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Glasgow wins Commonwealth bid

By Danny Sullivan

Phenomenal news for Glasgow and the whole of Scotland as Glasgow was chosen to host the Commonwealth Games in 2014. The tension was palpable leading up to the announcement this lunchtime, but the celebrations have now begun in earnest.

Securing the games is predicted to have a major impact on Glasgow, with major regeneration projects planned for some of the city’s most deprived areas.

A great day for Scotland. Now, if we can just beat world champions Italy in next week’s massive football match, it will cap an amazing year for Scottish sport.

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Playing with the big boys

By Danny Sullivan

Let’s set the scene: A technology company begins working with a much larger partner to deliver a significant new offering for the bigger firm. Everything leading up to the launch seems to be going great, and the partner has even stated that they will ensure you get some good media exposure as a result of their own public relations efforts. Then comes the launch and everything changes. The big guy hogs the limelight and you are left fighting for any scraps of media attention that come your way.

It’s not an uncommon situation, and one that I have witnessed on more than a couple of occasions.

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This is not a wind-up

freeplay foundation

By Danny Sullivan

Remember the amazing wind-up radio that appeared in the late 90s? Well, the Freeplay Foundation, the organisation behind that remarkable invention is close to extending the technology into an area that could have an even greater impact on third-world countries: home lighting.

The BBC reports, “As part of its LifeLight Project the Freeplay Foundation has drawn up designs for a charging base unit that would be able to power up several detachable lights that can be used around a home.”

It’s always exciting to hear about new technology innovations, but it’s even better when the impetus behind the innovation is truly for the benefit of others.

When to announce a new product to the media?

By Danny Sullivan

This is the question facing many technology companies as they draw close to having a product reach market-readiness. And, while there isn’t a definitive answer as far as timing goes, the real question to bear in mind is, “Are we ready to support this?”

Let’s first think about timing. Waiting to spill the beans until you have secured some lead customers who are ready and willing to support your story certainly gives you a great chance to secure some quality media coverage in support of your launch. But for most companies, this kind of delay is unwelcome as it can mean lost ground on competing products, or simply a missed opportunity to hit the market early with a strong message to drive business development.

And, while I will always espouse the tremendous value that customer validation of a product has among the media, it is not this PR guy’s advice to wait either. Launching a product early can be a powerful strategy, but such a launch must be executed with a clear plan in place to support it with the additional elements of the story within a credible time frame.

A frequently committed PR mistake around a product launch goes something like this: Company X decides to announce its brand new product to the world. It conducts a successful media launch of the product and generates good immediate coverage and interest among its target media. The company then basks in the glow of the launch and says nothing more for six months.

In some cases, the six months of silence may be due to the fact that something happened in development and the product was delayed. But, in many instances, the real reason for the silence was that the product launch was the only PR initiative that had been planned, and PR then became an afterthought as so-called “more important” concerns took over. And guess what? After six months without communicating anything to the marketplace, by the time the company is ready to say something again, the entire introduction exercise needs to be performed again because everyone has forgotten what happened the first time around.

This is one of the greatest disappointments for a PR firm. To take a client through a successful launch exercise and then watch the great momentum established slowly disappear through a lack of commitment to capitalise on that initial investment.

If you are prepared to make the call to launch a product, make sure that you are also prepared to give it the support it deserves.

Asleep at the wheel?

Register Developer

By Danny Sullivan

Well that’s how this article from the Register describes software vendors’ current status in developing mobile apps. With all the hype around mobile technologies these days, it’s interesting to hear some good points being made about the current limitations in the space.

While there certainly are challenges associated with developing mobile apps, the article states “It’s not clear why ISVs are dragging their feet because demand is there.”

Come on developers – our pimped out phones and PDAs need a better workout!

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