Public relations, you gotta love it… I get releases and general communications from PR people on a daily basis. Some good, some not so good and some just plain bizarre. I thought I’d review my thoughts over the year about PR…

In April I posted about the some bad experiences:

A PR person (who is a lovely lady and with whom I have no beef) asked for times when I would be free to meet a couple of her companies. I studiously left a session early in order to make up midday appointment on the expo floor. – only to arrive and wait for ten minutes while the show staff tried to find the guy. I ended up just walking away – my time is limited here and I really didn’t want to wait in the hope he’d show up.

In October I attempted to avoid the same PR fiascos that had plagued me at other events and posted the four easy ways to ensure your brand gets attention (or at least my attention);

  1. Please make it relevant. I’m a Cloud computing and SaaS guy with an interest in business process software and the culture shift needed to ease adoption of “Enterprise 2.0”. Sorry but there’s a bunch of things that simply aren’t in my sphere of interest. Please do some research and read my stuff to get a feel for what will interest and be relevant to me
  2. I live in New Zealand, that’s a long way from SF and is in an entirely different timezone – if you want to engage me in a pre event briefing (something I’m not at all against), please take the time to work out when might be a suitable time for me. While I’m a very early riser who partly works in Pacific time, 3am is not a good time to be showing me the latest micro-blogging service for enterprise
  3. Find out ways to engage me when you’ll get good attention. I’m a fitness fan and jog most mornings, especially when attending high-stress events like Enterprise 2.0. If someone comes to me and suggests a chat over a leisurely 5 mile run they’re likely to capture my undivided attention – it’s a good opportunity!
  4. Work out what pushes my buttons – we all get jaded from lots and lots of calls and a million and one “me too” offerings. Find some way to reach out to me (and Cocktails are definitely NOT my thing) and your chances go up exponentially. I’ve written fairly extensively about a couple of companies lately precisely because their PR people connected with me in all the right ways – this is in no way a “pay for play” situation, merely a way to ensure you’re heard above the hubbub

And the result? I posted a shout out to five great people who ticked all the boxes. So here, at the start of 2010, is some more exposure for them:

  • Kate Hobbie – MediaBrew consulting and Aria Systems. Kate is kind of a token offering here. We were already friends from previous connections when she’d spent time talking to me about SaaS billing in her communication role with Aria so there was some context there. However Kate went out of her way, even picking me up from the airport and playing taxi service for me.
  • Rachel Peterson – Nectar communications. Rachel I’d also met previously when talking to Zuora and Sliderocket, two companies she works with. Despite not actually meeting up with Rachel this trip, she went out of her way to facilitate things for me, even arranging for me to meet Sliderocket CEO, Chuck Dietrich for a great run on the Presidio
  • Alison Mickey – Schwartz communications. Alison saw my post and REALLY went out of her way to understand what I’m about. She sent me an email that referenced my area of interest in blogging, and even showed that she’d done some research about my outside interests and hobbies. The briefings she arranged were well resourced and I had enough information before them to make the briefing time valuable.
  • Julia Mak – Community manager at LeapFILE. Julia also reached out to talk with me. Her company were originally going to demo at Enterprise 2.0 but for various reasons did not. We still met up and had a good chat about where her company is going, and the chat was tailored to my particular areas of interest.
  • Christie Denniston at Catapult PR. Christie works with ThoughtWorks studios who were demo-ing their GoogleWave integration at Enterprise 2.0. Despite being remote from the conference, Christie went out of her way to ensure I had everything I needed, as an aside it was pretty disappointing that despite her staunch efforts, the team from ThoughtWorks never delivered the resource they had promised for my post – you can’t pick your clients huh?
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Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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