Bird PR is a virtual communications firm. We work with companies who aspire to be category disruptors by devising and executing strategic plans. The firm was founded by Alice Chan in early 2011. After 20 years working at traditional PR agencies in Silicon Valley and the UK, Alice decided it was time to focus on her passions so at the core of everything we do is creative, thoughtful storytelling that engages people and generates business-building outcomes. Below you'll find our team's latest blog posts.
January 16, 2015
Is CES for startups? How will we be heard above the noise? Why do small companies even both coming to CES?
These questions, and many others, are ones I get asked every year by our clients, and every year, I’ve recommended attendance, but with some caveats. However, all that changed this year with the creation of CES Tech West which was housed in the Sands Expo Center, Venetian, etc, and dedicated in part, to giving smaller, innovative players, IOT companies, wearables, etc, a home in the sprawl that is CES. Today, I unequivocally believe that startups with an eye on consumers should be there in some form or other.
That doesn’t mean you need to find $50k to build a fancy booth, fly in 10 staff members and throw a lavish party. There are plenty of ways for young, boot-strapped companies to take advantage of all the networking and media awareness on offer in Vegas. Here are five tips to making a little budget go a long way.
1. Exhibit at a media-only event
If the very idea of being on the show floor gives you a headache and makes your feet hurt, instead look at CES Unveiled, Pepcom or Showstoppers, who put on media-only events on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday night. It’s not cheap, upwards of $7k usually, but you will get to meet hundreds of reporters in 3-4 hours and get great bang for your buck.
2. Leverage partnerships
If you are lucky enough to have larger, more established companies as partners, or be part of an industry body, ask if you can contribute or participate in their presence at CES. They are often pleased to showcase their partners, especially if you have something cool to show off.
3. Look at Eureka Park
There is a trend right now to create a level playing field for startups at events. Shows like Launch Festival, coming up in March, Web Summit in Dublin in November, and others, provide the same table and signage to all exhibitors, making it affordable and within reach for all. Eureka Park inside the Sands has a similar feel, and if you’re a larger business, like Indiegogo, who is focused on serving the entrepreneur community, this is a great place to connect with your customers.
4. Rent a suite
This is an oldie but a goodie. Check out where the companies you are most similar to are located – e.g. if you’re an Internet of Things play, then get a suite at the Venentian and host private briefings and demos there. It won’t be as expensive as taking floor space.
5. Get a room
If you’ve never been before, then just get a room and go for the sheer experience. You’ll find that just about anyone you might care to do business with, will be here for the week and it will be much easier than usual to grab 30 minutes of their time to meet in person. Relationships are cemented here because everyone’s in the same boat, away from home and here to network.
December 19, 2014
Hard to believe that 2014 is during to a close. It’s been a great year for Bird PR. We’ve worked with a host of amazing clients, like Drop – the connected kitchen scale, Heirloom – a whole new way to scan old photos, PowerbyProxi, leaders in wireless power, and N3twork – the best way to watch internet video – to name but a few. And we’ve helped angel investors including Broadway Angels, and recently started to work with Sherpa Foundry, the super smart team of brainacs who work parallel to Sherpa VC, to raise their profile.
We hope you too have had an amazing year and looking forward to working together in 2015.
January 28, 2014
If the humble press release could talk, it would probably borrow from Mark Twain and say something like: “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” We hear of the death of the press release on a regular basis, and at a conference last week, Twitter’s VP of marketing and communications Gabriel Stricker, called on the mostly PR agency crowd to bring an end to irrelevant press releases.
Stricker even went a step further and urged agencies to “stand up to your clients in a moment of courage and say: “What you don’t need is yet another milquetoast press release.” Rallying words indeed and on many levels, music to my ears. Yet, while I have been known on many occasions to discourage clients from tasking my team and me to draft releases, experience has taught me that this is not a discussion clients particularly want to have. Many would much prefer that we set fingers to keyboard and get on with drafting said milquetoast release.
When I’ve probed further at such insistence, I’ve heard responses including:
Of course, not all companies are so entrenched in a format that originated in the days of manual typewriters when copies of press releases were delivered by mail to smoke-filled newsrooms. Some companies, like Facebook, have long used their own blog instead of press releases, to share product and company news. It should go without saying that public companies (including Facebook) are required to share potentially market-moving news using any effective broadcast service, including newswire services like BusinessWire or PR Newswire, and as of last year, Twitter and Facebook are also deemed adequate. Really, there’s no reason to rely on the tired old press release.
Alternatives have been proposed: take Prezly for instance, which offers a dashboard for journalists and PR folks to use to post social media press releases. One of the things that I like about this format is that you are forced to include pithy bullet points, not endlessly re-worked sentences – edited by thousands – which no longer make sense to man nor journalist. There are analytics to boot. However, I’m not so sure of the adoption levels and when I’ve suggested this approach to clients, I’ve been met with various responses (see above).
In a nutshell, targeted email pitches, supported by content on a company’s web site or blog, can just as easily do the job of a press release. And it should go without saying, that all that matters is THE STORY… if you have a great one, people will want to hear it. But remember this, putting boring data points into a press release format does not a story make.
This article originally posted on The Hub