Friday, February 08, 2008

It’s the most viral time of the year…


Fresh off of back-to-back business trips and in the midst of a good ol New England flu season…I couldn’t be having more fun! What’s that you say as you sniffle and cough, have viruses eaten (what’s left of) his brain? Sure, my wife, kids and I have all fought the viral beast in the past few weeks, and travel (as well as a nevermore to be mentioned Sunday night debacle) aren’t helping measures. But that’s not the viral I’m having fun with. It’s the viral nature of new media that has been a particular blast lately. Blogging and the immediacy of online, while presenting new challenges, IMHO has made PR so much more fun for those who go into it with eyes wide open. Cases in point:


My second trip to CA in two weeks was to the prestigious DEMO conference to help our client TimeTrade Systems launch an innovative new web-based personal appointment setting product called TimeDriver. While the product isn’t necessarily as flashy or a poster child for the latest trends in online video or social networking which were well represented at the show, before the week was out, we had amassed an impressive 25+ pieces of coverage across traditional media, blogs and even a few twitters. And to my eyes wide open comment, sometimes the best coverage is the most brutally honest. In fact, I think some of the computer biz’s media icons Rafe Needleman, Harry McCracken and Dean Takahasi said it best in covering TimeDriver. Rafe in his Liveblog from the show…said ”You know, I want to be snarky about this demo but it's pretty solid.” and “This looks really good. I will probably try it for real after Demo.” Harry dubbed it the “Most Unglamorously Useful Service” and Dean Takahashi blogged “OK, I know I need this.”


Even Arik Hesseldahl of BusinessWeek, after interviewing TimeTrade’s founder on the show floor, said, “It looks great, it’s a problem we all have.” We at CHEN PR are also eager to “eat the dog food” as they say, when TimeDriver is ready for prime time.

The second case is something still brewing today. The embedded video was created in short order by one of our clients, next-gen firewall vendor, Palo Alto Networks. They’re a bunch who love to poke fun at themselves and others. To kick off a recent sales meeting, they whipped together this American Idol spoof aimed at rallying the troops with shots at competitors CheckPoint and Juniper – seen here as “Chuck Point” and “June Iper.”

We/they didn’t know what the external reaction would be when we called attention to it, but the inside jokes have proved pleasing to some of the security blogosphere and press, including:

StillSecure

Rational Security

Dark Reading

Risk Bloggers

In the interest of full disclosure I'll update as the reviews continue to roll in -- good or bad ;o)

Happy weekend all

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