Shopography CEO on Wired Insights Blog

In Uncategorized by Ethan Rasiel

We helped Mark Zurada, CEO of our client Shopography, contribute to the Wired Insights blog.

Referral Marketing Creates More Loyal Customers

More and more, marketers are becoming aware of the need for referral, or word-of-mouth, marketing. What used to happen at the neighborhood BBQ, or by chance in a supermarket aisle, has gained massive prominence in the digital era and is only growing in influence. The Internet has made anyone with a computer or mobile device a prospective advocate for your business, and with the power of social media factored in, anyone can be a referral source to anyone else they know, anywhere in the world.

It is with the referral that marketers can tap into two major elements that SEO/SEM cannot provide: those potential customers who are not looking for your business to begin with, and the implicit trust they have in the opinions of familiar sources when compared to traditional advertising.

It can be anything from stellar customer service to a product that does exactly what it’s supposed to do, but these are the things that encourage enthusiasm in a company’s consumers and make them want to share that within their circle of friends.

But what many marketers don’t anticipate is the level of loyalty that can be gained from these referred customers.

In a study conducted by The Wharton School of Business, customers who have been referred were shown to be nearly 20 percent more likely to remain loyal to a company compared to non-referred customers. In fact, the same study revealed that people tend to have a stronger attachment to an organization if their friends or acquaintances share a bond to the same establishment.

Now consider that the 2013 results of IBM’s annual survey of global marketing professionals revealed that one of biggest challenges facing the participating organizations was “retaining existing customers and improving loyalty and satisfaction” (36 percent). But, as of 2013, 72 percent of marketers still aren’t leveraging customer referrals as a strategic linchpin to their overall marketing efforts.

Marketing built on social connections has been proven not only to generate trust and drive new, high value customer acquisition but also improve loyalty. Why aren’t more marketers using referral marketing?

Mark Zurada is CEO and founder of Shopography, a social shopping platform launching later this month.

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Lightspeed Named AOR for Bayan Audio North America

In Lightspeed PR by Ethan Rasiel

Today Lightspeed PR signed a contract with UK speaker company, Bayan Audio. Bayan makes some of the most elegant, beautiful speakers on the market – they are literally the Jaguar of sound systems. Very excited to be handling North American PR for Bayan and looking forward to raising awareness for the company as they launch later this Spring in the United States and Canada.

viaProtect gets Editor’s Choice award from PC Magazine

In Uncategorized by Ethan Rasiel

Very proud to report that Lightspeed client viaForensics received an Editor’s Choice award today from PC Magazine for its mobile security app, viaProtect.,2817,2455172,00.asp

Provides good advice for securing your phone. Web portal shows all app traffic, where it’s going, who sent it, and if it’s secured. Cross platform.

Bottom Line
viaProtect pierces the slick veneer of mobile apps and lays privacy risks bare; it’s a must-have utility for Android users.

The eye-catching, finger-friendly designs of mobile apps enthrall users, but the slick façades often hide what the app is actually doing. Do you know if your favorite office app is sending data to a server in some other country? Do you know which of your apps aren’t encrypting their transmissions? viaProtect (free, Google Play) lets you know exactly what your apps are up to so you can decide whether they’re worth keeping.

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Venturebeat covers Lightspeed client Saffron Technology

In Client News by Ethan Rasiel

Today Venturebeat ran a terrific story about Lightspeed client Saffron Technology. Congrats to Seth Geiser who placed this story.

Saffron pulls in $7M to process data like a super-speedy human

March 20, 2014 10:30 AM 

To wit, here comes Saffron Technology, based in Cary, N.C., but planning to open an office in Silicon Valley now that it’s raised $7 million in funding.

Whether vendors invoke the cognitive computing term or not, though, it’s becoming more popular to use machines to process data sets at volumes humans can’t parse on their own in order to enable new applications and add accuracy and depth to existing ones.

Rather than roll a megabox into their data centers or pay tens of thousands of dollars for software licenses up front, companies are tapping machine-learning application programming interfaces andpaying on a freemium basis to introduce these capabilities.

Saffron stands to pick up momentum as these trends take hold.

Former IBMers Jim Fleming and Manuel Aparicio started Saffron in 1999. “They had an idea for building and scaling an associated memory technology platform that would work more like a a human,” Saffron chief executive Gayle Sheppard said in an interview with VentureBeat.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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