Montreal: Now a world-class cloud computing hotspot

  What If What Next connects with business and tech journalists on a daily basis. This affords us the opportunity to track significant tech news and trends. Here is a brief summary of current stories that have caught our eye. If you are a US or European Cloud company looking at the Canadian market place consider Montreal. The City has become a world-class, cloud-computing destination. Why? Montreal has great universities, supportive governments, tech talent, a vibrant startup scene and great electricity rates supporting an ecosystem of data centers and associated service organizations. Canada Business recently published an important article on Google. Google has tapped the city for a new data center, the company’s first “Cloud Region” in Canada. The move follows Amazon, which recently opened a cluster of data centers around Montreal. IBM and French cloud computing company OVH have also set up centers in Quebec. Several Canadian companies have also jumped in including Bell and Cogeco. The CBC reported on the astonishing growth of AI in Montreal. The Canadian government announced $213 million in funding for a handful of Montreal universities, while both Google and Microsoft announced expansions of their Montreal AI research groups in recent months alongside investments in local initiatives. The province of Quebec has pledged $100 million for AI initiatives by 2022. Benefits Canada has reported that the influential Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is investing in the cloud-computing industry by helping Montreal-based eStruxture Data Centers Inc. create a Canada-wide platform. Earlier in June, The same publication also reported that the Caisse invested $135 million in a financial technology company based in Charlotte, NC. Visit the Quebec Technology Association’s website for...

7 Reasons Why the Summer is a Great Time to Reach Out to the Media

Here are some of our thoughts on why the summer months are a great time to keep your PR engines running: 1. The summer can be a slow news time with white space to be filled. 2. Journalists are looking for stories. 3. Competitors might have gone silent and you can get heard. 4. Salespeople will appreciate the leads and inquiries. 5. New communication strategies can be tested. 6. Media releases and pitch letters will more likely get read. 7. It will be easier to get contributed content published. It would be great to learn about other experiences (and results) running PR campaigns during the summer months. I know we are hard at work and have launched a new PR offering. See http://bit.ly/2sXAfa4....

How to Use PR to Successfully Launch Your New Product or Service

By Howard Oliver, Founder and CEO, What If What Next – Tech PR   Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said, “If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on PR.” Similarly, Richard Branson has noted: “A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad.” A recent Nielson study concluded PR is 90 percent more effective than advertising and some 80 percent of business decision-makers prefer learning about companies through articles instead of advertisements. As such, Learning is the New Marketing. PR works and its role – to establish and maintain relationships with your target audience via the media and other opinion leaders – is important. It’s especially important to the successful launch of a new product (or service), enabling you to build awareness in targeted markets, build your brand, generate quality leads and drive revenue. So where to begin on a PR campaign to successfully launch your new product (or service)? 1) Be ready: If your new product is not the best version of itself, no reporter will cover you, and you can experience backlash and negative press. Make sure you are completely ready before employing any PR strategies. 2) Create your story: Ask your team and trusted advisors: What is our identity, what are our values and company culture? What are the three things about our business that matter? What was our journey in establishing our company and this new product? How are we different from our competitors? What was the discovery process like to build this product? What are the three things that are different about our product and what are our proof points? What are...

Get more media coverage in 2017

Richard Branson wisely said: “A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad.” A 2014 Nielson study concluded that PR is 90% more effective than advertising. 80% of business decision-makers prefer learning about companies through articles instead of advertisements, and 48% of the millennial audience says word-of-mouth influences their buying decisions over other marketing forms. PR is also measurable. The metrics we use in our PR campaigns include: Press clippings, media impressions and social media mentions Press releases and related content generated Media relationships built (media lists) Tuning of messaging Influencers connected to and engaged in making positive comment (Influencer Marketing) Inbound links (SEO) Content analysis –  Did the reporter mention your brand’s key messages? Is your company being portrayed in a positive light? Website traffic, conversions and quality lead generation Get more media coverage in 2017. Ask us how at info@whatifwhatnext.com or call...

How To Pitch the Technology Press

Here are suggestions for pitching your technology story to the media: – Write a media release that captures your story from the eye of your customers and in parallel the media covering your industry. Provide information that solves a problem. Have a link back to your website providing more content to generate leads and inquiries. Post the release via a service to achieve broad distribution. – Create a media page on your website to contain all media releases, media coverage and a media kit that can be downloaded as a PDF. – Initially target 25-50 relevant reporters to develop an ongoing relationship with. You can’t boil the ocean. Connect to reporters and editors via Twitter and LinkedIn. – Choose a reporter and their editor that fits your story. C.C. all correspondences to the editor. Look at the editorial calendar of the media to see what stories are planned. Understand the writer’s interests, themes and most importantly how your idea would help them extend their reporting. – Think through your pitch with the reporter’s eyes – how will this piece be of interest to the reporter’s readers? How will it meet the criteria of the publication? – Pitch the story via email first. Customize the letter as much as possible mentioning the reporter’s previous pieces. In the pitch letter provide links to the media release, videos and other content. – Send a follow-up email with additional information as appropriate. – Call a few days later referencing your email that you can re-forward. – When you call get to the point and respect the reporter’s time. Do NOT call back repeatedly. – Respond...