Thursday, 23 January 2014

Look at what arrived at the MCC office today!

We always get excited when one of our clients sends over products. So, when a parcel arrived this morning from LaCie we couldn't wait to open it up and see what was inside. In the box we found waiting for us one of the brand new Rugged USB3 Thunderbolt drives with a huge 2TB of storage. 

As well as looking great (thanks to the design by Neil Poulton), these drives are tough and are the kit of choice for photographers, adventurers and film-makers around the world, as well as those of us who just want great pieces of tech that performs as well as it looks.

Sadly, as much as we don't want to let it go, this little powerhouse of a hard-drive will be winging its way out to the UK tech reviewers, so they can take a closer look and put it through its paces. We are sure they will be as impressed with it as we are. 

So, before it gets boxed up and shipped out, here it is being modeled by our very own Simon Hewitt.


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Is being connected the same as being engaged?

Today, thanks to a spot of car trouble I found myself making a rare journey on the local village bus. The trip would take around 25 minutes, so I thought great I can get a head start on my email, post a few Tweets and generally take advantage of not driving to the office. Five minutes in to the journey I looked up from my iPhone and noticed something very odd. I was the only person using a mobile device. What was stranger still was the fact that everyone was talking to each other!

It may be a generational thing, as most of my co-passengers were of a certain age (although these are surely the sliver surfers we hear about), but it also made me realise that whilst I would not be without a tablet, smartphone and laptop there is an awful lot to be said about switching these things off (or at least silent) from time to time, taking in the scenery and having a good old conversation.

The technology we have today is supposed to make us more connected and whilst I busily fired off emails around the world from my seat, this was certainly the case. Yet, as a professional in the world of communications it did make me stop and evaluate whether being more connected is the same as being engaged.  The conclusion I arrived at, as I made the short stroll to the office, is yes and no. It is all about the context.

Undoubtedly, technology connects me and makes me more engaged with people with whom I able see rarely, due to the long distances that separate us. Without it I would revert back to writing letters, remember them? However, I cannot say that I am fully engaged with everyone I am connected with on my ‘social’ channels, I broadcast to them through status updates and they reciprocate. Yes, some of those people on the bus may have been exchanging pleasantries but in their short journey they were also bonding in way you cannot replicate electronically.

What strikes me is that for many of us we have become so fixated with our digital lives that we instantly assume that this will be far more interesting and rewarding than speaking to the people who are there with us in the moment. Be honest, how many of you have walked in to a pub, restaurant or a meeting and placed your phone on the table in front of you. I know I have.

So, with this in mind I am making a belated New Year Resolution to walk over to the other side of the office and ask a question rather than email (lazy I know, but we all do it!). I will think about making a short call instead of beginning an endless string of text messages when I am planning a night out,  and when I am in a meeting I will try to leave the phone in my bag.

Technology is fantastic and I wouldn't be without it, but I do worry that there is a danger, that the interpersonal skills we have developed over generations will be suppressed if we don’t use them more often. 

I wonder if my bus journey home this evening will be so thought provoking?

Friday, 17 January 2014

Hard work, hard drives and a happy new year

Well we are almost three weeks in to 2014 and already there is much to be excited about in the world of tech PR here at MCC International.   We have been busy generating content for blogs and social media, articles have been drafted, placed and published in the media, press releases are streaming out the door and journalist briefings are filling up the diary. We have also been busy updating our own online publication SolentTechNews.

Highlights of the year so far (yes we already have highlights!) are the launch of LaCie’s new hard-drives, Fuel, Sphere (see the image below) and Culbuto, announced at CES in Las Vegas. In the last week we have a huge amount of brilliant exposure for these products online and in print including Shortlist, Gizmodo, Digital Arts, Mac User and NUTS. Also, NICE Systems revealed it had reached the milestone of the $1billion bookings for 2013, as well as being all over the security media for its work in the city of Sochi, as hype around the Winter Games in Russia builds with the opening ceremony just weeks away.

It is always a great time of year getting out (albeit in the rain) meeting with clients and putting plans in to action.  This week included a leisurely lunch with the team at EEMA and Revolution Events, held at the famous MP hangout, The Cinnamon Club in Westminster, being a bit of a foodie I couldn’t wait to taste the delights of Head Chef, Vivek Singh. The lunch menu cannot be recommended highly enough and I am sure I will be making several more visits in the coming months for press briefings and launches.