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Does your business suffer from multiple personalities?

By Leo Valiquette

There’s a fitness club in my neck of the woods that broke away from its corporate mothership and rebranded itself with a new name a couple of years ago. I shake my head every time I visit the place and still see the mothership’s name on the company vehicles and on the guest wi-fi account.

It’s all the more painful because it’s a former client I worked with to develop new brand messaging and promotional copy.

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Making the business case, face to face

This is the 10th article in a continuing monthly series chronicling the growth path of Screach, a startup based in Newcastle upon Tyne in England’s North East. Screach is an interactive digital media platform that allows users to create real-time, two-way interactive experiences between a smart device (through the Screach app) and any content, on any screen or just within the mobile device itself. We invite your feedback.

By Leo Valiquette and John Hill

They say the world is more connected than it’s ever been. You can push software to a global audience with the tap of a key, and serve customers worldwide from a desk in your living room.

Of course, the trade-off is that it’s loud out there. You’re immediately competing with the world, and you’ve got to be disciplined, dedicated or clever to be heard. So how do you go about building a market in a new country when you haven’t got millions of dollars to throw at it?

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Startup Weekend coming to Ottawa

By Francis Moran

Ottawa is about to finally get its own edition of Startup Weekend, a global phenomenon that has seen more than 45,000 technical and business people come together in more than 200 separate events around the world to spend a full weekend building new businesses. The intensive 54-hour company-building competition will take place in the nation’s capital April 27 to 29 at Shopify’s headquarters at 126 York Street in the Byward Market.

Although The Ottawa Network had a similar event a couple of years ago, this will be the first time the city has welcomed the official Startup Weekend, an initiative of the Kauffman Foundation, the large American NGO that promotes entrepreneurship. The event kicks off on Friday evening with rapid-fire pitches from participants who would like their ideas to be the focus of company-building teams over the weekend. All participants vote on which ideas will be workshopped, and teams form organically around each idea. The teams work feverishly all weekend, breaking occasionally for presentations, sleep and coffee, and present their ideas late on Sunday afternoon. A panel of judges selects the winning team.

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‘My PR agency can’t write’

This is the next entry in our “Best of” series, in which we venture deep into the vault to replay blog opinion and insight that has withstood the test of time. Today’s post hails from October, 2008. We welcome your feedback.

By Francis Moran

“I’ve just come to expect that my (public relations) agency can’t write,” was the astonishing admission I heard a few weeks back from a vice president at one of Ottawa’s larger technology companies who called us to see if we’d be interested in participating in an agency review process.

(I’ve promised not to name him (or her) for reasons that will be obvious as you read the rest of this post.)

I could hardly believe my ears. But yes, he said, it had long been his experience that the PR practitioners he had been dealing with from a range of different agencies and across a number of companies just weren’t very good writers, and so it fell to him to write most of the materials used in his campaigns. One of the key reasons he was approaching inmedia, he told me, was our very strong reputation in the marketplace as superb writers, a reputation he said was confirmed when he read our blog and web site.

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Making lemonade: Four big ideas

This is the next contribution to this blog by Associate Andrew Penny, an Ottawa-based business development and market strategist for B2B companies, and president of Kingsford Consulting Ltd. Andrew’s post is part of our continuing series about the ecosystem necessary to bring technology to market. We welcome your comments.

By Andrew Penny

Global warming, Greek debt crisis, Chinese labour issues, U.S. unemployment, Royal visits… life is tough and running a business with all this change and uncertainty is even tougher … or is it? I say when life gives you lemons, open a lemonade stand!

I regularly ask our clients from a wide variety of sectors how their businesses are going. With few exceptions, it appears to be business as usual. (One of our strategic marketing plan clients, selling software to the retail industry, is having one of their strongest months ever. Another has received an unsolicited acquisition offer – a good one!) Look around you, people are still putting gas in their cars (despite the cost), they are buying groceries, going to school, buying houses, making holiday plans, building bridges, sewers and railways and so on – all things that keep the economy working.

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Recent Comments

  • 5 Ways to Engage With Your Brand Voice - icuc.social : [...] “A strong company voice on social media should emphasize the company’s values, objectives and key differentiators that set it apart from its competitors. These can be expressed in the tone of the communication and the content that is shared with community members and the target audience.The best social media voices are communal, grammatical, dialectical, authentic, original, contextual, relevant, timely, persistent, responsive, helpful, generous and more informal. A company’s social media voice should only be changed if absolutely necessary and should maintain all of these qualities. Any change should be preceded by lots of information explaining the change to community members to ensure they know it is deliberate and that the company isn’t suffering from some form of instability, which jeopardizes relationships.” [@TechAlly, Francis Moran & Associates – via Francis Moran & Associates] [...]

  • Stephen Murray : Interesting article. I am close to finishing a book titled "Davis and Goliath - One Inventor's Struggle with the Mismanagement and Theft of Intellectual Property." Davis in my book is W.R. Davis Engineering. "Goliath" is the Canadian Department of National Defence. The intellectual property is an infrared signature suppression system to protect warships and tactical aircraft from being targetted by heat seeking missiles. I was a public servant co-inventor in this story. As was the case in the biblical story "David and Goliath," Davis did indeed slay Goliath. Davis is wealthy today. The inventors and the Crown got nothing. But the Crown's negligent acts were to blame for most of outcome. Everything that could have gone wrong in the story did go wrong. My book may interest you. Hope to have it published by year end.

  • Dan Rather’s Words of Wisdom for the PR profession | Return On Reputation : [...] that you are serving a higher purpose than just serving your clients – you are serving public interest and our nation’s [...]

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