Larry Yu, the public relations executive who has headed up Facebook’s corporate communications operation for five years and helped steer the company through the publicity blitz surrounding its IPO, is leaving the social networking company. He announced his departure this morning in a post on Facebook, writing:
“Nearly five years ago, I joined some friends at a privately-held company called Facebook to help a small team scale and expand upon the company’s story. That journey was, in a word, crazy. And fun. Terrifying. And gratifying. So I’m off to do it again. I’m joining my friends Brandee, Brian and Sean to help build The Pramana Collective, a project-focused communications consultancy that works with cool companies.”
Yu is not the only tech PR big wig on the roster at the Pramana Collective, which first emerged earlier this spring. The Brandee he refers to above is of course Brandee Barker, who headed up Facebook PR from 2006 to 2010; Brian is Brian O’Shaughnessy, who previously led communications at Skype after four years at Google; and Sean is Sean Garrett, who previously headed up PR at Twitter.
Sean Garrett wrote in a post on his personal blog that Yu will be joining Pramana as a partner next month, and added a few details on the specialties he’ll be bringing to the firm:
“Brian, Brandee and I have all worked with Larry in the past, and we know that his close-to-20 years of experience is a perfect fit for The Pramana Collective and our clients. Beyond being a thoughtful guy who is universally liked and respected, Larry knows how to navigate companies through chaotic growth stages with confidence and calm. And we all admire how he makes financials, process and operations look easy, maybe even fun (well, almost).”
It’s a loss for Facebook, to be sure, but a big gain for the startup world. We’ll certainly be watching to see how Pramana shapes the conversation as it takes on clients.
There’s a lot of work that goes into conceptualizing, executing and sustaining a digital campaign; effective communication within marketing teams and staying on top of tasks are the keys to achieving success in this game. And in the ever-churning sea of web apps, there’s never been something that recognizes the needs of digital marketers to help ease their workload — until now.
Brightpod, a new collaboration app developed by the folks at Synage Software, offers marketers the tools they need for efficient communication, task delegation and file sharing right in their browsers. With its formal launch just around the corner, I got to take a look at how Brightpod looks, works and feels.
Digital marketing campaigns involve varied activities and metrics for assessing their effectiveness. Brightpod aims to help users make sense of it all by allowing them to create projects, called Pods, which can be populated with templates of tasks and milestones for different kinds of workflows. So, whether you’ve got an email marketing initiative, a recruiting drive via ads on LinkedIn, a WordPress site to set up, a Twitter routine to kickstart, Brightpod can help you get started in seconds.
Create a new project and use a marketing activity template or set it up your own way
You can alternatively outline your campaign from scratch, adding tasks, arranging them in lists and associating them with milestones to easily track your team’s progress. Pressing matters can be displayed on team members’ Focus pages, so they know to prioritize those items for the day.
Brightpod is designed to allow teams to know what everyone’s up to, share ideas and work better together. Team members, whether they’re a part of your organization or are freelancers, can be invited to join Brightpod (and your current project) via email, and they can be alerted to tasks they need to tackle. You can also send them messages to inform them about new developments or to discuss files (mockups, presentations and so on) — and everything’s tracked for easy retrieval. Brightpod allows you to share files up to 25MB in size, and users can filter through uploads by team member or file type.
Message team members and loop in clients via email
There are a few different ways to keep an eye on your pod; the first is the activity stream, which shows you every action made by members, including completing a task, sharing a file or messaging the group. You can also check on milestones (to which tasks and task lists can be linked) by viewing how far along your team is on each of them and who’s responsible. Plus, Brightpod sends out email notifications to let you know when tasks are completed, and even updates you with a daily report.
The Activity stream shows you what’s been going on with your project
Using Brightpod is dead simple and doesn’t need much time to get used to. It’s a great tool to cut down on all the confusion and clutter caused by long email chains while working with teams and clients on the same project. Plus, its neat and clean UI is a joy to use. I manage a handful of social media accounts for clients, and would love to be able to reroute all their correspondence through Brightpod to make things easier.
The Focus tab shows the day’s crticial action items
Brightpod is also a lot like Basecamp, arguably the world’s most popular project management web app — and that’s not a bad thing. I would, however, love to see more digital-marketing-specific features and content such as the aforementioned Pod templates: the ability to create and reuse custom templates (so teams can sell social media activity packages to clients and run them in Brightpod), streams from social network accounts linked to Pods, and a dashboard that shows real-time actionable items (such as Twitter mentions and DMs that need replies).
When it launches, Brightpod will be available in three flavors, starting at $15/month for 10 projects, 1GB storage and 5 users and going up to $120/month for 100 projects, 20GB storage, 50 users and a Concierge for private on-boarding and consultation — all with a free 30-day trial. That’s a lot less than other collaboration apps like Basecamp (starts at $30/month for 15 projects and 4GB) and Project Bubble (starts at $24/month for 10 projects), which are great options, but don’t necessarily cater specifically to the needs of digital marketers.
Brightpod is a fine choice for managing marketing projects, and will hopefully improve over time to support its niche target audience even more. The developers are very receptive to feedback, so be sure to let them know if you’ve any suggestions or issues with the app. How do you get in, you ask? Synage Software has been kind enough to grant 100 of our readers exclusive access to Brightpod’s private beta — simply use the invite code TNW when registering for free.
Read the original post: Synage Software’s Brightpod, a collaboration app for digital marketers, readies for launch
If you run a small business, whether you’re a freelancer, a startup, or a small services shop, you probably get tired of all the time you spend logging into various services to check up on things. Web analytics, uptime, marketing campaigns, finances, the list goes on. There’s a whole process involved in checking up on each one.
Big businesses often have custom tools to handle and aggregate the mountains of data available into meaningful views, but until now it has been quite difficult to get this business-wide overview for smaller operations. That’s where a new startup called Informly comes in.
Informly already supports a raft of services. Google Analytics, AdSense, Google Search Position, Pingdom, SiteUptime, AWeber, Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, Xero, PayPal, Klout, Post Impact and FreshBooks are all in the at-launch offering.
Once you add a service you create reports containing the charts of your liking, such as a general overview that shows the most important stats across the board, and pages that drill-down into specifics such as your financial situation using data from Xero and PayPal.
You can also view long-term trends, color-coded by month, to get a better picture of your business and its movement over time on top of its current status.
Informly is an Australian operation founded by Dan Norris. It is very rare to see tech startups come out of my city, the Gold Coast, and it’s refreshing to see some movement in the area.
“To date most dashboard solutions have been targeting the people who love stats so much they want them all in the one place. I want to target people who aren’t obsessed with stats but know that they are an important consideration in making good decisions and growing businesses. So I want to get them this high level information as simply and quickly as possible to enable them to get on with running their businesses,” Norris told TNW.
Norris said that in his last business in Web design, many clients wanted access to this kind of simple information without the complexity of services like Raven Tools.
Right now, Informly is available as a Web app, a mobile site and an iPhone app. The free plan offers up to 6 charts, but you can boost that to 20 with the $9/month starter plan. Norris says that a business version with more charts and an agency version that will allow you to add clients to your reports are forthcoming.
Image Credit: Jessica Rinaldi/Getty Images
Go here to see the original: Informly brings an integrated view of Web and business stats to small firms
Emails, for the most part, are static, but Google today launched a new Gmail feature that makes Google+ events notifications more interactive. Gmail users will now be able to invite friends, read and respond to comments, and RSVP right from inside their inboxes. Google+ users will also be able to share photos that were attached to the event. Earlier this year, Google introduced interactive Google+ email notifications, which allow Google+ users to view, comment and +1 posts from Gmail without having to leave the application. Today’s launch brings a very similar set of features to Google+ events.
Typically, email clients don’t allow this kind of functionality because of security concerns. Microsoft’s Hotmail started whitelisting a number of companies like Orbitz and Netflix to allow them to display more interactive content in their emails in late 2010. Google, so far, is only making these features available to these two different kinds of Google+ messages.
Google launched Google+ events in June. Many people’s first reaction to the new feature was rather negative, as it felt very spammy to users who had many Google+ followers. Google has since fixed most of these issues.
As we noted when we first wrote about Google’s interactive Google+ notification emails, there are a number of other companies that are also trying to turn emails into more of a platform by making it more interactive. PowerInbox, for example, uses a browser plugin and API to enable some interesting features in many web-based and desktop email clients.
Read more from the original source: Google Brings Interactive Google+ Events Notifications To Gmail, Lets You RSVP Right From Your Inbox