Monday, December 13, 2010

Forecast Remains Cloudy

By Kelly Indrieri
The forecast calls for continued clouds in 2011 and the attendees at this week’s Dreamforce conference could not be happier. After eight years putting on this conference, Salesforce saw its biggest crowd yet with over 30,000 people participating at the cloud computing event of the year.

Two Kulesa Faul clients, Jitterbit and Model Metrics, participated in the show and saw amazing success with news that included the first cloud computing Groupon offer from Model Metrics and Jitterbit showcasing CloudReplicate, which gives Salesforce customers the ability to access their data in a relational database of choice on Amazon EC2.

While the day saw amazing news across the show floor, the nights were reserved for Stevie Wonder, parties, a cloud crawl and Bill Clinton! It’s truly the premier conference in the enterprise IT world with a mix of innovation and fun without the software, of course.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Toast to Success

By Robin Bulanti
Now’s the time of year we pause to give thanks. Sandwiched between the Thanksgiving holiday and Dreamforce, we’ll squeeze in our annual holiday party this week, when we get together to celebrate success and show some serious love to our clients, colleagues, and partners.

This was another evolutionary year for Kulesa Faul—we branched into new areas like greentech with People Power and expanded our cloud practice introducing new clients Model Metrics and Host Analytics. We also saw exciting developments across our enterprise portfolio with the “return” of ALM innovator Serena Software, a bright spot for MySQL customers with the public launch of SkySQL and the acquisition of one of our favorite hot companies: KACE is now officially Dell KACE.

We owe a great deal of our success to our team and foundation of core values, so it was especially fun to be named one of PR Source Code’s top five tech communicators in the small agency category this year, the result of an independent vote by more than 800 journalists and bloggers. As an agency, we aren’t one to chase our own awards, so this came as a lovely little surprise and testament to the work we do every day. The honor follows another for my colleague Tami Casey, who was named a PR Source Code top tech PR pro in another independent vote of journalists .

Our clients also had some notable wins including Model Metrics recently named Chicago Tribune’s top small company to work for, Inc. 5000 top private company and CRN 2010 fast growth company, CloudShare and Host Analytics named to the AlwaysOn OnDemand 100 and Host Analytics winning a Ventana Research Leadership Award.

We’re looking forward to seeing many of our friends this week to celebrate these and other successes…Here’s to many more!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

App to the Future

By Dave Struzzi
Apple’s recent “Back to the Mac” event got a lot of Mac fans excited. The big hardware news from that event, of course, was the introduction of the next generation of the MacBook Air, their ultraportable and futuristically thin notebook. Lost in the shuffle of Apple’s hardware and operating system upgrades, however, was a smaller news item that I believe can drastically change the landscape of the Mac vs. PC wars: the introduction of a new App Store for Macs.

Similar to how the App store caters to iPhone and iPads, Apple plans to give software developers a portal for distributing their apps directly to consumers with MacBooks and other Apple products. The goal is likely to recapture the excitement and runaway success of the original App Store; one that gave iPhone users access to hundreds of thousands of programs, games, and tools, at a minimal price.

Adding this capability to MacBooks is a major milestone because the sheer number of available software compatible for Apple computers has historically paled in comparison to its PC counterpart. One stroll through the software section of your local Best Buy can attest to that, with aisles filled with PC software versus the shelves filled with Mac software.

The App Store for Macs is a smart move on Apple’s part to bolster its software lineup, especially considering that all the software in that portal will get the Apple “stamp of approval” to be there. Its biggest hurdle, however, will be ensuring that all developers get a fair chance to appear in the store, even if their software competes with Apple’s own offerings.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Giving Back to Our Alma Mater

By Danielle Salvato and Ana Embry
At Kulesa Faul we see the value in following through with ideas and passions that our company and employees believe in, such as traveling to Costa Rica for a week to help others less fortunate, or donating our time to advise students on their potential. It’s a privilege to say that Kulesa Faul strongly believes in giving back in different ways.

The two of us have a great amount of respect for our alma mater, Chico State. We believe strongly in giving back to the program that helped get us where we are today. This past Friday, we went to visit and speak to the Chico State Department of Journalism. Within the department is a well-driven PR program that leads Tehama Group Communications, a student-run PR agency. Twenty years ago, TGC opened its doors at Chico State. Since then, it has brought together more than 400 students to serve nearly 100 local, regional, national and nonprofit clients. We are just two of the 400 students.

For TGC’s 20th Anniversary, the department had two full days filled with alumni speaking panels and individual insight on various topics. We led speaking sessions on job-hunting for college seniors—more specifically, how to find a job in a tough economy and interviewing do’s and don’ts.

We are honored to do something that gives back to the college that gave us so much and appreciate that Kulesa Faul supports us in this endeavor.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Ellison-Benioff Standoff Continued Last Week at Oracle OpenWorld

By Kelly Indrieri
While they may share a billboard on 101 and exhibit at each other's events, Larry Ellison and Marc Benioff still can't help but take digs at each other whenever there's an opportunity.

I attended last week’s Oracle OpenWorld and was in the audience for Larry Ellison's introduction of Oracle’s ‘Cloud in a box', Exalogic. I have to say, I agree with Benioff. ‘Cloud in a box?’ Sounds like an oxymoron to me. Yes, we all know, Mr. Ellison, that runs on servers. But isn't the business benefit of public cloud computing NOT having to have the box in the first place, but really to let someone else handle your IT?

Can you have the best of both worlds or is it just an attempt by Oracle to get into the cloud market? Whatever is at the heart of their public but friendly standoff, I think both companies know that Oracle and aren't going anywhere because they both add business value. So lets stop the bickering, gentlemen, and recognize the value in what you both deliver to the IT and business community. Maybe consider calling a least until December’s Dreamforce, of course.
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Monday, September 13, 2010

The Nitty-Gritty of a Twitter Tangle

By Ana Embry
With so many Twitter tools available for managing followers, I find myself wondering which tool will work best for someone like me who is fairly new to Twitter. I researched some of the tools out there and want to share with you some of my favorites. Here are a few trustworthy tools that will take the headache out of managing followers, whether you have 50 or 5,000.

Twittangle - This is a free service that allows users to untangle the possible mess of having numerous followers, allowing an easier engagement and a less stressful experience. It will show all of your followers and allow you to tag and move them into particular lists. Twittangle then compiles a custom timeline for those followers.
FRIENDorFOLLOW – FRIENDorFollow is a free and quick tool that shows which of your friends actually follow you back. You simply plug in your username and it does all the work for you.
Future Tweets – Want to plan a Tweet for the future? This service does just that. While it doesn’t help manage your followers it engages them during peak and/or quiet viewing hours. You can set Tweets up to a year in advance for product launches, tradeshows or whatever the case. The only drawback to compiling too far in the future is unplanned changes, and the opportunity for timely responses to any conversation started with followers after hours.
Co-Tweet - This beta tool is often used for companies that may have more than one user, such as a social media team or a trustworthy few that collaboratively contributes to the Twitter feed. The clever part of co-Tweet is that it also monitors ‘who Tweeted what.’ This is critical for those who may be looking into which person receives the most re-Tweets, or wants to collaborate as a team on the strategy that is working the best.
Splitweet - An optimal choice for individuals or companies that have more than one account to manage, one main twitter and another for tech support, per se, and allows you to update in one simple step and report for each account, brand or user. The concept is similar to TweetDeck.

Happy Twittering!

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Friday, September 3, 2010

"Sustainable is Attainable”

By Danielle Salvato
This week, Kulesa Faul launched our sustainability initiative to shrink our ecological footprint by reducing our impact and bettering our business and community.

As a team, we are proud to announce that we have started taking solid, yet simple, steps to become a “green” (excuse the cliché) company. We are committed to change our everyday behavior by reducing the impact of what we consume, reusing what we already have and recycling everything we can. Yesterday, our team met to develop the Kulesa Faul green vision, mission statement and actionable pledges. We’ve already begun changing our every day behavior by taking on the necessary steps of acknowledging what we consume and how we can decrease our ecological footprint.

We, as a team, have pledged to:
1. Reduce our use of non-renewable resources.
2. Recycle 100 percent of recyclable materials.
3. Promote sustainable behavior in our community.

And even though it is never easy to change bad habits, we are taking steps forward to do our part to make the business world, our community and lives a better place for generations to come. Please join us in this effort to make a difference. What do you pledge?
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Avoiding software failure—is there an app for that?

By Julie Tangen
I recently read about a Six Flags roller coaster that got stuck on its tracks. Turns out it was due to a computer glitch. I’m always surprised when I hear about a glitch or software failure. With all the advances in technology and all the products available to solve the needs of every single consumer and company doing business today, I keep thinking that someone will finally figure out a way to create fail proof software that runs as its intended with no glitches, crashes or failures. Why can’t we get it right?

The topic of ‘getting software right’ is an ongoing discussion at my company. Most of us have worked together since the early days, representing companies like Mercury Interactive and Compuware, then later Borland and Codegear. The topic was top of mind then, and still today we’re reminded of the poor state of software every time we flip on the news; whether its an airline glitch that causes delays, or the NASDAQ going down. But when you’re stuck on a roller coaster 50 feet in the air, or behind the wheel of a Prius during a time of safety recalls, it hits home and we’re then reminded just how much we rely on software and computers in our daily lives. Technology innovation intended to make our lives easier also puts us at risk. When will we get to the point where we can truly trust software?

We’ve been thrust into a digital world and like it or not, we’re all along for the ride. I believe that with innovation there needs to be a greater focus and dedication to developing software and the systems that run them, otherwise we’ll continue to see big failures in the news. Why aren't software companies getting together to establish standards and best practices that shape and govern the creation of software and critical system? What about a consortium that focuses on ‘getting software right?’ Is there an app for that?
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Monday, August 9, 2010

Did You Buy Into the Bumper?

By Abbey Brumbaugh
With all the complaints over the death grip, dropped calls, and hacking on the iPhone 4G I’m glad I didn’t rush out and buy one. I would not be satisfied with Apple’s advice to grip the phone in a less obtrusive way nor would I be too excited to fix a $200 investment with a generic bumper case that the company is handing out for free. But would I even go through the trouble to put my foot down? Probably not. Like many people I find myself complaining about life’s little inconveniences, but in the end I live with them.

I will exercise my right to wait until a better, tried and tested—and bumper-less—version of the iPhone comes out. Look forward to seeing the iPhone 5G in early 2011!

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Why I’ll be thinking about Groupon, Facebook and Twitter on Fourth of July

By Kelly Indrieri
Okay, I must admit that I am fully addicted to Groupon's online coupon site and have spent many an hour on Twitter and Facebook. Yes, I'm pretty sure they will be the death of my bank account and social life, but what they represent also inspires me. They represent something that is truly what America was founded on - taking an idea and turning it into a thriving business- truly the American dream. Granted every idea can’t be a winner, but sometimes they are and this spirit of entrepreneurship should inspire us all.

Kulesa Faul is also proud to represent clients that embody this very spirit across multiple markets. Model Metrics was one of the first companies to see the value of the cloud. MotionX by Fullpower began developing iPhone applications before everyone had an app available to download. People Power Co is leading the green movement by giving individuals the tools to green their household and reduce their carbon footprint. These companies remind us daily of the power that comes from turning an idea into reality.

With fourth of July just around the corner, take a moment to think about how lucky you are to live in a country where one person's idea can start a revolution...after all your idea might be next.
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Having the Best Product Doesn't Necessarily Mean You'll Win

By Joanna Kulesa
The other day I ran into someone who told me about a friend whose business was recently written up in the Wall Street Journal. I guess because I work in Silicon Valley, I assumed the business was high-tech, but it instead turned out to be a winery, Cameron Hughes. I happen to be a wine lover, and a subscriber to their mailing list, so when I got back to my computer I looked up their most recent newsletter.

It contained these quotes: "Thanks to our recent feature article in the WSJ, we’ve been overwhelmed with new fans...Meanwhile, please forgive us if you can’t find some of your favorite wines. The response to the WSJ article [link] was beyond our wildest expectations and many of our wines have sold out! Every last bottle!"

I don't know how the write-up in the Journal came about, but it was obviously worth its weight in gold. And, while Cameron Hughes has some good wines, there are other amazing vintages out there. This made me reflect on the value our agency and well executed public relations brings to clients. No matter how revolutionary your product is, no matter its quality, if the world doesn't know about it, you don’t get asked to the table, get short-listed, and get to that rock-star status. One well-placed article can lift an entire business into the clouds. Let's drink to that.
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Monday, June 7, 2010

Colorful Ghosts Invading Your Living Room

By Dave Struzzi
If recent box office sales are any indication, everything 3D is hip again. We’ve come a long way from those cheesy red-and-blue (and headache-inducing) glasses.

Aside from blockbuster movies, the rebirth of 3D technology is touching other industries as well. At this year’s big video game show called the Electronic Entertainment Expo, both Sony and Nintendo will be dipping their toes into 3D gaming. With the recent introduction of 3D capable television sets to store shelves, Sony is expected to unveil games that take advantage of those sets. Imagine for a second those colorful Pacman ghosts—Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde—seemingly floating into your living room in pursuit of the insatiable protagonist. Nintendo is going a more unique route with the introduction of a portable 3D gaming unit called the 3DS, a product that doesn’t even need fancy glasses to see a 3D image.

I think 3D technology in general is going to have an interesting public relations dilemma in the near future. Mainly, how in the world do you promote something worldwide that can only be viewed in-person? You can’t view a demo video of it online and you certainly can’t experience it by looking at pictures in a magazine. You could get a sneak peek at your local electronics retailer, but who wants to wear 3D glasses that have been worn by hundreds of people already?

On the other hand, perhaps the curiosity of the consumers for next big 3D technology will allow it to become the ultimate virally-promoted product, where word-of-mouth and “buzz” reign king. The 3D product manufacturers would be wise to get their technology “live” in front of as many users as possible and letting the “oohs” and “ahhs” on Twitter and Facebook move quicker than a ghost chasing Pacman.
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

‘Bieber Fever’ at TechCrunch Disrupt

By Julie Tangen
Today at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York, we listened to Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, talk about the megastar’s use of Twitter. Bieber has nearly 3 million followers, making him one of the most-followed people. Braun noted that it is actually Bieber doing most of the tweeting. It shows his fans that the same person who was talking to them before his enormous stardom, is still talking to them now.

Technology companies can take a lesson from this—establish a dialogue with your followers and allow them to be part of your success, never forget those who have helped you get where you are today, and be authentic!
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Web 2.0 and the Apple/Adobe Slugfest

By Joanna Kulesa
HTML5 is the new "low-hanging fruit," or maybe it's the new "locked and loaded". God I hate valley speak.  In any case, you'll be hearing a lot about HTML5 in the coming months. It even plays a role in the Great Apple/Adobe Divorce. 

Steve Jobs got the ball rolling last month by blasting Adobe for being "lazy" with their Flash technology, saying that apps written for the iPhone and iPad using Flash tools don't work properly on Apple hardware. He's banned Flash technology on Apple's mobile devices, pointing to it as a security risk and resource hog. Apparently some ex-Adobe engineers agree with him. Jobs feels that open web standards, such as HTML5, are the way of the future.

Adobe's CTO, Kevin Lynch, spoke last week at the Web 2.0 Expo I attended, and likened Apple's policy to the development of railroads in the 1800's. Back then companies were using different gauge rails for various sections of a route, making it necessary to unload cargo to a different train when you came to a section your train couldn't run on. That analogy, in my opinion, is unfortunate at best. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has gone to a web site only to be notified that I need to stop what I'm doing and install the latest version of the Adobe Flash Player. That experience sort of feels a train.

The bottom line is that Apple has its proprietary OS and hardware, while Adobe has its proprietary web software. To some extent, they are both calling the kettle black. But as long as Apple can keep turning out shiny gadgets that everyone "must" have, they're safe. Adobe is not in as solid a position; open-standard Web technologies such as HTML5 will almost certainly replace Flash someday.

Of course, Flash isn't going away anytime soon; it's too entrenched. Adobe released a new version of the Flash development app last month and is developing its next Flash Player. Get ready to unload more trains. Now, I'm off to pick up my shiniest new gadget, an iPad with 3G.
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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

News Snacking at 140 Characters and Trending

By Tami Casey
Last week the Twitter world was abuzz with the news that HP had acquired Palm Computing. I noticed the first tweet at about 1:07 pm PT @siliconAlleyInsider broke the news. Seconds later, the floodgates opened with an outpouring of tweets on the topic. Then about 20 minutes after the first tweet, something interesting happened. The tone of some tweets changed. Sure people and news outlets were still tweeting about the acquisition, but now there was a new type of tweet in the mix—the “stop, I already know HP acquired Palm tweet.” In just under 20 minutes, the twitterverse had tired of the news.

As a self-proclaimed news junkie, this fatigue disturbed me. Other than an occasional tweet with a link to the press release there was only the one fact distributed in the tweets—HP had acquired Palm. It really wasn’t a story yet as many of the basics weren’t yet disseminated and even the Wall Street Journal took about 10 minutes to get out its basic story. But by the time the WSJ piece hit, the news had already been tweeted to a large audience. Soon the journalistic news stories started to hit providing more depth. But something strange happened; I didn’t click. The news felt old and dated—after all it was 30 minutes ago.

As I pondered this lack of desire to read more about the acquisition, I realized that this was happening far too often. I had a daily habit of getting the Twitter version of the news—or maybe on a good morning scanning the headlines of a news aggregator site. I was consuming my news without digesting at 140 characters at a time. It was initially satisfying, but ultimately left me empty.

So I’m asking readers to stop and take a look at how they are consuming news and to fight the urge to “snack” and “nibble” away at news. Go for more depth, actually click the links and read the content. Sure you won’t be able to cover as many topics, but you’ll have more depth of knowledge. I’m going to take the plunge because what do I actually know about the HP acquisition? Really I know nothing about it at all.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tanaya Cook Volunteers with Surf For Life

By Julie Tangen
In our fast-paced lives it is often difficult to find extra time to dedicate to ourselves, let alone for others. However everyone here at Kulesa Faul recognizes the value of giving and finds the time to support various charitable affiliations. I’m pleased to say that our very own Tanaya Cook recently returned from Central America after donating a week of her time to a non-profit organization called Surf For Life. The charity is committed to enabling volunteers to participate in meaningful social and economic development projects that help those less fortunate. Tanaya’s particular mission benefited an indigenous population known as the BriBri tribe located on the Talamanca reservation in Costa Rica. She participated in various community projects—from preparing food to building bridges—to support the cause.

Please join me in welcoming Tanaya back from her journey and watch for her blog post (and possibly a few pictures) coming soon!

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Making the world a better place, one app at a time

By Julie Tangen
Did you know that if each household reduced energy consumption by 20 percent, the U.S. would save over $32 billion a year and carbon emissions would be reduced by 187 mega tons (equivalent to taking 40 million cars off the road for one entire year)?

I'm feeling especially environmentally conscious today because our new green-tech client, People Power, just launched a way for developers to build smart, environmentally friendly applications for household electronics and devices. Interested in a lawn system that saves H20 by automatically knowing when to (and not to) water? How about a central air system that you can control from your iPhone? People Power makes ideas like this possible by teaming with a community of developers and leveraging open source technology. If you can dream it, you can now build it into your home!

To learn more about reducing energy consumption, saving money and reducing your carbon footprint, visit People Power online at

Also, I hope you'll join me in supporting People Power's "Unplug for Earth Day 2010" Facebook campaign. Check out the GreenX Calculator that shows how much CO2 you will keep out of the atmosphere by pledging to unplug on April 22.
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Social Media Week 2010 - San Francisco

By Tami Casey

The first week of February is Social Media Week and this month’s activities took place in six cities--from Berlin to Sao Paulo to right here in San Francisco. Festivities included a day long session at the Presidio, several panels and sessions and a variety of social gatherings attended by hundreds of people, including those new to social media, social media practitioners and our local and often world renowned experts.

Having attended several of these activities, an area of particular interest to me was the subject of measurement in social media. While there are many tools and strategies to help measure the impact of social media, the key to successful measurement begins with identifying⎯at the corporate level⎯why you’ve engaged in social media in the first place. Is the goal to build your brand? Reach influencers? Boost sales?

After defining your purpose and beginning measurement, how do you then analyze the data in a meaningful way? If you’re a start-up or smaller company, it’s probably a lot more manageable. But what if you’re at Accenture and want to know the impact of Tiger Wood’s negative publicity on your brand? At that point, you need tools to help analyze, understand and act on this tsunami of information.

The bottom line on measurement in social media? Know your purpose and then monitor, measure and react in ways that make sense based on your objectives and your business. Don’t rely on one tool. Take a look at free tools such as Google Alerts, Trendrr, Socialmention, Twitter’s search feature and BoardTracker. You’ll likely be able to combine tools so that you are monitoring what is most important to your company. If you need something more robust then look to the paid tools; there are a number of affordable options such as Filtrbox, eCairn, ScoutLabs and of course there are several high-end solutions such as Radian6.

If you’re looking for more information on how to put social media to work for your business or want to mingle with the social media-minded, visit the Social Media Club at to find a meeting near you.
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

P.R, Tom Petty and Dating a Celebrity?

By Scott Lechner
I was listening to Petty’s Free Fallin’ on the way in to the office this morning and that song always fills me with a feeling of success. I have Jerry Maguire to thank for that as this is the song Cruise belts out in his car after signing (or so he thinks) the future first round draft pick of the NFL. The song was extra poignant his morning when it was announced Kulesa Faul’s client of four years, KACE Systems, was acquired by Dell.

At Kulesa Faul we work with an eclectic mix of clients—public companies, startups, established players—and all are great. However, I’ve found that there’s a different, sharper-edged mix of anxiety, energy, and pride working with startups. It’s sort of like dating a celebrity. Super exciting at the beginning, and it takes a few months to understand the wants and needs of both parties. Through it all the startup has its eyes on the prize and it’s the our job to do whatever we can to help get them there. Like the lucky one dating the superstar, we also need to match the ambitions and energy of the startup in order to push them to the pinnacle of their success.

“Success” is a relative term and varies from company to company. For some it is getting acquired, going public or continually taking market share from the big boy. Same with a celebrity. The significant other supports them through the hardships and professional growth until the celeb reaches their own pinnacle⎯a Super Bowl win, a Grammy or an interview with Letterman. Once that success is reached, both parties breathe a huge sigh or relief, and bask in the pride that the years of hard work have brought. We worked so hard to get that startup, that celebrity, to where they needed to go, and now the world is at their fingertips. Makes one feel a bit like they are Free Fallin’.

What’s next? Who knows, and that’s fine with us. It’s been a great ride with KACE and we look forward to working with Dell as a team. Another happy client! That’s success for us.
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Finding a Needle in the Social Media Haystack

By Frank Bauch
Without question, this year will continue to deliver dramatic innovation in the high tech industry landscape. From the Apple Tablet to a new army of smart phones, the heart of today’s innovation is the ability to communicate more efficiently and more productively, both for business and pleasure.

The number of conversations occurring about any particular topic is staggering. Recent research shows we are tweeting approximately 27.3 million times per day, equating to nearly one billion tweets every five weeks. A similar number of users are updating their Yahoo! Mail or Messenger status at a record pace. The population of Facebook users is big enough to be the third largest country in the world.

History has shown that people gravitate towards innovation: The development of books eventually necessitated the invention of the library and the Dewey Decimal system to categorize and organize books. The creation of the television was inevitably followed by the remote control, TV Guide, and eventually DVR, to help us keep track of the shows we want to see most.

At Kulesa Faul, we leverage a number of tools to track relevant conversations. TweetDeck helps us track and respond in real time to Twitter discussions. For clients whose conversations are more spread out across the web, filtrbox and other services help to simultaneously monitor information from social networking sites as well as news sites. We also use tools like Meltwater that help modify our searches so that reports about clients like KACE aren’t littered with irrelevant stories like this.

Search engines have become too basic to provide a good understanding of how our clients are being positioned in the public eye. Leveraging social media and web analytic tools is critical to a company’s ability to not only keep tabs on industry conversations, but to help most effectively understand and help shape the conversation in an incredibly dynamic market.
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Monday, January 18, 2010

Thinking about MLK and Everyday Heroes Today…

By Joanna Kulesa

People amaze me. Famous and fearless leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, and everyday heroes like Wesley Autrey, a construction worker and Navy veteran jumping onto the tracks of an oncoming subway train and saving the life of a stranger. Whether fighting for civil rights on the world stage, or acting quickly to preserve a stranger’s life, people are amazing.

I continue to watch in awe the aftermath of the epic earthquake in Haiti; more reminders of people’s capacity for kindness as well as tremendous cruelty. Whether we’re witnessing looters or online scammers looking to profit from others’ generosity, the negative is always outweighed by the human capacity for good, in my view. Neighbor helping neighbor on the ground in Haiti, and whole communities around the world mobilizing to send food, medicine and supplies. The powerful lessons that tragedies offer are astounding.

True, civil rights and human tragedy are not very cheery subjects for a blog from a PR firm. However, it’s hard to write about “the importance of social media,” or how clients “can better get into the business press” when there are so many bigger issues to reflect on this Martin Luther King Day. Today, I can take this time to reflect and donate more to the Red Cross. Tomorrow I'll be back to pitching, promoting, and building clients into name brands. That’s okay, right?

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