Posts Tagged March Communications

M&A returns. Time to sell your T-Bills.

I am not an economist. So please don’t come screaming back at me if, after reading this you decided to drastically change your investment strategy and in three months time your portfolio doesn’t look like you’ve just won the lotto.

Because it won’t.

That said, there are some encouraging items in the news recently to indicate that our hobbled economy is at the very least beginning to stabilize. And, moreover, if you take a closer look, for certain industries it may already be back on the rise.

I am told that one of the indicators that an industry or economy is on its way out of a recession is that merger & acquisition activity begins to take off again. Basically, the companies that fared the best through the worst have taken a look around again and found they are in an advantageous position relative to many other companies, and that now would be a good time to buy while the market is still pretty cheap.

So I found it heartening, when, earlier this week I ran a query for the term “acquire” in Google News, and found quite a few items.  And from immediately recognizable names: Sanofi Aventis, General Steel, Cisco.

The hi-tech world has been a-buzz with the possible Sun-IBM merger.  This, of course, has now crashed and burned in spectacular style, but the thing to note here is that, at least it was being explored.  As a slight aside, I have to share the best e-mail subject line to hit my inbox this week – it came from VON Magazine, paraphrasing (I’m sure) the departing words between the two companies after negotiations fell through: “IBM to SUN: ‘Drop Dead’.” Priceless.

But more encouraging words came from NYT BITS columnist Claire Cain Miller, who reported that venture capitalists’ confidence is creeping back. Quoted in Claire’s piece is Mark V. Cannice, executive director of the University of San Francisco Entrepreneurship Program, who said that he doesn’t think an upward trend has begun yet, but that the economy in general seems to have broken its downward spiral.

The Telecom industry in particular seems to have kept moving along steadily, and M&A activity has also begun again.

Maybe don’t put all the cash you’ve squirreled away back into the market yet, but after a long winter, things do seem to be looking up.

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March Communications in PRWeek

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March Communications appeared in the March 30th issue of PRWeek!  Martin Jones recently spoke with Nicole Zerillo on the growing use of webcasts and online tactics to reach global audiences. 

We’ve found it to be a very successful tool for providing visual components to news announcements and supporting tradeshows.clip_image0022

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Twitter While You Drive?

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Image courtesty of Jalopnik.com

Several outlets are reporting that General Motors and Twitter are exploring partnership options that would integrate Twitter with GM’s OnStar system.

Technically, this is brilliant.  For many reasons.  Firstly, voice-to-text technology, like Microsoft’s SYNC (which has been available in Ford vehicles for some time now), is nothing new, but it took until fairly recently to get it to work properly.  So in terms of high-tech, if this is going to be able to translate speech onto a web-based application, we are right there.

Secondly, GM, if you haven’t heard, is in something of a bad way these days.  So tying themselves to something as popular and ubiquitous as Twitter may well help with brand recognition, and may even help sell a few more portly Escalades.

Thirdly, Twitter itself is quite excellent as a social media tool.  Capable, possibly, of having a new journalism format grow from it. We’ll even be launching a new section of PR Nonense to help guide newcomers through the process of gettinga active in the world of social media, and will include some great tools to help get started with Twitter.

GM’s OnStar system would allow Twitter users to update their “what are you doing,” sections simply by pressing the button and talking.  No doubt there are some kinks to be worked out as, with only a limited number of characters allowed for each tweet, pronunciation-to-spelling accuracy would become essential:

You want to say: “Goin 2 the Sox game 2nite. Beckett’s hurlin Ks”

But you tweet: “Going to the socks game tonight. Becketts her linkays”

What is a linkay?

So, beyond the obvious reasons of accuracy in what a person is trying to say, the system appears to be quite simple to use. But I wonder – should we consider driving-while-tweeting a social media “do” or a “don’t?”

I have to admit, as one of those people who likes cars and enjoys driving (wait, why are you all backing away slowly?), my first thought was that this might be just one step too far.  I mean, technically, it’s hands-free, so no state or potential federal law would prohibit use of the service while driving.   Most of us can still legally talk on our phones while driving, and most of us still do.  Myself included. But I try to avoid it, and lots of people would tell you to do the same.

So, I can’t help but think that this might be another unecessary distraction from the more-immediately important job at hand.

It kind of reminds me of Scene 34 from the timeless classic Monty Python and The Holy Grail when the knights find Joseph of Aremathea’s writings on the cave wall:

KNIGHT:  What does it say?
  MAYNARD:  It reads, ‘Here may be found the last words of Joseph of
      Aramathea.  He who is valiant and pure of spirit may find the Holy Grail
      in the Castle of uuggggggh’.
  ARTHUR:  What?
  MAYNARD: ‘… the Castle of uuggggggh’.
  BEDEMIR:  What is that?
  MAYNARD:  He must have died while carving it.
  LAUNCELOT:  Oh, come on!
  MAYNARD:  Well, that’s what it says.
  ARTHUR:  Look, if he was dying, he wouldn’t bother to carve ‘aaggggh’.
      He’d just say it!
  MAYNARD:  Well, that’s what’s carved in the rock!
  GALAHAD:  Perhaps he was dictating.

Perhaps he was. What do you think?  To tweet-while-you drive, or not to tweet-while-you-drive?

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90,000 Sign-In For First Online Presidential Town Hall

CNN is reporting that more than 90,000 web users sent in questions to President Obama during his online town-hall meeting, which started today at 11:30am EST on the whitehouse.gov website.

That’s a lot.

It’s no secret that part of the Obama team’s success during the campaign was their proficiency with online and social media platforms to reach a key demographic of the voting population.

Regardless of the surmised habits of at least a portion of said demographic (“Obama answered seven of the most popular questions, according to a CNN tally. That includes those from several people who asked if legalizing marijuana would improve the economy.”), the huge turnout  in such a short time period is indicative of how active the online community has become.

As one of the many, many people who spend most of their day connected in one way or another to the web, I for one am quite happy to see that both the government and the people of this country are finding a way to get more involved in their government.

I think this is profound, though, for a much more important reason than the fact that the White House has (finally) become a member of the worldwide online community, and that clearly so many people have been waiting for it to happen.  

Short of an enormous (and logistically-nightmarish) conference call, the web is really the only way that issues relevant to people in Atlanta could be given the same opportunity to be heard as those important to people in San Francisco.  Mainers and Minnesotans, Californians and Carolinians (I think I butchered that), Nevadans and Nebraskans, all got an equal chance to share their thoughts.

There has been a feeling for some time that the web could be a great equalizer. It might not be there yet, but this seems like a step in the right direction.

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Happy 4th Anniversary March PR

Today, March Communications celebrates its fourth anniversary as one of the leading high-tech PR agencies in greater Boston.  Thanks to everyone for all of their hard work and dedication to making the agency a success. 

Anniversaryideas.com indicates that traditional gifts for the fourth anniversary typically entail fruit, flowers or appliances.  All gifts are welcome. 

Join us for some delicious cake from J. Pace in the North End or maybe even a drink at the Fours (no pun intended!)

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