Thursday, 30 September 2010

Letters and titles

This week it is my great pleasure to announce that Stuart Tarrant has been promoted to the role of Account Director and James Stockbridge to Senior Account Executive. Working together as a team, Stuart and James have become integral to MCC International and thoroughly deserve this recognition for their continued hard work and great results.

In the same week, we are equally delighted to report that the latest addition to the team, Account Executive, Sarah Murray, who joined MCC International earlier in the Summer, has achieved a Masters in Media and Corporate Public Relations, having worked tirelessly on a dissertation investigating the impact of the volcanic ash cloud. Furthermore, Sarah has become an Accredited Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, giving her a long list of letters after her name that wouldn’t look out of place on a plaque outside the front door of a Harley Street surgeon!

We are immensely proud of the whole team that we have here at Winchester House and look forward to announcing more good news. So, I would like to finish this post with a big thank you for all their hard work.

Extreme Networks Ridgeline Service Advisor Named Finalist In Leading Lights Competition

Extreme Networks today announced that its Ridgeline™ Service Advisor has been chosen as a finalist in Light Reading’s highly-respected Leading Lights competition in the Best New Product (Telecom) category. Light Reading defines the Best New Product as “a potentially market-leading product that, through engineering and technical excellence, enables the deployment of profitable next-generation telecom services.”

Extreme Networks’ Ridgeline Service Advisor is a unique service management software application that enables carriers to quickly and easily launch, configure, manage, and monetise Ethernet services from the subscriber through the cloud to the telco data centre. Ridgeline Service Advisor unifies service fulfillment, service assurance, and service engineering so carriers can effectively manage next-generation residential triple play, business Ethernet, and mobile backhaul services.

For further information please contact

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Capscan Grows International Team to Support Growing Sales

International enterprise solutions, bureau and on-demand services get new management following 20% revenue growth

Capscan, a leading supplier of UK and international address management solutions and data quality services, today announces that is expanding its salesforce in response to demand for its international data quality management (IDQM) products and services. Capscan’s international bureau service has achieved 20% revenue growth in the past year, with similar growth expected for its international enterprise products as a result of the forthcoming release of Matchcode International.

Photo: Ian Courtney, International Enterprise Account Manager

Contact for further info.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

dhc and APS Increase Billable Hours and Improve Cashflow for Accounting Firms with New Software Link Streamline business processes with link between

Streamline business processes with link between Access Dimensions and Advance Practice Management

dhc, provider of integrated software solutions, today announces the availability of a new software interface between the accounting package, Access Dimensions, and Advance Practice Management (Advance PM). The software enables accounting firms to ensure relevant information entered in to one system is duplicated in the other, reducing administration time, improving billing accuracy and time to payment. The software has been developed in close partnership with Advanced Professional Solutions (APS), provider of practice management software for accounting and consulting firms.

For more information please contact

Have I got news for you!

Monday morning at MCC International typically begins with a flurry of press release activity; distributing them to the journalist community that have arrived at their desk, strong coffee in hand, ready for their early fix of the latest breaking stories.

The press release has, as far back as I can remember (and that is some time!), been a stable of the PR armoury. It is the tried, tested and proven format (the who, what, when, why and how) for getting stories out to journalists quickly and efficiently. Topics for press releases can be diverse: a new customer win, launch of a new/improved product or service, personnel appointments, announcing a strategic partnership, disclosing financial results or, publishing survey finds. The list is endless!

But today, the press release has value far beyond that of the media coverage it generates and has become somewhat of a misnomer. In fact these short, snappy and interesting stories have an increasingly important role to play in the overall communication of the company message directly to its marketplace.

Traditionally, the press release was a ‘carrier’ of news to journalists, who would in turn interpret the story and communicate it out to their readers, viewers or listeners. Whilst this is still happening, all day and every day, the press release has become more fundamental than ever before.

Think about the last press release your company issued. Chances are it will have been sent out to the media, placed on the company website and Intranet, the URL posted on Twitter, your LinkedIn profile updated with the news, maybe even your Facebook status and the story filed for use in the next company newsletter or e-zine.

The press release is more powerful than it has ever been, but perhaps as PR professionals we need to start referring to them as news releases; otherwise we are not doing true justice to these two-page performers. Afterall, we don’t refer to the powerful computers that we write them on as typewriters any more!

Monday, 27 September 2010

ISSE 2010: Tackling Privacy Gets Tougher as Social Networks Add New Services

‘Privacy aspects of social networks’ panel discussion, 6th October 2010, Information Security Solutions Europe (ISSE), Maritim Hotel, Berlin

Information Security Solutions Europe (ISSE), Europe’s largest independent IT security and identity conference, today announces that leading privacy experts from the EU and Canada will be joined by Germany’s leading business social network, XING, to discuss growing worldwide concerns over privacy in social media. The panel discussion, ‘Privacy aspects of social networks’, which takes place on 6th October at the conference, will address how identity management, regaining user control over personal data and raising global awareness can be used to maintain high levels of privacy for citizens and businesses globally.

For more information please contact

Friday, 24 September 2010

What is the difference between the Press Office and a Call Centre?

Whilst walking the aisles of Call Centre Expo at the NEC on Wednesday it struck me that this event, more than any of the other tradeshows my colleagues and I visit, is more pertinent to the PR world in which we work. So, what does a PR person have in common with a Call Centre Manager, or a Customer Service Agent for that matter? As I spoke to vendors, visitors, industry experts and journalists I realised that the answer was an awful lot indeed.

We both work at the communications coalface, trusted to be the custodians of the respective brands we represent. What we say, how we say it and when has a dramatic impact, both good and bad, on the perception of the business by the market at large. We undoubtedly find ourselves in a privileged and powerful position to influence the future success of the business.

To succeed we must always keep at the forefront of our minds the need to impress and deliver an exceptional and consistent standard of customer service. As PR professionals we cannot forget that we are in the service business and our customers are diverse, not only the clients we represent, but also the evolving media landscape. It is our job to know what each ‘customer’ wants and needs, and strive to continually meet these expectations. Which brings me to what I consider to be one of the most compelling similarities between the PR world and that of the call centre - the need to listen and to use these insights to influence what we do next and how we do it.

Finally, the overwhelming similarity that I took away with me from the expo was the need to adhere to one simple core value that we all expect as customers, which is simply: To always do what you said you would do, when you said you would do it.

Upholding this single value is the foundation for building long-term loyalty and turning a customer into an advocate.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Capscan Significantly Enhances International Data Quality Management Technology with Exclusive Loqate Deal

New Loqate engine and international data to mark Matchcode International as one of the most powerful international data quality management tools worldwide

Capscan, a leading supplier of international address management solutions and data quality services, has today announced that it has formed a strategic partnership with US company Loqate, a provider of geographic data quality solutions. The agreement delivers Capscan exclusive rights to Loqate’s powerful Geo-data Quality Engine and worldwide address and geocoding data, which will be developed to further enhance Capscan’s international data quality software and services.

For further information please contact

Friday, 17 September 2010

Make an exhibition of yourself with the media

The exhibition and conference season is still in full swing and here at MCC International we have followed our clients from Olympia to the NEC and all points in between. This week it was Transec and next week it is off to Call Centre Expo. As PR agency we support all of our clients to get the best press coverage from the tradeshows they attend, and we also run the press offices for a number of conferences and exhibitions throughout the year, so we see things from both sides of the fence.

It is important for our PR teams to make the annual pilgrimages to trade events, as they are great places to learn about the latest technologies entering the market, to hear from end user organisations about the issues that affect their purchasing decisions, and also to support our clients who often work round the clock to put on a great show.

Finally and perhaps most importantly these events represent a great opportunity to build new friendships and entrench existing relationships with the media, whether during a much-needed sit down and a coffee away from the busy thoroughfares, a whistle stop product demonstration on the stand, or a short piece to camera.

However, it is important to remember that building longstanding press relations takes time and effort. Other than when they are on deadline the press are never busier than when they are covering an exhibition. They will have often received hundreds of requests to meet vendors on their respective stands in the weeks and months prior to the event, so if they have accepted your invitation then make sure you make it worth their while and do your best to stand out from the crowd.

However, remember that by the time the exhibition closes its doors on the final day their notepad (or increasingly popular in journalist circles, the iPad) will be full to bursting with short-hand, diagrams and contact details, of which your announcement will be just one. So, as well as during your exhibition calendar take time to meet with your key journalists face-to-face at other times of year, whether as part of a press tour or a more informal lunch, when you can be sure to have their undivided attention for a longer period of time.

Good luck at your next tradeshow.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Winfrasoft Launches VPN-Quarantine 2010 For Secure Remote Access

Winfrasoft, a UK company specialising in enterprise IT infrastructure and security solutions, today launched the Express and Enterprise editions of its new multi-layer remote access gateway solution, VPN-Quarantine (VPN-Q) 2010. The new software delivers fast and secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) access, encouraging productivity out of the office, whilst guaranteeing that only trustworthy devices are granted access to the appropriate resources on the corporate IT network.

Designed by Winfrasoft to run on Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG), VPN-Q 2010 is ideal for organisations operating Microsoft environments. The third generation product ensures every device attempting to connect to the corporate IT network is first placed in quarantine, whilst a battery of comprehensive pre-defined security checks are quickly carried out. These safeguards verify the presence of an up-to-date firewall, software patches and anti-malware systems etc before enabling a VPN connection as per the local IT policy. Any machine that fails to pass these safeguards may remain in quarantine with access to remediation advice and resources as local policy dictates.