While there’s something perversely beautiful about a press release that’s aimed way over the heads of the reporters who are likely to get it, please remember that the generally-accepted protocol is to at least hint at what you’re talking about in plain English, so the clueless journo who receives it can figure it out if he or she knows anyone who possesses the knowledge to decipher it. Then it can be forwarded. Opaque releases get dumped.
Happy Holidays! Thought I’d update you on LexisNexis Big Data as we roll out new use cases in the upcoming year!
HPCC and Hadoop are both open source projects released under an Apache 2.0 license, are free to use, with both leveraging commodity hardware and local storage interconnected through IP networks. Both allow for parallel data processing and/or querying across architecture. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that certain HPCC operations don’t use a scatter and gather model (equivalent to Map and Reduce), but HPCC was designed under a different paradigm and provides a comprehensive and consistent high-level and concise declarative dataflow oriented programming model.
One limitation of the strict MapReduce model is that internode communication is left to the Shuffle phase. This makes iterative algorithms that require frequent internode data exchange hard to code and slow to execute (as they need to go through multiple phases of Map, Shuffle and Reduce, ea representing a barrier operation that forces serialization of the long tails of execution). HPCC provides for direct inter-node communication at all times and is leveraged by many of the high level ECL primitives.
Another disadvantage for Hadoop is the use of Java for the entire platform, including the HDFS distributed filesystem — adding overhead from the JVM; in contrast, HPCC and ECL are compiled into C++, which executes natively on top of the OS. This leads to more predictable latencies and overall faster execution — we have seen anywhere between 3 & 10 X faster execution on HPCC when compared to Hadoop on the exact same hardware.
Would love to explain more — any chance to set up a meeting or call on this?
When I was a tech magazine editor, my general rule was to make 10% of the stories in each issue over the head of the majority of the audience. I wanted to give readers something to shoot for, and to show them what was beyond the horizons of their knowledge.
But I do not think this is a good guideline for press releases.
Hat tip: Pat Houston.
Thinking about printing something on the back of your business cards, as is the rage right now? Here’s a tip: Don’t put anything on the back that should be on the front. In other words, don’t put your company name, your name, and email on the front, and your Web address on the back. Don’t put your Twitter handle and email address and company name on the front, and your name on the back. Don’t put your name, Twitter ID, and Web address on the front and relegate your company name, in big bold logo colors, to the back.
I’ve seen all of these things, and they infuriate me. Why make extra work for people? Worse, why make extra work for people who use scanners or business card capture apps like CardMunch or Evernote Hello? (Disclosure: I now work at Evernote.)
Look, I get it, that white space on the back of those cards beckons. Blank looks cheap. So use the real estate for your logo, or a coupon, a photo, or something fun. But don’t forget that all the standard contact information — all of it — should be on the same side of the card. Please.
I’ve seen plenty of pitches that stretch from current events to product news, but this one wins the Infinite Gap award, no question:
We’ve all looked forward to this summer’s movie blockbusters, Spider-Man and Batman we’re both good movies but the real excitement starts with Object Storage :-) I wanted to share with you the top 5 must haves to look for when evaluating an Object Storage solution. Give it a read below, feel free to use the content and let me know if you need more info.
PS: Batman was the better movie, thoughts?
A list of 5 ultrageek things related to “object storage” follow. The company name isn’t even mentioned until the “about” paragraph after the list.
And although I hate to kick a decomposing horse, please, PR folk, learn English. Apostrophe’s have they’re place’s. Elsewhere, generally. Also, regarding smileys: If you feel the need to wink at me in text, rewrite that sucker.
Finally, What do you think you’re doing associating your product with a tragedy? The Batman movie is tainted. At least to journalists, who always have an eye on the news.
Thanks to: Stephen Shankland
Pro PR Tip #184: Piggyback
Pro PR Tip #167: Don’t bury the lead
That is what they say about YC startups, isn’t it?
Ok, maybe not so much a tip, since watching out for this all the time could drive you insane. But maybe you want to consider what your company name might look like if it gets truncated through no fault of your own.
Oddly, the press room at an industry event is not a good place for press releases, nor for press relations people to hang out. It’s where writers go to write, for the most part. Some press rooms have stacks of press releases that journalists can grab if they want, but the pros rarely do.
Here’s the worst thing you can do, which just happened to me at the MobileBeat conference: Walk up to a writer hunched over his computer, you know, writing, and drop a press release folder on the table next to him while mumbling something about what it is. Trust me, this is not going to get you coverage. As Drew Olanoff said to me, “I don’t like real-world spam any more than email spam.”
Bonus Tip! You see all those MacBook Airs that we’re writing on? Yeah? Then why did you put a CD in your press kit, and not, say, a USB stick?
Mega Bonus Super Score! Good job not labeling the CD, either.
Unwanted, unloved, and unlabeled.
Pro PR Tip #111: Fling.
News.com coverage from MobileBeat: Zynga CEO on future of Mobile.
Yow! I made it to Pro PR Tip #200! I’d like to thank all the hard-working PR professionals who’ve managed to screw up and make this blog possible. You guys rock.
I don’t usually write Pro PR Tips about stories that carry my own byline, but man, I had to hold my nose when I pasted this bit into today’s story about the Yahoo/Facebook patent battle resolution. From the official press release:
Going forward, Yahoo! and Facebook have agreed to work more closely and collaborate together on multiple tent-pole and anchor events annually over the next several years to provide unparalleled experiences for consumers and world-class sponsorship opportunities for advertisers.
As usual, emphasis mine.
Am I supposed to know the difference between a tent-pole event and an anchor event? Can one event have both tent-poles and anchors? That would seem to me to be the safest. And what if there’s neither? Is that like doing something outside in the open air?
I just don’t know how to dress for these things, assuming I get invited. And can I bring a guest? Someone help a guy out.
You know you’re competing for attention with PR reps who actually do the work, right?
If you can’t be bothered to write a subject line, why should I bother opening your email?
Check out this screen grab. All these emails are from the same firm, which specializes in infuriating me. “Helpful app?” “New Tech Trend?” Yeah, that stands out.
Bonus crime! This outfit also likes to use “Follow up” as a subject line when it’s the first message on a topic.
By the way, this is from the same PR company responsible for Pro PR Tip #178: Fool me once. The only reason I haven’t blacklisted this entire outfit is because it’s such a good source of bad PR.
See also: Pro PR Tip #98: Make it snappy, Sweetheart.
This email warmed my heart. Or would have, if I had one.
Hope you are well! I wanted to reach out to introduce myself and let you know of a new client my agency has brought on board which I think will be of interest to you. My name is [musical girl's name] and I’m an Account Superstar at [whatever] Agency, based in SF. My official title is Assistant Account Executive, but I strive to be a stellar reference to my close contacts as well as tell my client’s stories as they deserve to be told – and “AAE” just doesn’t serve my goal justice!
Short Pitch… [Sorry, didn't get this far]
Listen, you adorable young thing, I’m a crusty old jerk who doesn’t give a damn about your hearts and unicorns. Can we just get straight to the business? Thanks.
Related Pro PR Tips:
Tip #167: Don’t bury the lead
Tip #98: Make it snappy, Sweetheart
If you get me on the phone, and you ask if I got your e-mail, which you shouldn’t, but if you do, and I say, “I don’t see it here,” then I’d like you to know a few things.
First, I’m not lying. When someone reaches me and asks me that question, I check.
Second, I also believe that you sent it. It’d be a dumb thing to fib about.
So where is it?
Deleted. And already forgotten. Sorry.
Journos get lots and lots of email pitches. We delete out of hand the ones that don’t look right for us, or anyone else we work with. When you call and I can’t find your email, it means that it was one of the messages to not make the first cut.
I don’t know how you should respond to this. You could try to pitch me on the phone. Most people do, and 99% of the time, I begin to vaguely remember the email. And why I deleted it. Awkward.
Or you could just save everyone a bunch of time and say, “I’ll re-send it,” and ring off. And not call back about it.
Don’t start a phone pitch with a geeky tech journalist by going on and on about the Super Bowl. I’m not saying that no tech journos are football fans, but the chances are significant that the person you’re pitching is not. From my office I can see three writers who see the Super Bowl as a great opportunity to go for a nice hike on a popular trail, since everyone else is indoors. Or better yet, hit the CostCo.
And if we were really sports nuts, we’d be writing for ESPN, wouldn’t we?
Hat Tip: Paul Sloan