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Thursday, 24 February 2011

Brevity is the Soul of Business

Bill Joos' communications session last night at the Edinburgh University Business School was world class in teaching us how to get heard.

Bill is a VC and marketeer from Silicon Valley who gets 95,000 applications for funding. He and his team at Garage Technology Ventures whittle that down to 50 funded projects.

They have a high regard for education and ideas and a low tolerance of waffle.

He taught us how to nail the core business proposition in just 7 words. Once we'd done that we were allowed to add in a few more to smooth the sentence out, but the core is 7 words.

The father and mother of the 7 word pitch is the 27/7 speech contest - part of the annual Ig-Nobel Research awards for improbable research - research that makes people laugh then think.

In the 24/7 Lectures, several of the world's top thinkers explain his or her subject twice:

FIRST: a complete technical description in TWENTY-FOUR (24) SECONDS. It's fair to say the results wouldn't be riveting at a dinner party.

AND THEN: a clear summary that anyone can understand, in SEVEN (7) WORDS.
I particularly liked "greedy people competing make money" for economics.

Here's the video:

19th 1st Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony: Part 3 of 4 from Annals of Improbable Research on Vimeo.

PHPR's 7-word pitch is:
Publicity to attract customers to B2B businesses.

A close contender was: PR to get B2B businesses noticed.

The smoother version reads:
Online and off-line PR to attract customers and opportunities to B2B businesses.

There was a whole set of propositions as we added emotional force and cured the pain, but the core business proposition takes just 7 words.

PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK

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Saturday, 19 February 2011

Google One Pass to Publishers' Rescue?

At a time when publishers are struggling to monetise content, Google has launched a simple flexible payment system called One Pass that allows publishers to set terms for accessing digital content online.

Google One Pass provides freedom for consumers too, allowing readers to “purchase-once, view anywhere functionality” for digital newspapers and magazines. This could mount a challenge to Apple's content distribution model if they can manage to serve the fragmented Android mobile market.

For publishers, One Pass offers just about any option they could want:
  • micropayment processing
  • day passes,
  • metered access,
  • pay-per-article,
  • multi-issue packages.
It is a total system, providing user authentication, payment processing, and administration, so that publishers can get on with creating high quality content for their readers.

Content is managed through an online interface, so publishers can try out different approaches to selling content with minimal development cost to see what works best for them.

The payments are processed through Google Checkout, so there is no need to build a third-party payment system into the publishers’ sites.

Publishers control prices and how users pay to access content. They can sell subscriptions of any length with auto-renewal, day passes (or other durations), individual articles or multiple-issue packages. Google One Pass also allows metered access, where a publisher can provide some content or a certain number of visits for free, then charge frequent visitors or those interested in premium content, according to the business model selected by the publisher.

Publishers can give their existing customers codes to verify their subscription status, or can seamlessly offer content to existing subscribers via solutions enabled by Google One Pass.

Google One Pass operates across multiple sites and also offers payments in mobile apps, where the mobile OS terms permits transactions to take place outside the app market.

With shed-loads of redundant journalists and editors starting up all sorts of publishing ventures, this could do well. Especially in the mobile if they can manage the fragmented Android userbase.

PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK

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Monday, 14 February 2011

Writing Web Copy That Works

There's no point in driving traffic to a client's site with a mixture of online and off-line PR if the client's website isn't doing its job: converting visitors into sales enquiries.

When we're asked to re-do web copy, this is where we start. Hope you find PHPR's guide to writing web copy helpful.

PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK

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Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Blogging 4 Business

Had a blast delivering yesterday's 4sight (an insight, not a sales pitch) to 4networking's Leith group in Edinburgh. My subject was pulling publicity together on and off-line.

Pitched at smaller business owners, here's a short excerpt on the current benefits of blogging:

PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK

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