

Check it out for yourself!

Links, Links, Links

I'm not sure the technology world is going to be hurt as much as the housing, finance and industrial markets are. Dealflow seems to be strong. However, given the impending collapse of western civilization, here are some interesting datapoints for the world to enjoy:

Blogging for Dollars: Slate's Michael Agger gives a overview (for dummies) of the blogosphere and how bloggers make $$ for all the people who are going to be laid off this year.

FDA Takes End Run to Award Contract to PR Firm A local PR agency continues its epic quest to be the scuzziest PR agency in America.

No Credit Crunch in the Channel According to eWeek, there is plenty of cash in the tech world and no signs of scarce credit, unlike our friends in finance, homebuilding or industry. Of course, this could change at any moment I guess

Pirates reveal new side with spokesperson Somali pirates contact NY Times to tell their side of the story, according to PR Week.

I'll be posting my notes from Interact08 later on, but check out Rohit Bhargava's Top 5 Takeaways here in the meantime.

Silicon Valley Goes Dry Lastly, Red Herring's Ken Schachter reports on the shutting of the IPO and M&A windows. Tech companies are going to have to grow organically a little longer than they thought before cashing out.

And the NASDAQ is only down 3.5% today!! Yay!