Tuesday, February 23, 2010

InkHouse's new home is complete

It's been a long journey as we built out our new space at the Watch Factory in Waltham, but we are moved in, everyone (finally) has a desk and we think we're ready for our first close-up.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Right Way to Handle a Potential Crisis

Kudos to TechCrunch for properly handling a situation that could have snowballed into a crisis. As always, the right PR decision is to be up front and address the situation immediately.

- Beth

Thursday, February 4, 2010

TechCrunch covered us! Now what?

Welcome to InkLing, the new InkHouse blog where we will answer your questions. The world of PR and marketing changes virtually every time I turn around. This is both exciting as new media afford new vehicles for communicating with target audiences, but they also create a lot of noise, making it sometimes difficult to raise your message above the din. Here, we will do our best to help navigate the twists and turns with posts from various members of the InkHouse team. We want to answer your questions, which you can send to us at inkling [at] inkhouse [dot] net.

Our first question is one we hear all of the time from new startup clients in particular –

TechCrunch covered us! Now what?

Many start-ups dream of coverage in TechCrunch, Gizmodo and many of the other major blogs, and this is a good goal. They also dream of amassing thousands of Twitter followers who will make the company an overnight hit. Don’t get me wrong, Twitter and top blogs reach an important, large and connected community of early-adopters and influencers (see TIME’s list of the top blogs of 2009). They also provide an important vehicle for communicating core innovations and market traction such as venture financing, usage data, etc.

However, mass consumer adoption requires a broad range of PR tactics, including early traction in the blogsphere and social media. We must think about how the average consumer finds information and reach those people where they are, not just where we are. This requires you to know exactly who your target audience is. Are you trying to reach females between the ages of 18 and 24 or is it an older, more liquid audience of males ages 30-45 who earn $100,000 or more?

To extend your story beyond that of a cool start-up to one that has real relevance to everyday people requires an entirely different approach to PR that looks past the technology to the person using it. The story that gets you in TechCrunch is most often not the story that will get you on the Today Show. Consumer outlets want consumer stories – they want to know how Jane Wilson in Tulsa used a new Web service to connect with her long-lost friend in San Diego. They want to know how Steve Munro created his own business using another new service and paid off his mortgage in three months. They need the drama that can only come from the human stories.

The lesson: build out your story for early adopters and business audiences using metrics, proof points, financing news and anything else you can to demonstrate market traction. But when it comes to truly building your consumer-facing venture, look at your customers and find the stories that make your company come to life.

- Beth