Yet another fantastic post from Fred Wilson, this one about characteristics of great companies. I think it equally applies to business people, artists and those who make something big out of life. This I like:
7) Great companies have a global mindset. They treat every person in the world as a potential customer/user.
I’ve written a lot on doing your own press/PR on this blog and more recently on the Mulley Comms blog on building relationships with journalists. If you are confident with your press release then as important is a good press list. I’ve built one up over the years and have shared it with a few people but it always needs updating and fixing. There’s always bounces and when the Irish Times recently changed email address it became a right pain to sort (not really as simple as find and replace when the old addy worked for some still). They also build new lists based on requests from customers.
Media Contact (Disclaimer: They hire me to give talks) are famous for their red book that has the contact details for every media publication in the country, a book I’ve been using for years, well before I started working with Jack in there. They also have a digital version of said book with the MediaContact.ie website. It’s also a full blown press release building and management system, allowing you access to thousands of press contacts in Ireland. The gold of the system is that the details are constantly maintained so you can be sure they’re correct but also the lists they have are segmented. You can send a release to just business journalists, to certain feature writers, to sports only, to TV sports only etc. etc. If you send a good few press releases out per year either on behalf of your company/yourself or for clients then this is worth investing in.
However for smaller companies or those that might just send one press release now and then, they’ve created a “Lite” version of the MediaContact.ie service called Media Express. It’s €150 to send out a press release to 1-5 of their lists (costs more for more lists) though if you use the discount code Twitter you’ll get 50% at the moment. The pricing is good value in my view as consider the time it would take you to compile a proper press list? In these days when companies should be upping their sales, marketing and PR to get more custom, a service like this should be one tool in their Pat Mustard toolbox.
At Nokia World in Stuttgart (Nokia flew me over and are putting me up, and putting up with me) today and tomorrow. Some really good stuff from their research labs as well as the announcements that are all over the web today too. I like the X6 and the X3 all you can eat music phones. Still trying to get a play off the N900.
Nokia glasses from their research lab
Anyways, two videos I’ve uploaded and below are of the glasses for navigating a virtual world and the real world. What I like about them is they’re not just displays, you’ll note in the video they track the eyes so if you look left or right or look up and down with your eyes only and not using your head, the landscape and data displayed will change. The screen part of these glasses are pretty thin too meaning they’re not too far off having them in normal sized glasses.
Chris Eubank is getting his teeth fixed in a private clinic in Clane listens in to i105107’s daily talk show – enjoys it so much he decides to give i105107 a call to say that he hasn’t laughed as much in ages…
Faith No More/Boo-Ya Tribe – Another Body Murdered
People keep mentioning Obama’s online campaign to get elected and how all the bells and whistles changed history but if you look at it, it really was nothing more than a well structured database that had great data in it. Obama’s campaign sucked volunteered data in and then used it. What many political campaigns fail to do is either get good initial data or they do nothing after storing it, they let it stagnate. Obama was all about actions and asks once he had the data. Asking for 10 dollars, knowing where you are and asking you to come to a local event etc.
In the good times, there was plenty of money being spent by companies on outside resources: Fixed assets, consultancies, marketing, PR, training and all the rest. Now that’s drying up or has dried up. So many companies that were in the service industries can’t get work now. Many freak out about this but from experience I find that companies need to change slightly and they can get work from the same client, just not the same work. Companies are latching on to what their core products/services are and not altering them or changing them completely. They should. While most companies are being put under extreme pressure to not spend at all, they also know that they need to invest in areas where there is not going to be spend on external resources. So if they take marketing or PR in-house, you can be sure that they’ll want training to make sure they can do the best job. What PR or Marketing firms are giving traiing in 2009? If there is no money to be spent on training areas they normally spent on, you can be sure that they’ll want training on being more cost-efficient. If they no longer buy your physical product, you can be sure they will still invest in other areas.
And my point? Most companies have massive databases of customer details that are sitting there, gathering dust. Why not work on those databases and poll your customers on how they’re getting on in 2009 and what their most pressing needs are? See can you be of help instead of trying to flog something they just don’t need/can’t afford right now. While your exact service might not be needed, the company under pressure in 2009 might need help elsewhere. Trying to sell sun cream when it rains won’t work but if rain is unusual a lot of people will need umbrellas since they wouldn’t have had them up to this point. Find out the needs and then partner if you can’t directly provide that product. It’s outside of the comfortable parameters of many companies which isn’t such a bad thing.
If you’re just starting out and think you have great product you can team up with a company or organisation that has a golden database. When the goings were good and companies spent everywhere, these databases were bursting. Contact the company and confidently pitch your product in the form of a partnership. There is no greater time to get the attention of a potential partner. Everyone listens in 2009. Remember though that Data Protection Laws apply but more importantly not being a spammer applies. Before you ever contact those in the database with an offfer, understand their needs. Done wrong you lose people in the database and anger them, done right you make existing customers happy and better off.