Kika Tech Delivers Spooky Treats

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By Rachelle Avila 

It’s beginning to look a lot like… Halloween! Kika Tech is getting its users in the Halloween spirit with a variety of Halloween-themed emojis on its Kika Keyboard. From ghosts to skeletons to jack o’lanterns, Kika users are accessorizing their texts with spooky sentiments.

With 60 million average monthly users, Kika Keyboard is the #1 rated keyboard app on the Google Play Store in the U.S. and comes packed with thousands of emojis, GIFs, cool fonts, keyboard themes, and much more to enhance your messaging experience. Kika Keyboard incorporates the company’s cutting-edge artificial intelligence engine to enrich the communications and emotional connections between individuals.

Halloween is just a day away, so put on your witch’s hat and conjure up some Halloween spirit with Kika Tech.

You can download the app for Android here.

Twitter: Where Characters Count!

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By Jason Garcia

“What’s in a tweet? That which we call a tweet by any other length would read as brief.” – 21st Century Shakespeare

Or would it?

Up until now, 140 characters, which includes letters, spaces, special characters, mentions, emojis, and hashtags, has been the law of the land in the Twitterverse.

But what can you actually fit in 140 characters?

Well, Twitter users can write love notes, state political views, share polls, conversations, tell jokes, or even write the world’s shortest novel. While there’s a lot that can go into 140 characters, it can still feel limiting to some.

There are obvious workarounds for users to go beyond the 140 characters such as spreading the text over multiple tweets, abbreviating or substituting words with emojis.

According to Twitter, language limitations are affecting how much is being communicated per tweet. The language you tweet with dictates how many words can fit in 140 characters. For instance, in Japanese you can say about double the words you can in English with the same number of characters.

As a result, Twitter is testing out an idea to double the size of tweets from 140  to 280 characters in some languages including English, French and Spanish.

But is there really a need?

Twitter has been able to maintain a successful communications platform with its current standard of 140 characters.

To me, the composition of a tweet is similar to a haiku or a sonnet. The boundaries of the medium create a beauty for content to live on. After all, it’s not just about publishing the tweet–people have to read them too. For the reader, 140 characters is easy to read and move on to the next tweet. We live in a world where people want to consume more content and that includes social posts. 140 characters can be seen as the perfect balance for both the writer and the reader.

Supporters of the character expansion say yes because they will no longer need to fumble around adjusting their tweet to fit the character constraints while getting the original message across.

Twitter purists, however, believe 140 characters are sufficient and more characters would kill the essence of Twitter.

As a social media professional, I see both sides to the argument. It can be helpful to businesses because you can get more content out per tweet, but at the same time, it can also be a negative because there will be more noise to compete with.

Wherever you stand on the issue, just remember a good tweet isn’t just about its characters, it’s also about the content.

So tweet responsibly, my friends!

Women in STEM: Girl Scouts adds 23 new STEM Badges

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By Miranda Carter

One small step for Girl Scouts, one huge leap for women in technology.

The Girl Scouts of America is dedicated to helping young girls excel in life and this summer they took that dedication to a new level.

Proving its commitment to building girls of courage and leadership, the Girl Scouts has introduced 23 new badges in the fields of science, technology, engineering, math, and the outdoors. This marks the organization’s largest programming rollout in almost a decade, focusing on building girls’ skills and interests in STEM and environmental conservation from an early age.

“Design a Robot” badge:

“Programing Robots” badge:

The newest badges include honors in activities such as “Design a Robot” and “Programming Robots” that require the Scouts to create and design simple machines to plan and build like an engineer.

“Race Car Design Challenge” badge:

“Fling Flyer Design Challenge” badge:

Other hands-on and age-appropriate STEM badges include the “Race Car Design Challenge” where Scouts learn how their race car and track design affect speed, and the “Fling Flyer Design Challenge” which teaches Scouts about the forces that affect flight.

With 1.8 million girls, The Girl Scouts is providing a platform for young women from the ages of K-12 to embrace their interests in STEM. According to its website, Girl Scouts are almost twice as likely as non–Girl Scouts to participate in STEM (60 percent versus 35 percent) and outdoor activities (76 percent versus 43 percent).

As STEM skills become more and more important, the Girl Scouts organization is giving its members a head start on developing those skills that stand to help them excel in both their academic and life goals.

You go, girls!

Crime-Fighting Robot Invades Squawk Box

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Knightscope and the K5 crime-fighting robot were in the national spotlight today appearing as guests on the popular CNBC morning show Squawk Box.

The K5 roamed the studio as Knightscope Chairman and CEO William (Bill) Santana Li talked about the benefits of the autonomous security robot and how it aims to protect people and property.

The segment included a deeper dive into some of the current and future capabilities of the security robot including its ability to see, feel, hear and smell, the ability to detect concealed weapons as well as weapons of mass destruction, and how artificial intelligence is being implemented for future features. Bill also announced the upcoming K-7, a 4-wheel autonomous security robot that can traverse more difficult terrain than the K3 and K5 models. Bill stated that there are no plans to build a weaponized security robot.

The economics of Knightscope’s security robots was discussed. Bill detailed the company’s machine-as-a-service business model and that the robots cost just $7 an hour to operate. Bill reiterated that the low cost isn’t aimed to eliminate human security guard jobs, but instead enhance overall security for a business.

Knightscope’s growth as a company was also profiled. To date Knightscope has 24 clients in 22 cities across five states and three time zones. Knightscope’s unique investment model, a mini-IPO, was also examined. Bill talked about the benefits of public funding saying “this is an opportunity for us to build a brand, seek clients, and seek investment all at the same time very efficiently.”

Finally, there was a short discussion on where robotics in society is headed. Bill painted an optimistic future predicting there will be more change in the next ten years than the past 100 combined. He predicts a “revolution” with robots having a “massive, massive positive impact on society.”

To watch the entire CNBC Squawk Box segment with Knightscope, click here.

 

 

 

On the Road with Knightscope

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They look lovable enough, but Knightscope’s security robots are serious about crime. The K3 and K5 have been deployed across California and have played key roles in preventing crime and taking criminals off the street.

They’ve been so successful, that the company is now expanding operations and rolling out these crime-fighting robots nationwide. The company is in the midst of an “Investor Roadshow” giving people the opportunity to invest in the future of security:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhmkIIbPSXk

This week, the roadshow finds itself on the Las Vegas Strip, where Co-Founder and CEO William Santana Li will present to an exclusive gathering of private investors. The demo and Q&A (April 20) will offer an in-depth look at the company and its goal to cut America’s trillion-dollar crime problem in half.

Next week, Knightscope will travel to the bright lights of New York City for private demonstrations of its crime-fighting technology for potential investors, new clients and the media at NASDAQ (April 25) and in Times Square (April 26).

It’s a busy and exciting time for Knightscope. The company has signed contracts for nearly two dozen machines in fifteen cities, in five states across three time zones and recently launched a “mini IPO” as the company continues to build momentum. Keep an eye out because the Knightscope Investor Roadshow could soon be coming to a city near you.

To learn more about Knightscope investment opportunities, click here.

Silicon Valley Women of Influence

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By Rachelle Avila

As women continue to trail-blaze and shatter glass ceilings here in Silicon Valley, the Silicon Valley Business Journal has announced its 2017 “Women of Influence Awards.”

The annual awards spotlight the 100 most influential women in Silicon Valley from the public, private and nonprofit sectors, and we are proud to announce two of our clients are among the recipients:

Dr. May Wang is the co-founder and chief technology officer at Zingbox, a leading Internet of Things security company. May has deep ties to Silicon Valley: prior to ZingBox she spent 14 years at Cisco’s CTO office where she served as principal architect and head of Asia Pac Research. Her contributions include developing security algorithms currently used in Cisco switches and leading the Internet of Things innovation. An advisor, an investor and a venture capitalist, May is a graduate from Stanford University where she received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and is also the author of the book “Women Executives in Silicon Valley.”

Mercedes Soria is VP of software engineering at Knightscope, makers of the K3 and K5 crime-fighting security robots. Mercedes is a technology professional with over 15 years of experience in systems development, life cycle management, project leadership, software architecture, and web applications development at companies including Carbon Motors Corporation, Deloitte & Touche LLP, and Gibson Musical Instruments. She is a member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and currently serves as Executive Advisor to TechWomen, an initiative from the State Department that brings women tech entrepreneurs from the Middle East, Asia and Africa to the US for mentoring and coaching in tech business skills.

In addition to being honored at the Women of Influence awards ceremony on May 18, 2017, both women will be profiled in a Silicon Valley Business Journal special report. We congratulate May and Mercedes on this achievement and are excited to be working alongside them as they continue to innovate and deliver a brighter future for tomorrow.

Robots That Make the World a Smarter and Safer Place

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National Robotics Week is upon us!

The 8th annual event will be held April 8-16,2017 with four main goals:

  • Celebrate the US as a leader in robotics technology development
  • Educate the public about how robotics technology impacts society, both now and in the future
  • Advocate for increased funding for robotics technology research and development
  • Inspire students of all ages to pursue careers in robotics and other Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math-related fields

Here at LMGPR, we are privileged to work alongside two robotics companies that are making the world a smarter and safer place:

UBTECH

UBTECH is introducing robotics and coding to the next generation of scientists, engineers and roboticists. The company’s Jimu Robot line is an interactive robotic building block system that lets kids 8-14 Build, Program and Share their robot creations. Jimu Robots were designed to enrich children’s lives and meet the needs of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum, ultimately bridging the gap between learning and pure fun. 

UBTECH has already teamed up with select schools in California to present a STEM-based curriculum that features hands-on robot building and programming workshops taught by Jimu masters. This program enhances STEM enthusiasm and interest, while instilling 21st century work skills. Watch this video to see the program in action.

Knightscope

Knightscope security robots combine hardware, software and human factors, providing a commanding–but friendly–physical security presence. These fully automated, autonomous data machines operate 24/7 and are outfitted with cutting-edge technology designed to protect people and property. Already deployed in California at malls, corporate campuses and data centers, and expanding across the country, Knightscope crime-fighting robots are living up to their name by helping take criminals off the streets including:

  • Assisting law enforcement in issuing an arrest warrant for a sexual predator
  • Assisting a security officer in apprehending a thief in a retail environment
  • Assisting a corporation in tracking down a vandal
  • Assisting a real estate owner in stopping a fraudulent insurance claim
  • Assisting a healthcare organization in deterring vehicle break-ins 

Robots continue to transform the world around us. We’re excited about National Robotics Week and look forward to great things from UBTECH and Knightscope in 2017.

UBTECH and LMGPR: A CES Success Story

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ubtech-robotics-lynx

It’s not easy to stand out in the crowd at CES.

As the world’s largest innovation event, there are thousands of companies from all over the globe shouting “Hey, look at me!”

Competition is fierce and it takes months of planning to pull off a successful event.

When UBTECH came to LMGPR to help with this process, we saw something special. UBTECH’s line of humanoid robots was second-to-none and its featured robot “Lynx,” the first UBTECH robot with Amazon Alexa, was a home run.

But again, with thousands of other companies also debuting innovative products at the same time, a lot of work would have to be done to secure the media’s interest.

CNET 2

At LMGPR, we began our media outreach months in advance of CES with targeted traditional and social media campaigns. Teasing the unveiling of what was sure to be the “it” robot at CES, momentum began to build. By the time CES arrived, the buzz was real and so were the results.

With LMGPR’s tactical and targeted outreach combined with UBTECH’s innovation, the company and its line of robots received global coverage from some of the most respected media outlets in the world including the Associated Press, BBC, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, CNET, and The New York Times. UBTECH was ultimately featured in more than 200 media outlets with more than 500 million impressions. UBTECH also made significant gains in its social media following growing its Facebook and Twitter followings by 50 percent and its Instagram following by 300 percent.

Lynx Award

In addition to the media coverage, UBTECH received several CES-related awards and recognition including a CES 2017 Innovation Award, an IHS Markit Innovation Award, and a Tom’s Guide CES 2017 Award.

CES was a smashing success for UBTECH and sets the bar for a banner year. We at LMGPR look forward to a continued partnership with UBTECH and helping propel them to new heights in 2017.

If you are a company looking to stand out in the crowd, contact LMGPR for a free consultation today.

Inspiration on Two Wheels

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You might not think a bike ride can change the world, but when you read “A Bicycle Built for Two Billion,” you might just change your mind.

“A Bicycle Built for Two Billion” is the story of Jamie Bianchini, a serial entrepreneur who set off on a global bike ride “in search of love, compassion, and connection.”

The ride begins in San Francisco and over the course of eight years, Jamie brings his “Peace Pedalers” mission to 81 countries around the world.

Riding a tandem bike, Jamie pedals on the front seat while inviting total strangers to join the journey on the back seat.

Along the ride, Jamie meets hundreds of people and gets to know them on a personal level. Many of these rides spawn new friendships and the conversations result in the launch of a dozen grassroots projects designed to give back to communities globally.

Jamie’s epic journey has its fair share of ups and downs. Not everyone he meets is “good,” but Jamie’s ability to continue to trust and have faith in his fellow man proves a guiding light throughout his journey. There’s love, loss, triumph, failure, injury, sickness, goodwill, and plenty of adventure to keep readers glued to the book.

“A Bicycle Built for Two Billion” ends where it began in San Francisco, but you close the book knowing that Jamie’s story is far from over. He returns from his experience a changed man and ready to write the next chapter of his life.

story-story8

Jamie’s adventure has also inspired his latest endeavor, LuDela, the world’s first real-flame smart candle you can control with a smartphone. In an effort to bring “better light and better lives” around the world, LuDela will donate a rechargeable solar light or a book to a community in need with each sale of a smart candle or candle refill pack.

It’s all part of Jamie’s ongoing quest to spread positivity and make a difference in the lives of people across the globe.

To get your copy of “A Bicycle Built for Two Billion,” visit the official website here.

Bastille’s ‘KeySniffer’ Discovery Makes Global Headlines

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key_sniffer_logo_final

Bastille is making news once again.

The company has just unveiled “KeySniffer,” a new vulnerability in millions of low-cost wireless keyboards. KeySniffer allows hackers to eavesdrop and capture every keystroke a victim types in 100 percent clear text from as far as 250 feet away. 

To see how a KeySniffer attack is executed, watch this video:

When conducting a KeySniffer attack, hackers can expose and access credit card and bank account information, answers to security questions, network access passwords, company secrets, and other private and sensitive data.

Print

Affected manufactures include Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba, Kensington, Insignia, Radio Shack, Anker, General Electric, and EagleTec. Most, if not all, existing keyboards impacted by KeySniffer cannot be upgraded and will need to be replaced. For a complete list of affected devices and to see if your wireless keyboard is at risk, visit www.KeySniffer.net.

The KeySniffer announcement has been publicized in media outlets around the globe including Forbes, BBC, The Washington Post, Wired, Dark Reading, CNET, Threatpost, SC Magazine, Network World, and dozens of other top-tier publications.

KeySniffer is the latest breakthrough discovery for Bastille, who earlier this year unveiled MouseJack, a vulnerability in wireless mice. The company continues to search for these types of vulnerabilities as part of its mission to completely secure the Enterprise by identifying airborne threats and allowing for a preemptive response.

Bastille: One Cool Startup!

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CoolCompany

We are proud to announce that Bastille has made CRN’s list of “The 10 Coolest Security Startups of 2016 (So Far).”

The list looks at startups that “have gained significant traction and recognition for their technology that looks to solve security challenges around orchestration, threat detection, the Internet of Things, risk scoring and network security.”

Bastille was recognized not just for being “the first cybersecurity company to detect and mitigate threats from the Internet of Things in the enterprise,” but for several key company wins including being named a finalist in the RSA Conference’s Innovation Sandbox competition, a Gartner 2016 “Cool Vendor,” and completing a successful round of venture capital funding.

Bastille also received worldwide attention and acclaim in February when it unveiled “MouseJack,” a vulnerability in wireless mice and keyboards that potentially puts billions of PC’s and millions of networks at risk of being breached.

As the Internet of Things continues to integrate itself into our daily lives, the potential threats associated with IoT increase as well. Bastille remains dedicated to stopping these IoT threats and the company’s inclusion in CRN’s Cool Startup list is validation of their ongoing efforts.

 

What to do When the Internet is Down at Work

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By Miranda Carter

Jackie Chan

Being a Millennial, I can hardly remember a time without access to the Internet. In fact, some of my earliest memories still include the sounds of that dreaded full dial-up! Fast-forward 20 years or so, and now Millennials are entering the workforce where 90% of jobs require Internet access. But what happens when the Internet goes down or your Wi-Fi won’t connect? Many of us have no idea what to do. But believe it or not, there are still things you can do to make your workday productive:

  1. Organize your workplace

Desk

Most workdays are pretty busy, resulting in your desk becoming cluttered and disorganized. Having a clean and organized workspace can hugely affect the productiveness and overall efficiency of your day. By spending less time looking for things, you reduce time and stress on yourself. Organization can also display a sense of professionalism and reflects how you view your job. By having things filed and in place, it demonstrates the importance of detail and planning to potential clients. So if you are given time, make sure to tidy up!

  1. Make a calendar and prioritize!

Calendar

This too goes along with organization… we see and hear about so many different things throughout the day that sometimes items fall through the cracks. That’s where a calendar comes in. handy. A calendar is much more than just a list of dates and events. Making a calendar can help you make sense of all the craziness around you and really hone in on what you’re doing. By prioritizing and laying out a plan, you begin to appreciate the outcomes by understanding the process it took to get there.

  1. Freshen up on your AP writing skills

Use AP

In a world that’s constantly changing, it can be hard to keep up on the little things. This is especially true when it comes to AP writing rules. Each year, they release a new version that goes over the new rules. When you’re constantly working and starting new projects it can be hard to keep up to date. Losing access to the Internet frees up some of your time to freshen up! Get back to basics and pick up the latest AP Style Book to learn something new!

  1. Get to know your co-workers

highfive

Sure, you’ve sat at a desk next to Stan for the past two years, but what do you really know about him? Taking the time to get to know your co-workers is really important. Within a business, cooperation is key. If you’re not working together, then things just don’t get done. On top of that, disagreements between employees can lead to extra tension and stress you don’t need. When given the time, say hello and make small talk. You might surprise yourself and realize you have a lot in common! This can help make the overall atmosphere more pleasant and create a strong company culture.

original

Even though we live in a fast-paced world, sometimes we just can’t connect. Life happens. It’s time we get back to a place where it’s okay to not have Internet access. Things can still get done even while you’re disconnected. So take a deep breath, the virtual world will be there when you get back!

Instagram 101 for Businesses – Part Three: Let’s Get Instagramming!

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By Delight Nwangwu

instagram-keyboard-app-take-pictures-photos-pics

Now that your game plan is in place and you’ve thought about your Instagram Image, it’s finally time to start Instagramming!

First things first: Download the app! Make sure whoever creates the account has the username, password, and email used documented so that if another person takes over the account, they can easily access it without having to create a new one! Once downloaded, here are a few housekeeping items you will have to consider:

  1. Username- Your username should be fairly simple: just put your company name. However, if for some reason your company name is taken you’ll have to get creative and think of an alternative username.
  2. Bio- The bio can be a little tricky since it’s only 150 characters but not too much since it is a statement of what your company is about. Make sure to include your company’s website at the bottom of your bio as well as any main hashtag you want your followers to use.
  3. Profile Image – The profile image is typically the company’s logo and it fits in the small circle on the top left corner. If the company logo doesn’t work with the sizing then find another photo (preferably original) that relates to your brand.
  4. Public Profile- As a business, it is in your best interest to make your profile public! Having it on private lowers your chances of reaching your goals.
  5. Following- The best way to increase your chances of achieving your Instagram goals is through your following. In addition to adding people in your own network, make sure you follow influencers in your industry. They just might follow you back, resulting in an even larger following. Also, If you have a budget to advertise on social media, use it! Advertising will help you increase your number of followers, potentially helping you reach your goals faster. Without advertising to boost your follower count, you’ll need to start from scratch, which can be difficult though not impossible. As mentioned before, utilize your hashtags!!! Click your hashtags and start liking or commenting on other people’s profiles so that when they see your profile, they are more likely to click on it and give you likes or a follow. Don’t expect your following to grow overnight. Every aspect of Instagram takes time and building a following is by far the longest.
  6. Post and engage with the community- First, you should go to your notifications sections. Find “Like Notification & Comment Notification” and then click “from everyone.” This will make your profile more credible since you can easily engage with the public whether they follow you or not. Also, Instagram users tend to trust more companies who are quick to respond or engage with them.

instagram

 

Time to start posting content!

Remember to follow your content calendar as well as your theme for your images and hashtags. If your image is in a certain location, be sure to tag that location as it helps boost your images like a hashtag. If your Instagram post can be cross posted with other social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc., be sure to do it!

And there you have it! You have successfully completed Instagram 101 for Business. Good luck as you take your company on a visual journey!

Instagram 101 for Businesses – Part Two: Creating Your Instagram Image

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By Delight Nwangwu

Camera Filter

Welcome to part two of Instagram 101 for Businesses. In part one, we put you on the fast path to Instagram success by focusing on establishing a game plan. Today we’re going to look at what goes into creating your Instagram image.

Now Instagram is all about visuals and creating attractive imagery and video that work for your brand’s strategy. So first, a couple of obvious rules: Make sure your images are not pixelated and make sure your videos are nicely edited. You don’t have to get your pictures or videos professionally done to have a successful profile, but putting in the extra effort to make them appealing and interesting will help build your following.

Themes for images and videos

smartphone shot food photo - pancakes for breakfast with fresh

Before you grab your Android, iPhone, or camera, decide on what kind of theme your images and videos will have. The images and videos can be just about anything as long as they are cohesive. They can relate to your business, work life, philanthropy, food, etc. Once you figure that out, you’ll want to consider which filters you will use continuously over time to represent your page. Try to pick between 1-3 filters so your theme is seen as united. If you are struggling finding your brand’s visual image, don’t hesitate to check out other profiles that capture your attention to help you get on track!

Hashtags

Hashtag symbol against close-up of typewriter

Once you’ve chosen your content, you’ll need to decide on some hashtags to help maximize your reach. Choosing the right hashtags that best fit your content can be critical in driving traffic to your page! 

So how do you know what hashtag is right for you? Well you’ll want to find those keywords that really speak to your company. For example if you’re a travel company, you might use #TravelLife, #JourneyAwaits #TimeToGo, or #TakeFlight. A great place to start is, again, by looking at what hashtags your competitors are using. Also, you can enter hashtags into Instagram and see if what you are considering is already popular. You will definitely reach more people with hashtags that are used more by other profiles. Once you find the hashtags that draw the most engagement, stick with them and switch them up once in awhile.

All right, you have waited long enough, in part three, it’s time to pick up your phone and download Instagram!

Instagram 101 for Businesses – Part One: Establishing a Game Plan

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By Delight Nwangwu

Woman Holding Iphone 6 Space Gray With Service Instagram

With over 300 million active users and growing, Instagram has become an important social media platform for businesses. If done right, it can boost your brand and extend your customer reach. But orchestrating a successful Instagram takes work and I’m here to help you get started. Welcome to Instagram 101 for your Business!

Game Plan- What is your strategy?

Multi-ethnic Business People Discussing In Board Room Meeting

Stop! Move your thumb away from the app store and slowly put your phone down! Did you really think the first step was to download the app? Wrong! You first need to create a concrete plan to optimize your Instagram profile.

  1. Research

Businessman Working Dashboard Strategy Research Concept

Don’t start posting blind. There are countless online resources to teach you the ins-and-outs and do’s-and-don’ts of Instagram. Once you have a firm grasp of the platform, take a look at your competitor’s Instagram as well as other companies within your industry. Also, check out the Instagram sites of brands you aspire to be!

  1. Goals

Smart Goal

Have a purpose! Establishing Instagram goals can help you get the most out of this social media platform. Not sure what those goals should be? Here are a few ideas:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Increase sales
  • Increase traffic to your website and other social media accounts
  • Increase credibility

The list goes on and on but it’s up to you to figure out which social goals will best incorporate with your business goals. Keep your goals realistic, reachable, and measurable so you can track your progress and succeed.

  1. Mission Statement

Businessman Mission Marketing Goal Project Planning Concept

One of the first things a visitor to your Instagram site will see is your mission statement/bio at the top of your page. Create a captivating statement that tells the world who your brand is and reflects how you want your brand to be portrayed on Instagram.

  1. Content Strategy

Content Strategy

This is the last and most important step in your game plan. The whole purpose of social media is to generate relevant content your audience actually cares about. Instagram is a visual platform so your main task is to find eye candy for your audience while making it cohesive to your goals and mission statement. A successful content strategy includes:

  • Creating a theme for your content
  • Creating a content calendar each month to know the basis of what you will be posting.
  • Determining how frequently to post: 1-3 posts a day is effective for most accounts. Don’t bombard your followers; you might come across as “spammy” and risk being un-followed.
  • Determining when to post: Knowing your audience plays a crucial role here because the timing of your post is everything. For example, if your audience works traditional business hours, post before work, lunchtime and after work. Or if your audience is in another time zone, then you must post during times when they will be awake and online.

Establishing a game plan will help put you on the fast path to Instagram success. In part two of this series, we’ll look at creating your Instagram image and talk about the importance of hashtags.

How to NOT Use Social Media

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By Kris Aguilar

How NOT to use social media blog-01

Google “how to market on social media” and you’ll get about 345,000,000 results. Google “books on social media” and you’ll get 144,000,000 results. Despite an overabundance of knowledge and instruction out there, companies continue to do social media all wrong.

I am reading “What Sticks: Why Most Advertising Fails and How To Guarantee Yours Succeeds” and seeing how some companies are simply wasting their time and money on marketing. While I’m learning there is no exact RIGHT way to do social media, there is definitely a WRONG way. Here are three wrong moves companies–and possibly you–are making, as well as some suggestions on how to achieve social media success.

  1. Don’t Shamelessly Comment: “Check Out My Page”

Time and time again, companies and people will comment on a person’s post, or even worse, other companies’ posts, telling them to check out their page or website. This is like walking into a restaurant and going up to the manager and customers and telling them to go try another restaurant instead. If you go on almost any YouTube video, you’ll find these types of comments. You’ll also notice that while most other comments have a ‘like’ or reply, this one will likely be ignored AS IT SO RIGHTEOUSLY DESERVES TO BE. While a big part of advertising is raising awareness, this is not the way to do it.

How NOT to use social media blog-04

Remember that the point of being social is to be social. Post helpful tips and advice, add creative content, and, ultimately, give back to the social media community.

  1. Don’t Post Boring Questions

When posing questions on social media, make sure you’re asking the right questions. It’s not uncommon to see companies with posts like this:

How NOT to use social media blog-02

Now asking questions is not a bad thing, it just needs to be engaging. Sometimes asking something funny or controversial like “Who would win in a fist fight: Han Solo or Captain Kirk?” (assuming your brand is related to geek culture) will result in a high number of responses. Provide content like a clickable poll, picture, or video to go with your post to make it more attractive and hopefully more engaging. Here’s an example of a good question post:

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  1. Don’t Post Just to Sell Your Product

Yes, social media is supposed to build your brand and ultimately help make sales–that’s practically what marketing is all about! But that doesn’t mean you can just throw ads at people all day. Again, the point of being social is to be social, not “salesy.” People follow brands on social media to stay up to date on news or because the brand posts great content. Below is a screenshot of Nike’s Instagram. Notice how none of the shots are of products, but instead simply allude to them:

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Figure out who your audience and followers are. Post content you think they will like that isn’t product-centric or sales-based.

One last thing to remember: social media isn’t rocket science. Most people are there to be entertained as well as informed. So if you’re a serious company, be a little less serious. And if you’re a creative company, then be even more creative! The social media landscape is a fun place, so have fun in it.

5 Apps to Make You a College Pro

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By Miranda Carter

Your college years are not only some of the most formative and exciting years of your life, but some of the most stressful as well. You’re young and trying to have fun, but you’re probably on a budget, not to mention you’re overloaded with homework, exams, and writing papers, AND, while all that is going on, you’re trying to figure yourself and the rest of your life out too.

It can be overwhelming.

Luckily, living in the modern age, there are countless apps designed to make your college experience a little easier… and they’re free! Whether it’s studying for a test or making sure you’ve got enough cash for that next pack of ramen, we’ve got you covered with five of the best apps for conquering college:

Studious 1Studious

First things first, you need to get organized and focused. With the help of Studious, students are reminded of due assignments, exam schedules, and more! Reach your maximum potential by not missing a thing!

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Features:

  • Homework Planner
  • Document Scanner
  • Reminder Support
  • Course Tracker
  • Send quick emails to your professors

Quizlet 1 Quickly

No study guide? No problem! With Quizlet, students can quickly make flashcards or choose from a library of notes to help them study more efficiently. Be prepared for your next exam with the help of Quizlet, anytime, anywhere.

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Features:

  • Flashcards with Learn
  • Memorization with Match
  • Share with classmates/students
  • Automatic pronunciations of 18 languages
  • Learning enhancement with images and audio

EasyBib1 EasyBib

Citations can be tricky: what’s italicized, where the period goes, the list goes on and on. EasyBib takes out the confusion by generating citations for MLA, APA, and Chicago style by simply scanning the book’s barcode or entering the title. Now there’s no reason to procrastinate on that term paper!

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Features:

  • Barcode Scanner
  • Email/Export bibliographies to yourself
  • APA, MLA, Chicago style generator

pocket 1Pocket Points

Free food and coupons! Need I say more? With Pocket Points, students earn free gifts for simply not using their phones in class. All you need to do is open the app, lock your phone, and start gaining points. Points are good at select local and online businesses for rewarding student goodies!

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Features:

  • Disables Phone
  • Coupons, Gifts, Discounts
  • School Tracker

Mint 1 Mint

I think it’s safe to say we’ve all looked at our accounts expecting to have $100 dollars in it… only to realize we have $2.50. Learning to budget is an experience many of us learn while in college. With the help of Mint, you can pull all your financial information into one place, so you never have to be in the dark again!

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Features:

  • Easy Budgeting
  • Free Credit Score
  • Alerts/Advice
  • Investment Tracking
  • Security

While it’s still up to you to make the grades, these five apps can help put you on the path to success and make your college life easier and more organized. Now get out there and live like a college pro!

From the Dojang to the Corporate World: Life Lessons in Tae Kwon Do

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By Miranda Carter

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“YAAAAHHHH!” screamed various students as I walked through the doors of the dojang for the very first time. Immediately, without hesitation, I turned around and walked right out. As had become typical when confronted with unusual or new things, I thought to myself “I cannot do this.” Despite the yelling, I was dragged back in by my mom and right then and there I started the most influential physical and mental journey of my life.

As you progress to various levels in Tae Kwon Do, you receive a belt. Each belt represents a different learning experience for the student that maximizes his or her journey. These philosophies not only enhance your martial art experience but your personal life as well. Taking it a step further, these lessons can also be applied to your professional life. So listen up grasshopper as I take you through the Tae Kwon Do’s and Don’ts as it applies to business:

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  1. Yellow: Enthusiasm

Say it with excitement! The first thing we learn about in Tae Kwon Do is the importance of enthusiasm. When in the business world, it can be hard to keep the excitement going. Bringing a sense of energy to the workplace is very important to its overall success. Energy and enthusiasm will not only make everyday tasks for yourself more enjoyable but will act as a contagion to those around you, making the entire business more productive.

  1. Green: Responsibility

Being responsible is something we all learn when growing up. When it comes to taking care of one’s self, however, this meaning is surface level. When practicing Tae Kwon Do, we begin to understand responsibility at a deeper level, relating it to other aspects of our lives. Being responsible in the workplace means having a real obligation to yourself and your work. Whether it’s taking pride in what you’ve done or owning up to a mistake, responsibility is key.

  1. Blue: Confidence

Confidence is definitely something we all strive to have and can definitely be easier said than done. In Tae Kwon Do, hesitations result in a kick to the head as your sparring partner can sense the uncertainty. Now in the workplace, this of course will not be the scenario. At the same time, however, it can damage the limits of your work. Exerting confidence in what you are doing breaks through the boundaries of what you’re capable of producing. Going into a project with confidence will make the results 100 percent more exceptional. Believe in yourself, you’re only as great as you are in your mind.

  1. Red: Respect

Respect comes in many forms. Tae Kwon Do teaches us to not only respect your instructors, but yourself as well. In the workplace, having respect means recognizing the achievements and abilities of those around you as well as your own. It’s easy to have negative thoughts about the people you work with, but in order to have growth, you must have positivity. Challenge yourself to see the intelligence in others.

  1. Black: Leadership

Let’s be honest, this word scares some of us. Many of us believe that some are just meant to lead while others are meant to follow. FALSE! Leadership goes beyond who wears the highest rank. In Tae Kwon Do, we learn we are all leaders of our own lives. Showing initiative in the things you want or don’t want is in fact being a leader. Let your ideas and feelings be heard. Leading yourself will ultimately lead you to your best self.

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Being a professional means accepting that there are always new challenges, but recognizing they can be overcome. By implementing enthusiasm, responsibility, confidence, respect, and leadership into your professional life, no challenge is too great. Never again will the words, “I cannot do this” come out of my mouth. And always remember, even the master was once a grasshopper!

Home8: Smarter Living is Here

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Have you ever left your house and had that sinking feeling you forgot to do something… like close the garage door?

What if there was a way to check it remotely on your smartphone?

Well actually, there is!

Home8 launched this week with a new line of home awareness and smart protection products that lets consumers build a comprehensive smart living ecosystem in their homes.

One of Home8’s most popular products is the Home8 Garage Starter Kit. It allows users to not only visually check in on their garages via the Home8 mobile app, but also open and close the garage door regardless of location.

Some uses for the Home8 Garage Starter Kit include:

  • Open and close the garage door from your smartphone.
  • Check on your garage remotely to make sure it hasn’t been breached.
  • Ensure that you DID remember to close the garage when you left the house.
  • Allow someone (delivery person, family, friend) access to the garage.
  • Use it to get into your house should you find yourself locked out.

The Home8 Smart Garage starter kit is easy to install and works with most existing garage opening systems. But that’s not all… users can also purchase additional devices to customize their Smart Garage platform and expand their system by installing HD cameras and sensors throughout the property for complete home security and awareness.

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Home8 is dedicated to making smart living accessible to everyone. They firmly believe that connectivity is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Home8 is setting a new standard in home security and awareness to help keep you connected to your homes and loved ones like never before.

To check out Home8’s complete line of home awareness and smart protection products, visit www.home8systems.com.

Take Control of Your Health With Soltrackr

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By Miranda Carter

“Don’t forget your sunblock!” One of the many wise phrases we all heard from our mothers growing up. However, so few of us actually realize how important this really is. Too much exposure to the sun’s UV radiation is one of the leading causes of skin cancer. Yeah, yeah we’ve all heard this before and think “it wont happen to me.” I, like many of you, was a victim to this thinking and unfortunately found out firsthand the harsh effects of the sun. But how do you know when you’ve spent too much time in the sun? How do you know which SPF to apply? How do you determine if the sun’s rays are stronger on certain days? The answer to these questions is soltrackr.

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Soltrackr is a wireless health companion that develops in-depth vital and environmental information on the go. It pairs with a variety of fun and personalized apps dedicated to delivering essential information to make life, and the world around us, safe and healthy. This easy-to-use companion captures and transmits your personal health data to your smartphone where you can not only be alerted on the risks of sun exposure and healthy levels of Vitamin D, but you can also use soltrackr to maximize your workouts and manage stress levels.

Soltrackr features two main health and environmental apps: solbalance and solcalm.

Solbalance

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  • Estimates time of sunburn
  • Estimates amount of Vitamin D produced
  • Know which SPF to apply
  • See risks of sunburn

Solcalm

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  • Calm score- to monitor activities that cause stress
  • Know your resting heart rate
  • Know your blood oxygen level
  • Show improvements in cardiovascular health
  • See improvements in workouts

Soltrackr also includes solsearch, which acts as a key finder, and solselfie, a smartphone remote shutter. Both of these apps are free and can be found at the App Store and Google Play store.

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Soltrackr’s small and versatile design even fastens to a key ring for easy access. The soltrackr companion is available exclusively on the soltrackr website and will begin shipping in June 2016.

With summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to take control of your health and stay safe in the sun. Visit the soltrackr website and follow them on twitter @soltrackr for all the latest updates.

Ready, Set, Bolt!

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If you are a city dweller, you know that getting around town can be tough. Whether it’s traffic, a lack of parking, too far to walk, too steep to bicycle, or you just don’t feel like waiting for a bus or train, getting from point A to point B can be a real chore.

But it doesn’t have to be…

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This is the Bolt M-1, the world’s first hybrid motorbike. It combines the thrill of a motorbike with the ease of a bicycle and was made especially for city living.

Bolt is for just about everyone. Here’s why:

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No license? No problem! Bolt travels a maximum of 20MPH in economy mode to meet California’s electric bicycle regulations. This means you don’t need a license, registration, or insurance to operate. Additionally, there is a “Sport Mode” that turns up the power and speed for off-road use.

Twist & Go! Bolt is accessible to all levels of riders. There is no clutch to grab or gears to shift. Simply hit the throttle and you’re on your way. Need a bit of exercise? Use Bolt’s pedals to manually take you to your destination.

BoltApp-Navigation

21st century tech! Bolt features a patented drive train, a patent-pending lithium ion battery, intuitive dash with real time feedback display, keyless entry, and USB port, and is Bluetooth-enabled to connect with your smartphone for even more features.

Goodbye gas stations! Bolt is completely electric and can travel up to 35 miles on a single charge. Plug it in when not in use to keep your battery charged. For a mere 21 cents a day, you have reliable, green transportation at your command.

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It’s convenient: Because it’s a bike, you can park it anywhere… even on the sidewalk! Simply lock it up as you would a standard bicycle. Also, there’s no oil or gas to worry about, so you can store it inside your house if a garage is not available.

And most of all… It’s fun! Bolt gives the highest performance and most motorcycle-like experience of any motorbike. It’s fast and zippy and can climb hills with ease. Its classic retro look, with modern design is sure to turn heads. With Bolt, cruising around the city has never been so much fun.

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Bolt was created and developed by a talented team here in the Bay Area with the goal of inviting new riders who are interested in owning an efficient electric vehicle. The company completed a successful Indiegogo campaign late last year, exceeding its fundraising goals. 2016 will no doubt be a big year for Bolt as the M-1’s hit the road and we at LMGPR are expecting great things from them.

Check Bolt out for yourself here and follow them on Twitter @BoltMotorbikes for all the latest updates.

LMGPR Heads to CES

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Print

We’re only a few days into 2016, but CES, the year’s biggest tech show, is already upon us!

LMGPR is headed to Las Vegas to help our clients stand out in the crowd and get the media attention they deserve.

This year, we’re representing two companies with highly anticipated releases:

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First is SKULLY, makers of the AR-1, the world’s first augmented reality motorcycle helmet. Equipped with a revolutionary heads-up display system, 180-degree rearview blind spot camera, turn-by-turn GPS navigation, and smartphone pairing with voice control, the AR-1 is the most technologically advanced and safest motorcycle helmet ever created.

Kanoa Logo

Next up is KANOA. KANOA’s earphones have set a new standard in true wireless audio performance, enhancing life experiences through the power of music. KANOA has redefined earphones by cutting all cords and offering users a seamless music experience.

SKULLY and KANOA are both poised to make waves at CES and we are proud to be on their respective teams.

We’ll have updates from the show floor, so make sure you check back with us here on The Pulse!

Magazines, Car Shows and Leno… Oh My!

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By Donna Loughlin Michaels

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My dad would be proud. He was an avid reader of Popular Science and collected issues for years. The November issue of Popular Science with Divergent Motors’ Blade on the cover would have blown his mind.

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The Blade is the world’s first 3D-printed car and is one of the greenest and most powerful cars ever created. Designed and built using Divergent Motors’ proprietary manufacturing platform, Divergent is radically reducing the pollution and production costs of traditional automobile manufacturing without sacrificing style or substance. Equipped with a 700-horsepower bi-fuel engine, the Blade goes from 0-60 in 2.2 seconds, faster than a Tesla Model S. All of this power and speed is wrapped up in a head-turning, futuristic design.

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On Sunday October 26, 2015, DM and the Blade were at the annual ArtCenter Car Classic at the prestigious Art Center School of Design in Pasadena. The event saw students, alumni, car buffs, and even celebrity car collector Jay Leno lining up for a closer look.

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Jay took home a copy of the Blades’ Popular Science cover story.

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And my own personal moment with Jay was pretty exciting too! Not only did we get a cover story, but I got a “cool” autograph as well.

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Just another day in the life of a PR Diva…

LMGPR: Best in Show 2015!

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For the 7th consecutive year, LMGPR has received a “Best of Silicon Valley” award in the “Public Relations Counselors” category.

The annual awards are bestowed upon those businesses that have achieved exceptional marketing success and enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

LMGPR is the sole winner in its respective category.

Additionally, LMGPR’s award streak puts us in elite company. As a result of winning seven in a row, LMGPR has now qualified for the Silicon Valley Business Hall of Fame.

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So how does a company stay consistent enough to win this type of award year-after-year? LMGPR President Donna Michaels says it starts with personnel: “This award is testament to the ongoing creativity and tenacity of the LMGPR team, who continue to strive to deliver the right story to the right audience for real business results.”

LMGPR has seen many changes over its 13 years in business, but one thing has remained consistent: our commitment to our clients. We act as an extension of the companies we work with, partnering with them to create innovative and successful PR campaigns that are carried out by our creative and tenacious team.

The ability to win this award seven years running is proof of that.

Here’s to seven more.

LMGPR Picks the Best Apps for Families on the Go

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By Grace Koh and Arlene Go

get-organized

As we see fall sneaking around the corner, it’s back to school for the kids, back to juggling school pickups, back to coordinating the family schedule, and just basically back to doing a million things at once.

In the midst of all the chaos that life brings, here are some simple apps to keep in mind as you try to make some sense of your schedules.

Flipboard – Your Personal Magazine

Flipboard-Logo

Whether your day is full of family activities, work projects, or rushing in and out of classes, there arise moments of occasional downtime. There’s not quite enough time to sit down with a laptop or a physical newspaper, but maybe the perfect amount of time to catch up on what’s going on around you. An app called Flipboard can help you do just that with ease.

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Once set up with the topics of (your) interest, you are able to literally flip through pages and read articles and posts from various news outlets like The Huffington Post and The New York Times. All of these articles from these different publications can be accessed through one easy app and a couple easy flips. So next time, instead of rechecking the email you just checked on your phone, tap open Flipboard and catch up on some current events that you wouldn’t normally find time for.

Cozi Family Calendar: The Surprisingly Simple Family Organizer

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Cozi makes managing family schedules easy. We are always on the go, so why depend on a family calendar that hangs on a fridge or wall?  With Cozi, you can:

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  • Import your Google Calendar for an extra quick start.
  • Get reminders so no one misses soccer practice or an important appointment.
  • Send an agenda email for the upcoming week to any family member you choose.
  • Quickly enter appointments using your own words, “Lunch noon tomorrow”.
  • Add Internet calendars, including personal or public iCals to your family calendar.
  • Use Cozi’s schedule feature to enter recurring activities like sports practices and childcare.
  • Get your appointments right on your desktop with the Cozi family calendar gadget.

Life360: The New Family Circle

Life 360

Life360 is a Family Locator App that lets you locate family members and quickly communicate with them.

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With Life360, you can see where your family and friends are on a private map, stay in touch with group and one-on-one messaging, and get help in an emergency.

Venmo: Make and Share Payments

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Pay anyone instantly using money you have in Venmo or link a bank account or debit card in seconds.  Pay the sitter, collect money from a friend after you take her kids to the movies, etc.

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You’ll both need to create an account, but simple setup makes it easy to transfer to-and-from bank accounts.

Apples2Oranges: Price Comparison and Unit Conversion Calculator

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With Apples2Oranges, you can compare prices, nutrition values and unit conversion platform.

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Apples2Oranges allows users to easily figure out what the better deal is, as well as which product has the best nutritional bang for their buck!

All of these apps have proved helpful for many of us here at LMGPR. We hope they do the same for you!

“Divergent Microfactories Goes Hollywood With Blade”

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By Rachelle Avila

Since its June 2015 debut, the Blade 3D-printed supercar from Divergent Microfactories has become a global phenomena. This week, it rolled down the Hollywood Walk of Fame at the 3D Excite Expo showing off its sleek 007 design.

But Blade is more than just about style. James Bond influence aside, Blade offers a tremendous amount of power and speed going from 0-60 mph in 2.2 seconds. To compare, the Tesla Model S, one of the fastest supercars currently on the market, goes from 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds.

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While its curb appeal and speed capabilities may be enough to sell the car alone, there is one other factor that makes this automobile even more intriguing. Kevin Czinger, founder & CEO of Divergent Microfactories, says Blade is the first step in an ongoing effort to make cars that are truly environmentally friendly:

“Society has made great strides in its awareness and adoption of cleaner and greener cars.  The problem is that while these cars do now exist, the actual manufacturing of them is anything but environmentally friendly. At Divergent Microfactories, we’ve found a way to make automobiles that holds the promise of radically reducing the resource use and pollution generated by manufacturing…without sacrificing style or substance.” 

Kevin was able to explain just this to a group of people who were passing by on their Hollywood tour bus (see video above). The Hollywood Walk of Fame proved to be a great runway for Blade and we are excited for Divergent Microfactories’ continuing success as they take the car industry by storm.

Divergent Microfactories: Driving the Future

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Everybody wants a cleaner planet.

Divergent Microfactories is one of the few companies actually doing something about it.

Blade

The company recently unveiled “Blade,” the world’s first 3D-printed supercar.

Most people don’t know that the carbon footprint of building a car, regardless of whether it’s electric or not, is worse than the car emissions itself. Blade, however, was built from Divergent’s proprietary manufacturing platform that incorporates 3D printing to radically reduce the pollution and production costs of traditional manufacturing. See Blade’s chassis being built here:

Divergent Microgfactories is the brainchild of Kevin Czinger, an early pioneer in the electric vehicle market who designed, built and certified one of the first all-electric automobiles. During this time, Kevin learned that manufacturing cars is a far bigger environmental problem than fueling them.

Kevin Blade

Fast forward to 2015 and Kevin has created the first 3D-printed supercar. Hand-built and manufactured in a “microfactory”, the prototype Blade weighs 1,500 lb. vs 4,700 lb. (Tesla), accelerates faster than a McLaren P1 supercar, and emits 50% of the lifecycle emissions of a standard car.

You can watch Kevin’s official unveiling of Blade here:

Blade has received worldwide acclaim and has been featured in top-tier media outlets including USA Today, BBC, Reuters, Time, and Forbes, to name a few.

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It’s not everyday that potentially planet-changing innovation is introduced. Blade is driving the future of auto manufacturing and we at LMGPR are excited to be along for the ride.

LMGPR: Making Noise at RSA

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It’s been a busy week for us here at RSA, “where the world talk security.” We have not one, not two, but THREE security clients taking part in one of the largest security conferences of the year and all three have had excellent showings so far.

Here’s a rundown of highlights:

Fortscale:

RSA Fortscale Booth

The User Behavior Analytics pioneer has had lots of activity this week with executives giving presentations and demos of Fortscale’s innovative solution to attendees.

RSA Idan

Fortscale was one of ten finalists selected to participate in the 2015 RSA Conference Innovation Sandbox Contest, which “honors Information Security’s next generation of groundbreaking technologies.” CEO Idan Tendler gave a short presentation and took part in a Q&A with a panel of judges. He also had the coolest entrance music of any participant with the fitting song “Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell.

RSA Fortscale Award

Fortscale also received a 2015 Cyber Defense Award for “Most Innovative Enterprise Security Solution” The annual awards honor businesses for their innovation in the field of Information Security.

CSG Invotas:

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“Automate or Die.” That was the theme of Invotas’ RSA booth. The “leaders in security orchestration and automation” paid homage to the “Skate or Die” slogan of the 1980’s.

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The Invotas booth featured an interactive graffiti wall that allowed attendees to leave their mark on RSA. Invotas also held drawings for custom skateboards.

RSA Invotas Booth

Invotas unveiled its Security Orchestrator 3.0 product that unifies, orchestrates and automates to dramatically reduce risk and response times, while boosting productivity. Invotas also led discussions at RSA taking part in four separate speaking engagements and was awarded a 2015 Global Excellence Award in the “Tomorrow’s Technology Today” category, which honors companies with “technologies that are prepared for advance or sophisticated security solutions.”

Hillstone Networks:

RSA Hillstone Booth

Hillstone showcased its intelligent, Next Generation Firewalls that “find and stop threats in minutes, not months” to a receptive audience.

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The company gave nonstop demos, presentations and interviews to analysts, international media and conference attendees. Here’s a Hillstone executive speaking to a Chinese media station.

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Additionally, Hillstone was feeding event goers with Ghirardelli chocolates and handing out other cool swag.

There are still a couple of days left of RSA, but we’d like to congratulate all our clients on an already successful RSA event. There is a lot of competition at RSA and standing out in the crowd is no easy task. We’re proud to team up with our clients and look forward to continuing to build upon the RSA momentum in the days, weeks and months to come.

 

Introducing AmbyGear: The Unique Smart Watch for Kids

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Playing outside is a way of life for most kids. It allows them to make friends, gain independence and create memories. But for parents, letting their kids out of their eyesight can be a stressful time. Not knowing where their kids are, if they are safe, or if they are making good decisions can be the source of added anxiety.

So how do parents strike a balance between letting their kids be kids while giving themselves peace of mind that their children are safe?

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Well, that’s where the AmbyGear Smart Watch comes in…

The AmbyGear Smart Watch keeps kids safe in public while allowing them to be more independent at the same time. It features downloadable educational games and apps that teach life lessons, promote outdoor recreation and help kids gain more freedom and confidence to explore the environment around them. It also offers parents peace of mind, allowing them to keep an eye on their children from the convenience of their smartphone with features including text messaging, boundary alerts and GPS location.

This video shows how the AmbyGear Smart Watch is benefitting parents and kids alike:

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The AmbyGear Smart Watch is the brainchild of Founder & CEO Patrick Muggler. The father of two has experienced firsthand the stress and anxiety of losing track of his own children. One day his daughter went missing at Home Depot. While it took just 10 minutes to locate her, it felt like hours. A few years later, Patrick’s wife was on a bike ride with their son and daughter, when their son took a shortcut down a path. This time, Patrick’s child actually did go missing for hours before eventually being found. While Patrick’s experiences both had happy endings, it inspired him to create the AmbyGear Smart Watch.

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AmbyGear has launched an Indiegogo campaign to allow parents to preorder the watch at an introductory launch price of $99. Full retail price will be $129. Visit the AmbyGear Indiegogo campaign at http://igg.me/at/ambygear.

Remembering Bailey

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This week, LMGPR lost a beloved member of the family.

Bailey, a Wire Fox Terrier, joined the LMGPR team in 2001. He was three-months old and full of energy, creative ideas and was always ready to greet arriving guests and make them feel welcome.

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Often Bailey would wander to the various offices and give his own special love to team members. He especially liked to observe and would bark once or twice with approval.

Bailey Walk

Bailey enjoyed walks with the team, would smile if you scratched his back, and if you had treats, you would have his full attention and would likely be on the receiving end of a lengthy hand-licking session!

Bailey and Family

Bailey’s bond was greatest with Donna and the kids. As Donna shared with the LMGPR team, Bailey tried to help her with her work/life balance:

“As a publicist, Bailey had to  compete with my mobile phone for my attention.  At times, he would jump up to knock it out of my hands or get into some mischief to distance me from it. He would often  grab my computer bag and hide it in hopes of me staying home from work. So on those days, he would come in to the office too.”

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Bailey passed away Thursday, December 18, 2014. He was almost 14-years old.

13 years with LMGPR is a long, long time in dog years. He will be missed by many.

We love you, Bailey. Thanks for making this office and the world a better place.

Never Lose Your Wallet Again!

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StreetSmart Logo

Have you ever lost your wallet?

If so, you know what a hassle it can be. From the initial panic of worrying about credit card fraud and Identity theft, to having to stand in line at the DMV to replace your driver’s license, losing your wallet can really disrupt your life.

The founders of StreetSmart know that scenario all too well and have created the SmartWallet to do something about it.

The SmartWallet is a sleek, leather wallet that includes a built-in Bluetooth LE locator that pairs with a user’s smartphone. When unpaired, the SmartWallet saves the GPS location the devices were last paired at. If the smartphone is lost, the user can sign in to the SmartWallet app on another device and retrieve the same GPS information. When an un-pairing occurs, a text message will also be sent to the user’s smartphone alerting the user that the devices are out of range.

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The SmartWallet also solves another modern problem that many of us face: low battery life on our smartphones and nowhere to charge. The SmartWallet features a built in USB sync cable with an iPhone lightning and Micro-USB Option and a backup battery charger, allowing users to charge their phones anytime, anywhere.

The SmartWallet is being offered exclusively on Indiegogo and (hint hint) makes a great Christmas gift for a friend, family member or yourself!

Grush: Bringing Tooth Brushing Into the 21st Century!

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Grush

Getting kids to brush their teeth can be difficult.

Getting kids to WANT to brush their teeth is even harder.

Grush, the first gaming toothbrush for kids, is changing that.

Grush is the smart, connected toothbrush that transforms the brushing chore into fun, interactive mobile games for children. It features advanced motion-sensing technology that detects every motion during brushing and wirelessly transmits that data to Grush games running on a smartphone.

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Grush games integrate a child’s brushing motion data with a simulated image of brushing that matches the game’s theme. Games include “Monster Chase,” where kids chase and brush away monsters hiding in teeth, “Toothy Orchestra,” that transforms the Grush brush into a conductor’s wand, and “Brush-a-Pet,” where kids help raise “Gavin Giraffe” over the course of a year.

Grush records and stores the brushing data so that parents have peace of mind that their children are developing proper brushing habits. The data can also be shared with dentists.

Grush will be showcasing at CES next month and we at LMGPR are looking forward to being there alongside a company that aims to improve the health and smiles of children everywhere.

BeeLine: Where A-List Dining Begins!

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It’s Friday night and you’ve suddenly been tasked with securing dinner reservations at a Bay Area hotspot.

The problem? A) you don’t know any hotspots and B) IT’S FRIDAY NIGHT!

Where do you even begin?

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BeeLine is a social dining service that provides premier culinary experiences with a personalized touch. The company has teamed up with some of the hottest restaurants throughout the San Francisco Bay Area to not only ensure reservations, but to offer unique, customizable dining events. With BeeLine, members have the flexibility to dine last minute and have a custom table come to them from the convenience of their mobile device.

How does it work? It starts with an app:

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BeeLine’s intuitive app for iOS and Android gives you a list of restaurants, availability and special offers. BeeLine members get access to VIP perks including a special tasting menu, an opportunity to meet the chef and exclusive access to all-inclusive, prepaid food and beverage packages.

With the push of a button, BeeLine has just solved your dining dilemma of “Where are the best restaurants and when can I get in?”

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BeeLine is the brainchild of Nick Belsito. A food industry veteran who has traveled the world extensively, Nick has found that “food is the key to the soul of its people.”  He founded BeeLine to to connect amazing restaurants with customers looking for a unique food adventure, even at a moment’s notice. Nick also believes in giving back, as a portion of every BeeLine restaurant reservation is donated to a local food bank to help fight the hunger epidemic.

While BeeLine has just launched in the San Francisco Bay Area, other major metropolitan destinations are on the horizon. To become a BeeLine member, download the free app on the BeeLine website.

Bon Apetite!

 

SKULLY: The Future of Motorcycle Helmets is Here!

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SKULLY, makers of the first Heads Up Display (HUD) motorcycle helmet, came out with some HUGE news today:

Beginning Monday, August 11th,  SKULLY will start taking pre-orders for the highly anticipated AR-1 helmet.

Road & Track says the SKULLY AR-1 could be “the most anticipated motorcycle helmet ever produced.” Noted Tech Analyst Rob Enderle says “the SKULLY augmented reality motorcycle helmet would make Iron Man jealous.” IDG News says some are calling the AR-1 “the future of motorcycle helmets.”

For those of you new to SKULLY, here’s a preview of what’s to come:

For more information on SKULLY and the upcoming pre-order campaign, visit www.skullysystems.com

A Funding We Will Go

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For most startups, funding is an integral part of the business plan. Without funding from outside sources, these startups would not have the resources they need to move their businesses forward. That being said, two of LMGPR’s clients have just closed funding rounds to the tune of $10 million dollars each:

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Distil Networks recently closed $10 million in Series A funding to battle malicious bots. Foundry Group and Techstars’ Bullet Time Ventures led the latest round, joined by ff Venture Capital, IDEA Fund Partners and Militello Capital. The funding will be used will be used to support Distil Networks’ ongoing efforts to eliminate bad bots and continued growth as the company opens new offices in Raleigh, North Carolina and San Francisco, California.

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Fortscale has secured $10 million in funding led by Intel Capital and Blumberg Capital to deliver User Intelligence to enterprise security teams. The funding will be used to extend the company’s research and development, engineering and analytics groups and promote partnerships. The funding will also be used to establish the company’s new headquarters in Silicon Valley and rapidly expand Fortscale’s Israeli based R&D and analytics teams in order to support new Fortune 1000 customers.

We would like to congratulate both Distil Networks and Fortscale on their funding success. The vote of confidence from the funding community bodes well for both companies as they continue to grow and make names for themselves within the tech security space.

 

LMGPR Clients Among TiE50 Award Finalists

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LMGPR is proud to announce that not one, but TWO of our clients have been selected as finalists for the 2014 TiE50 Awards: Sideband Networks and Smart Monitor. TiE screened more than 2800 startups before choosing the top 100 finalists. The finalists will next present their ideas at TieCon, the world’s largest technology conference for entrepreneurs, and 50 winners will be announced at an awards ceremony May 16th.

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Sideband Networks is generating a new perspective on network intelligence by providing a single point of visibility and control to networking teams. Sideband’s application aware network performance monitoring solution is the industry’s most comprehensive network performance management solution available today

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Smart Monitor provides monitoring and tracking solutions for people with chronic health conditions. Its award-winning SmartWatch continuously monitors for specific patterns of abnormal movements and instantly alerts connected family members and caregivers upon the onset of repetitive, irregular shaking motion.

Achieving TiE50 status has yielded great results for past winners including FireEye, Palo Alto Networks and Splunk. 94% of winners and finalists have been funded, attracting billions in investments. We’d like to congratulate both Sideband Networks and Smart Monitor for making the cut and look forward to them making a big splash at TiECon.

LMGPR: Hall of Famers!

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By Katelynn Degnan

Move over, Cooperstown! Silicon Valley has its own Hall of Fame and LMGPR has been inducted!

For the past six years, LMGPR has received a “Best of Silicon Valley” award. We are among a very small group of companies to win this award in consecutive years, and as a result, have been inducted into the Silicon Valley Business Hall of Fame in the Public Relations Counselors category.

In a press release, The Silicon Valley Award Program says that each year it “identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Silicon Valley area a great place to live, work and play.”

Getting inducted to the Silicon Valley Business Hall of Fame is a great honor. It’s a testament to our commitment and consistency as we strive to create “Silicon Valley PR that reaches the world.” This award will stand tall next to the many others we have received over the years including “Best of San Jose” and “Best of Sunnyvale.” We’re proud to be a member of the Silicon Valley Business Hall of Fame and plan to live up to that status for years to come.

“Silicon Valley” Hits Close to Home

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By Katelynn Degnan

Have you seen Silicon Valley yet? The new HBO comedy series from Mike Judge, responsible for the cult classic Office Space and cartoons Beavis and Butthead and King of the Hill, takes a satirical (yet somewhat realistic) look at life in the capital of the tech world. Watch the trailer here:

Silicon Valley follows the lives of young entrepreneurs on the road to fulfilling their dreams of becoming the next Steve Jobs… or is it Wozniak? There are stereotypes abound: from the quiet, nerdy tech workers to brogrammers to the eccentric CEO complete with his own spiritual advisor. The characters may seem a bit over-the-top to the uninformed, but for those of us who live and breathe Silicon Valley, it’s really not far off.

So is the show any good?

We watched the first episode here at LMGPR and found Silicon Valley to be funny, clever, intriguing and even inspiring. In the first episode, we meet our protagonists, a group of tech workers, some of whom work for a fictional tech heavyweight company by day, while following their own tech dreams living and working in a home that doubles as an incubator by night. Richard, our hero, is painfully shy and awkward, but is also brilliant and on the cusp of greatness having invented a game changing compression algorithm within an otherwise useless website. When a bidding war breaks out for his creation, he is faced with selling his invention for a big payday or starting his own company with his housemates and investor support. You’ll have to watch the episode to see his decision…

In true Mike Judge style, the banter is quick, witty and, sometimes, crass. We guarantee you won’t be lining up to try “Liquid Shrimp” anytime soon! That being said, one episode in and we at LMGPR are hooked! The Silicon Valley inside jokes may hit a little close to home for some, but if you can’t laugh at yourself, who CAN you laugh at?

To watch the first episode of Silicon Valley, click here.

 

All the World’s a Social Media Post!

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By Katelynn Degnan

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Mystery is a thing of the past. Living in the age of Social Media, our lives are constantly on display. Between status updates and posting pictures and videos, social networks have become a necessity in today’s world. Staying connected is now crucial and has resulted in the creation of numerous social apps.  So which ones are the best? While Facebook and Twitter are the obvious heavyweights, here are my top three must-have apps to enhance your social media existence:

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Instagram: 

This highly-popularized app lets you post pictures and videos of anything you’re doing whether it’s eating at a new restaurant, hanging out with friends, looking over a nice view or even just a simple picture of the Starbucks coffee you are about to consume. Why do people like Instagram? For the “likes” of course! Someone double taps on your photo and suddenly this is the new popularity contest. How many likes did you get on your picture of that sandwich?

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Snapchat:

The very fun app Snapchat allows you to send quick pictures and videos to your friends that will delete after a maximum of 10 seconds.  Send an embarrassing picture of yourself to your best friend and you don’t have to worry about her saving it and using it as friendly blackmail… UNLESS they screenshot your picture. Even then, you are notified that they did that and you can take matters into your own hands. Endless fun and laughter come out of this newer app.

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Vine:

Now Vine is just videos. You get six seconds to make an awesome video and post it. If you don’t think six seconds is a long time, get Vine and you will see that people are making creative and sometimes hysterical videos to watch and “revine”. It’s a great app while you’re waiting for your plane to board or when you’re at the end of the line at the DMV. With Vine, boredom will become obsolete. What can you do with six seconds?

In today’s society, it’s important to be in the know of what’s happening in Social Media while also being thoroughly entertained by your friends and family. These apps are key to staying connected.

Get social, people!

Going to SXSW? There’s an App for That!

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by John Vu

SXSW Interactive starts today and with so many events and so little time, you’ll need to plan out your schedule as efficiently as possible.

To maximize your experience at SXSW, make sure to download the SXSW GO – Official 2014 app. The app is available for both Android and iOS devices and will help you navigate through one of the best festivals of the year!

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When you download the app, you will be introduced to a well organized and easily scrollable interface. At the top left hand corner is a drop down menu with different tabs to help you spend less time planning and more time enjoying SXSW.

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Use the “Discover” tab to help you find different new and interesting events. Use the “Lineup” tab if you are trying to find key events or searching for a specific event type.

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The “Scheduletab allows you to easily add and organize events that you favorite. Afraid of getting lost? Don’t worry, the “Locations” tab will help you navigate to your destination via GPS.

Also, included inside the app is access to the SXSocial network which allows you to easily connect with other registrants. You can even connect with your Facebook friends and share your schedule. When posting to social media, don’t forget to use SXSW official hashtags (#SXSW, #SXSWmusic, #SXSWInterative #SXSWfm).

Lastly, make sure to relax, make new friends and enjoy one of the most exciting events of the year!

LMGPR: Conference Bound!

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LMGPR is gearing up for a busy one, as there are not one-but two major conferences being held in San Francisco next week… and LMGPR clients are involved in both.

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First up is RSA: It’s THE conference “where the world talks security,” and this year’s RSA Conference in San Francisco is expected to be the largest yet. More than 20,000 people are expected to attend the conference and expo being held February 24-28 at Moscone Center.

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Our client Brinqa will be among those exhibiting in the expo hall in booth #115. Drop by for a demo of how Brinqa Risk Analytics is solving common use cases such as Application Security Risk, Service Provider Risk and Technology Risk for security professionals. Brinqa has also chosen RSA to unveil a brand new offering. No spoilers here, but Brinqa is taking risk analytics to new “heights” with a solution that will appeal to businesses of all sizes.

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Brinqa is also giving RSA conference and expo attendees a chance to win Google Glass, so stop by the booth daily to register. For a free expo pass courtesy of Brinqa, click here and look for the Expo Pass Code.

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The other big event going on next week is the LAUNCH festival being held Feb 24-26 at the San Francisco Design Center Concourse. Deemed “the world’s largest startup conference,” some 40 companies will launch for the first time (1.0 Track) or launch new products (2.0 Track) and compete for titles like Best Design, Best Technology and Best Overall with 8,000 attendees making it the largest live audience in technology.

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Our client Knightscope will be among those presenting. Chairman and CEO William Santana Li will give a live demo of the K5 autonomous data machine version 1.5 on Monday, February 24th at 10:50AM. The crime fighting robot is sure to turn heads and make quite the splash at LAUNCH, so if you’re attending, make this a must-see on your list.

We’re excited to be a part of both conferences! Be sure to check back here on our blog, on our Facebook page and on our Twitter feed as we’ll be sure to post pics and live updates.

 

 

Truvolo: Smarter Driving Begins Today

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If there were a product that could help improve the safety of your loved ones behind the wheel, would you buy it?

Well, now you can!

Truvolo has unveiled a well-connected car solution that stands to make driving safer and smarter. The platform includes a data-reading device that plugs into your car which then provides smart alerts and reports via an app to track auto and driver performance, giving users visibility into how their loved ones are driving and how their cars are running:

With Truvolo, users receive insight into:

  • Driving Behavior: Is your teen speeding? Did they arrive at their destination safely?
  • Auto Performance: What does the check engine light mean? How’s the car’s fuel efficiency?
  • Preventive Maintenance: Using a big data platform, users receive predictive warnings of impending engine trouble
  • Car Location: Forgot where you parked? Truvolo will lead the way.

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Truvolo is the brainchild of two Silicon Valley tech veterans: Jaideep Jain and his wife, Sandhya, who came up with the idea of Truvolo when their teenage son was set to begin driving. The couple soon decided to leave behind their tech jobs and create their own company, with an aim to give peace of mind to car owners, drivers and parents everywhere, whether they’re behind the wheel or not.

Truvolo has just kicked off an Indiegogo campaign where you can be among the first to own a Truvolo device. We urge you to check it out and start driving smarter and safer today!

To visit Truvolo’s Indiegogo page, click here.

iSmartAlarm Returns to CES

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CES is back! Live from Las Vegas, the International Consumer Electronics Show is “the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies.” Our client, iSmartAlarm is making its second appearance at CES this year. In 2013, iSmartAlarm unveiled its smartphone-enabled, home security and automation system at CES to rave reviews. This year the company is launching two new products that are part of the iSmartAlarm home control ecosystem:

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iSmartAlarm DoorFront™: This new security and home control tool alerts users via their smartphones when someone comes to the front door or rings the doorbell and allows them to see, hear and speak to their visitors whether they’re at home or not. With iSmartAlarm Doorfront™, users can remotely monitor entryway activity, keep an eye out for package deliveries, and be alerted to suspicious activity.

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iSmartAlarm Smart Switch: This device gives users even more home control and automation capabilities. With the iSmartAlarm Smart Switch, users can remotely control electrical outlets, monitor whether lighting is turned on or off, ensure potentially dangerous appliances are turned off when not in use, and monitor energy usage.

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We expect another busy CES for iSmartAlarm with the unveiling of these products that offer users a new level of control and connectivity within their homes. iSmartAlarm has proven itself to be a leader in a new age of home security and automation products and we look forward to the week ahead… Check out LMGPR’s Facebook and Twitter for updates!

 

The Cool Kids of LMGPR: Jeda Networks and Sideband Networks

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As part of its year-end review, CRN (Computer Reseller News) has come out with its “10 Coolest Networking Startups of 2013” and two of our clients, Jeda Networks and Sideband Networks, have made the list. The honor was given to startups that were either started in 2013, came out of stealth mode or launched their first product and especially stood out in the networking space. LMGPR conducted aggressive launch campaigns with both Jeda Networks and Sideband Networks in 2013.

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Jeda Networks, launched in February, takes a pure software approach to storage networking, abstracting storage network’s primary services from underlying hardware to reduce the cost and complexity of storage in cloud or virtualized environments. Its Fabric Network Controller can deliver networked storage to converged infrastructures without the need for Ethernet switches.

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Sideband Networks, launched in November, is the industry’s first unified solution that can correlate live and logged network traffic, allowing administrators to compare predicted and historical network traffic models with real-time traffic flows. It also offers a single point of management for both virtual and physical networks, network analytics capabilities for live traffic up to 40 Gbps, and real-time alerts for network issues.

Here at LMGPR, we are thrilled to see these upstart startups make an impact in their industry and help Fortune 500’s move their business forward. We’ve worked closely with both companies, leveraging our LMGPR Pulse methodology to strategically position them as market leaders in their respective categories, and, in just a short time, both Jeda and Sideband have come to be recognized as major players in the market.

This latest recognition from CRN is icing on the cake to a great year for Jeda, Sideband and LMGPR. We look forward to continued growth and recognition in 2014.

Read the press release here.

Sideband Networks: One to Watch in 2014

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Who’s poised to shake up the networking market in 2014?

The answer to that question, according to Enterprise Networking Planet, is Sideband Networks!

Sideband’s application-aware network performance monitoring solution made Enterprise Networking Planet’s list of “Five Networking Startups to Watch in 2014.” According to the article, Sideband stands out from the crowd by providing administrators with “a single point of management that correlates live and logged data in a unified single pane view.” Additionally, Sideband tools “incorporate dynamic network discovery and the ability to examine both physical and virtual connections.”

With network performance and visibility becoming top of mind for many administrators, Sideband Networks appears to be in the right place at the right time and we expect big things from this hot startup in 2014.

To read the entire Enterprise Networking Planet article, click here.

It’s Beginning To Sound A Lot Like Christmas!

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As Christmas draws near, LMGPR is getting into the holiday spirit!

The office is decorated:

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Lots of tasty Christmas treats:

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And a soundtrack of holiday favorites. Here are some of LMGPR’s Christmas Classics on heavy rotation:

Phil’s Phave: “Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley. (Due to YouTube copyright restrictions, the only version available  is the “duet” with Martina McBride)

Bianca’s Best: Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt

John’s Jam: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Paul’s Pick: The Little Drummer Boy

Michael’s Must: Do They Know It’s Christmas by Band Aid

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Woody’s Winner: The Twelve Days of Christmas

And from all of us here at LMGPR, we’d like to wish YOU a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Knightscope and LMGPR: A Winning Team

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It’s been a busy week for Knightscope. The company unveiled the K5, an autonomous data machine that can predict and prevent crime, at the Winter 2013 Plug and Play EXPO on December 5th, 2013 in Silicon Valley.

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The K5 was well-received and won a prestigious EXPO award for its showing. The Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Cromwell Schubarth said the 5-foot, 300 pound robot “stole the show.” You can watch Knightscope’s three-minute pitch here.

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Prior to the EXPO, LMGPR conducted a vigorous outreach campaign on behalf of Knightscope and held a press event with the Knightscope team to give the media a sneak peek of the K5. Attendees included:

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As a result of our outreach efforts, Knightscope was featured in more than three dozen media outlets including The New York Times, Fox News, CNET, IDG News, Network World, Mashable, Venturebeat, NBC Bay Area, KRON 4 and the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Here’s a sample of the headlines:

“300-pound robot is new breed of crime-fighting machine”

“An ‘R2-D2′ mobile robot may be your next security guard”

“This 5′ tall 300-pound R2D2 security robot could be the future of public safety”

“Knightscope unveils R2-D2′s crime-fighting big brothers”

“This crime-predicting robot aims to patrol our streets by 2015”

And the hits just kept on coming. On Monday, December 9th, Knightscope was featured on Bloomberg West:

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You can see the entire interview here.

USA Today also conducted a photo shoot and interview with Knightscope and the K5 for an upcoming piece due out soon. We’ll keep you posted.

Launching a company is a lot of hard work, but LMGPR and Knightscope were both up for the challenge. As a result, this launch was a home run for Knightscope and for LMGPR. We’re proud to work alongside such an exciting company that has the potential to affect and protect millions of lives and we at LMGPR congratulate Knightscope on a successful launch and a bright future.

To learn more about Knightscope, click here.

To learn more on how LMGPR can make your company launch a success, contact us today!

Emerging From Behind the Curtain: Sideband Networks and Zane Taylor

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The future of network monitoring and performance has arrived.

Sideband Networks today unveiled the industry’s first unified solution that correlates live traffic with logged network traffic generating a new perspective on network intelligence.

What does that mean? It means organizations now have a dynamic network discovery visual tool for mapping their networks while also providing detailed drill downs for a complete understanding of their network.

MEET THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN

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The brainchild behind Sideband Networks is Zane Taylor. A Silicon Valley veteran who has worked behind the scenes with world-renowned companies including Cisco Systems, Exodus Communications, NetScaler, Citrix and FireEye, Zane has emerged from behind the curtain to start his own company: Sideband Networks.

Zane says working alongside various CEO’s over the years has been invaluable:

“Well I’ve helped new CEO’s manage through the process. I have been their ear to be able to listen and provide my feedback on certain topics and items. And I’ve learned by watching them make mistakes and make good decisions and that is part of what helped me move forward to where I am today.”

Working for several successful companies, Zane learned firsthand what it takes for a team to be successful and has applied that to Sideband Networks as well:

“I make sure I walk around talk to the team on a daily basis. I talk to them individually. I have to make sure I know what’s going on with them. We kid a little, back and forth. We have daily stand-up meetings where everybody is there, everybody is focused, everybody gives a quick update of what they’re doing. It only takes a half hour and it provides openness and communication across the board. And the main thing is that everybody knows that should there be any issue whatsoever, they can come to any of the executive staff members for any reason and ask for help. We all win and lose as a team.”

Outside of the office, Zane is a bit of a thrill seeker. Zane has been known to jump out of airplanes and dive to the bottom of the sea. Zane is also a motorcycle enthusiast who at one time owned seven motorcycles. It is not uncommon to see the Sideband CEO roll into the office on his Buell and plans on adding a Fat Boy to his collection before too long.

As for Sideband, Zane says the company was born out of frustration and has been thirty years in the making: “There has been a void to know what’s going on within a network and being able to have teams be proactive and also have the cross communication within the organization. Over the years, as things have become more and more complex, it’s become more and more difficult to optimize infrastructure and to properly operationalize it for productivity.”

Sideband networks is changing that.

To find out more about Sideband Networks and how it is unlocking the power of live data analytics, click here.

Taking Skully From Zero to Sixty

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By Donna Loughlin Michaels

LMGPR has been on the fast track with  dozens of clients over the years, but Skully Helmets really stands out in the crowd.

Last week, we launched Skully’s  heads-up display motorcycle helmets at Demo 2013. LMGPR had about two weeks to groom the Skully team and put the PR plan in motion for the Demo unveiling. LMGPR targeted top-level publications using our Strategic Story Engine to secure coverage in Wired, Inc, Fast Company, Venturebeat, CNET, Road and Track and other top-tier media outlets.

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The day of the launch was a tremendous success. In less than 24 hours, more than a dozen articles hit, thousands of beta requests began flowing in and motorcyclist enthusiasts from all over the U.S. called our office inquiring how to buy a helmet. Within a week, more than 40 articles had been written, the beta requests surpassed 10,000 and Skully’s YouTube video views topped  80,000.

Here are some of the headlines:

The PR effort on our part did not go unnoticed. Skully Founder Marcus Weller said:

“LMGPR played a critical role in developing our launch and media strategy. They helped bring Skully from zero to 60 in the media quickly, securing front-page visibility, getting investors and consumers talking.  They are a hands on, strategic partner to our team.”

Skully’s successful PR campaign also garnered the attention from world-class PR agencies Waggner Edstrom and Porter Novelli, who applauded LMGPR for its success.

Stay tuned for more on Skully, but meanwhile, if you want us to take your business from zero to sixty using our proven media methodology, contact us today!

Countdown to DEMO

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Tuesday October 15th, marks the start of DEMO Fall 2013 and we at LMGPR couldn’t be more excited!

DEMO is the “launchpad for emerging technology and trends” and is one of the most exciting venues for companies to launch, be seen and raise funding.

LMGPR has a long history of success at DEMO working with early stage “DEMOgods” including Phone Halo, Vivu, Packetmotion, 4Blox and Dyyno, and this year, LMGPR is gearing up to make another big DEMO splash with our client Skully Helmets.

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You’ll be hearing a lot more about Skully following the “official” launch on Thursday, October 17th, but we can tell you this right now: Skully fits perfectly into the red hot “wearable technology” space and if you ride a motorcycle, get ready for something that, up until now, you’ve only seen in the movies!

LMGPR will be Tweeting from DEMO all week, so if you’re not following us on Twitter yet, click here and make sure you do so!

LMGPR Burger Battle-Week 6: The Last Battle

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After more than a month of gorging ourselves on San Jose’s finest hamburgers, our waistlines finally said “ENOUGH.” And so, sadly, we all agreed that we’d have one last hurrah… one last Burger Battle before returning to the land of Lean Cuisines and salads.

For our final battle, we each chose a different restaurant.

Woody chose the recently opened Farmers Union in San Pedro Square. He ordered the Union Burger with white cheddar, bacon marmalade, bread & butter pickles and served on a brioche bun.  Did we mention it was BIG?

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Woody was so enamored with his burger that he was finished by the time the rest of the team returned with theirs! He called it “amazing” and said the burger delivered a unique taste with the tangy, sweet and salty flavors of the bacon marmalade and pickles and was complimented by the soft-but dense brioche bun. A definite winner!

Paul, meanwhile, revisited the site of our first Burger Battle, Fireside No. 1 Gastropub. Paul was absent when we first ventured there and wanted to give it a try.

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Paul likes to keep his burgers simple and let the main ingredients speak for themselves. He went with the Traditional Cheeseburger and gave big ups for the burger’s size, the cheddar’s salty flavor and the fact that the sesame seed bun didn’t fall apart in the process!

Bianca’s burger craving took her to one of the trendiest spots in San Jose: SP2. The “Communal Bar + Restaurant presents delicious, locally sourced, American bistro cuisine from premier chef Ola Fendert.” Bianca ordered the Loaded Marin Suns Farms Burger with lettuce, tomato, onion, bacon, cheese, avocado and served on a toasted ciabatta roll. The keyword in the burger description is “avocado.” As you can see, Bianca was a very happy camper:

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Bianca raved about this burger, how it was medium cooked to perfection and how the bun absorbed all the juice from the patty. The crispy bacon, fresh avocado and generous portion of thin fries were the perfect compliments. Bianca says believe the hype- SP2 is for real!

For Michael, this Burger Battle would not have been complete without a REAL hamburger from Konjoe. You might recall his menu mishap from week three and so he went back to redeem himself. Michael chose the Basic Burger with cheddar cheese that looked like this:

WithoutPork

But Michael wasn’t done just yet, he also ordered a side of pork belly and added that as well:

Photo on 2013-10-09 at 12.25

It was perfect. Savory ground beef, tender pork, crisp lettuce, fresh tomato smothered in special Konjoe sauce and encompassed by a large, soft and sweet Hawaiian-style bun. It was everything Michael had hoped it would be.

AND THE WINNER IS… 

When everyone was done eating, it was time to vote. Who has the best burger in San Jose? It all came down to taste. Personal taste. And because of that, we each picked a different winner:

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Woody’s Winner: Shiitake Mushroom Burger – Konjoe Burger Bar (Lettuce, Shittake Mushrooms, Jack Cheese, Pickled Jalapeno, Konjoe Sauce, Aioli, Fried Egg)

PaulBurger

Paul’s Pick: Truffle Mushroom Swiss Burger – Smashburger (Truffle mayo, sautéed baby portabella mushrooms and aged Swiss on an egg bun)

BiancaBurger2

Bianca’s Best of the Best Burger: Loaded Marin Suns Farms Burger: SP2 (Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Bacon, Cheese, Avocado on a Ciabatta Roll)

MichaelBurger

Michael’s Meat Masterpiece: The Duke Burger: Firehouse No.1 Gastropub (Bacon, BBQ, onion rings & cheddar cheese)

And there you go! The LMGPR Burger Battle has come to an end. We’ve had a great time trying out all these different hamburgers and hope we’ve inspired you to get out there and taste what San Jose has to offer.

The only question now is… what kind of food are we going to battle next? Suggestions?

Bon Appetite!

LMGPR Burger Battle Week 5: Little Chef = Big Burger!

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This week’s burger battle took us back to the San Pedro Square Market to take on Little Chef Counter.

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For the uninformed, Little Chef Counter is ” a micro-bistro which specializes in Californian-French cuisine.”

But could it make a good burger? We were about to find out.

Deciding what to order was pretty easy… there’s only one burger on the menu:

photo 1[1]

The “It’s a Burger” comes with 100% ground beef, sauteed mushrooms & onions, lettuce, tomato, Tabasco aioli and served on a Hawaiian sweet bun.

Yes, you read right: a Hawaiian Sweet Bun. Actually, it was served on four (yes, four!) Hawaiian rolls!

The majority of us added bacon and cheddar cheese as well!

As our burgers arrived, Woody was a very happy man:

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Michael was feeling a bit loopy as well:

photo 1

Little Chef Counter has a great reputation and with good reason: This was easily among the best burgers in the battle. The savory meat and the sweet Hawaiian bread perfectly complemented one another. The sauteed onions almost tasted caramelized and the sauteed mushrooms were full of flavor. The lettuce & tomato were fresh, the cheese wasn’t overbearing, the bacon wasn’t too chewy or crispy and the tabasco aioli tied everything together. The patty was cooked to perfection and there was no skimping on any of the toppings.

Here’s a closer look:

Photo on 2013-10-02 at 12.41 #2

Oh and did I fail to mention Bianca and Woody ordered Duck Fat Fries with their burgers? What are Duck Fat Fries? They are fries cooked with duck fat and served with garlic aioli. Paul and Michael looked on jealously as they tended to their side salads. Sigh.

To recap: The only thing “little” about Little Chef Counter is their name. These are big, bold, beautiful hamburgers and LMGPR is unanimous in their support of Little Chef. If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and give em a try!

Next week our Burger Battle comes to an end with a Burger Buffet!

Bon Appetit!

LMGPR Burger Battle- Week Four: Break Out the Knife and Fork!

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After four weeks of Burger Battling, our brave contestants are getting a real flavor for what kinds of burgers they like. They’ve tried some pretty top-notch burgers up to this point, so the expectations bar has been set pretty high.

Would Gordon Biersch be able to live up to those expectations with their “Knife and Fork Burgers?”

Logo-Gordon-Biersch

Depends who you ask, although the entire team can agree that these were BIG burgers and everyone did end up eating them with a knife and fork eventually!

First up was Bianca. Bianca admits that she is not a fan of chain restaurants, so Gordon Biersch had one strike against them from the start.

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In true Burger Battle fashion, Bianca went head-to-head with last week’s Konjoe Burger Bar selection and ordered a traditional GB Cheeseburger: “Simple and classic, ten ounces, grilled-to-order and topped with aged cheddar cheese.” The battle was over pretty quick. Bianca called her burger “boring and bland,” saying that the burger was on the dry side and the cheese was too thin. She added that while edible, nothing about her burger really stood out.

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Paul, meanwhile, decided to go with the Kobe Cheeseburger: “8 oz. American-style Kobe beef burger with aged cheddar cheese.”  Paul’s medium-cooked Kobe was a little pink for his taste, but he took it in stride. Paul enjoyed every last bite and raved about “the integrity of the buns” to stay intact throughout the meal. While it wasn’t the best Kobe Paul has ever had, he said he would definitely order it again.

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Michael, still smarting after the disappoint of last week’s non-burger battle, was ready for some meat… and he got all he could handle! Michael ordered the Märzen BBQ Burger: “Brushed in our housemade Märzen grilling sauce, topped with bacon and cheddar cheese.” Märzen is a GB handcrafted beer which added extra flavor to the burger. Michael  stared admiringly at his patty’s searing marks and knew he was in for something special. It was juicy, messy and delicious. The Märzen grilling sauce made the meat savory and paired with the salty bacon, the sweet bbq sauce and, lest we forget, the garlic fries, Michael’s disappointment over last week’s battle was but a forgotten memory.

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Woody, not one to shy away from non-traditional burgers, took it upon himself to try the Farmhouse Burger: “With bacon jam, tomatoes and arugula, topped with a fried egg.” We were all very curious what bacon jam would taste like and Woody described it as “smoky, salty and tangy.” Woody, much like Michael, raved about his burger from the first bite to the last, also upping the calorie count with a side of garlic fries, but with no regrets.

So did Gordon Biersch pass the test? Three out of the four judges loudly proclaim “Yes” and Bianca adds that she herself may have to go back and try the special Oktoberfest burger they’ve just begun offering. Sounds like Gordon Biersch is a winner to me!

Next week the Burger Battle is headed to Little Chef Counter.

Bon Appetite!

LMGPR Burger Battle – Week Three: “Where’s the Beef?”

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By Michael Erwin

This week’s burger battle had SO much potential. We spent the better part of the week drooling over Konjoe’s Facebook page loaded with pics of their amazing burgers.

When we found out Wednesday was “National Cheeseburger Day,” we decided to do our burger battle a day early. We were all very excited!

So we made the short trek down to the San Pedro Square Market and lovingly stared at the menu for a good couple of minutes before ordering (click picture to enlarge):

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A few minutes later, our heavenly hamburgers arrived:

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Bianca’s was first to the table and it didn’t disappoint. In honor of National Cheeseburger Day, Bianca ordered a basic burger with cheddar, lettuce ,tomato and konjoe sauce.

Woody’s was up next and raised the bar further:

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His was the Shiitake Jack burger with pickled jalapenos and aioli. And Woody ordered a fried egg to top it off!

Paul and I each ordered the Pork Belly burger. We had visions of an all-beef patty topped with pork belly for a meaty masterpiece…

And then reality set in:

“Where’s The Beef?”

photo[2]

Turns out Paul and I blew it. Despite being labeled a “burger,” this particular “sandwich” did not include a hamburger patty. If you look at the menu above you can see it doesn’t include beef, but in our defense, it is conveniently nestled in the middle of the other burgers, leading those unsuspecting patrons at a “burger bar” to believe beef would automatically be included. Our bad.

That being said, the Pork Belly sandwich was delicious. If this were a “Pork Pageant,” I would have been in “Hog Heaven!” However, since this is a “Burger Battle,” the Pork Belly and its $11.50 price tag left Paul and I disappointed and yearning for beef!

Woody and Bianca, on the other hand, couldn’t stop raving about their burgers. The grass-fed & free range patties were reportedly cooked to perfection, juicy and flavorful. Both said they were the best burgers thus far in the competition and vowed to return.

That only made Paul and I feel worse.

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One thing we all agreed on, however, were the quality of the buns (tee-hee). Soft, fluffy, fresh, sweet and delicious buns that were reminiscent of Hawaiian Rolls.

I look forward to trying them with beef someday.

Despite my own personal experience, the Konjoe Burger Bar is definitely worth checking out and highly recommendable.

Just ask Woody and Bianca.

Next week we’re headed to Gordon Biersch.

Bon Appetit!

The LMGPR Burger Battle: Week Two

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GiftCard2

LMGPR continued its burger quest this week at the recently opened Smashburger in San Jose.

Why is it called “Smashburger?” Well, according to their website:

“Because the 100 percent Angus beef is indeed smashed with a custom-made hamburger press for about 10 seconds, which caramelizes the meat. The burger is then flipped over and smashed again.”

That was good enough for us here at LMGPR. We were in!

And just like last week, we opted for a variety of burgers:

BIancaBurger

Bianca decided to be pseudo-healthy with the AVOCADO CLUB: Fresh avocado, applewood-smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, ranch dressing and mayo on a multi-grain bun. She also added the sweet potato fries to go with it. To say the burger was a mouthful is an understatement. I mean… look at the size of that avocado! Bianca was impressed with the seasoned beef and was happy that the ranch didn’t overpower the bacon and tomato.

PaulBurger

Paul’s TRUFFLE MUSHROOM SWISS: Truffle mayo, sautéed baby portabella mushrooms and aged Swiss on an egg bun isn’t going to win any presentation awards, but according to Paul “It tastes much better than it looks!” Paul gave kudos for the “perfectly seasoned meat” and said the truffle mayo was the perfect compliment. Paul’s meal also included Smashburger’s olive oil and rosemary french fries.

MichaelBurger

Still a bit full from last week’s monstrosity burger, Michael toned it down slightly with a half-pound BBQ, BACON & CHEDDAR: BBQ sauce, applewood-smoked bacon, cheddar and haystack onions on an egg bun. Michael enjoyed the juiciness of the meat and the healthy slathering of bbq sauce that made quite the mess! The sauce was a little overbearing as he couldn’t really taste the haystack onions or bacon, but as a bbq lover, Michael wasn’t complaining.

WoodyBurger

The Burger of the Week definitely goes to Woody. He too ordered a BBQ, BACON & CHEDDAR, but then added lettuce, tomato, pickles, mushrooms and… a fried egg! We tried to get Woody to explain how on Earth all those different flavors could possibly come together, but he could only moan and say “amazing!”

We’ll take his word for it.

Smashburger is sort of  like a high-end Five Guys or In-n-Out, but much, MUCH better. The prices for the quality of the burger were great at around $6-7 a burger (except for Woody and his add ons!) and we will definitely be eating there again.

In short, Smashburger was a “smashing” success!

Next week… LMGPR heads to the Konjoe Burger Bar in the San Pedro Square Market.

Bon Appetite!

The Truth About Typos

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Typos happen.

And they happen to everyone.

elway misprint photo_1378478513449_866477_ver1.0_320_240

Case in point: a recent Columbus Dispatch headline read “Elway throws seven touchdown passes.”

The problem? John Elway retired in 1999.

The headline obviously meant to read, “Manning throws seven touchdown passes,” to coincide with the Denver Broncos’ season-opening win over the Baltimore Ravens. I have no doubt the person responsible for the gaffe knew full well the difference between Manning and Elway, so how could this have happened?

Because typos happen.

No matter how hard you try, no matter how smart you are or how much you know, no matter how many articles, releases or emails you’ve written, every once in a while a typo is going to fall through the cracks and trip you up.

They just do.

So what can you do about it? How can you be expected to be perfect all of the time? You really can’t. But there are a few things you can do to prevent typos from becoming a regular occurrence.

  • Don’t rely solely on spell-check. While spell-check is useful for most erroneous misspellings, they won’t necessarily recognize things like “to or too,” or notice if a correctly–spelled word you meant to delete has inadvertently been left in.
  • Don’t proofread immediately after writing (if possible). When you write something, you know what you are trying say. The problem is that when you go back to proof it, your mind may simply ignore any typos, glossing over obvious mistakes.
  • Print it out. You are likely to catch more errors if you read it on paper as opposed to a computer screen.
  • Read it out loud. Hearing is believing. Your eyes may play tricks on you, but your ears are not as vulnerable to such trickery.
  • Have someone else read it. A new set of eyes and a neutral perspective can root out typos you may have skimmed over several times. If you can get the same person to read it out loud to you, even better.

Even if you complete all five of the tips above, don’t be surprised if one of those pesky little typos still finds its way into your copy. We’re only human, after all, and typos have happened to each and every one of us. It doesn’t suddenly make you a terrible journalist or a junior writer. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are inattentive or lazy. Yes, people may scoff or belittle you for the mistake, but let he or she who is without typo cast the first stone.

That’s what I thought.

You see, typos happen. They happen in online and print publications, on press releases, media alerts, emails, billboards, programs, menus and invitations…they probably happen to Manning and Elway, too.

Why do typos happen? They just do.

All we can do is try our best to prevent them from happening.

The LMGPR Burger Battle: Week One

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If there’s one thing we enjoy here at LMGPR, it’s a good hamburger. So much so, that we’ve decided to take our own burger challenge! Every Thursday in September (and maybe October too), our team will pick a different restaurant in San Pedro Square or surrounding area in a quest to find the best hamburger in San Jose.

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This week we decided to try Firehouse No. 1 Gastropub in San Pedro Square. Three different burgers were on the menu, so naturally we had to try all three!

WoodyBurger

Woody went traditional with “The Standard Cheeseburger: special sauce, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, & pickle.” He also added a couple of slices of thick-cut bacon. Woody devoured his, finishing well ahead of Bianca and Michael. He wished his medium-grilled patty would have had a little more pink, but overall said this tasty burger was anything but “Standard.”

ClaudiaBurger

Bianca was a bit more adventurous taking on the “Le French Burger: Truffle mayo, a touch of choice Maytag bleu cheese & roasted wild mushrooms.” Bianca raved about the heirloom tomato and added that the “touch” of bleu cheese was just enough- anymore and it might have been overkill. Bianca enjoyed every last bite and said Le French was délicieux.

MichaelBurger

Michael won the artery clogger prize with “The Duke Burger: Bacon, BBQ, onion rings, & cheddar cheese.” The presentation itself was amazing and Michael had to channel his inner “Shaggy and Scooby” to fit that monstrosity in his mouth and stomach. Michael’s only complaint was that it was a little light on the bbq sauce and next time he would ask for extra. It was a true “Man Vs Food” moment tackling a burger of that size, but Michael was able to “Duke” it out and won the challenge.

All three burgers were amazing and the herb-parmesan shoestring fries were the perfect compliment. All three of our burger battle contestants say they would definitely eat there again.

Next week, we’re headed to SmashBurger, but for now we’re taking our full bellies to the gym!

Bon Appetit!

When PR Stunts Succeed…

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Have you seen this viral video of a marriage proposal gone terribly wrong?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yE-wGeCmYA

Turns out, the whole thing was not only a hoax, but a PR stunt at that!

It’s all part of a Cadbury’s “Not So Sweet” campaign for its Bournville dark chocolate product.

In addition to the video going viral, the hashtag #notsosweet has exploded on Twitter with tens of thousands of users giving real life examples of life’s bittersweet moments.

The work by Cadbury’s PR team is a textbook example of the power of creative PR and how leveraging social media can drive huge results for businesses today.

Bravo!

The Influence of Mobile Technology on PR

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infoIt’s a mobile world.

No longer just a communications tool to keep us connected to our family and friends, mobile technology has seeped into just about every aspect of our personal and professional lives.

This is true for all of us here at LMGPR and a new infographic takes a look at how mobile has affected the public relations industry as a whole.

“PR: Then and Now” showcases traditional ways of doing PR and how mobile has changed all that. It showcases the rise of the blogger, the influence of social media and how impressions are being replaced by influence. It also focuses on the importance of context, news links and having a point of view.

The infographic also focuses on the immediacy that the world now demands. Second Day News has been replaced by Second Hour News and SMS has overtaken direct mail. YouTube’s immediate access has cut into traditional television and even online news, which is still relatively young, is being challenged by mobile news apps.

Ultimately, the infographic goes full circle spotlighting those constants within the PR industry that have been around for decades such as thought leadership, credibility and relationships, that remain integral to a successful PR program, mobile or not.

So is the mobile infusion into PR for the better? That’s arguable.

More convenient? Most definitely. Mobile now allows us instant access to our work and clients no matter where we are in the world.

Our smartphones and tablets are always with us and it’s not uncommon to be finishing presentations on the train, conducting briefings in the car or targeting East Coast reporters in the morning from the comfort of our own homes as we have our first cup of coffee!

One thing’s for sure: mobile is here to stay and LMGPR has implemented mobile into our daily work lives as a valuable tool that delivers for us… and our clients.

Puttin’ on the Hits: Agari’s Email TrustIndex!

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Last week was a banner week for Agari.

The leading email security provider released its 2013 Email TrustIndex- Second Quarter Edition, a quarterly report that gives an in-depth look at where consumers are most protected or vulnerable to email attack across industry sectors.

The report was picked up by numerous top-tier media outlets including:

logo-fastcompany  Travel Websites are a Phisher’s Paradise

PandoDaily1 Financial Services Sector Hit Hard in Last Quarter by Email Phishing Attacks

cso Email from Social Media Safest, Financial Services Riskiest

tech-zone-logo Agari Email TrustIndex Shows Where Consumers are Most Likely to be Protected or Attacked

American-Banker-940x350 Phishing Attacks Targeting Bank Customers Spike: Survey

wsj Survey Roundup: Risk Culture, Data Threats

The report was a home run for both Agari and LMGPR. By leveraging Agari’s expertise in all things email security, we were able to leverage our own expertise in media relations to get the report in front of the right people. It was a textbook example of how public relations can play a key role in publicizing a company.

The bar has been set high for the next Agari TrustIndex due out in October, but we here at LMGPR are more than up for the challenge.

Tweet to the Top!

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Infographic-Twitter-Shortcuts-You-Need-to-Know

If you are using Twitter for more than just a social entertainment outlet, chances are you are what is known as a “Twitter Power User.”

But being a Twitter Power User isn’t easy. It takes time and effort to build relationships, engage your audience and increase your influence. With time at a premium for most people, how does one make the jump to Twitter Power User?

Mashable has recently released “14 Twitter Tips and Tricks for Power Users.” It includes tips on personalizing your Twitter profile, search tricks, keyboard shortcuts, widgets and other tools to maximize your Twitter experience. Of course there are more than just 14 tips and tricks though! Here are a few other resources for the Twitter Power User-in-training:

Twittertips.org

100 ways to become a Twitter Power User

25 Twitter tips to help you Tweet like a Pro

Many of the suggestions above are ones that we here at LMGPR use on a daily basis as we work with our clients to take their Twitter presence to the next level.

Happy Tweeting from your friends at LMGPR!

Meet Spartups: The Silicon Valley Incubator for Mighty Spartans

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By Bianca De Rose

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, LMGPR is surrounded by tech, innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit. Whether they are scrappy startups or world-renowned companies, Silicon Valley continues to thrive. One of the starting points for many of the next generation of Silicon Valley success stories is San Jose State University, the school “Powering Silicon Valley.” Three driven, young entrepreneurs and San Jose State University alums, Rand Owens, Saif Akhtar and Emeka Nwadibia are proof of this. They’ve founded Spartups – a one-stop resource center for entrepreneurs.

Started as a meet-up group in September 2012, Spartups became an incubator in January 2013 launching their first incubator batch on July 11, 2013. Similar to most startups, Spartups sees their greatest challenge as learning how to do things – they face the same challenges that young startups do.

“There was no map or plan that we could copy,” says Rand, Spartups’ Director of Business Development. “It was trial and error; lucky for us we were able to make a lot of the right moves early on.”

“As entrepreneurs ourselves, it’s exciting to be creating a forum for fellow alumni to launch their businesses,” says Saif, Director of Operations. “We are bringing together blue chip mentors and partners to accelerate Spartups.”

Spartups has grown into an incubator program and has formed partnerships with San Jose State University and notable technology companies like Rackspace Hosting, Microsoft Bizspark, Twilio, and Relay Foundation. The full list of mentors can be found on AngelList.

Spartups is also mentored by LMGPR’s very own Donna Loughlin Michaels, known as the “PR She Devil” of Silicon Valley and has worked with 100s of startups in her career including five successful IPOs.  Donna will provide Spartups with public relations and marketing strategies during their boot camp process.  Addtionally, the agency will host startup mixers at their Silicon Valley location. Through this mentorship LMGPR is excited to be connected with smart and savvy entrepreneurs coming out of San Jose State University, as well as helping them network with the movers and shakers of the Silicon Valley and beyond.

To learn more about Rand, Saif, and Emerka check out their story on their blog.

What’s in Our Social Media “Tool Belt”

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By Bianca De Rose 

Here at LMGPR we create individual social media campaigns for each of our clients. We understand that maintaining a strong presence online is a necessity for businesses today and we make sure our clients are not only engaging their customers via social media, but are also joining all relevant conversations in the space. We also keep track of social media statistics to show our clients that they are being heard via the various social media outlets. To do all this, it is imperative to find the right online tools to help get the job done right. Here are some of our favorite social media tools we use at LMGPR:

Hootsuite – This social media management tool with an easy to use web-based dashboard allows you to manage all of your social profiles in one place. This is the perfect tool for launching social media campaigns, identifying target audiences and engaging customers.

Facebook Insights – Keep track of your Page’s performance by getting an inside look at people’s activity as well as likes, engagement and reach.

TweetReach – The perfect tool for measuring the reach of your brand, campaign or event on Twitter. TweetReach reports come in handy when sharing your Twitter success with your client.

Bit.ly – URL minimizer that provides data on tracking and analytics. Shorten the links you want to share on Twitter and Facebook and check back to see how many readers have clicked on it.

Picasa – A program that allows you to organize and edit digital photos. Got photos from the latest conference you had a booth at? Edit them and share! Picasa is also great for creating memes.

There are many social media tools to choose from. What’s in your social media “tool belt?”

A PR Lesson from Kap’s Cap Flap

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By Paul Fernandez

If you needed any more proof that the NFL is king in this country, look no further than what qualified as “news” during the July doldrums known as the offseason.

KapHat

If you follow the sport, you’ve likely heard that 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, a rising star in the NFL, was spotted wearing a Miami Dolphins hat during a Fourth of July party and pics of the transgression set off a debate throughout social media; arguments about loyalty, individualism, common sense and the like. Kaepernick took to Instagram and posted a photo of himself with the infamous cap along with a defiant response to the initial criticism he was getting for his choice in accessories. Fans commented/tweeted their reactions with such fervor, the story made the homepage of NFL.com and various talking heads on ESPN weighed in on “Hat Gate” over the last week. Kaepernick later posted a picture of himself with 49er gear in an attempt to calm the football-deprived masses.

So from a PR perspective, what can be learned here? The Bleacher Reports’ Tom Smeaton wrote a post on the topic a few days ago and brings up some great points: “…the real story behind Kap’s cap is in the public eye, regardless of personal opinion on the matter. One way or another, people seem to care about the story, and in the modern market, that’s what drives the news.”

In other words, even if you’re right, you’re wrong… at least in the public eye.

Personally, as a longtime 49er fan I had no problem with Kaepernick wearing a Dolphins hat. I agree with Kaepernick that he can wear whatever he wants, whenever he wants.  But fending off critics via social media, even over a minor incident, is almost always a losing battle. If there’s anything Kaepernick should have used better judgment on, it’s putting on the hat knowing he’s a target whenever he’s out in public. He made things worse with his defiant comments lashing back at fans. The better move would have been to acknowledge it, be contrite and let it fade into the ether.  Tweeting something like, “Sorry to all my fans. It was just a fashion thing, I bleed Red & Gold #NinerForLife” would have been enough. We live in a very forgiving society. If a celebrity owns up to something, asks for forgiveness and lets go of the matter, people tend to look past minor “scandals.”

Also, If Kaepernick is hoisting the Lombardi trophy in February, will any really care about a hat he wore in July?

Something to Give an App About!

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If you own an iPad or an iPhone, this could be your lucky week!

On the heels of Wednesday’s fifth anniversary of Apple’s App Store, several games and apps are being offered for free as a promotional offering.

An official list has yet to be released, but ABC News and The Verge report the freebies include:

Infinity Blade II (Usually $6.99)

Superbrothers: Sword and Sorcery EP

Where’s My Water?

Badland

Tiny Wings 

Traktor DJ (Usually $19.99!)

Day One

Over

How to Cook Everything

Barefoot World Atlas (Usually $4.99)

Who says you can’t get anything for free? Take advantage of these deals before they’re gone!

Happy app shopping from your friends at LMGPR!

Tales of a “Cagey” PR Veteran

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By Phil Lanides

MMA Phil

(Phil Lanides looks on during an MMA bout)

I’ve been working in public relations now for over seven years, and during my time in the business, I’ve worked in a true variety of industries. Tech, entertainment, theatre, religion, and… MMA. Like I said, a variety! I’ve been asked what some of the differences are, and while there definitely are some, for the most part, since the goal is pretty much the same across all industries (to get media attention), the approach doesn’t vary all that much.

The number one difference across the PR verticals: The People.

During my time in MMA, I have dealt with some of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet. Some assume that because these men and women punch other folks in the face for a living that they’re roid-ragin’ maniacs.

Quite the opposite.

It’s only my opinion, but since fighters are training in a very physical manner on a near-daily basis, they get out their aggressions and frustrations regularly at the gym. As a result, they’re a little calmer than your Average Joe. Again, just an opinion, but my experience backs it up.

Now, there are exceptions to this. I was at an event a couple of years ago that got canceled at the last minute. One of the members of the promotions team got it in his head that I had somehow tried to sabotage the event. This man was well over 6-feet, and a professional kickboxer who competed on The Ultimate Fighter. He got nose-to-nose with me (well, my nose to his chest) and ended up shoving me. If some of the fighters hadn’t pulled him away, he would have really gone after me.

That’s never happened in the tech or entertainment world.

Still, it was an isolated incident. But when you’re dealing with the fight world, anything can happen. Tech has its challenges as well, but I don’t expect any laptops to be hurled at me anytime soon.

Hopefully…

The LMGPR Soundtrack to Summer

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summertime-blues

The arrival of summer had us at LMGPR thinking about our favorite summer tunes. What song really sums up summer for each of us? We took a poll and here are the results:

Summertime-DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince –  This was the only song that got two votes. Senior Client Executives Paul Fernandez and Phil Lanides say nothing catches the summer vibe like Will Smith rapping to a Kool & the Gang instrumental!

Pontoon – Little Big Town – LMGPR’s “country girl” Account Coordinator Bianca DeRose finds summer not on a surfboard, but on a pontoon:

Vacation – The Go-Go’s – “Nothing says summer like a vacation,”  says LMGPR’s President Donna Michaels:

Steal My Sunshine – Len – “I dare you to try and steal it,” says Woody Mosqueda, PR Supervisor, ADF coach and sun guardian:

Summertime Sadness – Lana Del Rey –  LMGPR’s emo-raver Intern Helen Koh finds melancholy summer bliss in this Lana Del Rey remix:

Summertime – The Sundays – Media Strategist Michael Erwin’s decades-long crush on Harriet Wheeler only intensifies each and every summer:

Honorable Mentions:

Summer’s Here – The School

Cruel Summer – Bananarama

One Kiss Don’t Make a Summer – Lucky Soul

Long Hot Summer – The Style Council

Summer of Love – The B-52’s

Staying Out for the Summer – Dodgy

The Other Side of Summer – Elvis Costello

Summer Rain – U2

Suddenly Last Summer – The Motels

The Last Day of Summer – The Cure

Summer’s Over – Rialto

Any songs we’re missing? Leave us a comment and we’ll add them.

Have a great summer from your pals at LMGPR!

“They Like Us… They Really Like Us!”

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LMGPR Award

We don’t toot our own horn all that often, but once in a while it’s nice to be recognized for our hard work!

We’ve been notified by the U.S. Commerce Association that LMGPR has been selected as the recipient of the “2013 Best of San Jose Award” in the Public Relations Counselors category. This is the fifth time LMGPR has received the award, an achievement in its own right. The US Commerce Association says nationally, less than one-tenth of the 2013 Awards were certified as five-time awardees.

In a letter, the USCA says LMGPR is being honored “as a result of your dedication and efforts as well as the work of others in your organization that have helped build your business. Your team is now part of an exclusive group of small businesses that have achieved this selection.”

Each year, the USCA scopes out the best local businesses that have “achieved exceptional marketing success” and “enhance the positive image of small businesses through service to their customers and community.” We’re honored to accept the award and look forward to displaying our plaque next to the others. As a five-time award winner, it shows that LMGPR is consistent in our commitment to our clients and to ourselves. That is something we are all very proud of.

Meet LMGPR’s NKOTB!

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LMGPR continues to grow and expand. We’ve recently added three new team members who have made an immediate impact with our clients, securing coverage in USA TodayTechCrunch and eWeek to name a few.

Allow me to make the introductions:

Paul & dog

Paul Fernandez, senior client executive, has more than seven years of PR experience, specializing in media relations and content creation. Having worked in both corporate and agency settings, Paul has served clients in a wide range of industries, including enterprise software, mobile advertising, digital marketing, nonprofit and entertainment. He has raised awareness for multiple startups by securing coverage in world-renowned publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and InformationWeek. Outside of work, Paul can be found hanging out with his dog “Rocco.” In his former life, Paul was a bartender and still makes an Old Fashioned that Don Draper would die for!

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Phil Lanides, senior client executive, is a media hound and strong writer with a combined 11 years of media and communications experience. He has worked with tech and business clients in the fields of enterprise, big data, storage, and security, amongst others, while also pitching clients in the sports and entertainment world. The media outlets he’s gotten coverage from read like a virtual “Who’s who” of the media world. In his spare time, Phil likes to read, play basketball and spend time with his wife and dogs. Phil is also an MMA junkie and a self-proclaimed pro wrestling historian!

Bianca

Bianca De Rose, account coordinator extraordinaire, is the most recent addition to LMGPR, bringing three years of public relations experience to the team. Having worked on various consumer tech and business enterprise accounts, she finds reward and personal satisfaction in securing her clients coverage in top-tier publications. When Bianca isn’t working, she can be found posting pics of her two Mini Schnauzers on Instagram and (of course) rooting for the San Francisco Giants!

The addition of this trio has rounded out the LMGPR team and we are stronger than ever. We’re ready to work for you! Contact us today!

 

 

 

Another Reason to Love Fridays!

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The San Pedro Square Farmers’ Market is back! Every Friday, the road right outside our front door is shut down and transformed into an outdoor marketplace with something for everyone.

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There’s shopping:

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Flowers:

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Fruits:

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Vegetables:

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MORE vegetables:

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Entertainment:

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Snacks:

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Sweets:

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And even celebrity sightings!

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The San Pedro Square Farmers’ Market takes place every Friday through November 15th. Make sure you stop by and say hello to us at LMGPR if you happen to be in the neighborhood! For more information, click here!

Meet the Man Behind The Pulse!

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Anything look different to you on our blog? It should!

As part of our complete LMGPR website makeover, we’ve given our blog a new name and look as well:

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The Pulse is LMGPR’s voice of the Silicon Valley and beyond.  We have our finger on the pulse in terms of how we work with our clients, keeping track of industry happenings and trends and moving our clients forward.

As part of the redesign, we enlisted the aid of an up-and-coming artist whom we felt could give “The Pulse” some life in its logo:

Mehruss

Mehruss Jon Ahi is an artist with numerous passions including architecture, graphic design, photography and fashion. He is a Project Designer at BCA Architects in San Jose, California as well as the co-creator and designer of Interiors, an architecture and film journal that examines films in terms of space. Mehruss has studied architecture all around the world, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Rome, Italy. You can learn more about Mehruss and his work on his website.

We may be slightly biased (just a little!), but we believe Mehruss’ Pulse logo is among his finest works! We are thrilled with the outcome and are more than proud to host an original Mehruss work of art on our blog.

Now the hard part: creating content that lives up to the art itself. Mehruss has set the bar high, but we are ready to deliver. The Pulse is live!

Standing Out in the Crowdfunding!

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Funding is an integral aspect of business for just about every startup. Over the years, however, funding has proven difficult to come across and so startup companies have looked for alternatives to traditional investors. One of the emerging alternatives for startups is crowdfunding, where money is raised through generally small contributions in order to finance a particular project or venture.

As crowdfunding has continued to grow, companies are looking to PR to get the most out of their crowdfunding campaigns. This is where LMGPR comes in. We’ve been working with our clients to maximize their campaigns by telling the right story to the right audience for real business results.

Take, for instance, our client iSmartAlarm. The makers of the  smartphone-enabled home security and control system just wrapped up an incredibly successful Indiegogo campaign, where the company aimed to raise $50,000 through preorders ahead of the company’s April launch. The crowdfunding campaign began in January, following an equally successful debut at CES. LMGPR began laying the groundwork at CES, making the introductions with key media integral to building buzz for iSmartAlarm’s campaign.

The results were fantastic. Articles began to hit as the Indiegogo campaign got underway, driving potential customers to the crowdfunding site. In a 90-day period, iSmartAlarm was featured in more than 100 articles globally and the $50,000 goal was quickly shattered. Through this period, LMGPR worked with iSmartAlarm to continue the momentum through social media as well as traditional PR outreach.

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The crowdfunding campaign came to an end on April 1st (no fooling!) and when it was all said and done, iSmartAlarm raised more than $225,000 dollars, more than four times the amount of the campaign’s initial goal.

We’d like to congratulate iSmartAlarm on the success of its product & campaign and are proud to have played a role in the results. If your company is looking to start a crowdfunding campaign, LMGPR can help! Contact Donna Michaels for your crowdfunding consultation today at (408) 993-9150.

LMGPR: What’s in a Name (or a Letter?)

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Officially, the “LMG” in LMGPR stands for “Loughlin Michaels Group.” Here at the office, however, “LMG” takes on a meaning that we strive to bring to all our clients: Leadership, Momentum and Growth. Our current clients are proving this true:

LEADERSHIP:

Lastline has just released a report called “The Security Threat of Evasive Malware.” It details how malware authors are exploiting the limited visibility of so-called sandboxes or automated malware analysis systems. This report coupled with LMGPR’s aggressive outreach has positioned Lastline as a thought leader in the security field. The story was picked up in several outlets including GCN who wrote “It should be noted that Lastline has a dog in this fight and is offering a solution to counter this new threat.” The report and subsequent coverage is building momentum for Lastline ahead of RSA.

MOMENTUM:

The first two months of 2013 have resulted in an avalanche of momentum for iSmartAlarm. First there was the success of the smartphone-enabled home security and automation system’s unveiling at CES. With LMGPR on hand in Las Vegas, the product received rave reviews and resulted in more than 100 articles globally. Building on that momentum, iSmartAlarm launched an Indiegogo campaign that offered consumers the opportunity to pre-order the system prior to the official April launch. The campaign was a smash hit and iSmartAlarm more than doubled its $50K goal. The momentum was such, that iSmartAlarm decided to extend the pre-sale, so if you haven’t picked up your iSmartAlarm yet, you still have time.

GROWTH:

Agari personifies growth. The email security leader’s revenue grew 300-percent in 2012. The company’s anti-phishing net has also grown: the company now protects over 2.3 billion emails on a daily basis, stopping over four-million suspicious emails and detecting over 40,000 malicious URL’s. This type of growth hasn’t gone unnoticed. LMGPR took these results to the press and Agari found itself in several outlets including Venturebeat and Dow Jones. Additionally, CSO highlighted Agari Founder and CEO Patrick Peterson as a thought leader in a recent article on phishing attacks being conducted via GoogleDocs. Agari is poised for continued growth in 2013 as the momentum continues to build.

LET LMG WORK FOR YOU!

The Leadership, Momentum and Growth results are not uncommon for LMGPR clients. We work with each client individually, mapping out the right PR plan utilizing the LMGPR Pulse to develop the right stories and make sure we connect with the right audience to deliver real business results. If you’re ready to put some Leadership, Momentum and Growth into your company, give LMGPR a call.

Silicon Valley: A Land of Opportunity

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It wasn’t that long ago when Silicon Valley, the tech capitol of the world, was a lush farmland known as the “Valley of Hearts Delight.”

So how did Santa Clara Valley go from being an agricultural hub to a technological wilderness?

It started in 1957 with eight men… and a dream.

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A new “American Experience” documentary entitled “Silicon Valley” takes “an eye-opening look at the birthplace of the modern technological era.” From transistors to microprocessors, from pocket radios to iPhones, we see the evolution of Silicon Valley, told by some of the key players involved.

It’s an inspiring tale of a new brand of “The American Dream” that lives on today.

Click here to watch the film online.

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After viewing the documentary, we were reminded of what was great about Silicon Valley: that it is a place where dreams are realized, where failures are spectacular, but where hope is always alive.

As Silicon Valley’s tech PR agency, LMGPR continues to be inspired by the minds and ideas that keep Silicon Valley the center of the tech world. It’s what gets us excited to wake up each day and do our personal best for our clients and be the best PR agency we can be.

What inspires you about Silicon Valley?

The First Must-Read Book of 2013

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Brian Solis is back!

The renowned digital analyst, blogger, speaker, advisor and author of two of LMGPR’s favorite books:

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Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web

and

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The End of Business As Usual: Rewire the Way You Work to Succeed in the Consumer Revolution

has announced the upcoming release of his next book:

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What’s the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences.”

According to Solis, the new book “explores the evolving landscape of new consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold and flourish in four distinct moments of truth.”

Here’s a promotional video ahead of the March 11th book release:

But wait, there’s more! Solis adds that the book “is also an experience in (and) of itself. It’s a visually rich, four-color journey… think digital app but in an analog format.”

If his past efforts are any indication, “What’s the Future of Business” will be one NOT to miss this year. The book makes its debut at SXSW on March 8th and will be available in stores March 11th.

It’s a safe bet LMGPR will be first in line.

(For more on Brian Solis, check out his blog, Facebook and Twitter)

A ValenTECH’s Day Gift Guide!

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They say it’s the thought that counts.

So if you’re one of the masses giving one of the top three most popular Valentine’s Day gifts (Candy- 47.5%, Flowers- 34.3%, Dining Out- 34.6%) you may want to ask yourself: “How much thought am I REALLY putting into this?”

Perhaps this year it’s time to buck the generic trend.

As Silicon Valley’s tech PR firm, we’re constantly on the lookout for cool tech products and have come up with some great gift ideas for your digital valentine:

Milktape

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Remember the mixtape? A collection of songs you’d make for someone that perfectly captured your every emotion? Well now you can give a Milktape. It’s a 21st century spin on the mixtape with a USB stick that holds about 15 songs. Let him or her know how you really feel this Valentines Day with the gift of music.

iSmartAlarm

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A home security system for a Valentine’s gift? Ok, so it sounds a bit practical, but really, what’s more romantic than letting your significant other know that you care about their well-being and safety? This mobile, portable, affordable home security system utilizes the iPhone to keep your loved one safe. Forbes has endorsed iSmartAlarm, so has TechCrunch. Check out their Indiegogo campaign here.

Coyote Case

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This Smartphone case is a ” powerful, personal panic siren coupled with an automated, Bluetooth-enabled safety app.” When triggered, it not only lets out a piercing shriek, but also sends a text with GPS coordinates to pre-selected emergency contacts.

Rock Candy

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Give your gamer a little love this Valentines Day! These controllers for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Wii look almost good enough to eat! They come in a variety of colors and at under $25-bucks, they won’t break the bank!

USB Tulip Hub

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And finally… If you HAVE to buy flowers, then might we suggest flowers that will live for more than just a few days! The USB Tulip Hub contain four USB high-speed ports to keep your Valentine charged up throughout the day!

Happy ValenTECH’s Day from your pals at LMGPR!

 

LMGPR Knows Social Media

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By Helen Koh

Step aside Internet memes, cat videos and less-than-interesting Facebook/Twitter updates about “where you are” or “what you had for lunch:” LMGPR is here for business!

At LMGPR, we utilize social media for all of our clients. We work with each client individually to create a winning social media campaign, establishing a strong presence for them throughout all relevant social media channels to maximize their reach.

We are not alone in recognizing the importance that social media can have on a business. According to the 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 83% of marketers use social media for business purposes.  Of these marketing professionals, 59% spend 6 hours or more per week on social media sites and 33% spend 11 or more hours weekly.

So why is social media important?

Instant Exposure:

Before the social media explosion, PR outreach was limited to traditional methods such as press releases. This took time and planning as releases have to go through a review process from publications and their respective journalists, writers and editors before being issued on their websites.

Social media changed all that.

With the growing use of smartphones and tablets, not to mention traditional home and office computers, social media is everywhere. As a result, we can reach out via social media to our target audiences almost instantaneously wherever they may be. It’s a quick, concise way to get not only news, but also images, audio, video and other multimedia content to the intended audience.

Here’s a tweet we posted on behalf of our client iSmartAlarm as they launched their indiegogo campaign at CES:

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In addition to issuing a press release, we used Facebook and Twitter updates to spread the word about iSmartAlarm’s new home security product. This type of social interaction generated additional buzz and momentum for iSmartAlarm, who is now well on the way to reaching its campaign goals.

Branding:

Social Media can be used as a tool to generate awareness and to enhance a company’s image.

One of LMGPR’s core offerings in the branding department is blogging.

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We find that writing entries about a company and the products and services that they offer is a great way to dramatically increase brand recognition. It’s also an opportunity to show thought leadership in that respective field. Without any character limits, blog posts keep your audience in the loop with all your company’s internal activities and educates them about issues your company finds important. We can also use Facebook, Twitter and other outlets to publicize the blog resulting in more traffic to your website.

Audience Interaction:

One of the key benefits of social media is that it allows companies to interact directly with their customers!

Twitter and Facebook both allow consumers to leave messages and ask questions. A company on top of its social media program responds to the comments and shows the consumer that they are listening and that they care. This goes a long way in building a lasting relationship with current customers and may result in new customers as well.

At LMGPR, we also use social media to build relationships with the press. These days, some journalists are more likely to check their Twitter feed than their email inbox! We also use Twitter to retweet or acknowledge those journalists or publications that have highlighted our clients:

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All of these efforts work to keep our clients relevant within the press and their target audience. It’s a win-win.

But Wait, There’s More!

The benefits of social media don’t end there! There are also reduced marketing expenses, increased sales, website traffic, search rankings and so much more.

The power and reach of social media is still evolving and continues to transform the way we communicate. We at LMGPR have our finger on the pulse of what is happening within the social media realm and are constantly finding new ways to use social media to our client’s advantage.

If you think your company may need some social media help, contact us for a free consultation. We’ll be more than happy to show you what social media can do for you.

Tech Entrepreneur and Editor of Technorazzi Shares Story of Deception on Investigation Discovery

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This is Christine Marie Katas. She’s the co-founder of Contagious Apps & Entertainment, a digital media creativity factory producing next-generation software applications, content and multimedia. She is also the publisher and editor of Technorazzi Magazine, a blogazine about “the human side of geeks and creative geniuses.” Previously, Christine Marie was the co-founder and COO of en2go, a cutting-edge technology company with a space-age video streaming platform.

But in addition to being a tech entrepreneur and evangelist, Christine Marie Katas is also a survivor:

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Prior to finding tech success, Christine Marie’s life took a horrific detour when she fell under the spell of a self-proclaimed religious prophet. Her story is the subject of an upcoming documentary entitled “Prophet or Predator” airing on Investigation Discovery this month and is described as follows:

“A devoted Mormon mom meets an ex-Mormon who targets her in an attempt to break her faith in God. When she rejects him, he enlists the help of others and masterminds a plan to imposter as a prophet while deceiving, defrauding, exploiting and psychologically torturing Christine Marie to teach her the lesson he wants her to learn, if she survives.”

You can watch the trailer here.

Christine Marie did manage to survive, though by the end of the ordeal she was left homeless, penniless and eventually learned she qualified for services as a victim of human trafficking. It was a long road to recovery but Christine Marie was determined to turn her life around.

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Today, Christine Marie lives in Las Vegas, is happily married and is the mother of four gifted, grown children. In addition to her tech success, she is in the 2013 Who’s Who in American Business, is a former Ms. Michigan, Young Mother of the Year, Outstanding Service Award winner, Community Service Award winner, and published author.

But above all that, Christine Marie has turned the negative events of her life into a positive. Christine Marie is a human rights blogger, a feminist, an abolitionist and works to help empower women through an awareness campaign she founded called Voices for Dignity. The site offers content, technology, photography and web sites for survivors, activists or organizations that empower women to speak up and change lives.

Christine Marie’s incredible story of survival serves as an inspiration to anyone who has suffered or is suffering hardships and mirrors the words of Marcus Aurelius:

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”

For more information on Christine Marie Katas visit christinemarie.com

In the News: Documents.Me!

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It was a successful launch for Documents.Me.

The Santa Clara-based company introduced “the first solution to aggregate business documents from private, public and email clouds” and the media took notice:

MSNBC/Tech News Daily: “a universal search allows you to sift through all the clouds (and PCs) at once, as well as to filter files by type, such as doc and PowerPoint.”

PC World: “It claims to provide access to data from your computer, as well as data stored in Dropbox or Google Drive, and it will scan your email, too.”

Phone Arena“One of the neat features is the unified search function, which enables you to search files based on name or content whether it is in one of the clouds or on your PC or Mac at home or work.”

148 Apps: “Got a slew of documents and other media across all those different cloud systems, like Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, and even email? Documents.me hopes to alleviate the stress of remembering which system the file you want is stored in by aggregating it all into one app…”

Young Upstarts: “If you’re anything like me, you’ve got various important business documents scattered in different locations. I use DropBox, Google Drive and iCloud, and I have many critical documents scattered in those cloud services that are so buried within I lose track of them. But here’s a service that may help: Documents.Me.”

If you aren’t familiar with Documents.Me, here’s how it works:

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Documents.Me is a solution that puts all of your documents in the palm of your hand. It allows users to access their documents from public or private clouds via an iPhone or iPad. It also offers offline access to users’ files and folders as well as downloaded files. Additionally, Documents.Me employs strict security and control measures to keep personal and company documents safe.

Why we like it: We can still get to all our documents even if we leave our laptops at home or the office (or if our laptop battery dies and we don’t have our charger… a far more likely scenario!)

Best of all, Documents.Me is free! Download it here and give it a try!

 

 

Under Pressure!

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A new study out from CareerCast has us here at LMGPR saying: “tell us something we don’t already know!”

According to the report, PR Executives have the 5th most stressful job of 2013!

Only enlisted military personnel, military generals, firefighters and commercial airline pilots have it worse.

Yes you heard correctly, even a police officer has it better than us!

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Why? Well for one, according to NBC News, being a PR Executive is a very “thankless” job:

“Clients may thank you for getting them on the front page of The New York Times (if it’s good news), but before you can tie your running shoes on for a victory lap, they want to know: “What about The Wall Street Journal?” And you’re definitely not going to get any “thank yous” from journalists: They’re more likely to hang up on you or be surly than take your call.”

We at LMGPR don’t necessarily consider our job “thankless!’ We work with great clients and have relationships built on mutual respect.

It is true, however, that our job can be stressful. It comes with the territory, but we find ways to deal.

Here are “LMGPR’s Top Ten Stress Coping Mechanisms”

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Work Out

Take a Walk

Play with Kids

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Play with Dogs

Laugh/Cry

Drink Coffee

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Punch Bozo!

Listen to Music

Go to Happy Hour

And above all else:

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Here’s to a stressless and pressure-free weekend from your friends at LMGPR!

CES Says “Yes” to iSmartAlarm!

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It’s been a great (and busy) week for iSmartAlarm at CES! The company that is putting a “21st century spin on traditional security systems” unveiled its product at CES, launched an Indiegogo campaign and was inundated by press!

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The fun began Monday night at PepCom’s Digital Experience with the official product introduction. Press from around the world got a sneak peek at the home security system that “utilizes the iPhone to put home security and home control in the palm of its users’ hands.”

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The following day the hits started rolling in. CNET, Engadget and PCWorld were among the publications to write about iSmartAlarm and describe how the home security system “turns your iPhone into a home guard dog!” The stories were picked up by dozens of other publications and blogs both domestically and internationally.

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As iSmartAlarm’s buzz began to spread across the Internet, the company then announced the launch of its Indiegogo campaign. The campaign is an opportunity for consumers to pre-order the iSmartAlarm at a price far below retail. You can watch the company’s Indiegogo video above.

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Meanwhile CES continued and the hits just kept on coming! LMGPR was on hand all week to help facilitate interviews with press. iSmartAlarm was prominently featured in both  The San Francisco Chronicle and in Wired. The Wired piece was later picked up by CNN. TechCrunch also did an in-depth interview with iSmartAlarm from the floor of CES:

iSmartAlarm looks to build upon the momentum of CES. If this week is any indication, we’re expecting great things from iSmartAlarm as 2013 continues.

Let’s Get Physical: Music with a Massage!

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By Phil Lanides

In today’s day and age, multitasking is king. Consumer tech products have followed that trend, and now, a Mountain View-based company is combining music with a massage in the form of iMusic BodyRhythm. iCess Labs, whose founders include a former classically-trained concert pianist, has produced this unique product, which is scheduled to roll out to the masses in April.

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iMusic Body Rhythm allows users to create a completely unique massage experience for themselves while taking listening to music to the next level. Let’s say your favorite song is “Gangnam Style” by Psy. You already have it on your iTunes, which you connect to the iMusic Body Rhythm app. You put on the vest, and, through Bluetooth technology, as you play “Gangnam Style,” you begin to feel the relaxing tapping from the iMusic BodyRhythm vest as it syncs with the beat of the song. The beat of the music you’ve chosen from you iPhone, iPod, or iPad is accurately picked up by the iMusic BodyRhythm app, generating the same drumbeat on your shoulders.

Users can also play two games through the app, creating their own drumbeats through either patting the screen or shaking the phone along with the rhythm of the song. In addition, you can create your own unique drumbeat playlist so that you can enjoy it again later or share it with friends!

Check out this demo video:

So, how does it work? “The iMusic BodyRhythm app connects with the iOS system on your iPhone/iPod/iPad via Bluetooth 3.0, and is designed to work with Apple MFI standards.” The distinctive algorithm created for the iMusic BodyRhythm app is exclusive to the product, and allows users to rest assured they can enjoy an accurately-timed massage while their favorite tunes play!

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Earlier this week, iCess launched a Kickstarter campaign for the iMusic BodyRhythm app. Within a few hours, pledges were already coming in!

Music Lovers:  sit back, relax, and allow iMusic BodyRhythm and your favorite songs to give you a massage!

Vegas, Baby!

By | Announcements | No Comments

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We’re going to CES!

The annual International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas kicks off next week (Jan 8-11)  and LMGPR will be there in force.

We’ll be on hand as our client iSmartAlarm unveils its home security system for the 21st century and we look forward to meeting with key press who will be covering the launch.

We’re also tech geeks ourselves and are excited to see what companies from around the world will show off at CES! What will be the big trends? Will there be any surprise unveilings? Celebrity sightings?

What happens at CES doesn’t necessarily stay at CES! We’ll be blogging from the event all week, giving you the inside scoop of what’s going on, so be sure to check back!

In the meantime, here’s a little Elvis to get you in the mood:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFw5a5Bp_Pw

Welcome to 2013!

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Well, the world didn’t end in 2012.

That leaves us with a whole new slew of predictions and resolutions for 2013.

So what can we look for ward to in the coming year? Everyone seems to have an opinion!

According to our good friend Walt Mossberg, Tablets will continue to gain popularity, Microsoft and Google will start making their own devices ala Apple and Smart TV’s will be all the rage.

Business Insider isn’t betting on Social Commerce, IS betting on a Hard Tech comeback and predicts there will be at least two major data breaches that will compromise consumer credit (let’s hope they’re wrong about the last one!)

VentureBeat is looking forward to playing with Google Glass, Self-Driving Cars and better Apple TV this year.

On the resolution side, Mashable has come out with a list of top tech resolutions. Making the list: Set privacy filters on your social networks, go through all your emails and clean your keyboard!

At LMGPR, we’ve made our own personal resolutions that include cutting soda, eliminating personal debt and winning the lotto! We also share many of the same resolutions as our feline friends:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KD9qvF4z8cE

Professionally, we share one common resolution at LMGPR: to continue to work hard and produce results for all of our clients.

We’re excited about 2013 and all its potential. It’s going to be a great year!

‘Tis the Season to be Techie!

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If you’re like most of us, you’re scrambling to find gifts for everybody on your Christmas list. The top gifts are expected to be iPhones, iPads, iPods, Kindle Fire and Wii U, but there are so many other tech gadgets to consider! Here are some cool tech gift ideas we’ve come across this season:

GelaSkins

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GelaSkins are removable art skins and cases for your portable device of choice. Choose from hundreds of designs by “award-winning illustrators, old masters, up-and-coming artists and charitable organizations” or design your own. Additionally, a portion of each skin, case or print sold goes directly to the creator.

Sphero

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Sphero is a robotic ball that you control with your Android or iOS device. You can program it, make it roll around, make it change colors and download more than 20 free apps and games to use with it. It’s highly durable and is even waterproof- perfect for destructive kids! Check out this video to see how Sphero works.

GoPro Camera

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GoPro is aimed at the sports adventure enthusiast, but really could be used by anyone. It’s a camera and video camera that takes amazing HD quality recordings and high res photos. The GoPro can be held, worn or mounted and is extremely durable and waterproof. This video was shot entirely with a GoPro camera.

Fitbit Zip

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The Fitbit Zip is a small activity tracker. It tracks your steps, distance and calories burned and then wirelessly transmits that data to your computer or Smartphone via Bluetooth so you can keep tabs on your daily exercise. If you or someone you love is looking to get fit in the new year, the Fitbit Zip might be the perfect gift!

Tagg GPS Pet Tracker

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For the dog lover in your family! The Tagg GPS Pet Tracker is a device that fits on your dog’s collar. If he or she happens to run off or gets lost, the device works as a GPS beacon alerting owners to the dog’s whereabouts. The device also tracks activity so you can actually see how much exercise your dog is getting on a daily basis.

Atari Flashback 4

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A blast from the past! Emulating the legendary Atari 2600 console, the Atari Flashback 4 lets nostalgic gamers from the 80’s relive their glory days. The console includes 75 built in classic games including Asteroids, Centipede and Missile Command.

These were just a few of our favorites. Feel free to leave a comment with your suggestions! Happy Shopping from LMGPR!

Scubo 3D: No Glasses Required!

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3D has come a long way since the days of House of Wax, Jaws 3-D and Captain EO! Technological innovations have brought 3D from the big screen to the small screen and now a company from Spain is putting 3D in the palm of your hand.

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Meet Scubo. They’ve developed an app and accessories that allow you to “capture, edit and view your own 3D photos on your iPhone or Smart TV.” Check out this video that shows how Scubo is allowing people to see the world differently and express their lives in 3D:

Here’s how it works: When taking a picture, you simply press the shutter button then move the iPhone slightly to the right and back to the left. Scubo’s algorithm then generates a side-by-side image you can view on your iPhone with the Scubo Viewer (sold separately).

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Using this Parallax technology, users can “view 3D photos and videos anywhere and anytime without the use of glasses.” Additionally, users with 3D Smart televisions can wirelessly transmit the photos to their sets for viewing. It’s that simple!

Scubo aims to be more than just 3D medium. They are looking to socialize the 3D experience and make it personal with the Scubo Social Network. Creating an online profile allows you to connect and share with other Scubo users, where you can follow, comment and favorite 3D pictures from throughout the network.

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Scubo has also developed a case for users that stores the viewer when not in use and for those who are REALLY into 3D, Scubo has developed a Scubo Cam, a plug & play device that synchronizes with the iPhone camera and allows you to shoot amazing 3D videos.

If you (or a friend) are one of those people always on the lookout for cutting-edge technology, then Scubo may be just what you’re looking for. Make it a 3D Christmas this year. Get the free Scubo App in the Apple App Store.

For more information go to http://www.scubo3d.com/

Sococo: Big in Japan!

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It’s not everyday a Silicon Valley startup is tied to a major international incident, but not every Silicon Valley startup is Sococo! The Social Communications Company was featured this week in a Bloomberg article entitled “After a Disaster, Japan Looks for an Alternative to the Office.”

The article is about how the Japanese workforce is changing after the Great Quake and Tsunami of 2011. The disaster crippled many companies for days due to a lack of a telecommuting or virtual workplace option, and Japan’s MIC (Ministry of Internal Affairs & Communication) says there has since been a “rapid increase in inquiries and consultations concerning telework systems.”

This is where Sococo comes in. Sococo is teaming up with iGUAZU Corporation, a member of JB Group and one of Japan’s largest tech companies, to bring its flagship product Team Space to Japan. Team Space is a communications service and virtual workspace that makes teams feel more connected no matter where they are located. Under the agreement, iGUAZU will use its expansive sales force and deep enterprise relationships to offer Team Space to Japanese companies looking to adopt remote capabilities.

Timing can be crucial for startups and with Japan’s MIC looking to have “at least 7 million of the country’s 128 million residents working from home by 2015,” Sococo may just be in the right place at the right time. LMGPR is excited that the rest of the world is now realizing what we have known for some time: that Sococo has the potential to make a global difference.

Every Avatar has a Story!

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At LMGPR, we get to work with some fascinating people. The companies we work with are on the cutting edge of technology and the people behind those companies are among the brightest minds anywhere. We are constantly learning from them and being introduced to new concepts and ideas.

Take Sococo for instance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We recently spoke with Founder and CEO David Van Wie on the story behind Sococo and how the company got its look. It turns out there’s more to the Sococo avatar than meets the eye.

You can read the article here.

It’s an interesting read and sheds some light on the inner workings of a Silicon Valley company. Enjoy!

Let’s Get Virtual!

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We’ve got another new office! No, we haven’t moved from San Pedro Square, we’ve just expanded… into cyberspace! LMGPR has teamed up with Sococo to open a virtual office. Have a look:

 

Sococo’s Team Space is an innovative communications service and virtual workplace that keeps workers connected no matter where they are. Team Space “offers a bird’s-eye view of a virtual office floor plan where you can see, at a glance, who’s around and what’s going on, regardless of everyone’s physical location.”

Here’s how it works: You can see LMGPR’s Team Space above. We all have our own personal offices and there are meeting rooms and communal areas as well. We are able to see who is online and whether or not they are available. Clicking into the same area as a co-worker allows you instant access via voice, video and IM. With Team Space, we have no need for Skype or other VoIP/IM services. Additionally, Team Space offers screen-sharing capabilities for presentations or collaboration.

Why did we need Sococo? As PR professionals, we’re constantly meeting with clients in other cities, on press tours or at conferences. Being on the go presents challenges staying connected. But just because we’re out of the office doesn’t mean we’re not needed there! With Sococo, it’s as if we’re in the home office no matter what city, state or country we are in. Sococo helps keep LMGPR engaged, productive and connected. That’s not only good for us, but for our clients as well.

To see a video on how Sococo is changing the face of communications, click here.

OneID Goes Prime “Time”

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Not every company can say they were featured in Time Magazine… but OneID can.

The Silicon Valley startup that is looking to transform the current username/password system was prominently featured in the August 8, 2012 article “The Username/Password System Is Broken: Here Are Some Ideas For Fixing It.”


 

 

 

 

 

The article by Jared Newman uses a real life example of how people are susceptible to hackings and the repercussions that follow:

“Imagine if, in an instant, all the files on your computer vanished, along with all your e-mails and online backups, and therefore any chance of getting those files back. That’s what happened to tech writer Mat Honan, after a hacker broke into his Google and Apple accounts and wiped them clean.”

Newman points to the current username/password system as the problem and how a more secure system is needed:

“But there’s a bigger problem that Honan’s hack brings to light, and that’s how broken the username/password system has become. Every online service we use invites another security threat–a way for hackers to sniff out passwords or glean the information they need to reset an account elsewhere.”

The article then shifts toward possible solutions where OneID is featured as a company with the potential to solve the problem:

OneID, a service that’s in private beta now, also wants to have a single login button that’s ubiquitous across the web, but instead of relying on other trusted accounts like OpenID, it requires users to authenticate their individual devices. That way, no one can access your accounts without physically stealing your computer. As an added security measure for banking and other important transactions, OneID can require users to enter a PIN on their smartphones through a companion app.”

OneID’s Chief Scientist Jim Fenton was also quoted in the story talking about the challenges that lie ahead in getting people to adopt an alternative to the current username/password system. He believes complete adoption of a solution such as OneID will take time:

“It’s a technology that’s been around for 50 years, and it’s had a chance to establish itself very well on the web,” he said. “I think it will still be quite a while yet.”

This was a fantastic hit for OneID. To be featured in Time is a great honor and it cemented OneID’s position as a leader in the ongoing fight against hackings and identity theft. This kind of national exposure is what LMGPR aims to deliver for all of our clients.

Capture to Cloud Launches Social Workspace

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Social Business is a buzzword that has been gaining momentum for some time and is now becoming a way of life for many companies. One of the hottest trends within Social Business is collaboration and our client CaptureToCloud has just launched a product that stands to fundamentally change the way professionals and SMB’s do just that.

 

 

 

CaptureToCloud has released its Social Workspace that streamlines how people capture and collaborate with others on important digital content. For the first time, users can capture any type of digital content to share or collaborate with anyone on any device in the cloud.

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s how it works:

CaptureToCloud is changing how people work with content by moving beyond the traditional file-centric mentality. With CaptureToCloud, there is no longer a need to convert content from its original format into a file or to keep important but different types of content in different places.

With the click of a button, users can capture Internet content or drag and drop items from Google Drive or files from Dropbox into their Social Workspace. Users can then organize content into topical or thematic collections and share them with anyone via email, Facebook, Twitter or CaptureToCloud while retaining control of their content.

 

 

 

 

Users can engage others in private conversations that include people from inside and outside the firewall and integrate relevant content to work smarter and transform information sharing and decision-making.

CaptureToCloud is also mobile and is the first to allow users to capture mobile web pages. With CaptureToCloud, mobile users not only have access to their content libraries, but can send, share and comment from their mobile devices while on the go.

CaptureToCloud has already received rave reviews from customers on its Social Workspace:

“CaptureToCloud has fundamentally changed how our team works with digital content when collaborating with others. Having all the relevant content for a project in one place and integrated with Google’s real-time document collaboration suite is genius.” -Jim Weldon, managing director of ePopDev.

“We deployed CaptureToCloud across our organization to make our team more productive. CaptureToCloud makes it easy to capture virtually any type of content in our normal workflow and work collaboratively with anyone in or outside our organization. The integration with Google Apps is a huge plus and being a cloud app makes it easy to install and manage.” -Oscar Garcia, CEO of the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce.

 

 

 

 

 

With social collaboration all the rage, CaptureToCloud’s release is as timely as it is useful. And did we mention it is free? Try it out for yourself! CaptureToCloud is available in the Google Apps Marketplace, Google Chrome Web Store, Google Play and at www.capturetocloud.com.

 

Sonarflow Invades Spotify!

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Navigating your way through Spotify’s 16 million tracks just got a little easier!

Spectralmind has released Sonarflow Spot, “a fun, simple and interactive way to discover new music in Spotify directly on your iPhone and iPad.”

Spectralmind CEO Thomas Lidy says the goal was to take Spotify Premium users on a “journey of musical discovery:”

“Most people are overwhelmed by the massive amount of musical choice on Spotify. To listen to 16 million tracks would take a lifetime, so the average person doesn’t really venture that far from the music they already know. We want people to find new and interesting music that they will like, in a fun and playful way.”

So how does it work?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sonarflow Spot displays Spotify’s most popular tracks and a user’s starred tracks in colorful playlists shaped like bubbles. Zoom into an individual bubble to reveal the artists inside. Tap once to show tracks from that artist, tap twice to begin playing music from that artist. Tap on the magnifying glass icon to show similar artists. Sonarflow’s discovery feature matches a user’s music to bring the best recommendations from the 16 million songs on Spotify. In addition, users can also watch music videos of each artist, powered by YouTube.

Key features:

  • Free iPhone and iPad music discovery app designed for Spotify subscribers
  • Sonarflow suggests new artists based on the user’s preferences
  • Sonarflow displays artist biographies
  • Listen to music from Spotify inside the app
  • Watch related music videos through YouTube
  • Share music discoveries on Facebook and Twitter

Lidy believes Sonarflow Spot will fundamentally change how people use Spotify:

“Sonarflow represents a whole new way to explore Spotify’s music database. This new visual layer makes it really easy to find new music and stream it instantly. From the millions of choices, we bring the people the right music according to their taste.”

So if you’re a Spotify Premium user, what are you waiting for? Go on your own Magical Mystery Music Tour and discover your next favorite band or artist!

Sonarflow Spot is free and available for download in the App Store.

LMGPR Finds Its Way to San Jose!

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We’ve moved our headquarters! After several years of calling Murphy Square home, we’ve said “So long, Sunnyvale” and “Hello San Jose!” That’s us there on the right… above Starbucks… how convenient!

 

 

 

 

 

We’re now located in the heart of downtown San Jose, the capitol of Silicon Valley, with our office overlooking bustling San Pedro Square. Here’s the view from our meeting room:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exposed brick, private offices and a mid-century meets zen-like feel to the building have all of us here at LMGPR (especially Woody!) feeling a bit “Mad Men” these days:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the view from Michael’s office:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s a peek in on Angel:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Janet… hard at work:

 

 

 

 

 

 

While Sunnyvale had its charms, there’s a certain sense of excitement we get from working in downtown San Jose with all the hustle and bustle around us… not to mention the restaurants, bars and Friday Farmers Market right outside our door! Change is good and the entire office is feeling inspired and invigorated about a fresh start. If you’re ever in the area, stop by and say hi!

LMGPR Expands Its Reach and Catches a Rising “Starr!”

By | Profile, Social Media | No Comments

LMGPR is expanding its PR services with a new entertainment and music practice: LMGPRTrax. LMGPR has prior experience working with authors, musicians and celebrity talent and pulls from Sony Entertainment, Virgin Records and Warner Brothers.  The agency team resides in Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Area. Watch for the new site coming soon.

Meanwhile, we are proud to introduce Renegade Music Group, an independent record label based in San Francisco producing pop, hip hop, rap and Latin dance music for today’s generation, as the newest edition to the LMGPR client base. The label’s first recording artist Aki Starr is generating serious buzz with the video release of “The closer I get to you” on You Tube:

In its first week, the video went viral with more than 40,000 views. “The Closer I Get To You” is an electro remake of the 1977 hit by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway and is the first in a series of songs Aki Starr will produce on the Renegade Music label.

Starr is a singer, songwriter, dancer, actor and music producer. He was recently the lead singer on Jorge Santana’s, Gracias Madrecitas and performs with Foreverland, an electrifying 14-piece tribute to Michael Jackson. Starr also played the lead role of Cesar Chavez in a musical adaptation of his life in Let the Eagle Fly.

For Aki Starr… the sky’s the limit and LMGPR looks forward to helping this “Starr” shine!

Check Aki Starr out on:

YouTube

Facebook

Twitter

Phone Halo: The Guardian Angel of Your Bluetooth Headset!

By | Blog | No Comments

 

 

 

If you use a Bluetooth headset, chances are you’ve misplaced it at one time or another, or perhaps even lost it completely. And while they may be small in size, the price tag certainly isn’t. With higher end models in the $70-$100 range, losing a headset is a potentially costly loss!

 

 

 

Luckily, our friends at Phone Halo have come up with a solution. The item tracking company has just released “The Phone Halo Bluetooth Headset Tracker,” the first-ever Smartphone app that helps users keep tabs on their headsets.

 

 

The app sends out an audible reminder before a headset is left behind and also takes a GPS snapshot of its last location for easier retrieval. The app not only saves consumers time and money, but gives them peace of mind as well.

The Phone Halo Bluetooth Headset Tracker will soon be available for download free of charge through the Apple App Store.

 

We All Scream For Ice Cream!

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Public Relations become PUBLIC ELATION for ice cream lovers everywhere today as Ben & Jerry’s holds its annual “Free Cone Day.”

Ben & Jerry’s holds the event to thank customers “for their support and to celebrate 34 years of scooping the chunkiest, funkiest ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet.”

On the PR front, these types of customer appreciation events go a long way in not only keeping existing customers, but bringing in new ones as well. Customers love free things… and if it’s edible, well, that’s even better. Perhaps the old saying “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” should be revised with “the way to a customer’s heart is through his or her stomach!” Something to consider when devising a PR plan…

So whether you prefer Cherry Garcia, Chunky Monkey, Chubby Hubby or just a plain scoop of Vanilla, indulge yourself in a free scoop today.

… and justify the calorie guilt by reminding yourself that it’s free!

OneID: Solving the Digital Identity Crisis

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They say that as you grow older, the memory is the first thing to go. If so, then we’re in big trouble when it comes to our digital identity!

If you’re like most people you’ve got dozens perhaps even hundreds of usernames and passwords: one for your bank account, one for your PayPal, one for your Amazon… the list goes on and on. Remembering them all can be a hassle and that’s where OneID comes in.

OneID is your new online identity. With OneID, you can say goodbye to usernames and passwords. Instead, you enter your personal information one time when setting up your OneID service account and from there you can sign in to any OneID enabled website with a single click. In addition, you’ll no longer need to fill out your name, email, shipping or billing information when you make online purchases.

OneID is the brainchild of Silicon Valley visionary and serial entrepreneur Steve Kirsch. He came up with the idea after his sister was hacked and asked, “How do I know if it’s safe to log into my bank or PayPal account?” Kirsch sprang into action, creating a new service that stands to change the way people log on to websites forever.

And did we mention it’s secure?

OneID was designed to be unbreakable. People using OneID needn’t worry about identity theft as phishing, key logging, password guessing and malware attacks are useless against OneID’s secure authentication system. To see how it works, click here.

Steve Kirsch calls OneID his “best idea ever.” A bold statement, but consider the source! This is coming from a man who has been at the forefront of technology for more than three decades and has founded several companies including Mouse Systems, Frame Technology, Infoseek, Propel and Abaca.

If Steve says this his best idea ever, we’ll take his word for it!

Click Here to find out more about OneID…

Simplicity is Bliss!

By | Social Media | No Comments

With so many social media outlets out there today, people relatively new to the social media phenomenon may find themselves overwhelmed.

Luckily, Douglas Wray posted “Social Media Explained” to his Instagram. Using a doughnut as inspiration, the role of each social network is explained in its most primitive form. The tongue-in-cheek definitions outline the basic premise for each site so that even a social media newbie can understand.

The photo went viral across Facebook, Twitter, blogs and eventually on major sites like Business Insider.

Is there a PR lesson to be learned here? Perhaps.

Maybe the idea that breaking something down into “the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions” (Thank you, Anthony Michael Hall) can be much more easily understood than a long drawn-out explanation.

As PR pros we sometimes have just seconds to garner the attention of a writer, editor or producer. It is what we say or write in those first few seconds that sometimes determines whether or not our pitch is accepted.

So perhaps we should take the words of Bruce Lee to heart when pitching a story to the media:

Simplicity is the key to brilliance.”

… or we could just bribe them with doughnuts.

Another Acquisition!

By | Announcements, Social Media | No Comments

This is becoming a bit of a habit! We’re proud to announce that another one of LMGPR’s alums has been acquired! This time it is Reppler being acquired by TrustedID, a leading provider of credit and identity protection services.

Reppler is a social media monitoring service that keeps your social reputation clean and safe by addressing three critical elements — content, privacy and security. Reppler monitors sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn looking for inappropriate content, malicious links and personal information that should be made private. Reppler also analyzes profiles showing users how they are perceived across social networks.

Reppler and LMGPR began working together in May of 2011. Over the course of the year LMGPR was able to land Reppler in numerous high profile media outlets including Mashable, San Francisco Chronicle, Forbes and VentureBeat. LMGPR also secured a briefing between Reppler and renowned columnist for the Wall Street Journal Walt Mossberg.

Through this exposure, Reppler was able to build its brand recognition and was soon considered “one of the industry’s most advanced reputation management and protection services.”

Reppler is being seen as a natural fit for TrustedID, who up until now has focused primarily on identity and credit theft issues. With the acquisition of Reppler, TrustedID says it will now offer “identity management help across the board.”

LMGPR is proud to have once again helped a client reach the next level. The Reppler acquisition comes on the heels of Motorola’s acquisition of our client Rhomobile late last year. When our clients are acquired, we take great pride knowing that we played a role in helping them achieve new levels of success. It’s what we strive for at LMGPR and we just want to wish Reppler the very best on its new endeavor.

Rhomobile Recognized!

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Congratulations to Rhomobile! InfoWorld has chosen Rhomobile Rhodes for a 2012 Technology of the Year Award. The Rhodes framework allows developers to more easily build mobile apps for Android, IOS, Windows Phone 7 and Blackberry devices.

This award is just the latest triumph for Rhomobile. After joining forces with LMGPR in early 2011, the momentum began to build with dozens of media placements including Forbes and Bloomberg News West. The momentum culminated with Motorola Solutions acquiring Rhomobile in October 2011. Now a new year is here and Rhomobile continues to move forward with this InfoWorld award.

We take great satisfaction in seeing Rhomobile continue to garner the accolades it deserves and are proud to have worked closely with Rhomobile to get to this point.

Aussie App “Roamz” into U.S.

By | Mobile, Social Media | No Comments

 

 

LMGPR would like to introduce you to our newest client: Roamz. The Aussie-based company released its location-based intelligent mobile app at Web 2.0 in San Francisco on October 17th.

So what is Roamz and what does it do?

Roamz helps users discover the world around them by aggregating and showing relevant information about local places and events in real time.

What does that mean?

Well, let’s say for example it’s Friday night and you’re looking for something to do. You go to Roamz and you tell it where you are and what you’re interested in. Roamz then filters through all kinds of online content including social websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare and gives you information about what’s going on at that moment in that area. Roamz doesn’t tell you where to go, but instead let’s you know what’s happening… the rest is up to you.

Another benefit to Roamz is that it includes artificial intelligence that customizes its results to each individual user. The more you use Roamz, the more it learns about you and the smarter it gets! The end result is a unique and customized experience for each person.

And Roamz can be used anywhere! If you’re on a business trip or vacation, simply tell Roamz where you are at that moment and you’ll soon be in the loop about what’s going on. Roamz is designed to make you feel like a local, no matter where you are in the world!

Roamz has received lots of press since its launch. Here’s some of the feedback:

“… what I like about it is how it summarizes the disparate establishments that make up a neighborhood, from restaurants and bars to beauty parlors and art schools and including both ones I know about already and ones I’d never pay attention to otherwise.” – CNET

The result, ideally, is that you don’t have to be constantly checking your social networks to find out what’s going on, what’s popular or where your friends are checking into right now.” – TechCrunch

 “At first I was hesitant to connect Roamz with my other social media, but after trying it out it really helps give you better recommendations for what you’re looking for.” – The Daily Campus

If you haven’t tried Roamz yet… you should! It’s free and can be downloaded here.

Whether you’re at home or on the road, Roamz is the perfect app for people with busy mobile lifestyles looking to add serendipity to their lives!

App Advice!

By | Mobile | No Comments

 

By Ashley Albert

If your life is anything like mine, there’s not enough time to spend skimming through the bazillions of apps that are currently on the market. I have both an iPad and an Android cell phone, and with commuting, working and socializing, I’m looking for ways to simplify my busy mobile lifestyle. So I’ve decided to delve deeper into those top-rated apps and weed out the ones that don’t do much. Here are my recommendations:

 

For Apple:

Auto Park – “Say Goodbye to parking tickets!” This app aims to keep money in your wallet, as it reminds you when time on a parking meter is about to run out. This app could put Meter Maids out of business!

Gigwalk – Have you ever needed a few more bucks to pay those unexpected bills? This app will alert you when there is a small job available in your area. The example given in the iTunes store is “go check if there is a road block at a certain location!” Easy four bucks, right?

Giftplan – If you can never remember what people’s favorite colors are or when their birthday is, this app is right for you. What it does is allow you to create tiny profiles of your friends, so when it’s time to buy a gift, you just look them up and voila! Gift shopping finally made easy.

Flipboard – Instead of having to log in to your Facebook and Twitter accounts and then browsing the web after you’ve finished there, Flipbook allows you to do all of these things simultaneously. This app is specifically for iPad users only.

For Android:

We Reward – Similar to Gigwalk where you can do little jobs around your area to make some extra cash.

My Coffee Card Pro – This app prevents the deep dig through the purse or wallet for a credit card. You can now purchase coffee at Starbucks just by swiping your phone. It’s in your hand already anyway so why not avoid that extra effort?

Grades: Student Organizer – If you have kids or if you’re still in school yourself this app comes in very useful. This will keep track of your grades and projects and lets you know where you stand in class. This app may make it more difficult to use the “Dog ate my homework” excuse!

For Both Apple and Android:

Log Me In Ignition – Have you ever needed a file from a computer at work, but forgot to send it to yourself? With this app, you can get that file. It’s $29.99, but if that happens to you a lot, it’s worth it.

Bump – This is a really cool app. If you’re one of those people that hate it when you have to sit there and enter in contact information when you meet someone or just want a faster way to share information, this app helps you do that.

myBantu – Translation: “a trusted personal assistant that works exclusively for you.” This app provides relevant and personal entertainment recommendations based not only on YOUR likes and dislikes, but your Facebook friends, experts and the World Wide Web. It’s a one-stop shop to plan your next restaurant, shopping, or movie outing. It truly is a smart digital assistant that is catered to who you are.

 

What apps do YOU use to make YOUR life easier?

 

 

 

It’s Time to Bantu!

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By Michael Erwin

It’s finally here! The eagerly anticipated release of myBantu’s app for IOS and Android has come to pass!

For those of you not yet in the know, allow me to make the introductions! myBantu is your new smart personal assistant! What does it do? Well, it gives you personalized and relevant entertainment recommendations based on a user’s profile, Facebook friends, experts, and the World Wide Web.

 

 

 

 

Need an example? Here’s one. Say you’re in the mood for Japanese food in your area. Now the last time you randomly chose a sushi joint, let’s just say it didn’t turn out so well… so you’re wary of making a similar mistake. What do you do? You Bantu!

Simply type “sushi” into the myBantu search engine and using its ActiveRelevance technology, myBantu will provide a list of up to nine restaurants in your area that have been tried and tested. Using myBantu, you’re on your way to a successful sushi soiree!

myBantu won’t just help fill your stomach. It can also be used for shopping, movie, and other entertainment-based outings. Turn a Date Night into a Great Night with myBantu!

myBantu also has a to-do function that not only keeps you organized, but allows you to share your to-do’s with your contacts.

 

 

 

 

 

… the best part? myBantu is free! So what are you waiting for? It’s time to Bantu!

myBantu can be found in both the Apple App Store and the Android Market.

LMGPR: Getting Our Clients in the Spotlight!

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By Michael Erwin

“SocialGuard did what it promised, and I believe it could be a real benefit to parents and children alike…”Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal. 

LMGPR has delivered the goods again! Using our systematic approach to public relations called SysCom, we’ve landed our client Check Point in the July 28 edition of The Wall Street Journal—front page of the Personal Technology section.

The Wizard of Personal Technology Walt Mossberg takes an in-depth look at ZoneAlarm SocialGuard, a product that helps protect children from social threats on Facebook.

In the column, Mossberg gives Social Guard a glowing recommendation: “… if you’re a parent with limited time who worries about your child’s safety on Facebook, yet wants to give her some privacy, SocialGuard is worth trying.”

In addition to its front-page status, the column was also picked up by several media outlets online.

This is the kind of national exposure that SysCom aims to deliver. Using our Strategic Story Engine, we are able to generate story ideas that result in our clients being placed in these types of distinguished publications.

Recently, another of our clients, FireEye, was the focus of a four-page feature spread in Businessweek. We’ve also just completed a media tour with Metrogames CEO Damien Harburguer, who met with top Bay Area and national gaming & tech publications.

We take pride here at LMGPR in seeing our clients receive the recognition they deserve. It’s not only a boon for our clients, but also a feather in our own cap. Landing a client in The Wall Street Journal isn’t easy, but it’s worth every orchestrated minute to see our clients in neon lights.

To learn more about ZoneAlarm Social Guard

To follow Walt Mossberg

To follow our editorial travels on Twitter

Rhomobile… In Good Company!

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By Michael Erwin

Congratulations to Rhomobile!

The San Jose-based company that offers products for enterprise smartphone applications has made the ninth annual AlwaysOn Global 250 Top Private Companies list. AlwaysOn selects 250 companies annually that are “demonstrating significant market traction and pursuing game-changing technologies” in Silicon Valley.

The award shines the spotlight on Rhomobile as a company that is innovative and making a difference in the mobile industry. Rhomobile’s Rhodes platform is making it possible to create smartphone applications that support Near Field Communications (NFC). It’s this type of breakthrough that has resulted in Rhomobile being chosen as a standout amongst thousands of businesses worldwide.

Rhomobile finds itself in good company this year. The 2011 list reads like a who’s who of tech, gaming and social media innovators with Jive, Zynga, Twitter, Foursquare, Groupon and Facebook all being recognized.

The companies will be honored at the Silicon Valley Innovation Summit 2011 in Santa Clara July 27th and 28th.

Tackable “TapsIn” to Bay Area News!

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By Michael Erwin

 

 

 

 

 

“I’ve waited two years to write this: WE. ARE. LIVE.”- Luke Stangel

That was the first Facebook update from Tackable co-founder and LMGPR alum Luke Stangel as TapIn Bay Area, a news-generating mobile app, went live Tuesday July 12th.

TapIn Bay Area is the product of a partnership between Tackable and the California Newspapers partnership that includes the San Jose Mercury News. The app for news junkies allows users to contribute photos and information about news in their areas. In addition, people can request news information with the hope that someone in that particular area can provide a real time update.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s more to TapIn Bay Area than just breaking news however. The interactive map also links to other news stories of the day, happening events, restaurant and movie listings, and one of the hottest social media trends right now: coupons and daily deals.

The end result is that TapIn Bay Area amounts to a real time digital newspaper. The app is currently free from the App Store with the intention of adding a future $4.95 monthly subscription fee. Those who post photos or contribute other content will earn points. Those points can then potentially be used toward free subscriptions. TapIn is also looking to generate revenue through local advertising, coupons and classifieds.

TapIn Bay Area is the first app of its kind and is looking beyond the Bay Area. The hope is that other newspaper groups will look to adopt the innovative technology, realizing that interactive newspapers may well be the future.

LMGPR would like to extend its warmest congratulations to Luke Stangel and the entire Tackable team. It’s been a long road, but well worth the wait! All the best!

Turntable.fm: Let’s Make Beautiful Music Together!

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By Michael Erwin

Remember chatrooms? Well, they’re back… sorta! This time however they are musically themed and not only do you get to chat, but you get to share music as well. Of course I’m talking about Turntable.fm: the newest hangout for the cool kids!

So how does it work?

The rooms are mostly themed by musical genre: 80’s, Indie, Hip Hop, etc. Once you find a room you like, you find yourself in a crowd. On the stage are five DJ’s. The DJ’s take turns playing songs and the crowd has the option of liking or disliking the song and can make comments as well. There is a gaming element in that DJ’s are awarded status points for playing songs that people like. You can also become fans of DJ’s and you are notified via email when and where they are DJing.

If a DJ leaves a room, anyone can jump into the open slot and start playing music by either taking songs from the Turntable.FM database or by uploading songs of their own. Also, if you’d rather, you can start your own room and play what you like. I spent hours in a room the other night with a friend from LA and a couple more from San Francisco just playing music and reminiscing. Don’t be surprised if an LMGPR listening room pops up in the near future with our talented PR staff providing the soundtrack to your workweek!

The best part is that if you don’t want to DJ or chat, you can just listen to an uninterrupted stream of music all day long. No commercials and no hearing the same songs over and over again. Most of the DJ’s are music nerds and you are just as likely to hear an album track or an obscure B-side as you are a hit single. It’s also a great way to learn about new bands and find out what the hipsters are listening to!

Warning though: Turntable.fm is addicting… don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Hot Mobile Apps for Summer!

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By Anton Molodetskiy

After an unconventional start (record-breaking rain in June… really?) things are heating up in Silicon Valley and Summer 2011 is kicking into high gear.  With that in mind, it’s time to get into summer mode with several mobile apps that can help make the most of any vacation, staycation or day trip:

Weber’s on the Grill App ($4.99): I’ve had to sell grills as a job before and hold a particular appreciation for the Weber brand. This manufacturer consistently delivers quality merchandise and support for products that fit a range of budgets. Their range of accessories and books is also top notch, the books in particular providing both a wealth of practical knowledge and tasty looking recipes. Although this app will set you back a five-spot, it is another quality Weber product, offering videos, high-quality picks and time guides for different food. It also features a grill timer which tells you when your steak is done; this way, you don’t necessarily need a meat thermometer if you have to have it medium-rare like I do. Available on iPhone and iPad only though, so Android owners will have to settle for their less-powerful Weber BBQ Guide app.

Gas Buddy(Free): I actually use this app on a regular basis; it shows current gas prices at gas stations around your location, cataloguing them by distance or price. When you choose one, it links you to directions and often provides a picture of the station itself, as well as reviews. I’m the type of person who will drive a slight distance if there is a dramatically lower gas price, especially filling up before a big trip, so this app is super helpful. It can also help you not run out of gas in the middle of nowhere. As long as you plan ahead, of course. It is available for both iOS and Android.
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Tripcase (Free): Although Business Week raved about this app back in 2009, which is on-par with the Stone Age in the mobile world, Tripcase still feels like a solid travel app.  The streamlined main menu allows access to all app features, including arrival times, flight schedules and various maps and phone numbers. As with most apps, Tripcase aggregates hotel pictures and car rental information, but it’s solidly put together and its’ PRO version adds nice features like airplane seat maps and conversion for currency. It is available on both iOS and Android.
Word Lens (Free application + $9.99 charge for language):  If you’ve ever found yourself in a foreign country, staring at a sign and wondering what it says, Word Lens might just be for you. This app is still in its’ early-adopter stage, able to only translate things into Spanish, but the process is already comprehensive and convenient. Simply aim your smart phone camera at the offending letters – those you cannot read, and they are immediately translated on your phone screen. It is available on the iPhone and iPad only for now, so Android users will have to rely on other methods of getting around in Cancun this summer. ¡Una Cerveza, Por Favor!
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Wikitude (Free):  If you haven’t been paying attention, one of the next big things in mobile tech is Augmented Reality.  Wikitude is an app that combines data with the images of the world around you, allowing you to discover and interact with your surroundings in various ways. Through different filters (or layers), you can pan your device around you to discover nearby locations. From there, you can interact with them – get directions, info, call, etc. If they could only integrate this technology into a headset, we could all have terminator-like vision. This app is available on both Android and iOS and is free!

Don’t Get Burned on Facebook this Summer!

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By Lindsay Newman

School is out, summer is here and it’s time to protect yourself… and we’re not just talking about the sun. While it is time to lacquer on the SPF for sun protection, there’s another potential summer hazard to be wary of: Facebook.

It’s become the norm these days for students to chronicle their summer vacations. Mobile phones now allow for status updates and new photos in real time, but this can potentially lead to some problems.

While it may seem innocent enough at the time, liking your friend’s edgy comments, posting a suggestive status update, or posting an *ahem* alcohol-induced photo could potentially come back to haunt you.

Why? Because your Facebook profile is an extension of your reputation.

In this Internet age, job recruiters are looking at social networking sites before hiring prospective employees and that moment of spontaneity could potentially result in you not landing that dream job.

Meanwhile, a different type of a hazard has the potential to increase during the summer months that targets those most vulnerable: children.

Consumer Reports recently reported that of the 20 million minors who actively use Facebook, 7.5 million are younger than 13.

With extra time on their hands and parents at work, the younger set has the potential to spend hours on the social networking site. This could not only result in an increase in cyber bullying by peers, but could also lead to “friending” people who aren’t who they say they are.

People of all ages need to be aware of the potential dangers and possible repercussions that exist in cyberspace.

Some of LMGPR’s very own clients have joined the fight for safety & personal accountability online.

Reppler is a Facebook application that will alert you every time you or someone in your network uses profanity or offensive language that could affect your reputation. It provides 24-hour monitoring, something that even the most dedicated Facebook user can’t do. The result is immediate awareness and the ability to act upon inappropriate content.

 SocialGuard, a product of Check Point Security, allows parents to monitor all activity on their child’s Facebook account, wherever they use Facebook, without having to “friend” their child. SocialGuard provides parents peace of mind knowing they can keep an eye on their child as their tween/teen experiences social networking sites without encroaching on their privacy.   In addition, SocialGuard fosters open communication between parent and child/teen by alerting the parent to any safety issues that the child might be uncomfortable discussing.

The message here is simple: don’t let your summer become a bummer! LMGPR wants your summer to be a safe one! Keep your online reputation in check, talk to your kids, and always wear sunscreen!

 

 

I Spy FireEye… in Businessweek!

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By Michael Erwin

“It was early in the morning of Mar.16. The 25-year-old cybersecurity analyst had spent months preparing for the events soon to unfold. His reddish hair still matted down from sleep, Lanstein stood up and poured another cup of coffee. Suddenly, the data stream flickering on the monitor became dark, and a smile curled across Lanstein’s stubbly face. Operation Rustock had begun.”

It reads a bit like a spy novel, doesn’t it? But this is a true cybercrime story entitled “Fireye: Botnet Busters” featured in this week’s issue of Businessweek. The Bloomberg-owned magazine takes an in-depth look at how FireEye played a key role in bringing down Rustock, an organization believed responsible for nearly half of all junk e-mail sent.

Fireye’s rise to prominence is also chronicled in the article and Businessweek calls the company “one of the world’s most effective private cybercrime fighters.”

LMGPR is celebrating FireEye’s national recognition. Using our Systematic Communications (SysCom) approach to public relations, LMGPR was able to help FireEye achieve the acknowledgement it deserves.

SysCom is built upon three key components: Over the Horizon planning, Social Media Communications and our Strategic Story Engine to support marketing, business development and sales. LMGPR works with each client to identify compelling and timely topics that promote company messages and thought leadership objectives.

The end result? Our clients find themselves in high-end publications like Businessweek.

… and when that happens, it’s not just a victory for our client, but for LMGPR as well.

Father’s day tribute: Edward Bernays “The Father of Public Relations”

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By Lauren Barnard

It’s almost Father’s Day, so we figured we should tip our hats in respect to one of the key founding fathers of public relations, Edward Bernays, who has been credited for founding and naming our profession.

In 1923, Bernays authored the first public relation book, titled “Crystallizing Public Opinion.” This book presented the profession as socially valuable and necessary in society.

We found a copy of the book, which reads as a passionate creed and constitution of what high hopes Bernays had for the field of public relations, and although some of the ideas are dated, we found a few snippets that still hold value in the field today.

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 “The social value of the public relations counsel lies in the fact that he brings to the public facts and ideas of social utility which would not so readily gain acceptance otherwise.”

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2011 Translation: Bernays believed that public relations should be a profession that serves the public ideas and facts that are useful. If we think about the most successful PR pitches we deliver to reporters, they almost always have an angle that provides utility to the publication’s readers, even if it’s something the reader had not previously known about.

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The public relations practitioner…

“must be able to generalize, as far as possible, from these points of view in order to strike upon the appeal or group of appeals which will be influential with as many sections of society as possible”

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2011 Translation: The best client PR campaigns should carry the ability to pique the interest of any targeted party, so long as the party’s needs are understood first. If a PR person knows what each section of a particular society needs, a PR practitioner can fine-tune client messaging to appeal to everyone.

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“Therefore, the public relations counsel must maintain an intense scrutiny of his actions, avoiding propagation of unsocial or otherwise harmful movements or ideas.”

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2011 Translation: Basically, public relations shall maintain an ethical profession that does not promote harmful movements or ideas. This makes me think of the film, “Thank You for Smoking.” Unfortunately PR does exist for harmful industries, but I’m sure when Bernays wrote this, no one knew how harmful cigarettes even were.

Bernays concludes “Crystallizing Public Opinion” with this hopeful line: “It is in the creation of a public conscience that the counsel on public relations is destined, I believe, to fulfill his highest usefulness to the society in which he lives.”

I think that for the most part, we would have made our founding father proud.

[scribd id=5369599 key=key-1sq4vjwfhzo7k31ryocz mode=slideshow]

The New App Economy

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By Michael Erwin

The App explosion has been nothing short of astounding. Apple’s App Store was launched back in 2008 and saw its inventory jump from 10,000 to 100,000 in just the first year. It has never looked back. In January of 2011, Apple announced 350,000 apps were available and in late May that number was raised to 500,000.

148Apps reports that if a person bought every available app, they’d need a 7.5 terabyte iPhone and $891,982.24.

The popularity of apps has led to what is being called the “New App Economy” and a Palo Alto company is at the forefront of this new venture. appbackr is the first wholesale marketplace for apps using a CrowdFunding platform. There, app developers sell bulk copies of their apps to investors at a discount. Investors turn a profit when the app sells on the App Store.

appbackr’s approach has created quite a buzz and the company was featured on CNN-affiliate KLIV radio this week as part of its “Economy and Silicon Valley” series. To listen to the segment, click here

Apps have become more than just games for your iPhone such as Angry Birds or Words With Friends. A whole slew of app categories including lifestyle, entertainment and business have surfaced as more and more people adopt mobile lifestyles in an effort to simplify their lives.

With a New App Economy and unlimited app ideas, the future of apps is bright. It appears it won’t be long before we look back at 500,000 apps with a sense of nostalgia and ask, “What isn’t there an app for?”

“Liking” LMGPR Has Never been So Rewarding!

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By Michael Erwin

As the Internet has “World Wide Webbed” its way into the everyday lives of people across the globe, there has unfortunately also been an increase in online crime. Online predators, cyberbullies and hackers are new foes that Internet users need to be wary of.

As a result, the US Senate passed a resolution in 2006 declaring the entire month of June as Internet Safety Month, an awareness effort to make the Internet safer for all users, particularly for children.

LMGPR is getting involved in the outreach effort with its own Facebook campaign. Now through the end of June every time someone “Likes” LMGPR on Facebook, we will donate $1 to GetNetWise, a coalition of Internet industry corporations and public interest organizations who share the common goal of creating a safe online experience for all users. GetNetWise.org features articles and video tutorials for Internet users on items such as computer viruses, identity theft, and the risks children face online.

LMGPR is aiming for 500 new “Likes” by the end of the month, so tell your friends! Go to our Facebook page and simply click “Like.” We’ll handle the rest. Not only will you be helping a great cause, but you’ll also be keeping your finger on the pulse of all that is going on with LMGPR.

Everyone who uses the Internet is at risk, so do your part. “Like” LMGPR… a safer Internet is just a click away.

The High Cost of Hacking

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By Michael Erwin

It’s been a rough few months for Sony. Hackers hit the entertainment giant back in April resulting in a nearly month-long shut down of its PlayStation Network.

The cost of the shutdown: approximately $171-million dollars. Perhaps worse than that however, was the public cost. Sony’s image took a hit as personal information and credit card numbers of its 100-million users were put at risk.

Following the attacks, Sony hired security experts to figure out what went wrong. The network was rebuilt and was rendered safe and secure… or so they thought.

This week, on the same day Sony reopened its PlayStation store, the company was hit by yet ANOTHER cyber attack. More than one million customers reportedly had their information compromised.

Hacking group Lulzsec took responsibility for the attack and in a release explained why they went after Sony:

“Our goal here is not to come across as master hackers, hence what we’re about to reveal: SonyPictures.com was owned by a very simple SQL injection, one of  the most primitive and common vulnerabilities, as we should all know by now.  From a single injection, we accessed EVERYTHING. Why do you put such faith in a company that allows itself to become open to these simple attacks? What’s worse is that every bit of data we took wasn’t encrypted. Sony stored over 1,000,000 passwords of its customers in plaintext, which means it’s just a matter of taking it. This is disgraceful and insecure: they were asking for it.

The recent attacks on Sony and other corporations including Lockheed and PBS have highlighted an alarming rise in corporate attacks. FireEye CEO Ashar Aziz believes this is only the beginning:

“This is the new reality. We live in a persistent state of cyber insecurity due to the lack of efficacy of traditional defenses against advanced cyber attacks.”

Aziz adds that the recent attacks are an example of the weaknesses that exist in cyber-security defenses:

“No organization, no matter how well run they are, are well protected against these kinds of attacks, considering that the new threat landscape has effectively obsoleted traditional enterprise security defenses.”

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether Sony can rebound from the attacks. The company remains in damage control offering a “Welcome Back” package for users that includes free games, movie rentals and virtual items for PlayStation Home.  But will that be enough to appease those customers who are now checking their monthly credit card statements for any suspicious activity?

Time will tell…

Tales of a Public Relations Internship

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By Ashley Albert, aka “The New Girl”

As a student you tend to hear stories of less-than gratifying internships from classmates. I mean, what can really be learned from being a coffee-runner, filer or photocopier? I was absolutely terrified of this when I first started applying. How often do you hear of people saying they had the “best experience ever” while working as an intern?

But I was closing in on graduation and in need of some hands-on PR experience before being thrust into the “real world,” and so I reached out to LMGPR.

Here I am one month later and happy to report that my internship here IS the “best experience ever!” We’re a cozy, happy family and I fit right in from Day One. Never have I started working somewhere and felt so instantly integrated within the culture of the company.

I enjoy sitting in my cubicle where I sometimes find little gifts from Donna. The glow from the hot pink lava lamp always gets me excited to sit down and get to work. I’m actually helping out with one of our clients on a daily basis and whenever I have questions or I’m learning how to do something new, I can depend on others to help me out. I’ve done a briefing document, tons of market research and a bunch of side tasks… talk about an educational experience on steroids!

This internship has proven challenging on the tech-jargon front: SaaS? IaaS? MDM? What does it all mean? And why are there two types of MDMs? It’s like learning a different language! I can honestly say, however, that with all the news I read daily with these terms, I’m on way to becoming a stellar tech-based PR practitioner.

I realize not everyone’s internship will end up like mine, but I can offer some advice to potential interns:

New Girl’s Top 3 Reasons for Why You Should Intern While Still in School

1)     The classroom does not teach you all you need to know about the public relations field.

2)     In this current economic climate, it’s best to have all kinds of PR experience on your resume. Anyone can get a degree, but experience counts!

3)     The transition into the working world may not be so drastic if you get acquainted with the field ahead of time. What if you decide this isn’t for you? An internship will help you realize that before potentially wasting years in the classroom.

… and the best part of MY internship? It has opened the door to a permanent position here at LMGPR. Finding a job in your field upon graduation has become increasingly difficult these days, and I know without this internship the transition from classroom to workplace would have been far more difficult.

LMGPR RETAINS “BEST OF SUNNYVALE” STATUS…

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By Michael Erwin

Loughlin Michaels Group is adding another award to its trophy case.

The US Commerce Association (USCA) has selected LMGPR for the 2011 Best of Sunnyvale Award in the Public Relations Counselors category.

This is the third consecutive year LMGPR has won the award, a feat that puts the firm in elite company. According to the USCA, less than one-percent of 2011 Award recipients qualified as Three-Time Award Winners.

“We are thrilled to receive this award for the third straight year,” said Donna Michaels, president. “We attribute our continued success to a dedicated team and an exciting portfolio of clients.”

The USCA “Best of Local Business” Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country.

IT’S ONLY CHEATING IF YOU GET CAUGHT!

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By Michael Erwin

Tsk Tsk! The fallout continues after last week’s PR snafu involving Facebook and Google.

For those out of the loop, Facebook found itself in an embarrassing situation after it hired PR firm Burson-Marsteller to approach news outlets with negative stories about Google’s privacy practices on its “Social Circle” site. One of the journalists approached went public with the conversation.

Facebook denies the goal was to run a smear campaign against the Internet search giant, but admitted it had concerns about how Social Circle collects and uses personal data.

The issue has turned to an ethical one not only for Facebook, but for Burston-Marsteller as well.

The PR firm has vowed to retrain the the two employees at the center of the scandal. In addition, a code of ethics will be redistributed to all employees.

But is there really evidence of wrongdoing? While attempting to create negative press for Google could appear shady, these types of attempts are not uncommon. We see similar behavior in the political world constantly.

It appears the main ethical issue here is Burson’s failure to disclose who it was working for. The Public Relations Society of America’s Code of Ethics calls for members to “reveal the sponsors for causes and interests represented.”

Burson’s lack of transparency is being criticized, though it is not the first (nor the last) PR firm to withhold such information. The problem is, Burson-Marstellar got caught.

… and as part of damage control, the firm is doing the right public thing by admitting wrongdoing and taking steps to rectify the situation.

That’s what good PR is all about, right?!

Reppler Monitors Your Online Identity and Safeguards Your Reputation

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7 out of 10 employers will monitor your network to keep them safe from you

By Anton Molodetskiy and Roberto Araujo

Picture this: You’re a college student looking to graduate in a few months. Two weeks ago, you blasted job applications and were confident that your academic achievement, experience and skills would help you land your dream entry-level job. After completing your last round of midterms and applying to a plethora of jobs, you and your friends spend your last Spring Break together where you all had an unforgettable time… Little did you know, while you and your friends were partying over Spring Break, a recruiter was able to read your Facebook updates and your friend’s comments. The recruiter, who was initially impressed with your application, decides to move on as s/he’s shocked by the profanity and the racial tone of the comments made by your immature and drunk friends.

Rhonda Wheatley, a job recruiter and career coach in Silicon Valley, told Fast Company, “No matter how liberal a company is (doing the hiring), most would still prefer to hire reliable employees who aren’t out doing heavy partying and/or displaying themselves in photos others may consider distasteful.”

Our new client, Reppler offers a free solution that monitors our online persona. This service will scan content which relates to our updates and comments from our network of friends. Additionally, Reppler notifies you about malicious links, security issues and negative or explicit material.  Like a virtual chaperone, it even gives an overall sentiment of the user on its network and even our own trending Facebook wall words. This allows us to ensure that our online presence is clean and does not compromise our chances of obtaining their next job, promotion or simple ruin our reputation.

Seventy five percent of all job recruiters today use Facebook to evaluate a potential candidate’s online reputation and four out of every five college admissions offices use the social network to recruit students according to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2010 survey of college admissions officers.

In our quest to make our online reputation more exciting or interesting, sometimes decorum is dumped by the wayside.  The number of people who lose their jobs due to an online post on Facebook or the number of students who miss out on that golden opportunity because their profile picture includes them in compromising situations with drugs or alcohol has only increased in recent years.

Elias Aboujaoude, a Stanford psychiatrist discussed in a recent podcast the impact our online personas have on our physical lives. Without actually entering the tron grid, our exciting online selves have begun influencing our real-time selves. However, the results can be damaging. Aboujaoude references a decrease in patience, narcissism, impulsivity and a lack of consideration for others which extends into our off-line lives, becoming ingrained in our personalities.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7nWZdAEw34&w=480&h=390]

Though cloning and gene manipulation are still considered unethical and financially impractical, we have turned to virtual environments to make our lives easier and seemingly more exciting or appealing. The internet has prevailed into all parts of our lives. Where to eat? Yelp it. Who to date? OkCupid or eHarmony. Where to buy books? Amazon or half.com. Music? Rhapsody or iTunes. An internet-linked GPS prevents us from getting lost and Flikr allows pictures of us skydiving to be shared with our legions of “friends” on Facebook.  It doesn’t matter if that skydiving photo was taken over a year ago; our online personalities can exhibit it front and center to make others believe that it’s a regular occurrence in our high-octane lives of accounting and daycare visits. We start and end relationships through email and can be brazen and fearless behind facades of online anonymity.

You Are What You Tweet

By | Social Media | No Comments

By Lindsay Newman

There is no denying that Twitter has taken the social networking world by storm. Facebook and YouTube have become overly time consuming in the shadow of a tweet. Why read through an entire bio when you can consume a whole personality in just one sentence?

Twitter allows every individual- whether enterprise, celebrity, or every day ‘regular Joe’ to run their own identity campaign- if, of course, you can express yourself in 140 characters or less.

But with this accessible power comes a personal liability to responsibility, to avoid pitfalls such as self-destruction, public embarrassment, or even a ruined reputation. Sounds a little dramatic? – Let me explain why ‘responsible tweeting’ has become a crucial skill to master.

When comedian Gilbert Gottfried recently tweeted an insensitive joke regarding the tsunami in Japan, he lost his job as the Aflac company duck.

An enterprise who wants to push their message to their customers and develop a voice in their space uses Twitter to gain an identifiable opinion which leads to equity in their respected field. Yet, one misleading tweet about a new announcement could turn off customers and put a wedge in the entire company positioning. Talk about throwing their PR team in a panic!

And in 2009 when a newly hired Cisco employee tweeted about dreading work, the company immediately responded and alerted the hiring manager. I would imagine that meeting did not start with smiles. 

Why are these short thoughts so powerful? The answer is exactly what makes Twitter so valuable. A tweet is an unfiltered personal expression, the closest a customer, or audience, will get to the subject.

Therefore, the importance of responsible tweeting means always keeping this fact in mind.  Tweets should be crafted carefully and appropriately. Do this, and Twitter can deliver positive benefits unmatched by other avenues. Never tweet anything you wouldn’t post on a billboard in front of your house.  And remember, once the tweet is sent, it becomes a part of that identity- good or bad.

After 100 Years celebrating women internationally, are Men and Women Treated Equally in the PR Field?

By | Announcements, Events | No Comments

By Roberto Araujo

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the International Women’s Day. Our field of public relations is practically filled with great women of all ages, races and sexual orientations. In fact, according to PRSA , 70% of PR professionals are women. Yes, this figure is an excellent indicator of the female dominance, but why is there still a gap between men and women salaries in public relations and other female dominated fields?

In an article “In PR, Women Outnumber Men But Men Still Earn More” posted by Media Bistro, show how there are many inequalities and in fact 80 percent of the top management is male. Meanwhile, the same article points out that “some [women] are making a concerted effort to recruit men.” This is definitely interesting considering female empowerment is still on the rise; however, this shows that there’s still some resistance and it comes from “her” side.

Another recent study posted on Guardian.co.uk shows that the gap increases from a lower level PR position to a more managerial position from 3% – 21% per gap.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics revealed some interesting data on women in the workplace. Here are the highlights:

  • By 2018, the number of women age 65 to 74 in the civilian labor force is projected to increase more than the number of women in any other age group.
  • In 2010, over 66 percent of women in the labor force had either attended some college or graduated with a degree.
  • In 2009, only a few countries (notably Canada and Sweden) had higher labor force participation rates for women than the United States.
  • In 2010, more women were employed in the education and health services industry than in any other industry; in the 1960s, manufacturing employed the most women.
  • Women working as personal financial advisors earn 58 percent of what men earn—lower than the overall ratio of women’s to men’s earnings (81 percent).
  • When they were 23 years old, about 23 percent of young women held a bachelor’s degree (or higher), compared with about 14 percent of young men.
  • Single women spend about 25 percent of their annual expenditures on shelter.

It is still evident that the differences of salaries among men and women are shrinking, yet still not equal. Much more effort and support from feminist groups and non-feminist women will be needed to close this unfair gap. Today, being Women’s Day, we should recognize and appreciate the efforts made by exemplar women in history as Susan B. Anthony, Mother Theresa, or even the women who recently marched at the Egyptian protest, those in the military and our own mothers.

Gamification—It’s all in the Game

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Matt Sarrel and Donna Michaels

Gamification is a hot topic these days.  This is sort of funny to me that in 2011 it’s all about gamification.  The reason why I say this is that I remember a bit push in, oh maybe 1985, to start building game look and feel into non-game related software.  But it’s different now, more advanced and more thorough. In fact, there’s entire editorial blogs dedicated to Gamification such as http://newstopiaville.nextnewsroom.com/what-is-gamification/.

Gamification isn’t just about making software look like a game.  It’s about incorporating the most critical aspects of games such as rules, scoring, objectives, social interaction, and immediate feedback into web sites, software, and business processes.  Although it isn’t just about making something fun, gamification does have a lot to do with making every day actions fun.

For example, think about the way an online RPG works.  Players get together and form guilds or clans to work together to accomplish a common goal that benefits all involved.  Now think about a site like Groupon.  You band together with your friends (or strangers) to gain volume pricing and discounts.  Then add the element of artificial scarcity (only 5 minutes left to buy!) and a slick interface and shopping becomes just like playing a game.

There are plenty of places where game mechanics are implemented in our daily lives.  I would even go so far as to say that whether we like it or not our lives are game mechanics.  How many times has someone told you that life is like a chess match?  Have you ever noticed yourself shopping for a better deal, not because of the deal but because of your internal sense of competition?  I have a friend whose father pulls in $5 million a year, but to buy a TV he’ll spend 3 months looking for the best deal even if it means saving $10.  That’s not about saving – that’s about playing the game of saving.

Loyalty programs, like those of airlines, hotel chains, and car rentals are very simple game mechanics.  We love earning those points (see Up in the Air) yet we never use them.  Why?  Because our competitive nature just wants the points and the actual use of them is incidental.

I suspect we’re going to see more and more websites rely on game mechanics to increase conversions.  In a way, what the market is saying is, “games are popular and this is an industry where there is money to be made.  If they can make money using this tactic so can we, so let’s build game mechanics into our product.”

It’s my opinion that this is a significant trend for game developers to follow.  Let’s be honest, all of us would love to write games.  But there aren’t necessarily enough game developer jobs for all of us.  Plus, there’s the reality that developing business software might pay better than developing a game.

I’m not saying that there should be a mass exodus from gaming.  Rather I’m saying that there is some value in learning how to apply the mechanics that work in games to the development of other software.  It may open up new doors for you, should you choose to open them.  And look at it this way – the more aspects of gaming that we can build into the rest of the world, the better the rest of the world can be.

Recently, Donna Michaels and I met with Tim Chang of Norwest Venture partners.  He shared with us his knowledge on gamification in this video interview.  We will continue to report on gamification in 2011.

Interview with Tim Chang on Gamification:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_lS8swPhNk&w=640&h=390]

Get Ready for GDC 2011

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What you need to see at this year’s Game Developer’s Conference:

By Matt Sarrel
Just in case you didn’t know, this year’s GDC takes place at the Moscone Center from Monday, March 28 to Friday March 4th, 2011.  This is the most well attended (and useful) conference for game developers every year and this year a few special things are taking place that I’m really looking forward to.  In addition to private play sessions, exhibitor meetings, and parties, there are some great tutorials on the discipline-specific schedule in programming, design, art, audio, business and management, and production.

– In his first-ever major North American appearance, Access Games‘ Hidetaka ‘Swery’ Suehiro will present a talk on his work making the cult console title Deadly Premonition, explaining “his unique method of architecting games” with reference to the open world horror survival game . The in-depth talk, which will be simultaneously translated from Swery’s native Japanese, “touches upon the 7 points to check if your game’s storyline might already be dead”, also focusing on the detail and interactivity which contributed to the Deadly Premonition experience – one which I thought was essentially a cool story and concept that was poorly implemented (poor camera angles and video quality).

Another lecture that sounds good is ‘Prototype through Production: ProGuitar in Rock Band 3′, presented by Harmonix’s Jason Booth and Sylvain Dubrofsky.  The focus of this talk is how to go from concept to product, specifically “how do you go from an insane idea like ‘Lets teach non-guitarists how to play a real guitar in Rock Band 3?’ to a product in 20 months?’  They “will detail the process used to rapidly prototype this concept and evaluate ideas, through initial prototypes to user testing and final production”, revealing how the team “applied traditional game-play metaphors and techniques to the process of teaching” along the way.

Folks from Pixar are giving several talks, including, ‘Story Images and Character Arcs’, from the Bay Area animation company’s Matthew Luhn, who will discuss “how you can unlock forgotten images and memories to inspire new stories and characters”  and “why, or why not, you may need a character arc for your characters, and if so, how to create successful character arcs to compliment your stories”, using the new toys from Pixar’s Toy Story 3 to demonstrate the use of character arcs, and break down the inspiration behind the new toys.

I always find the postmortem lectures really interesting.  These go into deep detail about games that have already come out and what worked and what didn’t work as far as the project was concerned.  As someone who has run his fair share of software development projects, learning how to run a more efficient project is always key for success.  There’s a bunch of AI related lectures that I want to hit also, plus a few lectures about games and health (either health effect or games used to improve health).  That’s always been a fascinating topic for me personally as I started my career doing IT in a medical research setting, and at one point worked with publishers to donate Nintendo GBA and DS games to help kids relax while getting cancer treatment and dialysis.  It’s a great topic because it smacks all the game-haters right in the face to see the good we can do as a community.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8ZasJP4nB4&w=640&h=390]