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Best Public Relations Agency: MD Daily Record honors JMRConnect as top firm in Baltimore
Employee Advocacy

  The Daily Record’s 2018 Reader Rankings are in and JMRConnect has been voted a top PR Agency by readers. More than 1,400 nominations were collected during the nomination period in March. The winners were determined by more than 12,600 votes cast from April 30 to May 14.

“The Daily Record’s business and legal professionals are proud of the outstanding businesses they work with and support throughout the state of Maryland,” The Daily Record publisher Suzanne Fischer-Huettner said. “Our readers voted, and we are excited to reveal the 2018 Reader Rankings honorees."

NIKE and Foot Locker Tap Employees as Brand Advocates
pr firms in baltimore

[caption id="attachment_3024" align="alignleft" width="150"] Employee Social Advocacy: Connect. Engage. Influence.[/caption]

Foot Locker recently announced a new development to its collaborative relationship with Nike – creating an optimized in-store customer experience through the addition of two popular pop-up shop apps. The Sneakeasy NYC and House of Hoops apps offer fans early access to Nike and Jordan gear through social media interaction, online reservations, and VIP/PLUS membership. This joint effort to enhance the consumer experience is predicated on employee advocacy and brand awareness.

Employee advocacy has become one of the most applied concepts in the modern business world, as demonstrated by the most recent expansion to the Foot Locker and Nike partnership. It is vital that the correct staff be enlisted, as they must demonstrate both enthusiasm towards the products they are selling and pride for the brand they are representing. Nike and Foot Locker have labeled their workers for this project “Nike Pro Athletes” and “Nike Pro Leads” – emphasizing the priority placed on employee advocacy and brand awareness.

The employee advocacy initiative suggests businesses recognize their personnel as brand ambassadors, since they are the ones working closely with the products and services they develop and sell. It is exceedingly imperative for an employee to feel connected to the brand they represent, as they will be much more inclined to promote that brand; due to the fact that it symbolizes an extension of their own personal identity.

Employees have certainly become dynamic marketing tools, utilized to promote brand identity and better connect consumers with the businesses they are patronizing. The concept applies to all businesses, regardless of product or customer base; employees are becoming major parts of marketing initiatives, largely because they are a previously unheard voice that comes with an inherent level of trust.

More than 2/3 of our population gets their news and information on social media; amplifying visibility on these channels is a must.

Employee advocacy works because people are more likely to take action when a recommendation comes from a trusted source. According to Social Media Today, content shared by employees receives 8X more engagement than content shared by brand channels. Unlike advertising and paid influencer marketing, employee advocacy is an organic, natural extension of 1-on-1 digital communications.

Key messages, delivered by a friend, colleague, or connection, are naturally more trustworthy than a company post – sponsored or not. Simply put, personal recommendations have a shaping influence that cannot be matched by paid-for, subjective advertisements.

CEI, which stands for connect-engage-influence, is a customizable platform that allows communications and marketing teams maximize the value of the content they create and raise its organic visibility across social forums, including LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram – with a single click.

Customers referred by advocates have a 37% higher retention rate. Interested in learning more? Send us an email at info@jmrconnect.net with Employee Advocacy in the subject line to tap into your most under utilized branding resource, and to give your brand a shaping influence!

 

Google's Jack Connors on How Mobile Wallets Help Merchants Engage Shoppers

  “Mobile Wallets Help Sales,” Said No Retailer Ever.  Jack Connors, as Head of Commerce Partnerships at Google, leads Google’s merchant partnerships for Android Pay and helps merchants use mobile payments as a way to address a broader set of business objectives. His message, delivered during his keynote presentation at the 2017 Mobile Payments Conference,  is especially invaluable for merchants who may have implemented one or more mobile pay options in their stores, but just aren’t getting the returns they hoped for.

Connors got the audience’s attention by showing that he understands the frustrations many merchants feel trying to keep up with all the latest mobile payment offerings only to find that customers barely use it. He then made the case for why Android Pay is different from the myriad of other mobile payment options. First, for every smartphone owner walking into a store, there’s a nearly 82 percent chance that they’re using an Android phone, according to Gartner’s latest projections on worldwide smartphone sales. “And, Android Pay is pre-installed on 90% of those phones via carrier relationships,” said Connors. So, even if you’re a merchant whose marketing department has an affinity for Apple Pay, PayPal, Square or perhaps your own mobile wallet, keep in mind the reality that the vast majority of your customers already have Android Pay on their phones, so half the battle... 

Faster Payments: Will the US Catch up With the Rest of the World?

At the 2017 Mobile Payments Conference in Chicago, one of the most memorable presentations was moderated by Brett King, founder of Moven and host of the BREAKING BANK$ radio show on Voice America. On the panel was Travis Dulaney, Co-founder & CEO of PushPayments and Dan Gonzalez, VP of payment industry relations at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The main topic was faster payments. And, more specifically, when and how can the U.S. can get from where it is currently to the frictionless Utopia many other countries are now enjoying? Read More ➢

LPP Combustion proposes nat-gas alternative solution for ships

[caption id="attachment_2988" align="alignleft" width="130"] Turbomachinery International magazine[/caption]

Lean, Premixed, Prevaporized (LPP) combustion technology converts liquid fuels into a substitute for natural gas, which can power most combustion devices while yielding emissions comparable to that of ordinary natural gas. By allowing a wide range of otherwise liquid fuels to be vaporized into a clean burning natural gas substitute to power gas-fired turbine electric systems, LPP Combustion’s patented technology reduces both costs and emissions.  LPP Combustion’s Clean Shipping entry centered on its patented fuel-processing technology that allows a range of light liquid hydrocarbons to be used in place of liquid natural gas (LNG) in low-emissions gas turbines for shipboard power generation.

Because LPP Combustion skids enable clean use of readily storable liquids in gas turbines, they...

M&A Special Report: Fundless sponsors and other alternatives models challenge PE
Top Baltimore PR Agency

Danielle Fugazy reports on substantial changes in the private equity industry have occurred in the last few years. PE firms are quickly adapting to compete with other PE firms and with strategic acquirers for capital and deals. Interesting look at NewSpring Holdings in Mergers & Acquisitions’ Special Report on Private Equity >>>

Breaking Bank$ with Brett King to Broadcast Live at Mobile Payments Conference 2017

 Brett King, host of BREAKING BANK$, the First Global Fintech Podcast, will broadcast live from the 2017 Mobile Payments Conference (MPC), being held August 28 – 30, 2017, at the Swissotel in Chicago, Illinois. In addition to hosting the popular podcast, Brett King is also a four-time bestselling author, a renowned futurist and keynote speaker, and the founder of Moven. MPC 2017 attendees will hear about the latest developments in faster and real-time payments adoption, as King interviews interviews Dan Gonzalez, vice president of payment industry relations for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and Travis Dulaney, co-founder and CEO of Push Payments, on Tuesday, August 29th at 1:10 pm CST.

According to Dan Gonzalez, vice president, CRSO Industry Relations, “Payment system change requires a consensus-driven approach to accommodate the views and behaviors of the many financial institutions,...

Yorktel’s Mobile Telehealth Kit Earns Recognition

  Yorktel recently announced that its mobile telehealth kit, FeatherMed has won the MedTech Breakthrough Award for “Best Overall Telehealth Solution.” MedTech Breakthrough, if you’re not familiar, is an independent organization that recognizes the top companies, technologies and products in the global health and medical technology market. “FeatherMed is a niche product that fills a gap in the Telehealth market for a lightweight, portable unit to manage telehealth encounters on the fly in remote locations. FeatherMed is our latest example of Yorktel’s continued focus...

Amplify PR With Employee Advocacy: connect. engage. influence.
Employee social media advocates

Awarded the 2017 SABRE award for "Best Marketing Technology," JMRConnect CEI proves that employee advocacy on social media has a profound effect on brand integrity.

Why was JMRConnect honored over several of the largest global agencies? Because we understand that earned media is inherently more credible than other forms of marketing, by virtue of being content created by an independent 3rd-party. But in today's world where more than 50% of our population gets their news and information on social media, amplifying visibility on these channels is a must. Unlike paid influencer marketing, which can produce handsome dividends, employee advocacy is a more natural extension of corporate communications and PR, as it organically raises visibility.

CEI, which stands for connect-engage-influence, is a customizable platform that helps communications and marketing teams maximize the value of the content they create and raise its organic visibility across social forums, including LinkedIn, Facebook,YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram - with a single click. Key messages, delivered by a friend, colleague, or connection, are naturally more trustworthy than a company post - sponsored or not. Simply put, personal recommendations have a shaping influence that cannot be matched by paid-for, subjective advertisements. Our Sabre award win was based on the data and results from a  case study with Yorktel, a longtime client.

“People tend to listen more when a message comes from their peers, whereas messages posted to a corporate entity can be tuned out as self-promoting and sales-oriented.  YorktelShare not only helps us exponentially increase the visibility of our posts, it also ensures that important news and information is kept consistent when our employees share company news on social media platforms,” said Samantha Osowski, vice president of marketing, Yorktel.

One click from a user sends approved messages across integrated popular social channels from its proprietary platform, so users don’t have to recreate the wheel.

Defining a concrete interest group within the CEI platform helps employee advocates invite followers into the program through personalized invitations and links, instantly making them part of a community of like-minded, targeted participants that then also become deputy brand advocates, so to speak.  With each share, click and like, the content becomes more relevance and with a shaping influence among constituencies worldwide.  Because posts shared through JMRConnect CEI appear as first-person recommendations, not promoted content.

"The form helps brands build credibility and expand reach,” she added.  “One click takes content viral, extending earned media value while promoting approved brand messages on multiple channels.”

The platform fills a gap in corporate communications' capabilities between content creation and sales & marketing. In addition to increasing visibility for earned media, CEI empowers social selling by providing sales leaders and teams tools to find and share branded content easily to influence buying decisions for existing prospects and new leads.  Deep analytics capabilities increase ROI by allowing leadership to measure engagement and run cost-benefit analyses. PR and corporate communications professionals are too often fighting an uphill battle when it comes to convincing employees to share company content, and in many cases, just making them aware of media coverage, case studies, whitepapers and other content is shockingly difficult. CEI solves these problems by not only pushing this information to them, but by also empowering them to share on multiple social media platforms with a single click. They no longer have to take time away from their jobs to search for this information and create individual posts. Each post is developed for them and tailored for the respective platforms.

Amplifying organic visibility and quantifying the value of each campaign has never been easier.

 

PR Teams Must Consider AI, Influencers, Millennials

  Public relations agencies and teams, says Paula Bernier, must 1) address artificial intelligence and machine learning; 2) influencer marketing; and 3) focus on millennials. Sarab Kochhar, director of applied research for the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida, writes that, “Researchers and practitioners in the field of public relations should explore how AI and ML are helping organizations automate campaigns and create new and stronger connections with customers leading to hyper- personalized experiences,” in the report “Top Three Trends That Will Drive Public Relations Research in 2017.”

As Kochhar mentions, influencer marketing is another trend impacting businesses, consumers, marketing, and public relations. Influencer marketing is important because influential individuals can help or harm a company’s brand, can greatly increase brand awareness, and can even drive conversions.

“Wharton Marketing Professor David Bell says that brands looking to create a presence in the digital space quickly realize that the way to get to their audience is through...

Business Insider reports: "YouTube is getting a big redesign"

Marketing professionals take note: YouTube's website is getting a big makeover. Business Insider reports that starting Tuesday, you'll be able to preview the video site's new design by signing up here. It'll eventually roll out to everyone. Neal Mohan, YouTube's product boss, announced the change at the Collision tech conference in New Orleans.

The update is based on Material Design, Google's home-grown design language in Android, Chrome, and (full story)

LinkedIn now connected with Microsoft business software

[caption id="attachment_2781" align="alignleft" width="150"] Employee Advocacy and Social Selling on LinkedIn[/caption]

LinkedIn is now connected to Microsoft business software. The B2B social media platform now boasts more than 500 million registered users, Microsoft said Monday, up from 467 million in October, when LinkedIn released its last quarterly earnings report as a publicly traded company. Microsoft’s $26 billion acquisition of the Mountain View company, announced in June,

The SF Gate reported that Microsoft is adding links between its business-focused software and LinkedIn, the biggest move yet to make use of the company’s largest-ever acquisition.  LinkedIn now boasts more than 500 million registered users, Microsoft said Monday, up from 467 million in October, when LinkedIn released its last quarterly earnings report as a publicly traded company.

JMRConnect CEI Wins Best Marketing Technology for Its Effectiveness in Shaping Influence
Employee social media advocates

[caption id="attachment_2917" align="alignleft" width="150"] Winner: BEST MARKETING TECHNOLOGY[/caption]

Public Relations has many industry honors, among which one of the most prestigious is The Holmes Report SABRE Awards. On February 16th in Chicago, as part of its In2 SABRE Awards Summit, The Holmes Report named JMRConnect CEI the 2017 North America In2 SABRE Awards winner for Best Marketing Technology. The program targets the most innovative PR and marketing agencies, highlighting new and innovative ways brands are utilizing employee advocacy, social engagement, and other channels to connect with and influence target audiences at a time where...

 

Five Ways Financial Advisors Can Cash In On Social Media

 Many people in financial services see social media as a simple broadcast platform, where messages, blog posts and other featured communications stick to a billboard as though they were press releases or boilerplate content that’s better than nothing. Others see it as a “time suck” that takes away from the serious work of doing business the old-fashioned way. But a number of recent studies show that social media produces potent results beyond the misconceptions, as it helps financial professionals fill sales pipelines, construct new ones and recruit fresh prospects.

A 2016 study by the asset management firm Putnam Investments, which surveyed more than 1,000 financial advisors, reached this conclusion: “Advisors ARE social.” The Putnam Social Advisor Survey found that 85 percent of advisors use social media actively—up more than 10 percent from the 75 percent tallied in 2014. Read More»

JMRConnect Named as a Finalist in Four Categories of the 2017 North American Innovation & Insights SABRE Awards

BALTIMORE, MD - (Jan 18, 2017) -  JMRConnect (www.jmrconnect.net), a multinational public relations (PR), corporate and influencer communications agency, today announced that The Holmes' Report has named it a 2017 North American In2 SABRE Awards finalist in four categories: Best Agency Disruption; Corporate/B2B; Employee Engagement; and Marketing Technology. The nominations reflect the effectiveness and utility of JMRConnect CEI (connect. engage. influence.), the agency's social engagement, employee advocacy and content marketing platform, as well as the results achieved by JMRConnect client, Yorktel.

Through CEI, companies can empower their biggest supporters to act as word-of-mouth brand ambassadors; content is sent directly to them through CEI and they share with the click of a button. CEI is customizable and user-friendly, and enables PR and marketing to engage employees, activate them as brand advocates, organically augment the credibility and visibility of content, and push approved corporate messaging to employees for multi-channel socialization to wider population. Read More »

 

Wall Street Journal: Top Supply Chain & Logistics News

 In today's Wall Street Journal, the Logistics Report highlights "Same-day delivery service USPack Logistics acquired two delivery companies to expand its reach to 27 states."

Why Savvy Financial Institutions are Bringing UC to their Contact Centers

  Most companies that operate contact centers acknowledge the importance of enabling customers to contact them via multiple channels. Yet, a large number of these same companies use separate contact center and UC platforms and providers, which leads to communication silos among their channels. In a recent study conducted by Nemertes Research, for example, only 16% of those surveyed indicated they were currently integrating their communication channels. And, while 24% said they had plans to unify communications in the future, 60% had no plans. Not surprisingly, the minority of companies that already had a unified communications (UC) strategy in place enjoyed several benefits, including:

 

Private Equity-Backed USPack Completes Two Acquisitions

 USPack Logistics (www.gouspack.com), a NewSpring Holdings portfolio company and leading same-day courier and transportation company, today announced that it has completed the strategic acquisitions of Best Courier and Delivery Services and JS Logistics. Best Courier and JS Logistics are the seventh and eighth acquisitions for USPack, the third and fourth under NewSpring Capital, after most recently acquiring Parsippany, NJ-based Flash Courier, and Alexandria, VA-based Washington Courier in March 2016 and September 2015, respectively. The St. Louis Post Dispatch covers the news...

Here's How Shaping Influence Drives Brands

 New forms of marketing are seldom accepted with arms wide open. When online advertising first became a thing, marketers looked askance, wondering how this badly fractured media almost specifically geared toward basement-dwellers under 30 could ever possibly replace broadcast and print. Fast forward about 20 years, and we've seen how well it works. Now, we're having a similar moment about social media marketing, and new studies are showing how shaping influence can be a big gain for marketers.  Travel brands, for example, routinely turn to shaping influence as a means to connect with users on social media, going after...

Banking Strategies: In the cloud, how managed services help small banks deliver big time

In Banking Strategies, published by the Bank Administration Institute, Breakthrough Technology Group CEO, Jeff Kaplan, details the business case for small and mid-size banks to move to managed private cloud environments. Managed private clouds offer dedicated and isolated environments for each customer, even as they provide complete visibility and remote control over the environment. They deliver the benefits of the public cloud with the security and flexibility of a private data center. For example: If a bank has a customized security requirement, such as a dedicated virtual firewall, a private cloud provider can accommodate this request. Compare that to a public cloud environment, where customized services and accommodations are limited because the provider must keep in mind the other tenants on its platform.

What’s more, banks face increased scrutiny and auditing requirements and must ensure they can be met in a cloud environment, too. With a private cloud, specific reports and visibility can be built in to satisfy compliance requirements—which may not be the case in a public cloud environment. In addition...

Funny, Informative Earned Media Gives Brands Best Return

Figuring out just which media to use in an advertising mix can be a challenge. After all, with so many different types from print to television to online and social, that's a lot of different fronts to cover with no guarantee of success in any of them. A new report reveals that in some of the biggest markets on Earth, earned media—promotion that's gained through someone else's mention instead of something that's paid for—is still delivering a lot of value.

With 62 percent of Chinese respondents, 47 percent of U.S. respondents and 44 percent of UK respondents all coming out in favor of earned media, it's clear this approach should be front-of-mind for many marketers.

Moreover, what customers want in that marketing varies according to the need at the time. For instance, content that has an emotional impact like making someone laugh gives it a better chance to be shared. The UK shares funny content most readily at 31 percent, followed by the U.S. at 26 percent and China at 18 percent. Content that offers information is valuable as well, with 46 percent of U.S. respondents, 47 percent UK and 50 percent China all planning to share content with product information. (Read more)

6 advantages for banks, equity investors, financial planners and wealth managers to grow their business with social media

In a professional setting, most people would agree that referrals from a trusted colleague or other reliable source are inherently more credible than ads or cold calls. That same logic applies online, and affirms the value of social media engagement.

When people in your professional network (think LinkedIn connections) share, like and comment on your news and other content, they are extending a personal referral. Except on social media, that recommendation is to a mass audience, not just one person. Of note, is that according to LinkedIn Sales Solutions’ report, 78% of ‘social sellers’ outperform peers who don’t use social media.

But herein lies the rub. The stereotype, too often accepted by those in the financial sphere, is that social media amounts to something of a frill: an afterthought or add-on to a conventional sales and marketing strategy. Yet if smart business leaders hope to reach a captive audience of consumers and prospective customers where they spend a majority of their time, it’s not possible to ignore the vast audiences social media sites attract. (read more)

Where to Find the Best Brand Ambassadors

 Whether effective marketing has outright eluded your company or if you have an effective marketing strategy but you know it could be better, there is probably something very powerful you are missing — “Influencer Communications.” Also known as “Influencer Engagement,” this powerful marketing approach combines next-generation and traditional marketing methods and funnels them to and through purchasing influencers of various types. While you might not be leveraging influencers of any type right now, there is one that is walking your hallways, working at your desks, and sitting across from you in meetings. It’s your own employees.

Indeed, as traditional marketing chiefly relies on a sales and marketing team, Influencer Communications can harness the social power of the many other people and departments within your organization that have the ability to positively influence customers and help usher in new business. Due to their relationships and social media connections to potential customers, your executives, business development team, and anyone else in the company that helps drive day-to-day operations are directly or indirectly connected to your target audience. As such, the goal for Influencer Communications is to get everyone in your company involved in outreaching to your target audience. (read more)

Does your content need more cowbell?

According to 2016 research done by Pew Research Center, 62 percent of adults get their news on social media. Not only are social media sites Facebook, Twiiter, and Reddit being turned to for B2B news, the research also shows that users of sites like LinkedIn more actively seek out news as opposed to simply happening upon it; 51% of LinkedIn’s reported 450 million users actively seek out news on the platform. As news consumption is moving to social media, reported ClickZ, homepages become less important for readers, and that, “it’s OK to accept that the traffic is directed differently nowadays.” Coupled with findings from DMR showing the increase in LinkedIn member page views from 37 billion in Q4 2015 to 45 billion in Q1 2016, the writing is on the wall.

At the same time, there’s been a shift in how consumers feel about marketing messages from strangers versus those from trusted sources, or influencers. Collective Bias, a company specializing in influencing campaigns for brands and retailers, performed a recent study that underscored the value of influencer-based content. Results showed that consumers view content from influencers seven times longer than a digital display ad (two minutes, eight seconds versus 19.2 seconds). In short, consumers trust content from sources they trust. Thankfully, your organization is probably full of trusted influencers ready to be leveraged.

This might all feel overwhelming to a busy marketer, and yet all of these changes must be taken into consideration if you want your content to not just be consumed, but to also resonate. Luckily, this can be accomplished with the following 4 steps (continue reading)

Influencer Communications: How and Why to Influence the Influencers

 In a recent Shaping Influence article, Paula Bernier explains a bit about the importance of engagement. Why have the faces of anonymous models on the covers of magazines and in TV commercials been replaced with those of celebrities, musicians and supermodels? The answer is influence.

Style makers from the big (meaning movie) and small (now including computer and smartphone as well as TV) screens can, of course, be actresses and singers, as well as the kid down the block or a popular blogger. Indeed, the internet has democratized the world of communications and influence. But the fact remains that there are still some people who are able to draw a (physical and/or virtual) crowd and impact the decision making of those around them.

These individuals have come to be known as influencers. And these influencers are shaking up the worlds of advertising and marketing.

Influencer marketing is the fastest-growing online customer acquisition channel of those marketers polled by Tomoson, which estimates that businesses make $6.50 for every dollar they spend on influencer marketing.  About 40 percent of those polled by analytics company Annalect and Twitter said they've purchased an item online after seeing it used by an influencer on Instagram, Twitter, Vine or YouTube. And Digital Visitor says influencer marketing has become an essential part of the strategies in the fashion, hospitality, retail and travel sectors.

Anthony Rawlins, managing director for Digital Visitor, in a recent report noted that a Google study from 2014 indicates the internet is the clear leader in inspiring leisure travel decisions, while TV follows as a distant second. Yet, he added, it can be difficult to track the impact of influencer marketing due to a lack of industry standards of measurement related to it.  However, Rawlins said that organizations with an interest in engaging with influencers in an effort to promote their products might consider inviting these individuals to participate in themed experiences. For example, he suggested, a business could invite an influencer and his or her mother to be part of a Mother’s Day event or promotion. Twitter Chats are another means of connecting with influencers and their followers...continue reading

Washington Times: Mobile medical clinic joins Rolling Thunder cause to improve health care for military veterans

When thousands of patriotic motorcyclists arrive in the nation’s capital for the annual Rolling Thunder “Ride for Freedom” over Memorial Day weekend, another wheeled vehicle will be in the mix. A state-of-the-art mobile medical clinic will glide into town on 18 wheels, meant to draw attention to the medical care and health challenges of military veterans in rural or remote communities — particularly female vets.

The cause is shared by Rolling Thunder organizers, who have long called for improved benefits for veterans, and continued vigilance about the fate of prisoners of war and those still missing in action. The big “concept vehicle” — outfitted with the same medical and diagnostic tools of a stationary facility — will be situated on the National Mall, not far from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, on Sunday and open to curious visitors.  The hospital-grade clinic is a joint project of DMS Health Technology, a health care equipment provider, and TrillaMed, a hospital supply company owned and managed by a trio of combat vets who served as U.S. Army Airborne Rangers. The two companies have a new mission. KEEP READING >>>

PC Magazine: Are You Ready for the Next Age of Crowdfunding?

 PC Magazine: As follow-up to its initial story, part 2 of PC Magazine's coverage addresses how Reg CF is only one side of the equity crowdfunding coin, which also includes something known as Regulation A+ (Reg A+). To start, equity crowdfunding means online investors actually get a stake in the start-up or SMB as opposed to traditional nonprofit crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, which are easy ways to lose your money.  Reg CF and Reg A+ are part of the 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which has been reworked and updated over the past several years to address the crowdfunding economy and encourage new forms of protected, regulated start-up and SMB funding and investment. Reg CF is Title III and Reg A+, which went into effect in 2015, is Title IV.

Jeff Koeppel, Of Counsel with the Law Offices of Kirk Halpin & Associates, P.A, advises public and private companies on private equity and debt issuances, corporate governance, contracts, deal structuring, joint ventures, and other corporate and securities matters. He said as this space matures, Regulation Crowdfunding will be particularly helpful to mature small businesses with a financial track record and a solid local presence seeking to raise a small amount of capital. Maybe it's hiring new employees or expanding to new local retail locations, or maybe a manufacturer wants to expand the factory floor or buy new equipment.

"These are the folks whose bank line of credit was cancelled in the last financial downturn or who don't want to pay the rate being charged. It may be a local music store, dry cleaner, or even an auto repair shop that just needs a few hundred thousand dollars to open a store in another neighborhood," said Koeppel, who also spent three years at the SEC as a Senior Attorney-Advisor in the Division of Corporation Finance...KEEP READING

CIO: 13 ways your business can attract more social media followers

Mostafa Razzak, JMRConnect's Principal talks with Jennifer Schiff about business strategies for social media engagement.

“Keep your finger on the pulse of industry-specific conversations and engage with thoughtful questions and helpful answers,” says Mostafa Razzak, principal, JMRConnect, a public relations & influencer communications company. “Do not patronize or waste people’s time by stating the obvious or making comments that show you haven’t paid attention to what they’ve written or the message they’re trying to convey.” CLICK HERE to read the full article and insights from other industry experts.

Congress OKs Funding to Fill Gap in Women Vets’ Care With Mobile Clinic

  Congress has passed an appropriations bill to fund increased medical care for military veterans–particularly women–a burgeoning contingent of the vet population. The fiscal year 2017 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, passed May 19 by the Senate, proposes to increase VA appropriations to $74.9 billion–an increase of $3.2 billion over last year.

The bill also contains language that presses the VA to improve health care for female veterans by considering the launch of a mobile health care pilot program. These provisions come a year after Congress commissioned a study on the barriers women veterans face in the VA health care system, which found that 72 percent of the female vets don’t use their nearest VA facility for primary care because it lacked women’s health services. KEEP READING >>>

Influencer Communications & Marketing Is a Multifaceted Opportunity to Share Authentic Messages with Customers

Recently on Shaping Influence, Tracey Schelmetic notes how when social media was a few years old, and expanded beyond family vacation photos and cat videos, marketers started to become aware of something interesting: unlike any channel in the past, it could be used to spread subtle messages virally, particularly through the people who wielded a lot of influence in social media. Smart companies began creating messages that were mostly likely to be shared virally, particularly by people who had a lot of friends and followers. They began calling it “influence marketing."

Since the earliest days of social media, customers have begun to use these platforms for more than memes and selfies. They’ve begun following the companies they like, sharing worthwhile information, and even using the channels to communicate with companies for customer support or feedback.

“The degree of influence varies from person to person and platform to platform,” wrote Maggie Marton for BlogPaws recently. “But the core concept is the same: You are known to your readers. They like you. Most importantly, they trust you. So, when you suggest a product or ask for a click or a share, they’re more included to do it than if it came from, say, a big retailer.”

In the same way that people trust the opinions of friends and family more when it comes to recommendations on purchasing decisions...KEEP READING

PC Magazine: Regulation Crowdfunding Is Live - What Businesses and Investors Need to Know

This is Part One of a two-part explainer on the now government-regulated crowdfunding investment market. Part Two discusses how Regulation Crowdfunding differs from Regulation A+, and the future of equity crowdfunding. The crowdfunding revolution is upon us. Regulation Crowdfunding, also known as Regulation CF (Reg CF), is officially open for start-ups and small to midsize businesses (SMBs). Entrepreneurs with a rock-solid business plan can now raise between $100,000 and $1 million over a 12-month period—and not just from accredited investors. One MAJOR caveat...click here to keep reading

Credibility and Knowledge Translate to Value in the World of Influencer Communications & Social Engagement

 A recent post on Shaping Influence addresses how in the dizzyingly fickle and fast-paced world of influencer communications, engagement and social media, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for organizations to separate value and expertise from the fakers and the cheaters. Companies need a clear game plan to navigate this complicated and crowded world while retaining brand integrity and credibility. A recent Expertcity whitepaper offers some guidelines to organizations regarding the impact and effectiveness of social reach, expertise, credibility and trust.

For instance, according to Fast Company, 91 percent of brand mentions on social media originate from accounts with fewer than 500 followers. These mentions may be much more powerful and influential than an off-topic plug from an account with thousands or millions of followers. There is a very clear distinction between true influence, resulting in brand awareness and sales, and “vanity metrics” such as likes, shares and comments that never translate to any measurable value.  Companies need to understand and build on the value of social media influencers who have actual first-hand experience with their products and brands, an interest in sharing this expertise with others and the capability to speak about products knowledgeably. Keep reading >>>

Four Big Things Shaping Content Authoring Through 2020

 Shaping Influence: It's not enough to just have great content any more; much like it was with data, great content needs to be used effectively to get the most out of it. Technavio recently examined the market for content authoring tools worldwide, and revealed four big points that were set to shape this market for the next several years, up into 2020. There were some big changes to come, and with these changes, opportunity. A market that's set to clear $126 billion in 2020, e-learning content can come from a lot of places, and schools and universities are actively looking for e-learning content in a bid to augment current offerings. E-learning covers a host of formats...Click Here to read more >>>

The goal of Influencer Communications is to engage the people connected to your target audience

 Influencer Communications, also known as “Influencer Engagement,” is a powerful marketing approach that combines next-generation and traditional marketing methods and funnels them to and through purchasing influencers of various types. While you might not be leveraging influencers of any type right now, there is one that is walking your hallways, working at your desks, and sitting across from you in meetings. It’s your own employees. Due to their relationships and social media connections to current and potential customers, your executives, business development team, and anyone else in the company that helps drive day-to-day operations are directly or indirectly connected to your target audience. As such, the goal for Influencer Communications is to get everyone in your company involved in outreaching to your target audience.

A prerequisite of Influencer Communications is having content your influencers can leverage. Content can vary depending on your industry and target customer; however it is common to develop assets such as case studies, white papers, blogs, videos, and photos. In most cases, it’s considered best practice to develop assets that fall into all of these categories. As we will discuss, having many assets will improve your influencers’ abilities to succeed. Click here to continue reading

Does the Cloud Doom Microsoft MSPs?

 Redmond Channel Partner's Scott Bekker takes a look at the impact of cloud on the Microsoft Managed Service Provider Community. MSPAlliance CEO, Charles Weaver, commented that, "We're seeing a lot of MSPs get into things like identity and access management, a service line that would have been really rare 10 to 15 years ago. But today with cloud that's a very hot growth sector." Click here to read the full story.

Congressional Staffers Reveal All (On how they like to be approached)

 Congressional staffers influence, research, craft and write legislation that could have a huge impact on your association, nonprofit or corporation. So, it goes without saying, building a relationship with the right Hill workers for your industry is key. But how do you do it in a way that not only gets you in front of the people you want, but leaves behind the right impression to get your issue moving? Here’s what they said in Congressional Quarterly's Connectivity>>>

2016 Mobile Payments Conference To Discuss Blockchain And Other Key Issues

 "The 2016 Mobile Payments Conference in Chicago is where industry leaders gather to separate fact from fiction," said Marla Ellerman, Mobile Payments Conference executive director and publisher of Mobile Marketing & Technology. "This year's conference will examine the many new mobile commerce platforms, services, solutions, and standards that continue to enter this exploding market."...It is being widely believed that blockchain technology, in particular, could revolutionize payment systems. Banks and tech companies are seeking to tap its potential. BNY Mellon recently said that blockchain could “significantly shake-up payments” by making transactions near-instantaneous. Click here to read the full story >>>

Social Influences Drawing Interest from Biggest Brands Around

 Shaping Influence: There's no doubt that social media is drawing users. It's also proving to be one of the more popular methods to get in touch with a brand by regular consumers. That contact works both ways, and major brands are increasingly turning to social influencers to draw attention and potential customers to a brand. Read Steve Anderson's take on Shaping Influence how SharkReach is tackling influencer engagement>>>

What it Takes to Deliver on the Promise of Enterprise Video Communication and Collaboration

In this insight-filled interview with Joe Arena, the Senior Vice President of Advanced Services at video managed service provider Yorktel, we dig into what a video communications assessment project looks like, the components businesses should take into consideration when performing an assessment and how to take remote workers and external stakeholders into consideration when planning your approach. Listen here >>>

Capital One, FIS, Accenture, GfK, McKinsey execs to address mobile payments and retail

Capital One, Google, Discover, FIS Global, Worldpay, Hewlett Packard, NEC, Accenture Digital, GfK Financial, McKinsey & Company, Aite Group, and Zooz Executives Among Presenters at 2016 Mobile Payments Conference in Chicago.

Influencer Relations: A primer on identifying influencers, engaging and measuring success

“Influencer Communications,” or “Influencer Engagement” is more than a buzzword; it’s a formula that combines multi-channel advocacy, content and social marketing with "traditional" public relations and corporate communications. From analysts and media to customers, employees and partners, the types of influencers — and ways they’re in which they’re engaged — vary, and are what make this method unique. Check out my latest post on Shaping Influence for insight on identifying influencers, engaging and quantifying success. Click here >>>

Influencer Content Holds User Attention Seven Times Longer than Display Ads

 The latest installment in Shaping Influence sheds light on some very interesting data. Findings from Collective Bias's Time on Content feature, which offers a key indicator as to the relevancy of influencer content, consumers view their influencer content for an average duration of two minutes and eight seconds—almost seven times longer than the digital display ad average of 19.2 seconds based on viewability standards measured by Moat Analytics. Click here to read more on this compelling report >>>

Business Case for Service Providers to Offer CCaaS

 2016 has been dubbed “the Year of the Customer.” In a recent issue of CUSTOMER magazine, Jacki Tessmer, VP of Service Provider & Cloud Strategy for Enghouse Interactive, details how, through offering Contact Center as-a-service, carriers, multiple-system operators (MSO) and other service providers have the unique opportunity to create new, recurring revenue streams while helping their business customers manage an effective customer experience program. Click here for the full story >>>

Counting on 'Social Capital': The New Way to Evaluate Entrepreneurial Worth

 The latest on Shaping Influence. In this post, contributor Chris Hale, CEO and Founder of kountable, Inc., talks about developing Social Capital. Click here to read Chris's insight on how you can attract, engage and convert influencers >>>

Internet Marketing Association Taps JMRConnect Principal Mostafa Razzak to Lead New Mid-Atlantic Chapter

 The IMA announced the launch of its Mid-Atlantic Chapter, and the appointment of JMRConnect Principal, Mostafa Razzak as the Region’s Chairman and Executive Director. With more than 1,000,000 professional members worldwide, the Internet Marketing Association is the industry’s fastest growing organization. The IMA Mid-Atlantic Group will serve as an open platform for business and economic development; education and skills training; and as an interactive forum through which to network, share best practices and collaborate. Click here to continue >>>

Shaping Influence: Four Ways to Know You've Found the Right Influencers

Contributor Peter Scott examines how to identify the right influencers for your content and digital engagement. Read his post in Shaping Influence>>>

Technology’s Role in Creating a Viable Next Generation Workplace

Very interesting article from Corporate Tech Decisions magazine on the varying factors that must be addressed to create a viable Next Gen Workplace. Multiple, real-time technologies must work together seamlessly for this experience to become a reality. Click here to read the full text >>>

Shaping Influence: Employee engagement through gamification

Gamification can have far more serious results for businesses than just fun and games. By leveraging the competitive dynamics of games that make playing so addictive, companies can actively engage customers and employees to encourage loyalty, ignite brand advocates, and reward behaviors that sustain - and grow - the business. Click here to read how by addressing three critical factors, gamification can deliver results far beyond raising brand awareness.

 

Yorkcast touted by Wainhouse Research, TechTarget SearchUC

Yorktel's new webcasting and streaming media service for the enterprise, Yorkcast, has received some very significant attention over the past few weeks. Most recently, Wainhouse Research Analyst, Steve Vonder Haar, and Gina Narcisi of SearchUnifiedCommunications.com covered this news in great detail. Insightful coverage from both Steve and Gina. Read TechTarget's story, 'Move over, live video; enterprises need streaming video services', and here for Wainhouse

Enghouse Interactive: Turning Acquisitions into a Suite

Sheila McGee-Smith of McGee-Smith Analytics, addresses the evolution of the Enghouse Interactive portfolio, and the role that Zeacom is playing in the company's growth. A great read in No Jitter >>>

VIDEO: Keith Ross, CEO of PDQ ATS, Talks Tech & Trading at Bloomberg Link Conference

TECH & TRADING: REIGNING IN ROGUE ALGORITHMS, SPEED & DATA:  Technology continues to change the dynamic of the financial markets. This session explores the following: What regulation is emerging around dark pools, high frequency trading and rogue algorithms? How do dark pools fragment the markets? What stops are in place to thwart against rouge algorithms and flash crashes? How are exchanges managing around market events? What are the concerns around kill switches? How are traders reducing latency?  READ MORE >>>

 

ZDNet: Top AT&T partner talks up private cloud benefits

ZDNet's Heather Clancy talks with Jeff Kaplan, CEO of Breakthrough Technology Group, about Private Cloud and the end-user compute needs of today's business.

Clancy notes that, "For obvious and legitimate reasons, many technology solution providers with a history in the traditional IT services world are centering their cloud integration and migration initiatives on private cloud infrastructure.

There are two big reasons: first it allows them to leverage existing expertise and skills, and second, many of their existing clients are reluctant to jump right into the public cloud. For some of those businesses, it's simply a matter of audit requirements. Others are concerned about the lack of management visibility that they might have within a public cloud environment, still others are seeking better isolation across a shared infrastructure."

Read More >>>

Fuel Fix Reports on JBL Energy's Woodbine Play

Independent takes midsize gamble on Woodbine Play.

Jason Lane and his team at JBL Energy Partners are about to take another leap, launching their most ambitious move yet on 3,800 acres in the Woodbine Play just north of Houston.  After years of land deals and joint ventures, Lane’s company will serve as the operator on a series of wells planned for Leon County. Drilling on the first well is expected to begin in early February. Read more >>>

 

Retail Traffic: Asia's Retail Real Estate Leaders Commit to ICSC World Summit

ICSC received commitments from some of the most prominent and respected business executives in Asia to present at its 2012 Retail Real Estate World Summit in Shanghai on Sept. 11 through 14.

The executives that have agreed to speak at the event include Michael Riady, CEO of the Lippo Group; Scott Price, CEO of Walmart Asia; Seck-Guan Pua, chairman and CEO of Perennial Real Estate; Peter Lau, chairman of Giordano International; Albert Hui, director of corporate strategy with New World Development Company Ltd.; Guo Geping, president of China Chain Store and Franchise Association; Neel C. Raheja, president of K Raheja Corp.; Kumar Tharmalingam, CEO of Malaysia Property Inc. and Richard Vogel, senior vice president of Ivanhoe Cambridge China. Read more >>>

InfoSec Institute Q&A's with Route1, MSPAlliance

InfoSec Institute conducts executive Q&As with Route1's CEO, Tony Busseri, and the CEO of the MSPAlliance, Charles Weaver. The Institute is best source for high quality information security training, and has been training Information Security and IT Professionals since 1998 with a diverse lineup of relevant training courses. Read the interviews >>>

Waters Technology: Momentum Trading's Garrett Nenner Combines Tech Savvy with Human Logic

Garrett Nenner has spent the last two decades deeply involved in both the sell-side and buy-side worlds. Now at broker MomentumTradingPartners, Nenner has learned to combine technological savvy with human logic. Read More >>>

Route1's DEFIMNET Receives Interim Authority to Operate (IATO) from the U.S. Navy

Route1 Inc., a digital security and identity management company, today announced that the Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command has notified the Program Manager for the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) that an Interim Authorization to Operate (IATO) was recently granted for the "Unclassified DEFIMNET MobiKEY Secure Remote Access Solution" on the Unclassified NMCI Enterprise. READ MORE >>>

Buccaneer Energy: Independents plan intensive exploration of Alaska's Cook Inlet

Platt's Commodity News examines Buccaneer Energy's intensive exploration drilling in Cook Inlet, Alaska. The company plans three exploration wells later this spring to delineate its Kenai Loop gas discovery on the Kenai Peninsula.

Drilling will begin when a 3-D seismic survey at the field is completed, company CEO James Watt told the Resources Committee of the state Senate.

Buccaneer now has one well producing 5,000 Mcf/day of gas in the field and plans to increase its production to 15,000 Mcf/day day later this year, Watt said.   Buccaneer also plans more drilling, including two wells at an offshore prospect in Cook Inlet with a jack-up rig due to arrive in June, a third offshore well at a third offshore prospect later in the year, and another onshore prospect in the southern Kenai Peninsula area, Watt told the legislators....Watt said Buccaneer will be using the Endeavour jack-up rig that is owned jointly with Singapore-based Ezion Holdings, and that will be brought to Cook Inlet from Singapore in June.

Buccaneer is also close to closing a deal to acquire leases in the Cosmopolitan oil prospect in the Inlet from Pioneer Natural Resources.

 

Advanced Trading: Momentum Trading's Garrett Nenner Comments on HFT

Garrett Nenner, Managing Director at Momentum Trading Partners, speaks with Phil Albinus about how regulators, including the SEC and the CFTC, are struggling to keep up with -- and keep a grip on -- the warp-speed world of high-frequency trading. Fearing that the markets are dangerously out of control, regulators are considering some severe measures to slow down high-speed traders. Read More >>>

Oil & Gas Journal: Lower Cook Inlet Cosmopolitan leases being acquired

Oil & Gas Journal reports on Buccaneer's acquiring a 25% operated working interest in the two main productive leases in the former Cosmopolitan Unit in Alaska’s Lower Cook Inlet from Pioneer Natural Resources Alaska Inc.  Cosmopolitan is an undeveloped oil and gas discovery in 50 ft of water just off Anchor Point on the Kenai Peninsula. Buccaneer said the acquisition will hike the company’s proved and probable reserves in Alaska 79% to 31.1 million bbl of oil equivalent.

Platt's: Buccaneer Energy buys into Alaska's Cosmo oil and gas field

Australia's Buccaneer Energy has teamed up with a privately owned US company to purchase an undeveloped oil and gas field in Alaska's Cook Inlet for an undisclosed sum, it said in a statement Thursday.

Under the terms of the deal, Fort Worth, Texas-based BlueCrest Energy II will acquire a 75% interest in the Cosmo field, with Buccaneer taking a 25% stake and assuming operatorship of the project. The acquisition is due to be settled on March 30, 2012. Click here to read story in Platt's

Canadian BNN: Momentum Trading Partners' Garrett Nenner Addresses Market Volatility

Garrett Nenner, Managing Director Global Trading at Momentum Trading Partners speaks to equities trading in today's volatil markets on Canadian Business News Network. Click here to watch video clip...

BARRON'S: Rally has Power but Lacks Conviction

Lionel Mellul, co-founder of Momentum Trading Partners, which works mostly with large institutions and has clients on both sides of the Atlantic, says the rally that began this morning was not driven by real conviction. In fact, it may have some of the same panicky characteristics we saw on the way down earlier this year. Click here to read Lionel's thoughts, which he shared with Avi Salzman, Barron's...

Bloomberg News: Momentum Trading Partners' Garrett Nenner comments on Pipeline settlement

Garrett Nenner, managing director for global markets at Momentum Trading Partners LLC in New York, which handles large equity orders for clients through human traders, said Pipeline breached the trust of its users.

Click here to read the full story

 

Platt's: Kenai Offshore acquires jack-up rig to move to Alaska's Cook Inlet

Australian-owned Buccaneer Energy said Thursday its subsidiary, Kenai Offshore Ventures LLC, has executed a binding purchase agreement with Transocean Offshore Resources to acquire the Adriatic XI jack-up rig and move it to Alaska.

The rig will be modified to deal with Alaskan offshore conditions and moved to Cook Inlet in April or May 2012, Buccaneer spokesman Dean Gallegos said. The first well to be drilled in the Inlet will be Buccaneer's Southern Cross prospect, which is in about 50 feet of water. Read full article from Platt's here...

Energy Leaders Laud North America Gas Summit as "Voice of the Industry"

Executives from ExxonMobil Gas & Power Marketing, BG Group, Direct Energy, Encana, NW Natural, Marathon Oil, GDF Suez, Sempra LNG, Clean Energy Fuels, Qatargas and Westport Innovations Among Leaders to Convene at October Conference...In a recent interview conducted by the Energy Exchange's Director of the North America Gas Summit, Monika Gonda, Robert A. Hefner III, author and GHK Company owner and founder, lauded the event as a long overdue voice for the industry.

“We need to come together as you have organized in the North America Gas Summit, because it has got to be the entire natural gas industry that must finally come together and be sold on the development and the advantages of the transition of America to natural gas.”

San Jose Mercury News ID's Zodiac Interactive Games portfolio

Troy Wolverton identifies Zodiac as threat to traditional game consoles. "Zodiac Interactive, a company that provides software to pay TV operators, has developed a game service that cable TV customers will be able to access through their existing set-top boxes.

JMR client, ZEACOM, honored by CRN mag as 'Need to Know' UC software provider

CRN Magazine, in its 2011 "Need to Know" feature, profiles Zeacom as one of the top global Unified Communications vendors.