Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thank you Michael Mandel (and MassTLC)

At the MassTLC Annual Meeting held yesterday BusinessWeek chief economist Michael Mandel delivered the best “why we’re in this mess and what we need to do to get out it” talk I’ve heard. The sobering charts and statistics made sense even to an economics 101-needing girl like me.

In short, we borrowed big and off-shored everything and we didn’t create enough new stuff. And we did so during a decade – The Internet Decade, 1997-2007 – of big promises and little return. To matters worse, wages for everybody without advanced degrees saw just a 1.6% cumulative increase (enter excess borrowing) and we bet the farm on housing.

The good news is that Michael believes investments in education and healthcare will sustain us for a while – and that energy investments, though longer term, will ultimately help put us back on track, and maybe once again on top. The road from innovation to economic stimulant has a longer gestation period than we all think, he said, so we need to hang in there and keep the faith, which thankfully is FREE.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Paul Gillin Says Online Matters More than Print

We've all been there. Your clients' news gets picked up online, but the print edition of the outlet fails to run it. In olden times, clients were unhappy, but these days, it happens much less frequently. My how times have changed.

Paul Gillin explains why in a post today. He mentions an experience with his blog, the mordantly named Newspaper Death Watch, which was mentioned in three media outlets: Jeff Jarvis’s BuzzMachine blog, the lead paragraph of a major feature in The New Yorker and a short opinion piece in the Economist. Gillin goes on to assess the relative impact on his blog traffic and concludes:

Not long ago, online publishers were frequently called upon to defend the value of a mention on their properties. Public relations professionals told me that Web coverage was nice, but their clients really valued a mention in a prominent print publication. I would submit that this scenario has now been reversed. With companies increasingly using the Web for promotion, lead generation, sales and customer support, a link from a prominent website is of far greater value than a print article in a prominent print or broadcast outlet. And as a younger generation of business and consumer readers gathers more of its information online, that value will only accelerate.


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Geeks with Guitars

In my experience, most tech networking events have included a lot of business card passing, a few awkward conversations, one person commenting on the “legs” of the red wine and the voice of Chris Martin playing softly through overhead speakers. If you substitute the business card passing and conversation with yelling and nodding while pretending to hear the person next to you; change the wine to Bud Light cans; and exchange Coldplay for live rock music, you’d get Xconomy’s networking event, the “Battle of the Bands 2.”

Five bands represented New England-based tech companies and were competing at the Middle East in Cambridge for the grand prize of $1,050 in free studio recording time and engineering help. Voting was done via text and in true nerd style; patrons were able to IM live messages, which were posted on projector screens throughout the event. The Dirty Truckers – which included CHEN PR client, Sophos – were obviously our favorite, and ended up being the big winners of the night!

Maybe it was the music, maybe it was the company. It may have even been the cans. At any rate, Xconomy put on a great show and gave us a refreshing twist on the average networking event. We all had a great time (even our non-CHEN PR friends, Nikki and Joe made an appearance) and at the end of the night, when we were the only people left and the bouncer came over to ask our group if we were staying because we worked there, I’m not going to lie. I almost said yes.