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In tech PR, brands – not products – now win journalists' eyeballs

Although I was glad to hang up my reporter's hat to join Allison+Partners, colleagues occasionally ask what it was like to be on the receiving end of technology pitches – especially in my newsrooms, which routinely fielded hundreds if not thousands of emails every day. I always note the volume of incoming "news" was so overwhelming that the only realistic option was triaging. If something was clearly important to either my coverage area or my readers, it became an immediate priority; otherwise, we ignored it.

5 minute read

More Stories About Tomorrow’s Technology Are Needed Today

Storytelling around technology innovation has made a positive impact among COVID-19-inflicted communities, underscoring the need to continue post-pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed how quickly we’re willing to embrace disruptive technology. More than a year and a half since it began, we’ve witnessed how the rapid deployment of new technologies can make a substantial impact on the world around us. 

5 minute read
Dads are cool. Right? Definitely.

The Untraditional Father's Day

For as long as I can remember – even when I was a kid – my primary life goal was to be a great father, husband, and son. I had the good fortune of growing up with loving and committed parents who always tried their best to support me, and I measured myself by their yardstick: The ultimate measure of my life, I told myself for years, would be my family's happiness.

3 minute read

The Next Technology Frontier: Welcome to the New Miami

When does a trend become a movement? When does the movement become a permanent fixture? The shift from being a city synonymous with tourism and sunshine to a global tech hub seemed to always be slightly out of reach for Miami. As other U.S. cities, such as Austin and Boulder, recently built vibrant tech ecosystems, Miami’s momentum did not keep pace.  

That all changed in 2020.  

4 minute read

As the Clock Ticks Down, Why TikTok Matters

By: Jonathan Heit 

Over the past several weeks, the tumult surrounding the entertainment platform TikTok has reached a fever pitch. Global Chair of our technology practice, founding partner Jonathan Heit, weighs in…

[Full disclosure: A+P represents TikTok, parent company Bytedance and Bytedance subsidiary Lark in several markets across Asia-Pacific] 

If it seems like every day you are inundated with news about TikTok and its business prospects in the United States, well that’s because you are. Every few years there seems to be a “next new thing” the kids use, and this is certainly TikTok’s moment.

Thinking about other platforms that generated this type of attention over the years – namely YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat – it’s important to recognize how so many of these also faced major global implications on the political and business landscapes. 

However, few have been in the crosshairs quite like TikTok. Owned by Chinese parent company Bytedance, it faces incredible scrutiny. With reports on Sept. 14 that Oracle won the bid for TikTok’s technology ahead of the impending deadline for either a sale of its U.S. assets or a ban, it’s a good time to put the company under the microscope.

To show its reach and real impact, TikTok recently revealed it hosts about 100 million monthly active U.S. users . TikTok already goes far beyond “the kids” as the graphic below indicates:

6 minute read

Physically Distant, Emotionally Together: How Technology Helps Us Maintain Relationships Through a Pandemic

By: AnnMargaret Haines 

Before COVID-19 became a pandemic and states across the U.S. began to shut down, it was incredibly rare for someone in my family group chat of 10 to simply send a text – and connecting on a group video call was unheard of. But once the reality of the pandemic set in, our family decided we needed to check in on each other, especially because my dad and sister have health conditions that put them in the “at-risk” category). So, my mom sent us a Zoom calendar invite for one Sunday afternoon.  

And it was a smash hit. 

Between the 100% attendance rate, abundance of dogs and guest appearance of my nephew in his dinosaur costume, we knew this needed to happen regularly. We immediately changed the calendar invite to a weekly occurrence, and now I feel closer to my family than I have in a long time. I’ve lived on the opposite side of the country from my family for the past five years, so it feels silly it took this long for me to understand the importance of video calls. But I know I’m not alone in this COVID-19 epiphany. 

3 minute read

More Than Just Fun, TikTok Finds A New Meaning

By: Pranav Kumar and Natashia Jaya

By now, you’ve heard about TikTok, the world’s most definitive short-form video platform. Some of you may have asked someone younger in your life to explain what it is or perhaps you jumped right in and tried it yourself because everyone you know is already on it. 

As every teenagers’ platform of choice for creative expression, TikTok has now become the digital companion that keeps everyone around the world  (yes, boomers, millennials and Gen Zs included) inspired, informed and connected despite social distancing. 

With schools and offices in lockdown mode and people ordered to stay home for weeks, consumers have naturally turned to digital and online streaming platforms to keep themselves entertained. But beyond the fun and entertaining videos, TikTok has found a new role during the COVID-19 pandemic – to bring people together more meaningfully. It has pivoted from a  fun app into a platform that supports users around the world in positive and beneficial ways while remaining joyful. 

3 minute read

Has COVID-19 Killed Techlash?

By Karyn Barr

Apple and Google announced a game-changing partnership on April 10, and the world took notice. The long-time rivals became allies in the fight against COVID-19, seemingly putting down their gloves to build large-scale contact tracing using their smartphone networks. Words like “bold,” “innovative” and “unprecedented” dominated the related headlines. Inc. magazine even went as far as hailing the tech giants for “building the only realistic way to get out of this shutdown.”

It seems – at least in the immediate wake of the announcement – the partnership is a glimmer of hope emerging in the tech world. Not just in the sense that Apple and Google have provided a potential solution to flatten the curve, but also in the sense that collaboration itself may counteract some of the negativity that plagued large tech companies for much of the past two years.

Could COVID-19 be the unexpected antidote to “techlash”?

4 minute read

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