Monthly Archives: April 2013

Sevenval Ltd. hires Liberty for UK awareness campaign

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Liberty Comms, the specialist technology communications consultancy, today announced that it has been appointed by leading technology specialist and solutions provider for mobile, multichannel web and mobile marketing solutions, Sevenval, for a UK PR campaign.

 

Following a competitive pitch, Liberty has been tasked with providing on-going PR support for 2013, including media relations, events consultancy and thought leadership, as well as driving interest in Sevenval’s software solutions and services across key industry verticals such as automotive, financial services, retail and travel.

 

Sevenval offers a powerful software product for the development of mobile websites as well as web, applications. The Sevenval FIT software portfolio enables clients to meet the requirement for stable, high-performance cross-channel websites with optimal user experience and usability. FIT allows for the aggregation of content and services across all browsers, operating systems, and devices, effectively making it future-proof, scalable and fully compatible.

 

Tom Laband, managing director of Sevenval Ltd, said; “We are keen to showcase our work in the UK as well as leveraging our strong German heritage and, having spoken with a number of agencies, we judged Liberty to be best positioned to communicate our story, expertise and technology to a wider market. We’re looking forward to working with the team for a successful 2013.”

 

Dee Gibbs, managing director and founder of Liberty Communications commented; “Sevenval has a very strong proposition and client base and we’re very excited to be working with them to build their UK presence and make them the ‘go to’ resource for media covering mobile, multichannel web, mobile marketing solutions and the associated topics such as e-commerce.”

Liberty goes for gold in the 2013 EMEA SABRE awards Certificate of Excellence awarded and shortlist nomination achieved

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Liberty Comms, the specialist technology communications consultancy, announced that it has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence in the 2013 EMEA Silver SABRE awards and in addition, has also been shortlisted for a Gold award in the consumer electronics category.  Finalists for the latter category were selected from a record of more than 2,400 entries with winners set to be announced on 30th May in Barcelona.

 

Silver SABRE awards are given to those companies that demonstrate excellence in content creation, creative product and PR agency management. This year, Liberty was awarded a Certificate of Excellence in the PR product of the Year category for the development of its Liberty Index measurement tool, the only boutique agency winner in this category.

Nick Lane, head of measurement, Liberty Communications, said, “AVE is no longer an adequate assessment of campaign success as it is simply not detailed or informative enough and it gives no indication of whether a campaign message was received or which tactics flourished or fell short. The Liberty Index addresses this issue by going beyond campaign metrics to trend coverage based on a company’s media landscape, sentiment of coverage and coverage type. It offers transparent analysis of a clients’ penetration of target media and gives both our team and our clients the critical insights vital to developing any ongoing PR plan to be suitable for the long term and to better align to our clients’ business objectives.”

 

Liberty’s campaign for the launch of Root Classic has earned it a place on the shortlist for best ‘consumer electronics’ campaign. Gold SABRE awards require those nominated to demonstrate success in terms of campaign metrics, KPIs and also ROI. Liberty’s simple but effective PR campaign did just that.

 

Dee Gibbs, managing director and founder, Liberty Communications, said, “Sales are the ultimate goal for all of our clients but for consumer technology companies in particular, these are a crucial measure of success. Our media knowledge is invaluable to address this. Securing the right pieces of coverage can be the difference between success and failure and the targeted campaign we designed for Root Classic is testament to this. On review of the campaign, a massive 20 per cent of all sales were attributed to a single review – an ROI of £7 per £1 spent and a fantastic achievement for both Root Classic and Liberty as a communications team.”

Success with Sabre

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Liberty secures a double whammy of success with the Sabre Awards

 

 

Celebrations started early this morning with some great news from the Sabre Awards nominees list. We have not only been awarded a certificate of excellence for our Liberty Index (our home grown measurement tool to track campaign results and highlight ROI), but we have also received a nomination for best consumer electronics campaign for our work with Root Classic!  Run by the Holmes Report we feel privileged to be nominated for the Sabre Awards. We follow them closely and feel honoured to have been included in this year’s list. A big thank you to my team who have worked really hard. It’s true testament to their creativity and hard work that we are here.  We have everything crossed for the final announcement on 30th May so wish us luck!

Reputation Survey: Google trusted despite industry dominance

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Google may be embroiled in an EU investigation into alleged anti-competitiveness, however one in four members of the public continues to rate it as the most trusted tech brand.

As global tech giant Google remains embroiled in a bruising EU battle over alleged anti-competitive practices, research shows that UK consumers retain trust in the brand.

 

A joint PRWeek/OnePoll survey demonstrates the strength of Google’s customer perception and reputation.

 

read full article

Liberty Intern Blog Post – Part 3

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Walking through the doors of Liberty Communications four months ago I was prepared for the unexpected.

 

 

Not knowing a great deal about the Technology industry I was ready for an influx of information and the possibility that I’d be very much out of my depth.However, as time went on and I got used to my surroundings I began to feel a little less like a fish out of water.

 

 

My first day at Liberty did not get off to a great start: having been invited into a brainstorm meeting for a client I learnt my first fairly obvious lesson; the need to understand what the client does before trying to help think up campaigns.

 

 

The sheer fear that I was going to be asked something or even that someone would look in my direction was enough to make me realise I needed to do my homework to get along in this industry. Slowly but surely however, I began to grasp more understanding, and began to enjoy the work I was doing far more.

 

 

As an intern at Liberty I have been fortunate enough to assist on a variety of their clients. Similarly working with a range of the Liberty staff I was able to learn from their different styles, industry knowledge and experience. Being able to work with not only the great team, but also their clients I decided to peruse my career within the technology industry further.

 

 

The B2B sector is not one that I would have imagined myself in (historically consumer is known as a more attractive, glitzy area) however, I found myself watching and even participating in the creativity that goes hand in hand with B2B. By learning the ability to take an often complicated topic and transform it into something news worthy and interesting is a fantastic skill to have gained. Not to mention being able to understand what such complex businesses do is something that will never fail to make me feel a little bit proud of myself!

 

 

With an exciting new job under my belt, I hope that the invaluable skills I have learnt from the team at Liberty will assist me in my first foray into the paid world of a PR as a junior account executive. I appreciate the time I have spent a Liberty a great deal and was thrilled to have been able to extend my internship, so all that remains to say is a big thank you to the Liberty team for all their help and insight throughout my internship.

 

 

Handle with care – the importance of good customer services

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I’ve recently returned from holiday. It was brilliant and, once we were there, we had wonderful service from the people looking after us.

 

 

But the experience leading up to our departure, from the minute we paid our deposit to the moment we left for the airport, was terrible. It really reminded me of something that I take for granted working for Liberty – that good customer service is not a nice-to-have or a luxury, it should be the bedrock of any service industry.

 

I won’t bore you with the details of the seemingly endless list of complaints I have about the owner of the company we booked with, but it’s safe to say that, once she had secured our business, all niceties shot out of the window and she treated us like a problem to be dealt with – to the point where I wasn’t looking forward to going away, which I really resented! We generally had to chase her on responses to our questions, she brought business issues that she was facing to our door as if it was our job to solve them and correspondence was a constant list of things we weren’t allowed to do during our stay that generally ended in a request for more money in order to ‘augment’ our service.  And it’s not like we hadn’t paid enough in the first place… but I’ll stop there because I can feel my rant coming on!

 

Maybe I found this particularly frustrating because I used to work in the travel industry, and because customer service is so central to all our dealings with clients at Liberty, whether they’re prospective, a couple of months into a retainer or have been with us for years. Six years ago when I started working here I remember being educated on ‘the Liberty Way’ of doing things, which centred around proactivity, attention to the client’s needs, maintaining exceptional standards at all levels of account activity and adding the personal touch.

 

I’m happy to say that that ethos is still alive and well today. If anything, it’s even more central to what we do in these times of budget constraints and cutbacks in which we need to stand out from the crowd when it comes to retaining and securing business.  Indeed, I don’t think there are many agencies of our size that have a dedicated client services director who monitors client sentiment and ensures regular six monthly reviews are conducted to ensure client objectives and creativity are maintained.

 

Good client service is the life blood of a business like ours. We want clients to enjoy working with us and to treat us as an extension to their own team. It means that we’re proud to count many clients as repeat customers who choose us when they move from one company to another, or are happy to recommend us to other industry contacts. We’ve also had clients who have chosen to change agency only to come back to us months later because the service they received elsewhere wasn’t up to scratch. Some have even become friends.

 

Maybe we could teach my holiday contact a thing or two – she certainly won’t be getting any repeat business or recommendations out of me!

My Take on TV

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A few years ago, I attended a conference that focused on the convergence of technology and entertainment. During one session in particular, 5 executives from various cable and broadcast networks debated the place and benefit of the Internet as a complete delivery method of their content, live and on-demand.

 

 

Everyone on that stage was largely against doing anything that might disrupt the traditional content delivery model and partnership that has been immensely profitable for decades.

 

Flash-forward to today…online content delivery and resources have improved dramatically for cable and satellite subscribers, yet there are key barriers facing so-called “cord cutters”.

 

For example, in the United States, the big three broadcast networks: ABC, CBS and NBC allow access to their content through various mediums and devices. Mobile phones, tablets, PCs, and Internet-connected devices (Apple TV, Roku, Vudu, Boxee, etc) can easily access nearly any TV episode over cellular or WIFI.

 

But, if you’ve cut cable completely and rely upon online streaming, you typically must wait until “tomorrow” to enjoy “tonight’s” episodes. In an era where consumers want to enjoy content, when and where they choose, this minor inconvenience inspires tech-savvy consumers to develop alternate means of accessing content.

 

Enter Aereo…“Watch Real, Live TV on the Internet. Finally.”

 

Now, I don’t want to debate the pros and cons of Aereo, but rather highlight what could become a watershed moment for the entertainment industry. I “cut the cable” two years ago, and haven’t missed a show that I’ve wanted to watch, except live local sports (ugh!).

 

Perhaps in the future I will be able to turn on my Internet-connected device, select the ABC (or CBS…NBC…ESPN…etc) app, and with a single click access to both live and previously recorded content. Seamlessly.

 

Internet-connected boxes, such as Apple TV, are beginning to see robust and sustained growth, which begs the question, is there a place for another distribution model?

  • Over-the-Air (OTA)
  • Cable
  • Satellite
  • Internet???

 

In the U.S., there are more than 115 million paid TV households (not people), and a staggering 500 million iTunes users (with active credit cards). These are huge markets! With these total in mind, imagine if ABC (or any of the other players) offered its full catalogue on-demand, as well as their live broadcast stream for $7.99 per month (Hulu Premium’s pricing). If they secured 29 million customers, or just 6% of the active credit card users on iTunes…ABC could generate an additional $232 million per month in fees, and $2.8 billion per year.

 

Remember, these figures are general in nature, but nevertheless they paint an intriguing picture regarding the revenue potential of diversifying content distribution to include, full-fledged streaming.

 

What do you think?

 

P.S. Take a look at how Netflix and BYUtv are addressing this market:

 

  • House of Cards: airs exclusively on Netflix with a $7.99 subscription
  • Granite Flats, BYUtv’s first scripted show, can be watched ‘live’ and on-demand, free

liberty news

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Firefox ‘death sentence’ threat to TeliaSonera over gov spy claims

Firefox-maker Mozilla could issue a “death sentence” to TeliaSonera’s SSL business over allegations the telecoms giant sold Orwellian surveillance tech to dictators. The punishment would be an embarrassing blow to the company: it would effectively cut off HTTPS-encrypted websites verified by TeliaSonera from Firefox users, who make up one-fifth of the planet’s web surfers. Crucially, it will be seen as a tough stance against corporations that trade with authoritarian states. TeliaSonera, which has globe-spanning operations and sells SSL certificates to Nordic websites, asked Mozilla to include its new root certificate in Firefox’s list of trusted Certificate Authorities (CAs)

The Register

 

Smart meters threaten weather forecasts

The introduction of smart meters in UK homes could play havoc with weather forecasts, according to the Met Office. Ofcom is currently undertaking a consultation over removing restrictions on extending the frequencies home-networking hardware works on to help with the roll out of web-connected smart meters. But according to Met Office officials, freeing up the spectrum could have disastrous consequences on its forecast modelling, with interference casting a cloud over results.

PC Pro

 

4G spectrum auction to be investigated by National Audit Office

Ofcom’s auction of the 4G communications spectrum is to be investigated by the National Audit Office, amid claims that the process did not generate the intended revenue. The auction, carried out in June 2012, raised £2.3 billion as mobile phone carriers bid to acquire portions of the UK’s high speed data spectrum that had previously been occupied only by Everything Everywhere. But the Treasury forecast that a total of £3.5 billion would be raised, while estimating a possible maximum of £6.3 billion.

Computing

 

Now ‘not the right time’ for Apple iTV release says expert

With a flurry of Apple iTV rumours continuing to circulate, industry experts have suggested to TrustedReviews that now ‘is not the right time’ for Apple to launch its first own-branded television set. Speaking at the company’s HQ in Seoul, South Korea, LG executives have suggested it would not make sense for Apple to enter the television market now, with the iPad and iPhone manufacturer unable to hit the same levels of image quality as established television manufacturers.

Trusted Reviews

 

UK firms need to work harder at trust online, survey shows

UK firms need to work harder to address a serious lack of trust by customers who regularly shop and bank online, a survey has revealed. One in four UK consumers do not trust any organisation with their personal data online, according to research by information security and risk management firm Integralis. While 65 per cent of the 1,000 UK consumers surveyed said they trust banks, this “trust factor” drops to 36 per cent for online retailers, 34 per cent for insurance companies, and 24 per cent for supermarkets. “Businesses should be concerned about is this intrinsic lack of trust by customers in online companies,” said Mick Ebsworth, information security consulting practice director at Integralis.

Computer Weekly

 

Two takes on lithium-ion batteries

Lithium-ion batteries have transformed our lives. Without them, we wouldn’t have laptop computers or cell phones—at least, not the long-lived, lightweight kindwe’re used to—and in the near future they may become more important yet. With sufficiently powerful batteries, renewable energy and electric cars become viable, but we first need to overcome some serious technological challenges. At the recent American Physical Society March Meeting in Baltimore, two Berkeley Lab researchers highlighted different aspects of the problem.
Phys.org

 

How to build apps for Google Glass revealed

Google also gave a limited developer preview of Google Mirror API, which it told developers allows them to build Web-based services, called Glassware, that interact with Google Glass. It provides this functionality over a cloud-based API (application programming interface) and does not require running code on Glass, it added. Timeline cards, which can be text, rich HTML, images, or video, are at the core of the user experience and display the content that users see, Google said. Developers can specify menu items on timeline cards and these can include built-in actions like read aloud, reply-by-voice, and navigation tools, or custom actions specific to the service the developer offers, according to the post.

Digital Arts Online

 

IBM makes major commitment to flash

In his 1956 dystopian sci-fi novel “The City and the Stars”, Arthur C. Clarke puts forth the fundamental design tenet for making eternal machines, “A machine shall have no moving parts”. To someone from the 1950s current computers would appear to come close to that ideal – the CPUs and memory perform silent magic and can, with some ingenuity, be passively cooled, and invisible electronic signals carry information in and out of them to networks and … oops, to rotating disks, still with us after more than five decades. But, as we all know, salvation has appeared on the horizon in the form of solid-state storage, so called flash storage

Computerworld UK

 

Android remains main target for mobile malware writers despite iOS having more vulnerabilities, says Symantec

Mobile malware remains a small and nascent issue, especially when compared to the scale of threats crowding around desktop OSes, but the threat that is out there continues to mostly affect Google’s Android platform. This despite Apple’s iOS technically having more vulnerabilities, according to a new report by security software firm Symantec. The difference in threat level is a natural consequence of the two differing mobile ecosystem approaches: Apple’s walled garden vs Android’s open playground.

Tech Crunch

 

Grow your own vegetables with Crunchd

As we’re sure you’re all aware, National Gardening Week is now upon us. And, in a bid to encourage people to start growing and sharing their own fruit and veg, Crunchd has launched a new social platform to inspire budding gardeners. The Crunchd social platform combines a website and a free app for iOS and Android smartphone users, enabling anyone with a Facebook account to use the Crunchd app to find out what’s in season, what others are growing and cooking and whether people in their area would like to trade their produce during harvest time.

Mobile Entertainment

IBIS Capital and Edxus Group choose Liberty for EdTech Europe launch

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Liberty Comms, the specialist technology communications consultancy, today announced that it has been appointed by specialist media investment and advisory firm IBIS Capital and education technology company Edxus Group to promote the launch of EdTech Europe.

 

 

An exclusive one day summit to be held at the London Business School on 14th June 2013, EdTech Europe will address the current industry and investment trends in Education Technology and e-Learning for both the academic and professional learning sectors. The event will bring together senior executives from established professional learning and education players, innovators disrupting the established market order and leading European institutional investors to explore the business of education and act as a catalyst for the consolidation and investment required in the sector. It will also witness the unveiling of EdTech Europe 20, a ranking of the top 20 most innovative and fastest growing e-learning companies in Europe.

 

 

As well as promoting EdTech Europe and the EdTech Europe 20, driving ticket sales and ranking entries amongst the entrepreneurial and investor communities, Liberty will also build the profiles of both IBIS Capital and Edxus in the education technology and e-learning industries across Europe and in the US.

 

Charles McIntyre, CEO of IBIS Capital, said: ‘‘The academic and professional education market is set to undergo a huge transformation as a result of the technological and digital revolution. EdTech Europe will explore these forthcoming changes and resulting opportunities. We’re looking forward to working with Liberty and the media community on what will be a very exciting inaugural event for us.’’

 

 

Dee Gibbs, Managing Director and Founder of Liberty Communications commented: ‘‘We are delighted to be working with IBIS Capital and Edxus on EdTech Europe. We have a wealth of experience in event creation and promotion and we’re certain that we can bring this, together with our media expertise, to bear to make EdTech Europe a success for all concerned.’’

Women in the workplace

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I read an article this afternoon revisiting the age old discussion of women in the workplace which looked at a number of books by notable authors and women on the topic. Among the issues covered were whether women need to change their behaviour to ‘fit in’ with male colleagues and the success of female entrepreneurs compared to their male counterparts.

 

 

As a working woman in a female dominated industry and with experience at international companies started and headed up by women, I continue to be surprised to see this type of content appear again and again.

 

 

Purely based on my own experiences, the old stereotype is no longer relevant and in fact some of women’s stronger psychological attributes can in fact be a bonus in industries such as ours. Understanding the subtle nuances of language and behaviour can be a benefit in devising successful communications strategies when compared to the ‘ballbreaker’ approach championed by those who believe successful women need to adopt a male approach to business. You would think that the same type attributes could equally apply to activities like managing teams and securing sales.

 

 

Now I would be naïve to deny the fact that the ability to bear children can impact a woman’s career. If nothing else, maternity leave guarantees a year (give or take) career break for the many but in the modern working world of sabbaticals and relatively affordable travel, this type of break is no longer something that is limited to the female sex. There are a large number of people (both men and women) who take year long trips at various stages throughout their careers and return to pick up where they left off and with plans to extend shared paternal leave, this type of break is likely to become increasingly common across both sexes.

 

 

So what is it that continues to keep the glass ceiling in place and this conversation at the top of the agenda?

 

 

The government is trying to address the balance pushing for extending shared paternal leave and the right to request flexible working. So maybe it’s time for working women to stop talking about the issues that were, and start focusing on the opportunities that are?

Can global campaigns follow the same formula?

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PR Week recently published an article that delved into how large businesses organised their global communications programmes.

 

 

The conclusion after gathering insight from a number of in-house and agency sources was that there isn’t necessarily a best practice, rather a list of ways in which this can be done.  This is a fair reflection of the reality of global comms; there isn’t a one size fits all solution and it very much depends on what you are trying to achieve.  It also isn’t the case that multi-territory campaigns always require pots of cash to implement.  Many clients are taking advantage of media globalisation and realise that by choosing the right media, creating engaging content, and carefully controlling messaging, you can be very frugal in your approach.

 

Liberty works with a number of clients on global campaigns.  One of our multi-territory clients is a global contract manufacturer in the high tech space for whom we’re helping to extend its marketing beyond the US and into Europe, directly supporting sales activity.  The campaign is centrally managed out of the UK and includes developing digital assets and then using global digital media outlets to engage and take audiences on a journey through to sales.  Regionalisation is handled centrally, and because messaging is sales focused, on-the-ground sales teams will feed into approvals and amendments, through our global client in San Francisco.

 

Similar to this, but in consumer marketing, was the recent launch of the new Range Rover Sport in New York.  This a great example of a centrally managed global campaign without local territory support.  Hiring a global icon to front the launch – Daniel Craig, aka James Bond – and the controlled use of global media distribution channels via Richard Young, an iconic society photographer in his own right, meant that this story was always going to cross borders.  So no need for regional offices to curate the content; it was a media juggernaut that had to be managed centrally.

 

Where local offices can be very effective is on-going marketing and PR support where there is a clear benefit.  Regional press offices, for example, that simply must be on the ground to recognise locally-specific issues and cultural differences, particularly where politics is involved.  Another is media buying, either at a country by country level or wider regional level, such as APAC, where relationships and volume can make a big difference to placement and buying power.

 

Because there will never be a one size fits all global model, the most sensible happy medium for marketing agencies that work on global business is to take the central hub approach covering off key regions; that way you’re never too far away from being able to tailor your approach from campaign to campaign and client to client.

Celebrating 40 years of the mobile phone: how an abstract idea became a global icon

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Celebrating 40 years of the mobile phone: how an abstract idea became a global icon

 

Hello! Can you hear me?

 

On the 3rd of April 1973 (40 years ago this week), Motorola announced its new DynaTAC system, a ‘portable radio telephone system’ that would make it possible to “make telephone calls while riding a taxi, walking down the city’s street, sitting in a restaurant or anywhere else a radio signal can reach”. Big things were predicted for the new technology and despite weighing more than a kilogram and a $3,000 price tag, Motorola was confident that the technology would be a huge hit.

 

 

On the same day, Motorola executive and researcher, Martin Cooper made the first ever mobile phone call with the DynaTAC 800X on the streets of New York; since then the world has not been the same. In a pre-cordless world, the sight of Cooper making a phone call whilst moving around left many New Yorkers as confused as they were amazed.

 

 

The DynaTAC ‘brick’ proved to be the ‘Adam’ of mobile phones and has evolved significantly over the years; at each stage taking on a new level of dynamism and becoming an increasingly indispensable component of everyday life.

 

 

Innovation is also booming, making the mobile and telecoms industry an increasingly dynamic, fast paced & lucrative one to be involved in.

 

 

The mobile phone has certainly come a long way from what now seems like rather primitive beginnings; from basic functionalities like two-way voice calls to gesture control, eye tracking and more in the latest smartphones. And with ideas like wearable technology increasingly gaining ground, the possibilities for the future are barely within the boundaries of our imagination.

 

 

It took a while to get going but since its first outing, the mobile phone has gone from an abstract idea to an essential element of everyday life for billions. What the next decade holds in store is anybody’s guess but if life begins at 40, it’ll certainly be worth watching.

Glacial Shifts – Advancing Social Agenda

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If you’ve had the chance to observe the glacial cliffs in Alaska, you can attest to their elegance and grandeur. Massive sheets of ice, built-up over centuries, slowly creep forward, until a thunderous roar snaps the silence and a massive glacial shift sends a mass of ice and snow tumbling into the ocean.

 

 

Advancing social agenda

 

It’s spectacular!
If I can take the liberty, I would like to apply this thinking to this week’s market shifting news by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).
On Tuesday, the SEC outlined a new rule, that for the first time it will allow companies to use social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc) to disclose key financial  information.
The Caveat?
Corporations must clearly inform investors about their change in disclosure policy and strategy. With this move, a HUGE barrier to corporate social media adoption experienced a major glacial shift; catapulting the investor relations status quo deep into the ocean.
While some may be concerned about this change in policy. In the world of business communication, this change is both healthy and necessary,  because:

 

 

  •  Businesses can communicate financials with vast audiences, for minimal cost
  •  Companies can begin moving towards a conversation style that’s more natural
  •  Business models will evolve, and jobs will be created
  •  PR teams have the opportunity to further improve their corporation’s voice

This shift by the SEC was slow, and adoption by corporations might be even slower. But, as a colleague of mine (and fabulous blogger), Ron Ploof  , wrote in his book, Read This First:
Transition isn’t easy. In order to adopt some of these methods [social], corporate executives must rethink traditional marketing and public relations roles….such radical changes require tough executive decisions.
I believe that the use of integrated digital communication principles is more important than ever, and this move by the SEC validates this point.
Remember, Change comes slow…but when it comes, we need to be ready to act…or we might just find our way of doing business at the bottom of the ocean of old ideas.

The Great Wi-Fi Conundrum…

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Many people anticipated that the roll out of EE’s 4G service last year would signal the beginning of a great data deluge over mobile networks as consumers rushed to more easily download and stream data on their smartphones.

 

4G Vs Wi-Fi

 

This however has not happened: if anything, the speed at which data is consumed by 4G has meant that consumers have increasingly been left looking for alternatives to their plans rather than simply racking up huge additional monthly bills. This has therefore (and as a surprise to many industry commentators) led to a marked increase in Wi-Fi usage, which although good for the consumer has left the mobile network operators (MNOs) scratching their heads on a number of fronts.

 

2012 witnessed an unprecedented level of interest and investment into the deployment of public Wi-Fi (in cafes, bars, gyms, libraries etc) with a geographic reach that reached truly global proportions. Add this to the growing popularity of smartphone usage over home Wi-FI networks and the problems for MNOs are clear to see.

 

What is the impact of a seemingly unlimited transition to free-to-end-user Wi-Fi in public locations on users’ perceived value of Internet access on the go? And what impact is user dependency on Wi-Fi having on their willingness to pay for bigger data plans or to deliberately avoid incurring (lucrative) overage charges? How do MNOs gather critical user information when end-users are using additional networks to that of their provider? How can MNOs combat the challenge of Over The Top (OTT) services like Skype & What’s App?

 

Wi-Fi offloading is also becoming a bigger factor in emerging markets too as operators seek ways to handle the onslaught of data traffic impacting their mobile networks. Although this represents a solution to overloading a mobile network’s infrastructure, it does still pose the very serious question; how can MNOs monetise Wi-Fi traffic?

 

To give this some context; according to data published by China Mobile in February, it generates US$0.0367 for every megabyte transmitted on its cellular networks, but just US$0.0004 on Wi-Fi.

 

In short, MNOs need to evolve if they are to remain competitive and relevant to consumers, but the key here is that public and private Wi-Fi has given, and will continue to give mobile users greater freedom of choice. And this is ultimately a good thing – for us at least!

liberty news

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Apps dominate smartphone usage, survey finds

Smartphone usage has become dominated by apps, a new study has found, with up to 80 per cent of handset activity involving downloadable applications. According to figures collated by analytics firm Flurry, over the past five years smartphone usage has become increasingly tilted towards heavy app use, with the remainder of many users’ smartphone and tablet activities revolving around the web.

Trusted Review

 

One year on: Nearly half Instagram Android

Wow, has it already been a year since Instagram launched on Android? Apparently, yes, and according to the photo-sharing company, almost half of those using the service are doing so on Android devices. In a post on the site’s blog on Tuesday, Instagram Android team member Philip McAllister thanked its Android users for making the community “amazing”. “One year ago today we launched Instagram for Android,” McAllister wrote in the post. “In less than a day, over a million people downloaded the app, and now nearly half of all Instagrammers use the Android app to share photos with friends, family and the world.”

Digital Trends

 

Blackberry shuts down BBM Music

BlackBerry is shutting down its odd music-sharing service BBM Music, after only 20 months. Subscribers were told in an email that the service would shut on 2 June and were recommended to sign up for Rdio instead – and given a 30-day free trial for the music discovery site. When it launched in August 2011, BBM Music was touted as a “viral music sharing” service, with users only able to listen to 50 of their own tracks. In order to listen to more, they had to invite their friends and listen to their curated music collections.

PC Pro

 

HTC One goes official in Australia, will arrive on April 23

Today, Taiwanese mobile phone maker HTC Corporation officially announced the upcoming availability of its HTC One smartphone on shelves in Australia, confirming that it would be released on all major networks there. Starting with April 23, users in the country will be able to purchase the new device from Optus, Telstra, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile, with pre-orders expected to kick off this week. In fact, as Ausdroid notes in a recent post, the HTC One is already listed on this page on Vodafone’s website, and should appear here on Virgin Mobile’s online store as well, though this won’t happen until tomorrow.

Softpedia

 

Cable failures highlight value of internet exchanges

The EASSy and SEACOM outages temporarily wiped out internet connectivity in parts of East Africa, from Djibouti to South Africa. Sea-We-Me-4, the primary internet backbone between Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and Europe, failed on 27 March 2013, leading to a widespread disruption of internet services from Egypt to Pakistan. “When submarine cables are cut, it’s critically important to have access to backup paths with sufficient capacity to carry traffic to affected destinations,” said Jim Cowie, chief technology officer and co-founder of Renesys. “Carrier-neutral data centres and internet exchange points play an important role here. Maintaining a presence at an internet exchange maximises your options for re-establishing high-performance route diversity during a submarine cable outage.”

Global Telecoms Business

 

Global IT spending to reach $3.8 trillion in 2013: Gartner

Global spending on PCs, tablets, mobile phones and printers would reach $718bn. Global IT spending is predicted to rise 4.1 per cent in 2013 to $3.8 trillion compared to $3.6 trillion spent in 2012, according to a new report from Gartner. Gartner managing vice president Richard Gordon said although the US did avoid the fiscal cliff, the subsequent sequestration, compounded by the rise of Cyprus’ debt burden, seems to have netted out any benefit, and the fragile business and consumer sentiment throughout much of the world continues.

CBR

 

Apple iTV with iRing control set to hit market this year

It’s no secret that Apple wants to get into the living room by making its own TV set, and there have been plenty of rumours and reports about how and when it’s going to happen. Now, an analyst says he’s learned that the set will go on sale late this year for $1,500-$2,500. In a research note on Wednesday, Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets says the “iTV” will be 60 inches on the diagonal but could also come in 50 and 55-inch versions. Apple will also release a small “iRing'” that fits on the viewer’s finger allowing the user to control the screen by pointing, White says.

Business Today

 

O2 Wholesale launches webchat capability for partner support

O2 Wholesale has launched a webchat specifically for partners. Run by members of O2 Wholesale’s support team it aims to offer quick and effective advice and resource during business hours. Connectivity solutions provider Fluidata was one of the first to trial the O2 Wholesale webchat. Patrick Wood, Support Manager, commented: “It has been a great experience for my team being able to help mould what could turn into a key supporting asset for O2 Wholesale.

Comms Dealer

 

Bouygues Telecom to launch LTE in the “next few weeks”

French operator Bouygues Telecom has revealed it will switch on its LTE network in the “next few weeks”. The firm will use 2.6GHz spectrum to deploy the service across eight cities, CEO Olivier Roussat told local press. The announcement follows last month’s declaration from the nation’s telecoms regulator ARCEP that Bouygues Telecom will be allowed to refarm its 1800MHz spectrum for LTE services. Bouygues Telcom will be permitted to switch on the LTE1800 network from October 1, 2013 although it must relinquish a portion of its spectrum holding before it does so.

Telecoms.com

 

Customer designed ARM chips will give Intel headaches

Chipmaker Intel is slowly winding up its Haswell hype machine ahead of what is expected to be a splashy launch in June. Intel has been revealing high level details of its upcoming Haswell processors for a long time, such as its statement at IDF 2012 that a Haswell 10W TDP part will be pitched at laptops. The firm not only shown off running Haswell silicon at the recent Game Developer Conference but also announced that its HD Graphics 15.31 driver released this week is designed specifically for Haswell processors.

The Inquirer

What PR firm do you recommend with mobile experience?

By | Agency News | No Comments

I’d very much welcome your suggestions for public relations firms (and/or individuals) working in the mobile space.

 

 

The reason I ask is that I’m trying to put a reasonably comprehensive list together.

 

Every week I get emails from people asking for suggestions for companies to meet. I have got my favourites (some of whom I list below), but I’d like to actually publish a list.

 

I get the impression from a lot of the enquiries that they’re pretty urgent. So when I respond days later by email, I often worry that I’m not fast enough — hence my intent to create a list.

 

Googling “Mobile PR” or “mobile public relations” or “wireless public relations” will yield you a few results I’m sure. But there are a ton more agencies out there. Many of the best aren’t actually dedicated to mobile, but instead are “tech focused” with a mobile practice or specialism.

 

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Liberty Intern Blog Post – Part 2

By | Company Blog | No Comments

Having left the countryside where I thought myself lucky to find an area with good phone signal, the move to London almost felt like I was finally entering practically a new world – the ability to use a phone without hanging out of a window, let alone having access to 3G internet on my mobile all the time was something that didn’t take me long to get used to!

 

 

Surfing the internet whilst on the move has become second nature to the majority of UK citizens with a smartphone. The need to check a train time table, a map or even Facebook is now habitual behaviour that consumers would struggle to live without.

 

3G demonstrated a monumental development in mobile technology, whereby a phone was no longer a device to just make and receive calls or play ‘Snake’. It was found that ‘79 per cent of the population use their smartphone for reading email, a higher percentage than those who used it for making calls’.

 

By introducing LTE/4G to consumers, the greater bandwidth can only enhance the smartphone experience and encourage users to be more independent.  Operators claim that LTE/4G is up to 10 times faster than 3G – the obvious benefits to consumers such as myself are clear.

 

Browsing Facebook; downloading my iTunes; streaming Youtube on my way home from work Tweeting my favourite ‘Made In Chelsea’ star; searching for a new flat and even storing my photos with Dropbox will all be much easier and quicker.

 

With this in mind I have found myself becoming more excited about my lengthy and previously very tedious journey home each night even if I can’t change being squashed into a tube carriage with 50 other people.

 

Although LTE is not currently available with my current operator, I would be keen to adopt it when it is – providing Kevin Bacon does not put me off in the meantime!