Friday, October 29, 2010

Around the World I Go

I love to travel.

Luckily since I've settled in the new job there have been trips to NYC, DC, Oregon and of course San Francisco.

However, FINALLY I'm planning a trip to India and then Russia. I've been friends with Maria for 12 years and now finally the much discussed trip to Russia is happening in June 2011.

The finalization of these plans clearly warranted this post.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Figuring out Social Media

I attended a Girls In Tech “Click” event which coincidently was the same day I finished reading Brian Solis’ book, Engage. Here are my thoughts…

Now that I can call myself a PR professional I have to say that the way social networking was in college was completely different. I thought I was savvy I thought I knew Twitter and Facebook… but, I know oh so very much now! Twitter was used on a personal level and now it’s become my professional portal to connect with reporters and various members in the industry.

For those who are not currently getting down and dirty in the world of twitter, Solis makes a great point, “Business will evolve, customers will gain in prominence, and brands will humanize – with or without you.”

I couldn’t have realized this more than I have in the last seven months. By engaging in social media, facebooking genuine and real queries to those who can provide me with thoughtful answers, I’ve been able to get the answers I want.

At the Girls to Tech Event in San Francisco yesterday co-author, Ori Braffman, discussed the psychological and biological occurrences when a networking connection is made.

He cited a study where three women attended a 20 session seminar. The first woman only attended five times, the second 10 times and the third 20 times. All three women were told not to talk to anybody and sit in the back of the seminar. When other audience members who attended the seminar nobody remembered any of the women however they thought (through "subconscious connection") that the woman who attended all the sessions was the nicest.

I’m a fervent believer that a good PR professional knows (or will one day know) when s/he is becoming a pest. Only making connections when the particular PR individual needs something and offering nothing in return. When speaking to David Gelles, reporter at the Financial times who owns the Social Media beat, he said he simply wants to meet somebody who has something interesting to say. It shouldn’t be rehearsed and it shouldn’t be frivolous. Frankly, following David’s advice simply means you be yourself, right?

Ori discussed being vulnerable to the person you are networking with. I think this is great advice, whether in your personal or professional life if you’re genuine about your fears, your pride, and your goals the bond is strengthen. Of course, there is somewhat of a paradox to online relationships (as is mentioned in 2 Lessons from Google’s 216-Page Social Media Manifesto), “We seek information from a broad network of people, like Yelpers and blog commenters. But we want to share information with a much narrower network of people.”

I know this post was a little all over the place, but there’s a buzz of social media information floating around in my brain. I’m loving putting it into action – great way to sort it out ;)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Book Review: In My Humble Opinion by Tom Foremski

I’m currently reading Tom Foremski’s book – In My Humble Opinion.

The company I work with has a good relationship with Tom and I’ve been well acquainted with his work and writing style. He’s the first person to leave a high profile newspaper (The Financial Times) and start full-time blogging.

As a young PR professional Tom’s book has been very very helpful. He discusses his experiences in the Silicon Valley and proposes some very interesting new ideas to the way traditional PR is done.

For example: Press Releases. Tom discusses the tedious process (not to mention hundreds of dollars) that goes into press releases. From the first draft, to the last draft to the approvals from the company’s attorneys – press releases are tedious.

While I agree that press releases are tedious, I think they’re necessary to some degree. When I worked for the Purdue newspaper, The Exponent, we were very attentive to all the press releases the university put out. We were able to understand what the University thought was important and write accordingly. As an independent school newspaper we were able to choose what we wrote about and sometimes we didn’t even discuss trivial releases the University announced. However, the fact that we had access to them and knew what was going on was helpful.

The book poses an alternative for press releases that are amazingly endearing. The following keeps the good and does away with the square style of the traditional release.

The alternative proposal to press releases:

“Deconstruct the press release into special sections and tag the information so that as apublisher, I [Tom] can pre-assemble some of the news story and make the information useful.”

In detail, Tom suggests that a brief description of what the announcement is be provided but the spin of the story be left to the creative energy of the journalist. Since journalists will apply their own spin to the story anyways why bother including a spin I the press release?

Some other suggestions include:
• Provide a page of quotes…
o From CEOs
o From customers
o From analystis
• Provide financial information in different formats
• Provide links inside the press release copy
• TAG everything so journalists can pre-assemble stories

I think the reason press releases are sent out is to gain media attention and clearly “release” the information to the press (and public, of course). I do think packaging up information so that journalists don’t have to sift through junk would make their lives easier, which is clearly something any PR professional wants to do (especially when garnering coverage!).

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tech Competition - ARM vs. Atom

“Competition is not only the basis of protection to the consumer, but is the incentive to progress,” Herbert Hoover.

Being in the tech industry has introduced me to tons of literature about competition. It’s invigorating to read and understand all the competition involved within the industry. After reading all the predictions and hearing/reading of all things tech I think I'm ready to make my first and foremost tech prediction (even so, keep in mind I'm new to the industry and am still a sponge and learning)

I wanted to discuss the Arm vs. Atom debate that has spurred. Granted, I’m a little late to join the conversation but better late than never, right?

Prophecy has it that ARM’s Cortex-A9 netbook with a Linux-based operating system could potentially sell at a price point that no Intel and Windows netwbook could match. Okay, not prophecy, rather Dr. Robert Castellano, an analyst with The Information Network is certain that the Cortex-A9 multicore processor is a serious challenger to the Atom.

Now, for all of you non-techies out there, you’ve all heard of Intel! Of course you have. If my five-year-old nephew sits on the piano and tries to match the Intel jingle, I know YOU have heard of Intel.

Mario Morales, an analyst with IDC was quoted in EETimes regarding this competition. “You don’t want to burn Intel,” he said. “If I’m an AsusTek, I need to get processors for my other product lines from them.” Indeed, Morales believes that he envisions Intel on the top of the netbook market many years from now.

ARM is not the only one that Intel has to worry about. AMD and Nvidia’s Tegra platform will be fighting for a chunk of the market as well. Although there’s some competition it’s important to note that over the past quarter of a century, Intel has become the leader when it comes to microprocessors.

Frankly, it’s quite safe to say that the company has covered everything: desktops, laptops, CPU’s and considering all that success perhaps doubting the Atom may just be because it’s the newest to the family. The Intel family aims to develop every device from the grandest server to the humblest media appliance – a”continuum of computing,” as Paul Otellini says which spans through various tiers of power. The ultra-low-voltage versions of the chip helps position Otellini’s continuum into the handset, media player, smart Tv, and digital electronic device world.

End result – I’m thinking we’ll see Intel prevail (here’s to my first prediction of the Future **see previous entry**)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Let's Predict the Future

I’ve been reading up a lot about technology and innovation history and although my math isn’t steller, understanding the phenomenon of technological advances is so intriguing.

First and foremost, I think I’ve been impressed for quite a while by the impact of Moore’s Law. For everybody who may think PR can’t be impactful I suggest you read up on Gordon Moore’s visionary and how Intel has thrillingly developed. He made a prediction in the 1965 in Electronics Magazine (which, in 2005 was worth $10,000 according *see CNET’s: Intel offers $10,000 for Moore’s Law magazine*). The law precisely describes a driving force of technological and social change throughout decades. The trend is not expected to stop until 2015 or later.

The following are in no particular order…

Nicholas Negroponte’s book, Being Digital forecasted the interactive world, the entertainment world and the information world would all band together into one. After reading, Being Digital, it’s evident that Negroponte is a digital optimist but even so the unification of the three different worlds seems likely. He discusses that humanity will head towards a fture where everything will be digitalized – which I whole heartedly believe. From newspapers to various types of entertainment it’s all digital. Considering the book was written in 1995 I’m impressed by the prediction that wires and cables would cease to exist and the touch-screen will be the mouse of the future.

I ran the June Monthly Staff meeting at my company and tradition holds that whoever runs the staff meeting gives a 10 minutes presentation before business updates are made. Well, I talked about 2012 and the end of the world phenomenon (it was more uplifting than it sounds here on my blog). I discussed a little bit about overpopulation which was inspired not by Aristotle or the Mayans but by Harry Harrison’s book Make Room! Make Room! Where he discusses the consequences of unchecked population growth on society may be solved by cannibalism. It sounds crazy, but it’s a great read and an amusing theory to say the least.

1996 – Alan Greenspan warned of irrational exuberance in the stock Market on December 5, 1996. Nobody listened to him, the stock market boomed and then took a major downturn in 2000 and 2001.

Also, a couple predictions that turned out to be incredibly incorrect../

John Langdon-Davies: 1938, “Democracy will be dead by 1950.”

Business Week: August 2, 1968 – “With over fifteen types of foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn’t likely to carve out a big share of the market for itself.

Anyways, it seems that we’re always looking at what’s going to happen in the future. It’s going to be super interesting to see what happens next in terms of where we’re going and where the world says we’re going.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Confused in the Corporate World

It’s been a long time since I've written in my blog but now that my routine is somewhat set it might be a good time to start.

So, since my last post I’ve graduated, gotten a job and 6 months into a rigorous year long program which tests my abilities as a high-tech consultant. My experience thus far has been stressful to say the least, but at the same time eye-opening. It’s quite interesting to see so many different types of people striving for one cause. No, it’s not career development. It’s to genuinely help our clients. I’ve gotten to know colleagues who give up their weekends and vacation hours to make sure our client’s message is heard and understood. One thing that has amazed me about my company is the genuine care. And as an Agency if we don’t feel a potential client is somebody we can help or be passionate about we’re honest. It’s great to be surrounded by such hardworking and determined people.

Of course, I miss being a student but being under deadlines that can make or break a company’s bank makes one learn so much to extensively. It’s not just about being organized but it’s about composure. Essentially, being a friendly nag to keep yourself out of tough situations is best. It’s a tactic I have yet to perfect.

Another element of the corporate world I have to work on is corporate business lingo. I’ve tried to get into the habit of inserting these in my daily routine but I find them oh so annoying. Here are some of my oh-so favorites:

Do you have Enough Bandwidth? – Whenever I’m asked this I feel like saying no, but it can be safely assumed I’m supposed to say yes. Especially when I’ve been briefed on the project for about an hour, I’m expected to do it.

Forgive me if I’m wrong, but… -- You know those people who are just too polite you know it can’t be real. Well, this is a perfect example.

Let’s Not Go Into “Solutions Mode” Yet – I will never understand this. I didn’t realize we had to be in a state of mind to solve a problem… plus shouldn’t companies always be in “solutions mode”?

Give 150% -- this is impossible and I’m unsure why it’s said in almost every other meeting.

It is what it is – well, duh. What else would it be?

Let’s take a step back – it’s great when this is said when everyone’s sitting in a conference room.

Perhaps all these corporate clichés are just put in place to make people sound polite while they’re actually not.

Hopefully, I’m able to learn to elegantly handle stress both at home and at work. As for now, I’ll write it off as a learning process and continue to try to fine tune the art of composure and clichés in this corporate world.