LPP http://www.lpp.com Healthcare, Technology, Communications. Mon, 13 Aug 2018 16:41:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Be Good to Your Brand: How Companies Can Practice Self-Care http://www.lpp.com/company-self-care/ Mon, 13 Aug 2018 16:41:56 +0000 http://www.lpp.com/?p=7007   The importance of self-care is everywhere. From articles in major publications to Pinterest boards detailing how to take care of yourself, people are spending more time trying to be good

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LPP - Brand Self-Care

 

The importance of self-care is everywhere. From articles in major publications to Pinterest boards detailing how to take care of yourself, people are spending more time trying to be good to themselves. These acts of self-care have massive, positive results. When struggling brands can’t find their way, or feel off-balance, the same philosophy should apply.

In every industry, there’s pressure to be bold, make flashy statements and be the most recognizable brand in the market. But that pressure to do more, be more, compete more can be exhausting for a brand. It’s easy for a company to ignore its core values for the sake of being a noisemaker. And that’s when brands should consider self-care. But self-care for brands is a little different than it is for people. A brand can’t have a spa day or head off on a yoga retreat for the weekend. Brands can’t hit the gym to sweat it out and get those happy endorphins going. So what do you do?

Spend Time Thinking about You

Self-Reflection. If you’re looking to treat your brand to some self-love, start with self-reflection. Only through a deep understanding of who you are can you nurture your company. Teams should regularly be asking themselves, who are we to consumers? To the media? To our peers? When a brand has a weak sense of self, it shows. Self-reflection is key to understanding how your brand is perceived. By working with a savvy PR team, you can then construct a plan to manage that perception and your brand’s reputation.

How do we do it? We start with an audit of your previous coverage. This audit is essential to determining how your brand is perceived in the market and how you fit against competitors. We uncover where you’ve been mentioned, the quality and value of that mention and how you’re positioned against others. How are you being described or represented by the media? We comb through coverage to find that and the articles where you’re missing to paint a picture of what you look like to the public.

Establish Your Voice

Speak for Yourself. The best way to combat an “uncomfortable in your own skin” feeling is to develop your voice and know how to wield it. Review your brand’s voice and tone to really get a sense if they reflect who you are. Establishing a specific voice will differentiate your brand from competitors. Using your voice in creative ways can help you make a statement and yield some great results. Focus on what makes you unique. Take that strong messaging and put it into play.

How do we do it? For brands looking to find their voice, we start by focusing on your messaging. We guide your brand through a messaging process that delves into your differentiators. Through this process, we can develop your voice and your key messages. A strong voice behind strong messaging will allow your brand to rise above the noise

Share the Best Version of You

Put Your Best Self Out There. Social media can be a powerful tool to connect with your target audiences. Social channels allow you to connect directly with your audience – but direct connection means needing to be self-confident. Post content that is relevant to your audience. Speak to them as if they’re people and think about how to use your voice and position yourself as a thought leader. Brands that seem “human” in their posts are the ones who have relationships with their audiences rather than just talking at them. Use your brand’s voice to share meaningful information rather than posting to just make noise.

How do we do it? We’re masters of telling stories in a couple hundred characters. We’ll ensure that you are active on all relevant social channels, reaching your customers, peers and potential partners. There is a fine line between being heard and oversaturating your followers with content. We know how to strike that balance for your brand so that you can put your best foot forward.

Be Ready for Anything

Be Realistic. Acknowledge that not everything will go according to plan. Treat your brand to a crisis plan so your brand remains true to itself even when facing any type of issue or problem. Identify potential challenges that could arise in your industry or with your consumers. Embrace the idea that problems will arise – and be ready to manage them. Think of crisis planning as pre-emptive stress management – if you plan for the worse and know what to do, you’ll help your brand stay composed at the worst of times.

How do we do it? Because we know your brand and its potential pain points, we know how to lay out all the potential issues that could affect your company. We craft a comprehensive crisis plan that focuses on building scenarios and matching next steps, including draft messaging. When a crisis does hit, we combine our expert media and social media monitoring skills to guide how to tailor those draft messages to expertly craft the right responses quickly. The goal is to protect your brand – and having all potential scenarios mapped out with key messages can help your brand stay ahead of the issue and help shield against damage.

Go with the Flow

Sometimes, the best self-care is just going with the flow and being ready to adapt to anything. It’s the same for your brand self-care; sometimes doing what’s best for your brand takes adjusting your approach. Keep an open mind. Change only happens when companies are ready to embrace something new. Brand self-care may be just what you need to elevate your company to the next level.

Interested in some brand self-care? We’ll show you how.

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Facebook Facepalm: Messaging Trust http://www.lpp.com/facebook-facepalm-messaging-trust/ Fri, 29 Jun 2018 16:42:18 +0000 http://www.lpp.com/?p=6989 If there’s anything to learn from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it’s that quiz apps are basically cutesy ways to grab data and package it up pretty for others. But if you

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Facebook Facepalm: Messaging Trust blog header LPP

If there’s anything to learn from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it’s that quiz apps are basically cutesy ways to grab data and package it up pretty for others. But if you believe the posters, newspapers adverts, TV ads and constant news feed posts, Facebook is on its own campaign trail that asserts “we have a responsibility to protect your information. If we can’t, we don’t deserve it.”

To make good on this promise, Facebook has been conducting an audit of its historical apps to make sure there aren’t more scandals waiting to happen. To help with the audit, the company announced a data abuse bounty program that allows external researchers to identify and report vulnerabilities regarding data abuse to Facebook so it can address the issue.

When self-identified hacker Inti De Ceukelaire went looking for data abusers under the bounty program, it didn’t take him long to find an issue with yet another quiz app. NameTests was inadvertently giving too much information about users by displaying quiz takers’ personal data in javascript files. For those who don’t speak code, this means information like full name, location, age and birthday were nabbed and packaged up neatly to share with any external website the user visited after taking the quiz. Worse, it included an access token for third-party websites to pull even more data including users’ Facebook posts, photos and friends.

Nearly 120 million active monthly users could have had their data exposed to any third-party that requested it. There’s no confirmation yet on how much of this data was scraped and compromised, but that’s not the point.

Facebook is undeniably front and center with its message that it cares about data privacy and needs to address its data security issues. But with undisclosed timelines for the current app audit, it’s hard to feel like these efforts are moving ahead fast enough to truly protect users. And that begs the question: is all the PR and messaging working?

The short answer is yeah… kind of. Maybe?

Following Cambridge Analytica, the social media service actually increased usage according to Goldman Sachs. It seems #DeleteFacebook was all hashtag, no action. Further, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 43 percent of users hadn’t changed their usage habits and 22 percent use Facebook more following the scandal. The company may have been slow to respond and it may not be getting any quicker in dealing with new vulnerabilities, but the impact seems to be null. Maybe users are accepting the actions Facebook is promising to protect data. Maybe users say one thing and do another (ala #DeleteFacebook).

An unscientific poll conducted by The Atlantic found that nearly 58 percent of survey participants don’t trust the platform. The company needs to focus on making sure its PR train delivers results or risk derailment in the effort to regain trust. Because trust is what’s at stake here – not whether or not the company can make money (because they can, and will). If Facebook doesn’t continue to make good on its messaging promises, the status quo can’t hold forever.

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LPP Wins Four Awards for Exceptional PR Campaigns http://www.lpp.com/lpp-wins-four-pr-awards/ Thu, 14 Jun 2018 10:00:41 +0000 http://www.lpp.com/?p=6993 LPP was honored with four awards during the 50th annual Bell Ringer awards ceremony. Held at The State Room, and hosted by the Publicity Club of New England, the gala recognized

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LPP Wins Four Awards for Exceptional PR Campaigns

LPP was honored with four awards during the 50th annual Bell Ringer awards ceremony. Held at The State Room, and hosted by the Publicity Club of New England, the gala recognized exceptional PR campaigns from dozens of agencies, companies and nonprofits across New England.

While LPP does exceptional PR work every day for its clients, some campaigns really stand out as award-worthy. This year, we entered four campaigns and all of them were winners this year. Both healthcare and technology work was honored at this year’s ceremony.

  • Silver Bell for a Healthcare Publicity Launch Campaign recognizing the Philips team for their work soft-launching SmartSleep at CES. This campaign focused on raising visibility for a new sleep product – in an intensely crowded market – and secure media interest for the official launch later in the year. The team even secured coverage on Live! With Kelly and Ryan in support of this campaign.
  • Bronze Bell for a Healthcare Publicity Campaign again recognizing the Philips team for their work securing coverage at a show with few media in attendance. With a really smart, focused media strategy, the team saw a 120 percent year-over-year increase in secured media coverage. The campaign also earned positive feedback from journalists, including a “This is the coolest thing I’ve seen at the show” from Dave Fornell, editor of DAIC, commenting on the augmented reality demo.
  • Bronze Bell for Response to Breaking News for the Arbor Networks team for getting coverage about the Reaper IoT botnet issue. Working quickly, the team secured coverage in some of the most coveted security publications including Krebs on Security, Dark Reading, Ars Technica and ZDNet.
  • Merit for a Healthcare Publicity Campaign recognizing the Philips team once more for their work telling a comprehensive story at a crowded show with lots of competitor news. Nearly 63 percent of the coverage the team secured told the comprehensive connected health story in several top healthcare publications.

LPP has been the recipient of many Bell Ringer awards in the past. These most recent awards strengthen our focus on delivering results for our clients – and we look forward to earning more in the future!

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The World of IoT in Two Days http://www.lpp.com/iot-world-two-days/ Tue, 29 May 2018 15:03:43 +0000 http://www.lpp.com/?p=6980 Though we’ve been in working in connectivity for more than 25 years, never has this corner of the tech sector been more exciting or game-changing than it is now. The build

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The World of IoT - It Takes a Village

Though we’ve been in working in connectivity for more than 25 years, never has this corner of the tech sector been more exciting or game-changing than it is now. The build out of 5G networks to support the 55 billion connected devices expected to hit the IoT market by 2025 is just one mindboggling element to consider. The second is that it will take a village – an elaborate ecosystem – to make it all possible and to move us toward more outcomes and business value.

IoT Takes a Village

We talked to more than 25 companies at IoT World in Santa Clara this week and heard several interesting presentations. The resounding theme was “you can’t go it alone.” Attendees and exhibitors all expressed the importance of a strong partner network to bring real value to customers. And, they all want to learn from each other as some industries are further ahead than others. As evidence of this, see the comments from Claire Curry of Bloomberg and Elvira Wallis of SAP Labs from this short video from the event organizers.

Several additional points stood out:

Pilot purgatory is a problem. Christian Olivier, president at Sigfox USA, offered good advice to get out of pilot purgatory, which 70 percent of companies are facing. We related his advice to grocery shopping while hungry – we all know the risk is buying and spending way more than you need. IoT is similar in that you can’t solve for everything at once and succeed. He suggests pinpointing a specific problem to fix – tracking assets when shipped, preventing how weather can impact a crop, avoiding the need to send a technician to fix a billboard. Then, quantify the value of that solution, define a critical set of tactics to address, embed the IoT solution into the business process and set expectations.

Products will become dumber. During a panel on IIoT hosted by James Brehm & Associates, one panelist from Abbott Labs offered a particularly thought-provoking opinion: products will become dumber. This sounds like an oxymoron in an era dominated by the word “smart” – smart lighting, smart appliances, smart cars, smart manufacturing, smart cities. But, his point was 80 percent of products will be software and 20 percent will be physical attributes. Because of this shift, he said the conversations we have will change. Applying this concept to buying a car, rather than talking about the engine and horsepower, the conversation will focus on applications the car has like its self-riding capabilities. We never thought of the future this way, but it makes sense that products will be mere shells, reliant on software and apps to bring them to life.

The IoT Impact

The most promising takeaway of all was how hopeful this market is. Abe Kleinfeld, CEO of GridGain Systems, said it best in this video when he noted this isn’t science fiction. The reality we are living where IoT is digitizing the real world and enabling decisions in real-time is incredible. And, from our standpoint, while it is understandable there are some risks to think through before we see continued progress, one thing is clear: the network and interplay of companies needed to make IoT possible is coming together nicely and the future is brighter than ever.

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Creating Demand – When Will Clinicians Yearn for AI? http://www.lpp.com/creating-clinician-ai-demand/ Wed, 23 May 2018 10:00:09 +0000 http://www.lpp.com/?p=6969 Undoubtedly, AI is the buzzword of 2018, but it’s also a business reality. Gartner predicts the AI market will reach $3.9 trillion by 2022; and there isn’t an industry that’s not

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Creating Demand - When Will Clinicians Yearn for AI?

Undoubtedly, AI is the buzzword of 2018, but it’s also a business reality. Gartner predicts the AI market will reach $3.9 trillion by 2022; and there isn’t an industry that’s not effected by the potential power of this technology. Given all the inefficiencies in healthcare, this may be the area with the most to gain from AI.

AI exists, but do clinicians care?

This theme was reinforced by every speaker and panel at last month’s World Medical Innovation Forum hosted by Partners HealthCare. While the potential benefits of AI in healthcare are innumerable, there are many barriers prohibiting it from being incorporated into a clinician’s day-to-day work. Repeatedly, speakers at this event discussed the same old needs: obtaining and organizing clean data and a commitment to an IT infrastructure which supports AI across the network. However, what really resonated during this event was the idea that a giant change management effort is needed for healthcare to truly embrace AI – do clinicians even want another technology, especially after dreadful EHR implementations? For the full potential of AI to be realized, you ultimately need clinicians who are willing to break their day-to-day work patterns and learn a new way of diagnosing and treating patients.

Current AI adoption

A late 2017 study found that most hospitals and imaging centers will be using AI technology by 2020. However, this same study found that more hospitals are adopting AI over imaging centers right now. This may be in part because of EHR use and the explosion of new data. The volume and velocity of available data is a double-edged sword – it holds the power to provide better insights and transform care, but no human could ever effectively analyze and mine that amount of information.

Can we really teach an old dog new tricks?

After listening to speakers at the Forum – from both the clinician and vendor perspectives – the answer is yes, we can teach clinicians new habits. Whether clinicians have been in the field for 30 years or three years, they are drowning in an overwhelming patient load and administrative responsibilities they never anticipated. One study suggests doctors spend about half of their time on administrative work and only 27 percent of their time with patients. While the true sea change will occur as medical schools and training hospitals embrace new technologies, like AI, as part of their curriculum, the change management required for broader AI adoption will hinge on small successes.

The successes created by smart AI companies in specific areas, like Robin in medical transcribing and Arterys in medical imaging, will gain momentum. Once clinicians see that a minor change in their work habits can create more time to see patients or more personal time, they will be willing to accept additional changes to their daily schedules. Although it may still take five years for this momentum to capture the attention of all providers and clinicians, it will be the combination of a newly trained medical workforce and the small gains of successful, self-executing AI solutions which finally put healthcare on the right track. So, let’s continue with these small wins and start creating real change!

 

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Why Metadata is Integral to Your Social Media Program http://www.lpp.com/metadata-integral-social-media-program/ Wed, 28 Feb 2018 08:00:32 +0000 http://www.lpp.com/?p=6870 Metadata, or “data about data,” has evolved over time to become a powerful tool for organizations focused on search engine optimization (SEO) and social content performance. From a credibility standpoint, metadata

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Metadata for Social Media

Metadata, or “data about data,” has evolved over time to become a powerful tool for organizations focused on search engine optimization (SEO) and social content performance.

From a credibility standpoint, metadata that backs up organizational expertise is a valuable asset for both your SEO and social media programs. In today’s digital landscape, reputable information is even more critical to organizational success than before, as users are primed to distrust information on social – especially after Facebook announced its commitment to rid News Feeds of fake news. Having the right back-end data will help provide better structure so your post copy can more accurately display your website images and description. Considering today’s shortened attention spans, more visually appealing content is going to get engagement.

Rough translation: Pics get clicks.

Getting Started with Metadata for Social

Before you put time and budget into drafting creative and compelling social media post content, make sure you’ve outfitted your site with the right meta tags that includes your key messages and a strong images. Think of it this way: However you set up your “behind the scenes” content on your website, that’s what social media channels are going to pull in to display. At a minimum, make sure you set yourself up for success by including all the right titles, descriptions and photos in your website meta tags.

If you’re not sure how your website appears on social media, preview it on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn:

Twitter – Twitter offers a card validator to test your links. Copy/paste your website’s URL into the text box and click “preview card.” From there, you’ll see how it will appear on Twitter (including: photo, title and description).

Twitter Card - Metadata Example

Facebook or LinkedIn – Log-in to Facebook or LinkedIn and copy/paste your website’s URL into the status update box. The link preview may take a moment to load, but once it does you can delete the URL text omitting the untidy-looking raw link and let your beautifully-done metadata do the work displaying your website content.

Metadata Examples - Facebook and LinkedIn

Social is the Cart, Metadata is the Horse

After you’ve spent some time cleaning up your meta tags and getting your data in order, you should then focus on gaining control to edit this data on social platforms like Facebook.

Because Facebook works on the Open Graph (OG) Protocol, users have the freedom to adjust their URL’s appearance, regardless of what is pulled in based on data (the same goes for platforms like LinkedIn and Google+). However, as part of their crackdown on fake news, Facebook in particular now asks that companies verify their website domain for exclusive permissions to edit owned metadata details within the platform.

To be clear, however, this simply gives you the option to shift messaging as-needed. It should not be thought of as a replacement for efforts toward cleaning up your website’s metadata – even temporarily. Using data to optimize search engine results and create trustworthy content helps in building brand credibility which is key for influencing perceptions about your brand.

Remember: Metadata is still just one piece of the social puzzle. Don’t rely on it for complete program success. Your content (much like your product) must live up to its packaging.

Ready to see how social media programs can support your marketing and PR goals? Connect with us here.

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Top Tech Trends at CES – Exploring the B2B Story http://www.lpp.com/top-tech-trends-ces-exploring-b2b-story/ Tue, 30 Jan 2018 08:00:56 +0000 http://www.lpp.com/?p=6888 CES celebrates some of the best new, up-and-coming and futuristic tech in the consumer electronics industry. While we could spend days – or weeks, or months – discussing all the actual

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CES 2018 Tech Trends - AI, robotics, smart cities

CES celebrates some of the best new, up-and-coming and futuristic tech in the consumer electronics industry. While we could spend days – or weeks, or months – discussing all the actual innovations from the show, we want to hone in on some of the core trends we observed. For us, these trends are part of a bigger story than just what consumers see – and we expect the actual tech behind the tech to be the best story.

Tech Trends at CES 2018

Artificial Intelligence – AI has received a lot of press in the past year and the discussions at CES were no different. While most of the conversations on AI have been about personal assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home, there are more opportunities in other industries outside the home. For example, AI has tremendous capabilities in the autonomous driving space. In particular, AI makes sensory perception (detecting objects in a vehicle’s path) and data processing possible and useful.

Robotics – Robotics had a starring role at this year’s show. Many articles coming out of the show have rounded up lists of robots who interact with their human owners by taking pictures, answering questions, playing music or monitoring the home. Essentially, the robots in the spotlight are humanoid chassis with Alexa-like AI behind them, clearly demonstrating how AI and robotics are interrelated and are seemingly expected to grow in tandem.

Smart Cities – Smart cities are an interesting example of how society and technology intersect. From self-driving pizza delivery cars (no, we’re not talking about an episode of Black Mirror – it’s real!) to energy and environment usage, smart cities are fascinating because of all the layers of tech that make them possible. Both AI and robotics will be a big part of moving smart cities forward, but it will all depend on the right buy-in from the market, organizations, and city and regional leaders.

The Tech Behind the Tech

Although we saw these tech trends at a consumer show, there are far more applications for industrial industries and other B2B settings. Let’s look at the same trends in a different way:

Artificial Intelligence – Artificial intelligence is important for efficient data processing and is closely tied to edge computing. AI and edge are critical for keeping the industrial internet of things (IIoT) up and running. Many industrial control systems that are responsible for managing IIoT “things” like pumps, motors, values, conveyors, etc. These pieces of technology are often decades old and aren’t designed for open networking. Complementing old systems with edge computing and AI technologies will allow old infrastructure to keep up while keeping costs down.

Robotics – Robotics is an explosive industry, but it’s dependent on many others. While the connection to AI is apparent, especially from CES this year, robotics is majorly dependent on the chips that run them. As the robotics industry grows, we can anticipate it to generate significant demands for semiconductor chips. From sensing devices that collect information to data processing and motor control devices that process the collected information to networking devices that allow a robot’s internal network to connect to all its other components, semiconductor devices are what make robots work. The more robotics grows, the more semiconductor manufacturers are going to be center stage –even if they are embedded in the background.

Smart Cities – While the concept of smart cities frequently focuses on the surface-level tech that people will interact with (self-driving cars, connected homes, energy improvements), it’s really the tech behind the tech that is the real star here. The technology required to make smart cities “smart” is dependent on artificial intelligence, data processing, edge computing and robotics – and the chips and sensors that make them function. As cities become more connected, there are going to be more opportunities for companies that manufacture the “guts” to stand-out and develop partnerships with all parts of the connected devices chain.

What’s Next for Tech

As consumer electronics continue to grow, we anticipate the need for the tech behind the tech to grow as well. While consumer tech more often claims the headlines, it’s time for semiconductor manufacturers, edge computing and infrastructure solutions providers and AI programming companies to get more visible.

Ready to earn your tech company the visibility it deserves? Connect with us here.

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2018 Predictions: Healthcare, Technology and Communications Trends http://www.lpp.com/2018-predictions-health-tech-communications/ Wed, 20 Dec 2017 20:02:18 +0000 http://www.lpp.com/?p=6478   2017 was quite a year for public relations. From fake news to influencer crackdowns, to breaches and major healthcare policy changes, it was a challenging year for PR. But as

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2018 Predictions. Healthcare Technology Communications

2017 was quite a year for public relations. From fake news to influencer crackdowns, to breaches and major healthcare policy changes, it was a challenging year for PR. But as we move forward into the new year, there are some interesting trends on the horizon. At LPP, we discuss our predictions for 2018 – and cover off on healthcare, technology and the communications industry itself.

Here are our 2018 predictions.

Healthcare Industry Predictions

On Who the Winners will be in Healthcare

Melissa Zipin a PR and advertising expert at LPP

Melissa Zipin

Over the last several years, consumer tech companies decided their shiny new toy would be healthcare. There was tons of money to be made and a huge national – and global – problem to solve. While they were well-poised from both visibility and technology perspectives, they quickly realized the amount of time and money involved in closing deals with any health system. So, they tried their hands at consumer health. And, while many companies have been somewhat successful, they’ve recognized that in order to make an impact on healthcare overall, whatever solution is developed must have buy-in from not just the consumer, but from across the entire healthcare chain – patients, clinicians, health systems and pharma. Moreover, they found that every consumer is incented individually – making any one-size-fits-all approach they may have developed, very ineffective. I think over the next several years, we’ll continue to see mergers and acquisitions from the “big boys” – like the one we recently saw with CVS and Aetna. Winning companies will be the ones who recognize that it takes the entire healthcare chain to work together if you want to really make a change.

On the Future of Medical Wearables

Jaclyn Petros strategic planner for tech pr at LPP

Jaclyn Petros

Consumer wearables and their potential within healthcare have been a hot topic for several years now. As consumer adoption of these devices increases and clinical applications of wearable technology continue to evolve, we can expect to see expansion of medical-grade wearables. While watches and bands are the most popular forms of consumer wearables, they may not be the answer for the accuracy required by healthcare. In September, the FDA announced it would be working with several companies to create guidelines for digital health platforms. This is indicative of the industry emphasis to make better, more accurate software programs, which includes analyzing data from wearables. In 2018, we will see considerable improvements to the accuracy of information coming from wearables and the software supporting these devices, which will allow for broader adoption in the healthcare industry.

 

Technology Industry Predictions

On the Future of Edge vs. Cloud Computing

Anastasia Efstratios healthcare organizations expertAnastasia Efstratios

One of the most interesting changes facing businesses today is the emergence of edge computing. What’s wild is just as IT settled on cloud approaches for most applications, along comes the edge to turn networking, data center models, analytics and connectivity upside down. Where do you stand? Will the edge “eat” the cloud as Gartner’s Thomas Bittman stated previously? Or, will IT pros find a way for edge and cloud to co-exist peacefully? I think the edge is here to stay as it makes sense to put networking and processing power closer to the action. But, I’m excited to watch what businesses do, see how major cloud players address the edge, and track new, cool companies looking to make a name for themselves in the edge in 2018.

On the Intersection of Fintech and Blockchain

Scott Love, Senior Vice President, LPPScott Love

“Fintech” is now just part of today’s finance world. If a business, bank or institution thinks otherwise, they are already behind. Technology enables consumers and businesses to interact with their funds today. Fintech is not going to shake up banking in 2018 – that shakeup has already happened. Instead, we can expect that this reality will become more widely accepted. And, as we talk about financial trends, it’s hard not for blockchain to come up as Bitcoin continues to dominate the headlines. Currently, blockchain and Bitcoin are almost synonymous. But blockchain’s appeal is that it is a decentralized, public digital ledger. As we move through 2018, we’ll start to see how this technology can improve society. Dubai announced the government will be based on blockchain by 2020 – and it’s this kind of real-world example that may move blockchain to the technology forefront. 2018 may be the year blockchain unmarries itself from Bitcoin and becomes more real.

 

Communications Industry Predictions

On Crisis and Issues Management

Christine Simeone a Marketing Communications veteran at LPPChristine Simeone

Crisis communications has always been thought of as a separate part of a PR program. For the most part, crisis comms has had a reactive approach. More recently, companies have gotten better about being more proactive – creating plans ahead of time to prepare for the worst. Now, we’re seeing the line between traditional PR programs and separate crisis communications plans blur. Going into 2018, I expect to see the line continue to blur and soften – crisis communications will become an ongoing part of any PR program. Essentially, we’ll see a reframing from crisis communications to issues management whereby companies are more proactive in how they plan for any situation that may affect them.

 

We look forward to seeing what 2018 holds for healthcare and technology and communication’s role in addressing the challenges, successes and changes.

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Twitter Increasing Character Count: Yay or Nay? http://www.lpp.com/twitter-increasing-character-count/ Thu, 05 Oct 2017 08:30:28 +0000 http://www.lpp.com/?p=6440 Last week, Twitter announced it was beta testing 280-character Tweets, doubling the previous character limit. The company cited research that the 140-character limit was a major cause of frustration for people

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Twitter Increasing Characters - LPP

Last week, Twitter announced it was beta testing 280-character Tweets, doubling the previous character limit. The company cited research that the 140-character limit was a major cause of frustration for people tweeting in English. Since its launch in 2006, Twitter has proposed character count increases more than once – with the first proposal to up the limit to 10,000. After much backlash, they compromised and increased Direct Messages to 10,000 characters, but left Tweets at 140 characters. Now, select users are testing out what they can say with double the space – and the debates have been raging.

Here at LPP, we see both sides of the argument.

Yes to More Twitter Characters

PRO, Megan Doherty: I’m for the increased character count, depending on how it’s used.

Despite how frustrating it is when you can’t fit your ideas into the allotted 140-characters, the change has met more opposition than I would have anticipated. And while I’ve come to terms with the new character limit, I do wish they first removed links from character counts.

That said, the character limit change makes sense from a global perspective. For example, companies tweeting in some languages – like English, Spanish, Portuguese or French – struggle to stay within the character limit, as compared to other languages like Japanese, Korean and Chinese.

For those in heavily regulated industries — particularly, pharma and medical device companies — where the FDA requires risk disclosure in promotional materials, the current character limit made it nearly impossible to include both key messaging and risks in a single Tweet. Moving to 280-characters will give these companies room to adhere to FDA guidance, making Twitter a more accessible social platform.

Aside from additional room for ongoing content, more characters will facilitate better conversations when conducting Twitter chats, live-Tweeting webinars and responding to customer inquiries via @mention. The increased characters will allow users to more easily share their thoughts and ideas in one or two Tweets, as opposed to a string of four or five. In turn, user engagement will become more meaningful with content that includes all necessary context for their perspective, insight or question.

Here’s a question to ask yourself: Do I need to use all 280 characters? Simply having extra characters doesn’t mean every Tweet must hit the new limit. Your strategy will depend on your goals: better engagement, website conversions, increased product sales or disclosing product risks.

No, Twitter Doesn’t Need More Characters

CON, Amanda Fountain: Twitter doesn’t need to give users more space to share their thoughts.

Twitter works because of its brevity and alignment with how people text. The original 140-character limit was only partially an arbitrary number choice – it aligned with SMS texts that allotted 160-characters with the extra 20 characters to include a username (@mention). It was an imperfect system, but something people “got” and differentiated Twitter from other social platforms at the time.

Technology like text messages and Twitter have prompted discussions on how communication has changed over the past decade. We’re a short-hand society now – comfortable with writing in abbreviations and made up acronyms. Abbreviations have permeated our language so much we even use them when speaking – abbrevs are totes cool, obvs (translation: abbreviations are totally cool, obviously).

The beauty of Twitter is that it forces people to be concise and brief when sharing their thoughts. A platform that is frequently called out for its inability to curb harassment, Twitter is setting itself up for more issues. More characters means more space for vitriol. This move will make Twitter harder to police and is not what the company needs to save itself right now anyway. The expanded character count takes Twitter away from its roots — news, jokes and pure absurdity – and still isn’t giving users new features they can’t get on other platforms.

From a brand and company perspective, report after report after report indicate shorter Tweets get better engagement. “Short” means something in the 100-character range – a number much lower than the regular 140 and significantly less than 280. Long posts are detrimental to brands, so why would they want to have more space to get ignored?

But I think nothing argues against more characters than below. Good writing is accomplished with fewer words. Take the editing pen to your Tweet before embracing the extra characters.

 

Are More Characters Right for You?

Here’s what LPP advises: Know what your goals are and adapt from there. Social is rarely a one-strategy-fits all approach. Things are constantly evolving and changing and one company may have vastly different audiences and goals than another.

 

Ready to talk about your social media strategy? Let us know.

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Internet Trends 2017: Mid-Year Update http://www.lpp.com/internet-trends-2017-mid-year-update/ Tue, 22 Aug 2017 08:00:18 +0000 http://www.lpp.com/?p=6389 Mary Meeker released her annual Internet Trends report, which serves as a de facto “State Of The Union” for the tech world. The 352-slide report touches on virtually every corner of

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internet trends 2017

Mary Meeker released her annual Internet Trends report, which serves as a de facto “State Of The Union” for the tech world. The 352-slide report touches on virtually every corner of the tech world, but there were a number of findings that jumped out, both because of their general intrigue and because of the opportunity they offer for effective PR and communications. Here are three highlights:

  • Digital advertising is becoming increasingly measurable and actionable
  • Cloud adoption is up – as is the need for cloud security
  • Healthcare data continues to increase in volume

Digital Advertising Is Becoming Increasingly Measurable and Actionable

Despite the consistent increase in ad blocking usage, companies are devoting more resources to digital ads than ever before. In the U.S. alone, digital ad spend topped $73 billion in 2016. This increase is mostly driven by mobile ad spend – in fact, desktop ad spend actually decreased in 2016. Advertisers have known that mobile usage has been growing; however, it wasn’t until the latter half of 2016 that technology could accurately gauge ROI from mobile ad spend. Additional insight on who is (or isn’t) engaging with ads allows advertisers to optimize accordingly for more efficient spend.

The good news is the additional data from mobile advertising will give companies more insight into their audiences. This will allow communicators to develop better strategies to reach audiences beyond mobile ad displays. To stand out against competitors, a company will need to create fully integrated campaigns that include both digital advertising and great story telling through public relations.

Head in the Cloud, Feet on the Ground

Cloud has been the buzzword for what feels like so long it feels as though its degree of popularity has been firmly established. It may be surprising to learn adoption of public and private clouds is still on the rise. Since 2014, cloud adoption has risen 37 percent and the total spend is approaching the amount spent on traditional data centers.

Considering its proliferation in the news, cloud adoption has been slower than expected. There are several concerns that prevent companies from adopting the cloud.  However, it may be surprising to learn that concerns over data security has dropped by seven percent and cloud-related matters by 17 percent. The majority of enterprises now state their most pressing cloud concerns are vendor lock in (15 percent increase) and compliance/governance (six percent increase).

However, given recent massive global cyberattacks like Wannacry or Petya, security should still be a concern. For cloud-based companies, it is critical to have the right messaging for customers to understand what security measures are in place. The right communication strategy can demonstrate to customers – both existing and potential – their data will be protected, secure and the right measures are in place to mitigate risks.

 Heath Care Must Tread Cautiously With More Data

The amount of usable healthcare data available is increasing exponentially. Over the past year alone, healthcare data has grown by 48 percent. This trend has been primarily driven by wearable technology. In 2016, 102 million wearables were shipped.  It’s not just the public’s increased desire for gamified fitness devices, though. Because these types of wearables track heart rate, exercise duration and blood pressure, an increasing amount of crowdsourced data are being leveraged for medical and pharmaceutical studies.

More data means potentially more insight into healthcare, but it also means increased responsibility. It’s up to healthcare organizations to communicate how they collect and use data responsibly, and the best way to do that is through a strategic communications plan. A single campaign isn’t going to be enough to convince people that the data isn’t being abused, especially when stories surface seemingly every week about leaked or misused data. Healthcare organizations need to have a partner to help craft and update their messaging to put the public at ease.

The good news is that people are more willing to share sensitive data with organizations they view as “trusted.” Sixty percent of people polled said they’re willing to share their health data with Google, 56 percent with Microsoft and 50 percent with Apple. One reason these companies are so trusted is because they are consistently in the media and communicating with their customers and the public. People feel like they know these companies because constant communication breeds familiarity. Good PR can go a long way in people’s minds.

These are just the tip of the Internet Trends iceberg. You can check out the full report here.

 

Ready for a PR program of your own? Connect with us here.

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