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Author Archive for Carter Breazeale – Page 2

Don’t Look Now: Apple to Introduce Smart Glasses

Don’t look now, but smart glasses seem like a possibility once more. Google Glass famously flamed out in 2015 after turning into more of a meme than useful hardware, effectively ending the company’s flirtation with wearable tech above the neck. Now, Apple has assumed the mantle of Silicon Valley Optometrist, and is actively working toward releasing its own version of Google’s much maligned and roundly mocked smart specs.

The difference? AR technology.

AR, or augmented reality, is the same tech that powered Pokémon GO to meteoric heights. By projecting graphics onto the visual field—and not completely overwhelming it, the way virtual reality does—AR allows for integration such as maps movies directly into the wearers’ lens.

Used in coordination with an iWatch or iPhone via Bluetooth, the glasses will utilize the heft of other Apple hardware, such as battery and download capability, to provide a seamless reality/augmented reality experience.

Reports suggest that Apple will first incorporate AR technology into the next incarnation of the iPhone, expected this year. Consider a bit of a toes-in-the-shallow-end test of augmented reality’s effectiveness on Apple’s most popular—and most profitable—product.

Should consumers respond positively to the introduction of AR on the iPhone, it’s a safe assumption that it will begin to appear in Apple’s other tech offerings.

A Winter Storm Article Writing Primer

Winter Storm Stella is currently wreaking some woman-scorned fury on the Northeast. To all of our friends enduring a wicked Nor’easter in March: stay warm, and stay safe up there!

Mind-bending boredom is often sitting shotgun when riding out a storm, so what better time to shore up your article writing aptitude? When you’re huddled under a blanket, spooning cold Spaghetti-o’s from a can, the outlook can appear pretty bleak. A bit of professional productivity can ease the wintry doldrums. Here are some key tips when crafting an article that turns heads and creates opportunities.

  1. Snappy introductions are your friend

If you want to get your message across, you have to first grab the reader’s attention—and hold it. Your introductory paragraphs are where you let your style and personality shine, which constructs the article framework to support the bulk of your content. Introduce a problem that you will solve for the reader in ensuing paragraphs. Careful to not tie your introduction to a particular time or recent event, as it’s the equivalent of putting an expiration date on your expertise. Utilize the final few sentences to pivot to your main points.

  1. Forgo the fluff, Format accordingly, Focus on solving the reader’s problem

You an interweave callbacks to your introduction into the “meat” of your article to provide some fluid continuity, but the middle of the article should focus on solving the problem that you present to the reader in your introduction. Avoid going down the rabbit hole of unnecessary tangents and superfluous information. This is the quickest way to lose the reader.

Focus on the reader, not yourself. Put bluntly, people aren’t picking up an article to peruse your memoirs. Readers are seeking your content, your solutions to their everyday problems, and hard-and-fast methods to put them into practice. Steer clear of “I”, “Me,” and “We” statements at all cost. Self-referential anecdotes are best saved for blog posts and autobiographies. Adjust these to a second-person perspective—reader-focused. Information about you is best reserved for your resource box, which I will touch on in a bit.

Article formatting is essential. Bulleted subsections, numbered lists, or acronyms can work wonders for the impact of your writing. Your aim should be to create catchy subheadings that highlight an idea, and elaborate in a paragraph or so to reinforce your thoughts. 75-100 words per section is a standard, effective benchmark to work toward. The customary length for articles is 800-1,000 words, so 4-6 of these individual sections will have you cruising to your conclusion.

  1. Reiterate, Reinforce, Wrap-Up

Your conclusion should circle-back to your introduction, and work as veritable in-article CliffsNotes for the reader. Reiterate your main points, reinforce your reasoning for them, and tie a nice bow on the piece. Conclusions are often the simplest to write, as you can just touch on the main points you examine in earlier paragraphs.

  1. Reel ‘em in with your resource box

This is where you highlight your career accomplishments, emphasize your expertise, and provide a call to action for the reader. The resource box is a mini “About the Author.” If you’re a speaker seeking an increase in opportunities, make sure you underscore your speaking ability and availability. Just release a new book? Mention it here. A renowned career coach or consultant? Provide the reader with an example of a success story that gets the phone ringing. Keep it between 50-75 words and close with your URL.

These tips don’t merely apply to our snowed-in neighbors to the north. Any time is a good time to up your article writing prowess. Utilize these keys to increase your article’s readability and effectiveness.


Facebook Enters a New Market

Another week, another edition of the PR/PR blog. It’s hard to believe that we’re already cruising toward the second quarter of 2017, but time flies in Public Relations Land. We just wrapped up our two big events of the year, as Russell returned from the NSA Winter Conference in San Francisco and Lady in the Champs in Las Vegas. I know he had a blast meeting some new faces and catching up with familiar ones.

Social Media Land, as always, has been a busy place as well. Snap Inc.’s IPO shattered expectations, leading to a valuation of $34 billion, setting a high bar for other tech and social media platforms to reach.

But one interesting development is Facebook’s reported interest in hosting TV-style content, putting itself in direct competition with the likes of Hulu, Netflix and Amazon. This is the new realm of social media, where advertising is king.

Facebook’s IPO wasn’t as calamitous as Twitter’s—and the post-rollout operations have not been as chaotic, either. But when seeking mediums to implement ads—without making them overwhelming or annoying for the user base—hosting television shows seems like an appropriate conduit. Facebook recently unveiled the Facebook video application, signaling the company’s desire to increase its footprint in the online video arena. That move seems to have laid the groundwork for Facebook to go full Netflix.

There’s no anticipated timeline for Facebook’s new feature, but it will be interesting to watch the company compete with the other giants in on-demand media space.

Oscars 2017: Chaos Reigns

Until Sunday, we’ve had two “Dewey Defeats Truman” moments since November. Of course, the election. Next? The Super Bowl which still keeps me awake at night.

And now? A third.

In this week’s edition of Fake News Watch: La La Land completes its Oscars dominance and takes home the Academy Award for Best Picture. Of course, as we all quickly realized—the actual winner was Moonlight.

The entire thing was just…bizarre. You knew something was awry as soon as Warren Beatty opened the envelope. His confused expression led me to believe the winner might be written in wingdings. In a turn of comedic irony, the befuddled Beatty passed the envelope to his Bonnie and Clyde counterpart, Faye Dunaway, as the two proceeded to commit one of Hollywood’s biggest offenses.

“And the winner is…La La Land.”

Oh, boy. Talk about an “alternative fact.”

What followed was, of course, chaos. An elated La La Land cast filled the stage. Two acceptance speeches were given. Headset-wearing producers stalked the stage, signaling that something had gone terribly wrong. Mercifully, an announcement was finally made—complete with “this is not a joke” caveats—and Moonlight took home the evening’s greatest honor.

After some backstage sleuthing, it was revealed that Beatty and Dunaway had not just flubbed the winner. Beatty was actually handed the wrong envelope—a duplicate for the Best Actress award; hence his obvious confusion, and the awkward bit of envelope hot potato behind the microphone.

“Chaos Reigns” is a fitting motto for 2017. Hang on tight, folks—we’ve got 10 months left.

Snapchat Going Public

That early-in-the-calendar holiday always feels great, huh? I hope you all enjoyed a nice, long, Presidents’ Day weekend.

But alas, it’s back to the grind, and there are some interesting developments in the hopper—especially for the tech industry. Most notably, Snap Inc., Snapchat’s parent company (and bane of Mark Zuckerberg’s existence), is expected to go public next week. Following in the footsteps of other social media mega-platforms Facebook and Twitter, Snap Inc. is preparing to debut its IPO.

If you’ve been following this blog—or social media business news—for any length of time, you’ll know that there are potentially rough waters ahead. Facebook and Twitter both famously struggled when adapting their business models toward revenue generation through advertising—the latter still seeking a friendly port in the shareholder storm.

Snapchat presents an interesting case, however. Attempting to establish its longevity and shed its reputation as more social media fad than mainstay. Its unique model has been co-opted by Zuckerberg’s Instagram. There’s been some fierce competition between Facebook and Snapchat, which should provide some anecdotal insight into the value of Snap’s product and platform.

The key, as always, will be to present stability, profitability, and endurance.

On the calendar for next Thursday, Snap Inc.’s IPO will be one worth watching. With other tech companies considering going public in 2017, Snap will set an intriguing benchmark for organizations looking to follow suit and cash in.