Normal

What is normal? It is something that is usual, typical, standard, average, unexceptional, routine, predictable, to be expected. Normal is the way things are done, part of the fabric of society, everyday habits, the unnoticed, taken for granted, culturally embedded. It defines the benchmark against which everything else is measured. The middle of a normal … Continue reading Normal

Amazon’s Eating the World, One Acquisition at a Time

Last week, Amazon made one of its most high-profile acquisitions yet, buying up the national grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. The purchase made immediate waves – a number of other prominent national grocers saw their stocks take a hit mere minutes after the announcement –  with one analyst calling it a “seismic event” in the industry. Whole Foods Amazon With the acquisition, Amazon firmly plants its flag in an industry it had been toying with for years, further broadening its horizons – what don’t they do at this point? In a recent LinkedIn Pulse post, March’s Zander Wharton argues that the acquisition should put many more companies on their heels. In the past, a tech company buying a grocery chain might have sounded ridiculous. But Amazon’s reputation for disrupting markets and tearing through its competition could mean that no industry is safe. To avoid being eaten alive,
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Seeking Credibility, in News and PR

In an era of increasingly prominent fake news, media consumers are looking for credible information from credible sources. As self-publishing platforms like Medium, Twitter and Reddit continue to provide unfiltered, often unedited communications, there has been a dramatic surge in newspaper and magazine subscriptions all around the country. Newspapers are often viewed as more credible because of strict editorial processes, fact-checking and rules about sourcing. Recently, subscription surges have been reported at The Wall Street Journal (300 percent increase), LA Times (60 percent) and The Atlantic (160 percent), to name a few. This rapid growth shows few signs of slowing. In fact, the New York Times announced a second consecutive quarter of record-breaking subscriber growth, with 308,000 new subscribers added in the first quarter of 2017.

Digital Disruption in Action at TM Forum Live! 2017

The pioneers leading the world’s most innovative digital transformations were on hand at this year’s TM Forum Live! in Nice to showcase the tech disruptions that are signaling meaningful change in their fields. Our CEO Martin Jones was on the show floor, where he witnessed decision makers from companies like Goldman Sachs, Verizon and General Electric discussing how digital transformation is changing the way they do business from the top down. While the story in years past has been about the promise that digital transformation holds, the 2017 event finally showcased technological disruption in action, which Martin discusses at length in his latest LinkedIn Pulse post. Martin wasn’t the only attendee impressed with this year’s gathering, as #TMFLive took social media by storm:

One Year from Now: Prepping for the GDPR

Mark your calendar: The EU’s new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) go into effect one year from today. The new regulations mandate stronger protections for EU citizens’ data, so businesses must reevaluate their data privacy procedures. By May 25, 2018, all companies must abide by the GDPR or risk non-compliance fines. Are you in the U.S. and thinking that this doesn’t apply to you? Think again. Any organization that deals with EU customers’ personally identifiable information (PII) will need to make sure they’re GDPR-compliant. In fact, according to a recent Compuware study, a whopping 94 percent of U.S. companies traffic EU customer data. Yet, only 60 percent have detailed plans in
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#ESCconf: Embedded Systems will Power Futuristic Tech

Did you know that the Boston area is America’s second-largest embedded systems market, behind Silicon Valley? Every year, software developers, hardware engineers, executives and suppliers gather in Boston at the Embedded Systems Conference to hear the latest industry news. New England’s largest annual embedded systems event, ESC features two days of industry education, sourcing and networking. March VP Meredith L. Eaton attended the conference yesterday to learn more about where this industry is headed. She shared some of her thoughts on the event in her most recent LinkedIn Pulse post, “Embedded Systems Backing ‘Perfect Storm’ of New Devices.” There is a ton of excitement in the embedded tech world around current and future real-world applications. Max Maxfield, Editor in Chief of embedded.com, gave a session about how the integration of technologies like artificial neural networks, cognitive thinking/reasoning, machine learning and VR/AR, underpinned by embedded designs, will
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Announcing Zoom: Startup PR Built for Speed and Impact

It’s a big week for March! We’re super excited to announce ZOOM, our brand-new PR offer that’s tailor-made for early stage startups. ZOOM allows emerging brands to gain the benefit of our award-winning methodology and expertise, with programs that match their unique needs, budgets and expectations. We’re talking about PR programs built for speed and impact, and that solve the age-old question many startups face: “are we ready for PR?” Lots of startups feel like they’re not quite ready to work with an agency, but think they need help to break through and reach major goals, whether that’s growth, acquisition or IPO. ZOOM solves that by taking advantage of our strengths as an agency and making them available to startups in a right-sized program. We have a full team of communication, content and research strategies with experience helping more than 200 brands reach their major goals, including more than 25 Continue reading "Announcing Zoom: Startup PR Built for Speed and Impact"

In Mobile, Some Brands Are Their Own Worst Enemy

Sometimes, to succeed, you need to learn how to get out of your own way. That’s certainly the case for Starbucks and Panera Bread, according to March EVP Jodi Petrie. In her new LinkedIn Pulse piece, Jodi explains how the two brands are sabotaging the success of their new mobile ordering platforms. She argues that consumer adoption of mobile payments is slow not because shoppers don’t like the technology, but because retailers are struggling to integrate mobile payments into a fast, easy, enjoyable shopping experience. As a result, they’re unable to make the most of the customers who pay via mobile. The companies that create mobile payment technology could help solve this challenge, Jodi says. In her blog, she offers tips for how mobile tech providers can better communicate with their retail partners, giving them the tools they need to create powerful mobile-first buying experiences that customers love. You can read the full post here. And customers really
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How Will the IoT Era Affect PR?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is coming fast. At Mobile World Congress, IoT was the top-mentioned technology, beating out much buzzed-about tech like 5G, AI and VR. By separate accounts, the number of connected devices is expected to reach 20.8 billion to 50 billion by 2020. With these predictions in the billions, the coming IoT era is positioned to shape everything we do, from restocking groceries and driving connected cars to PR, marketing and communications strategies. How exactly will the IoT affect the PR industry? March Vice President Meredith L. Eaton offered her thoughts on the subject in her most recent LinkedIn Pulse, “Ready, Set, Adapt. Key Marcomms Questions for the IoT Era.” The wealth of data produced by embedded sensors, for example, provides opportunities for highly data-driven campaigns, but marcomms pros will need to keep an eye on more substantial shifts in strategy as
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#MWC17: IoT on the Rise

What’s new in the mobile industry? Earlier this month, members of the March team went to Mobile World Congress (MWC) to find out. With 108,000 attendees and more than 2,300 exhibitors, MWC is the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry. In addition to supporting client presence at MWC, March team members checked out what’s on the horizon in the mobile tech world, like a car you can control with your mind. IoT edged out 5G as the most buzzed-about technology at MWC17. One of our clients, Canonical, was able to capitalize on this trend with its purpose-built IoT platform, Ubuntu Core with snaps. In her most recent LinkedIn Pulse post, Vice President Meredith Eaton chronicled Ubuntu’s success at MWC. As a result of proactive media outreach, social
Planning the perfect product strategy takes three different phases: pre, during and post.
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Has the Wellness Wearables Bubble Popped?

Have you ever bought a Fitbit, Garmin vívofit or any other kind of tracking device? More importantly: Do you actually use it? If you got caught up in the wearables craze, only to lose interest and set aside your device after a few months, you’re not alone. This phenomenon, dubbed wearables fatigue, is well-documented and growing. More than half of U.S. consumers who have owned a wearable no longer use it, and 50% of consumers lose interest in their wearable product within a few months. Yet, there is a consistent group of people who are tracking fanatics. So, what are wearable technology brands to do? Not surprisingly, many brands are struggling with this contradiction. How do you simultaneously market to hesitant first-time customers and experienced data junkies? In her most recent LinkedIn Pulse piece, March Account Director Courtney Allen talks about how comms advisors can work with brands
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Despite Widespread Consolidation, MarTech Continues to Flourish

Marketing technology – or MarTech – can be a mystifying category, especially in today’s media landscape. The phrase encapsulates a wealth of different digital marketing tools and services that often fail to fall within a specific industry vertical or product classification. What’s more, the number of businesses offering MarTech solutions has ballooned of late, which has led to a dizzyingly over-saturated market that can be tough for businesses to navigate.

In a recent LinkedIn Pulse post, “How to Stand Out in an Increasingly Crowded MarTech Landscape,” March Vice President Erica Frank explored the current state of this fast-growing industry. In the piece, she offers up the important questions MarTech companies need to ask themselves if they want to stand apart from the many other players hoping to claim a stake of this lucrative market.

Erica also takes a look at some of the recent big-name MarTech mergers and

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From Cloud Communications to PR Pitches, Crafting a Clear Message is Key

Cloud companies have long struggled to clearly explain exactly what it is that they do. While tech experts may understand their jargon, the rest of the public often sees it as nonsense. Because of this, cloud companies have recently been placing increased importance on developing accessible, user-friendly messages. To that end, cloud startups and industry leaders alike are hiring editorial experts to help clarify their messaging and make it easier for the lay-person to understand. In her most recent LinkedIn Pulse piece, March VP Meredith Eaton explores why these editorial hires are such smart moves. Think about Quentin Hardy, for example. Hardy recently left a sought-after gig as deputy tech editor for The New York Times to head a new Editorial Division at Google Cloud. He announced the news on Twitter, to an enthusiastic response from his followers. One user exclaimed, “[I’m] very glad somebody will be explaining this
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The AWS Outage and the Growing Cloud Market

One of the quirks about the cloud is that many people don’t really know they’re using it – until something goes wrong. Take, for example, the four-hour Amazon Web Services outage on February 28. When the company’s S3 service went offline for reasons that have yet to be explained, the domino effect touched numerous websites and apps. Business Insider. Slack. Trello. App stores. Mashable. Even, in the cruelest irony, a website that tells you if other websites are down. Non-techies who’d never heard of Amazon Web Services may have been surprised to find out that the company they know for retail, video streaming, and Alexa was also, somehow, a crucial support system for so much of the internet. To be honest, even as someone who tries to stay informed on the cloud
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Trump Rule 5150: Deflect via Freak Out

King Trump Donald Trump tweets most weekday mornings at 7 am (give or take a half hour) in an obvious attempt to direct the day’s news coverage. The over-the-top tweets create great controversy and drama, rallying his core. Similarly, his press conference was a live epic lambast moving from 140 characters to more than an hour of live ranting. These crazy communications deflect attention away from Trump’s real political problems.
Rarely about the actual work performed, bombastic posts and crazy media interactions embellish his accomplishments while often attacking the media corps. In turn, the media scrambles to disprove Trump, and defend themselves.
This misdirection keeps everyone off their game, and in many cases distracts journalists from focusing on core issues like the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. It is the Trump Administration’s favorite red herring. And it works every time.
Consider that Trump’s unhinged media conference on Thursday happened at an opportune
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RSA and Other Tech Events Offer Prime Opportunity for Innovators

RSA ConferenceRSA and Other Tech Events Offer Prime Opportunity for Innovators, one of the world’s biggest cybersecurity events, is kicking into full gear this week. There are few other PR events in March’s calendar that get as much of our, and our clients’, attention and for good reason. Whether you’re a fledgling new startup on the security scene or a veteran brand name that has dominated in the industry for years, RSA is a great opportunity to meet with your peers, check out the latest cutting-edge solutions in cybersecurity and make a name for yourself as a credible thought leader. Easier said than done! But, it’s something that we’ve long excelled at helping our clients accomplish. This year is posed to be the biggest RSA yet, with record-breaking levels of attendees, speakers and discussion tracks. Our Managing Director, Cheryl Gale, recently weighed in on what up-and-coming infosec startups attending RSA for the first time should do to best
Planning the perfect product strategy takes three different phases: pre, during and post.
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RSA and Other Tech Events Offer Prime Opportunity for Innovators

RSA ConferenceRSA and Other Tech Events Offer Prime Opportunity for Innovators, one of the world’s biggest cybersecurity events, is kicking into full gear this week. There are few other PR events in March’s calendar that get as much of our, and our clients’, attention and for good reason. Whether you’re a fledgling new startup on the security scene or a veteran brand name that has dominated in the industry for years, RSA is a great opportunity to meet with your peers, check out the latest cutting-edge solutions in cybersecurity and make a name for yourself as a credible thought leader. Easier said than done! But, it’s something that we’ve long excelled at helping our clients accomplish. This year is posed to be the biggest RSA yet, with record-breaking levels of attendees, speakers and discussion tracks. Our Managing Director, Cheryl Gale, recently weighed in on what up-and-coming infosec startups attending RSA for the first time should do to best
Planning the perfect product strategy takes three different phases: pre, during and post.
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Chicago Tech Companies Going Big in 2017

Even though February has only just begun, 2017 has already felt like a whirlwind for those in the tech sector. From CES and NRF back in January, to Mobile World Congress coming down the pike later this month, there’s no time to waste in making sure your business is in the spotlight at one of the many tentpole industry events that flood the first few months of the calendar. Luckily for those working out of our Chicago office, there’s no lack of eye-catching entrepreneurship taking shape in the local tech ecosystem. Our very own Vice President Erica Frank, who herself made it out to Las Vegas for CES last month, took note of this in her latest LinkedIn Pule post, “For Chicago Tech Companies, 2017 is Off to a Strong Start,” where she highlights a few of the Chicago tech companies hitting the ground running in 2017. Account
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Chicago Tech Companies Going Big in 2017

Even though February has only just begun, 2017 has already felt like a whirlwind for those in the tech sector. From CES and NRF back in January, to Mobile World Congress coming down the pike later this month, there’s no time to waste in making sure your business is in the spotlight at one of the many tentpole industry events that flood the first few months of the calendar. Luckily for those working out of our Chicago office, there’s no lack of eye-catching entrepreneurship taking shape in the local tech ecosystem. Our very own Vice President Erica Frank, who herself made it out to Las Vegas for CES last month, took note of this in her latest LinkedIn Pule post, “For Chicago Tech Companies, 2017 is Off to a Strong Start,” where she highlights a few of the Chicago tech companies hitting the ground running in 2017. Account
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Robots and Artificial Intelligence: The Impact on Jobs

Finally, robotic beings world rule the world. OK, not really. But, robots and artificial intelligence are certainly having a major impact right now on the global workforce. robotics In her most recent LinkedIn Pulse piece, March Senior Vice President Juliana Allen summarized statistics from a new McKinsey report, which shows that robotics will have its most profound impact in industries with highly structured or predictable environments. Data collection and processing are also impacted. The upshot is that up to 51 perfect of activities in the US economy could be affected by robotics, representing almost $2.7 billion in wages. Those findings touch on a common public fear: that robots and automation will replace human jobs. The opposite argument is that automation simply frees up humans for more interesting work. For example, March VP Meredith L. Eaton wrote last year about the growing use of automation in journalism, in which systems
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