Forbes covers Lightspeed client American Pearl

In Client News by Ethan Rasiel

One of the best placements I’ve seen for a client in my career – Forbes wrote this amazing writeup on our client American Pearl. Congrats to Dave Hochman for lining up this one!

How A Jewelry Company Is Making $250,000 Pieces Using 3D Printing And Google Earth

It’s taken the fashion and accessories industries a little longer than others to cotton on to 3D printing, the disruptive technology changing manufacturing and medicine.

Now, though, alongside the 3D-printed gun and 3-D printed internal organs comes the 3D-printed engagement ring — or pearl pendant, or diamond necklace, or really any piece of jewelry you can fathom.

Second-generation jeweler Eddie Bakhash, CEO of American Pearl, aims to shake up a $275 billion industry using the combination of proprietary computer-aided design (CAD) software and a Solidscape T-76 3D printer.

Shoppers can completely customize their own design and have the finished product delivered in 3 or 4 days.

Read More

Thoughts on Michael Bay-gate from Samsung’s Former PR Director

In PR Thoughts by Ethan RasielLeave a Comment

Today PR Week published my analysis of the Michael Bay meltdown at the Samsung press conference.

The link is here:

I have included the full text below.

Thoughts on Michael Bay-gate from Samsung’s former PR director

Ethan Rasiel, Lightspeed PR

January 10, 2014

“Ladies and gentlemen, let’s thank Michael Bay for joining us.”
Those words were uttered earlier this week by Samsung EVP of home entertainment Joe Stinziano at the company’s gala press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas.

Bay had been on stage for less than two minutes before storming off due to a teleprompter malfunction. The bizarre meltdown has gone viral, was mentioned in more than 30,000 tweets this week, and has been called “embarrassing” and “shocking” by everyone from CNN to EW. Comedian Sarah Silverman even poked fun at the gaffe, saying “I don’t want to Michael Bay this thing” during her appearance at the Cisco press conference Tuesday.

Many have asked for my thoughts on the situation. That’s because for all of 2011 and 2012, I was PR director at Samsung Electronics America, playing a central role in the development, staging, and production of the annual CES press conference. Before that, I was heavily involved in a similar capacity for most of the last decade while servicing the Samsung business at Edelman.

This was the first year since the Clinton administration that I had no involvement in the Samsung press conference, but I take no joy in Samsung’s misfortune. I feel badly for my many friends there, who worked for months on a production that has now been overshadowed.

Read More

A PR Pro’s Advice for Surviving the Holidays

In PR Thoughts by Amanda Proscia1 Comment

We know the holidays can be a stressful time: the planning, shopping, cooking and, of course, the relatives. As Public Relations pros we help our clients prepare for every situation – even the difficult ones – and some of that same expertise can be used by everyone to successfully make it to Jan 2nd:

  • An important first step is to develop your Messaging. Let’s say you have a cousin or mother-in-law who you just know will pester you with the questions everyone loves, like “when are you getting married?” or “still no promotion at work?” You’ll want to be ready with answers that turn the conversation your way.Read More

PR Week story on Lightspeed!

In Lightspeed PR by Ethan Rasiel3 Comments

Former Samsung, AmEx execs launch Brooklyn firm
Lindsay Stein
November 12, 2013

NEW YORK: Ethan Rasiel and Amanda Proscia, former communications executives at Samsung and American Express, respectively, have launched a technology PR agency in Brooklyn, NY, named Lightspeed Public Relations.

The firm, which opened for business last month, has a tech focus but also offers media relations, social media, event management, speechwriting, and content-creation services.

Read More

The importance of asking the right questions

In PR Thoughts by Ethan Rasiel2 Comments

Yesterday I got a haircut and the barber asked me “should I use scissors or clippers?”

Well…I just don’t know. Probably there are pros and cons of each, or there wouldn’t be an option. But a good barber would ask me what style I wanted, and recommend the appropriate tools for accomplishing it. After all, when I get my tires rotated the mechanic doesn’t ask me if I want him to use a ratchet or a wrench.

Made me think about the questions that some PR pros ask their clients – and I’ve been on both sides of that conversation.

Read More

Client Spotlight – American Pearl

In Client News by Ethan RasielLeave a Comment

American Pearl is exactly the kind of client I was hoping to attract when we created Lightspeed PR.

What? I imagine you are saying. Jewelry?

Right – because American Pearl and its CEO, Eddie Bakhash, are truly disrupting the jewelry space – by deploying all kinds of cool technology to let people create their own unique rings, earrings and so on.

It starts with a 3D interface on the Web site, then 3D printing is used to make the molds. I could explain it all, but just watch this video and you’ll get it.

– Ethan

american pearl

A monstrous PR stunt

In PR Thoughts by Ethan RasielLeave a Comment

Remember Count Chocula, Boo-Berry, and Franken-Berry? Sure you do. How about the other two “lost” monster cereals? That’s right, at one time General Mills also offered Frute Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy, which were cherry and orange cream flavored, respectively. Those last two were discontinued in the 80s and haven’t been available in over 30 years. And the original three have only been available during the halloween season since 2010.

But the Internet exploded when GM recently announced that this year, ALL FIVE monster cereals would be once again available. Do I have to add – while supplies last?

It’s been covered everywhere from the front page of the WSJ to NPR to fan podcasts.  And all GM had to do was revive two cereals that by most accounts are pretty awful and were retired for a good reason.

Never under-estimate the power of nostalgia. The original “retro” packaging is available exclusively at Target, with other stores getting new packaging. Both are below. Which do you prefer?

– Ethan



The meaning of Lightspeed

In Lightspeed PR by Ethan RasielLeave a Comment

Lightspeed PR has a nice ring to it. But more than that, I picked that name for a very specific reason.

Having come from several years on the client-side, I knew what was most important to clients. Not creativity, not quality, and not cost.

Those things are all critical – don’t get me wrong – but they are all trumped by SPEED. If you can deliver results quickly, are responsive and efficient, and can minimize layers of bureaucracy, you have a big advantage. An advantage that can make you indispensable.

Lightspeed PR was created with this philosophy in mind and based on the feedback we have received from our clients already, my instinct was correct.

Carrying over this nimble approach while we grow is going to be an ongoing challenge. but one I look forward to.

 – Ethan

Why Lightspeed?

In Lightspeed PR by Ethan RasielLeave a Comment

Since Amanda and I started Lightspeed, lots of folks have asked me variants of the same question – why?

I’ve always thought about starting my own firm. But I didn’t want to be a sole proprietor. I wanted to work with a team. Then I learned that my friend Amanda had recently left her job doing PR in-house at American Express – just like I left mine at Samsung.

That changed everything. Working a with a co-founder is motivating, its more fun, and our complementary skill sets mean there’s twice the chance that one of us is proficient at whatever each day’s new challenge turns out to be.

If you are thinking about trying something new – whether its a new exercise, new hobby, or a new job – try tackling it with someone else. You may find that what seemed insurmountable before, suddenly is right in view.

– Ethan