Are you launching a startup? Are you, or is someone on your team, a General Assembly alum?
General Assembly has partnered with 500 Startups for a four-week program that combines Silicon Valley mentorship, resources, and capital to help prepare companies to get accepted into a top-ranked accelerator program. This is a great opportunity for all General Assembly alumni and we’re excited to see the great startups that are selected.
Program details and the application information can be found here.
Perks Consulting alum Jessica Miller rejoins team as Project Manager
NEW YORK, NY – May 19, 2011 – Perks Consulting, a creative and digital boutique specializing in the fusion of lifestyle and technology, announced the addition of Jessica Miller as Project Manager to the Perks Consulting team to increase the streamlining of client service delivery and internal operations.
The addition of this role supplements Perks Consulting executives, CEO Lauren Perkins and COO Chris Agnos, a former senior manager at Accenture, who together have developed a customized project management and service delivery method that serves as the foundation of the agency’s internal and external delivery structure. With Jessica’s operations management role, Perks Consulting strives to provide a premium experience for clients in its output and delivery, while continuing to expand its delivery bandwidth and service offerings.
With a strong understanding and connection to the tech and startup ecosystem in her past role at Apple, Jessica brings innovation relevance and insight to the management of Perks’ creative and digital service capabilities.
About Jessica Miller
Jessica comes to Perks with 5 years of experience at Apple in a number of roles from product training and trouble shooting to visual merchandising and productization. Coming from Apple’s strict standard operating procedure, Jessica offers a keen retail sense coupled with her organization ability provides structure as Perks’ project manager.
About Perks Consulting
Perks Consulting is a creative and digital boutique specializing in the fusion of lifestyle and technology. We create brands, products and campaigns to build relevant and innovative businesses. Our team includes a diverse mix of strategists, social media pros, website designers, copywriters, bloggers and marketing visionaries who use a fresh approach and traditional tactics to provide our clients with high impact results.
Perks Consulting’s long-standing history with athletic and fitness clients continues with the signing of OneResult to the roster. OneResult.com is an etailer for athletic health supplements founded by Rob Pietroforte and Jesse Jahr in 2010. In addition to selling proven and effective health supplements, OneResult uses tailored training and nutrition plans to help customers look and feel their best while achieving their fitness goals.
OneResult was started out of a need for a definitive resource on NCAA-approved and safe health supplements without the use of banned substances, where other supplement retailers have been criticized due to lack of FDA oversight. The OneResult product roster includes no more than 100 products to ensure strict quality control and management, while the etailer provides a bevy of both fitness and nutritional information from NCAA strength coaches and top nutritionists so supplements are used appropriately and correctly to help achieve the intended results.
OneResult is the supplement industry’s safe alternative with access to the top coaches and registered dieticians for the weekend warriors, beach bodies, and aspiring athletes.
2.11.2011– NEW YORK, NY. — NYC’s underground street fashion guru, Style Defined NYC, announces the launch of its iPhone App Private Beta. The new iPhone application allows users to snap, submit, and share their street style or that of their friends on-the-run.
As the premiere NYC street style fashion photo blogger, Style Defined’s founder, Kayta Moorman explores the wild and provocative underground of NYC’s downtown scene, cataloguing the unique styles of real individual personalities. Consistently Style Defined NYC photo subjects dictate the style from their own personal creative curation, not mega fashion brands or mainstream style media.
Style Defined NYC offers a glimpse into the insider’s view of NYC’s emerging trendsetters and designers. The Style Defined NYC iPhone App will expand upon the fashion blog’s street style mission and open up the field to a new crop of fashion curators of New York City’s street style and fashion looks. The addition of Facebook Connect to the iPhone app allows users to easily log-in to the Style Defined NYC app to share the look type, style description, and location with their photo.
In the spirit of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2011, Style Defined is now accepting requests for a limited number of invitations to get a sneak peak of the iPhone application prior to it’s world wide-public release into Apple’s iTunes Store. Invitations will be distributed to tastemakers and influencers at Fashion Week events as well as digitally to Style Defined’s Twitter followers and blog readers.
Style Defined NYC was started in 2008 by Katya Moorman as a showcase of street style fashion in New York City. It has become one of the most highly regarded street style fashion blogs on the web according to French Vogue, New York Magazine, and Time Out New York with recognition as one of the 10 Style Blogs Worth Reading by The Huffington Post.
We are proud to welcome Style Defined to our roster of clients. Style Defined is a fashion blog featuring the best and unique style of NYC, with a focus on young New York street style. After years in the party circuit and countless snaps of socials, celebs and wild party-goers, Katya Moorman founded Style Defined NYC and the Style Defined Blog, an online gallery chronicling the City’s most glamorous provocateurs. They’re working on a street style fashion app that combines the best party and street style from everyday New Yorkers a well as emerging and established designers. To further build the Style Defined brand, we are currently working on the app launch strategy and further functionality for users like you to snap and submit your favorite street style.
Think that the revised FTC guidelines are just about blogging and don’t apply to your business? Think again!
Back in October of 2009, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) revised a set of guidelines that had been unchanged for 30 years. Beginning December 1. 2009, these revisions took effect and they made some significant changes in the ways that brands market themselves on the web and in social media channels. Brands have been slow to adapt to the changes and the FTC recently made it clear that investigations have begun and that they are monitoring marketing campaigns for compliance.
Whenever someone is endorsing or making a testimonial of a product it must be made clear if the writer of that content has a “material connection” to the product or company that they are writing about. That “material connection” could be that the writer received a sample, gift, affiliate payment or any form of compensation. Advertisers are responsible for ensuring that disclosures are included in their campaigns, and they are liable for any false claims made by their endorsers.
Note that this also applies to employees and agencies posting on behalf of a brand and is meant to address “astroturfing” – which is a term used for positive reviews that are generated by a brand and their PR machine to create reviews and/or counteract negative reviews in the marketplace. The most common areas where disclosures are an issue include: product reviews (samples and gifts), paid posts, employee/agency posts and affiliate marketing programs.
Although bloggers were the most vocal group when the guideline updates were announced, it is marketers and advertisers who are most affected by these changes. The FTC expects advertisers to 1) lead the conversation about disclosures in their marketing campaigns, 2) create a disclosure policy for their campaigns, 3) document that they have followed their policy and 4) monitor campaigns for proper disclosures.
The FTC recently announced that they closed their first investigation around the practices of Ann Taylor LOFT in a blogger outreach program they ran in January 2010. While the FTC decided not to take further action against Ann Taylor for this program, they made it clear that compliance is not optional, and that advertisers are responsible for disclosures in their campaigns.
There has been a lot of confusion over what the guidelines are who is affected by these changes. Here are a few quick pointers:
- Disclosures are now required for marketing campaigns that include product reviews, sampling campaigns, affiliate/referral programs, influencer outreach and word of mouth marketing.
- The FTC is expecting advertisers (and their agencies) to lead the conversation about disclosures in their marketing programs and is holding them responsible for creating disclosure policies and best practices, documenting their process, and monitoring their campaigns to ensure compliance with those policies.
- Disclosures must be included when a material connection exists between the writer and the product that is being endorsed and they must be clear and conspicuous.
- Disclosures are required in all forms of digital media including blog posts, web sites, forums and even in Tweets and Facebook status updates.
- While there are many ways for bloggers to disclose their “material connections” it is advertisers (and their agencies) who are liable for disclosure policies and proper documentation.
Sponsored conversations and word of mouth marketing are increasingly popular as brands leverage social media technologies and embrace user generated content and reviews in their marketing efforts. Openness and transparency of these efforts is standard best practice in the space, and disclosure is no longer optional for brands engaging influencers to market their goods and services.
CMP.ly has developed a simple solution specifically for advertisers to manage and document an audit trail for disclosures in their campaigns. In addition, CMP.ly offers a standard framework for disclosures that are offered to the blogging community for free. For more information about these solutions, please visit http://cmp.ly. (Disclosure http://cmp.ly/4/t2ziwc – I am a co-founder of CMP.ly)
May 24, 2010 (New York, NY) At the height of the online privacy debate, DataRockit, a leader in data services technology, is opening up its 3.1B criminal, consumer, sex offender and real estate records for an application development contest. Launching today, with TechCrunch Disrupt, the contest challenges developers to construct an application that utilizes the database records in DataRockit’s comprehensive infrastructure to help look after the communities where we live. The Disruptive contest will run through June 7, 2010, the kickoff of New York Internet Week.
In line with DataRockit’s dedication to protecting communities, the company will fully partner with the winning developer to build out a functioning application, powered by the DataRockit platform. All data for the Disruptive Contest will be provided FOR FREE (record queries may otherwise cost up to $30 per query).
“Our goal is to challenge how developers capitalize on user information to create applications that help our societies, rather than to exploit them,” says Roy Johnson, CEO of DataRockit. “Nobody has ever released this amount of information on such a large scale, and I believe there is a huge opportunity for the person who finds just the right way to work with the data.”
All developer proposals will be due by June 7, 2010, and the winner will be announced on June 14, 2010 as Internet Week comes to a close. The winner will then have the summer to build out a application and present it to DataRockit. The winning application will be unveiled in the fall, and will receive a contract from DataRockit offering (1) the data necessary to run the proposed application, (2) data infrastructure and hosting services, and (3) developer support.
DataRockit, Inc. is the leader in data services technologies powering some of the largest online information applications in the world. DataRockit’s state of the art data infrastructure stores and processes billions of records serving millions of requests daily in sub-second times to the world’s most demanding clients. The DataRockit platform allows businesses to utilize the most comprehensive, current, and relevant consumer, criminal, sex-offender, and real-estate data with none of the management and technology overhead of acquiring and utilizing these enormous data sets.
NEWS ALERT: PERKS CONSULTING ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF SOCIAL MEDIA CONSULTANCY, ESULTANCY
NEW YORK, NY, MARCH 2, 2010 – With social media influencing the way we communicate, Perks Consulting announces today their commitment to expand their social media and technology capabilities by acquiring Esultancy, a social media consultancy based in New York.
“The marketplace has changed, as has the way consumers interact and make purchasing decisions. As consumers push their needs and demands to the companies that service them, businesses are forced to respond,” Lauren Perkins, Founder and President, Perks Consulting, said enthusiastically. This timely business move will allow Perks to build out its social media department as well as further develop its campaign and delivery methods in this arena to better serve current and prospective clients.
After a strong year in growth in 2009, in which Perks doubled in business, Esultancy is excited about Perks’ infrastructure and ability saying, “The Perks acquisition will create a new organization that’s poised to deliver on the 21st century marketing and social media needs of a wide variety of companies”.
With fearless vision, creative passion and aggressive drive, working in tandem with a rockstar team of business strategists, social media buffs, web designers, seasoned journalists and marketing visionaries, Perks Consulting devises strategic marketing and branding solutions that synergize both traditional and digital media to create insightful innovative campaigns. “Social media builds audiences faster. It took television 14 years to reach a market audience of 50 million people. It took Facebook two years” (Stone).
As of today, the companies will begin the execution of the acquisition in which Oz Sultan (@ozsultan) will be retained as an executive advisor to Perks Consulting through 2011.Khayyam Wakil (@iamkhayyam), of Esultancy, will join the Perks Consulting team as Social Media Director. With strategy being the foundation of both businesses, the infusion of Esultancy into Perks Consulting will support the breadth and depth of the digital reach that Perks began in 2008.
Perks Consulting entered the marketing and media industry in 2004. Today, Perks Consulting is, a strategic Marketing and Branding Consultancy based in Soho, New York City. Led by Lauren Perkins, entrepreneurial business strategist and digital marketing maven, with a constant focus on emerging trends and tools to consistently exceed client objectives and achieve desired metrics.
With a brand-centric, bottom line focus cultivated by work with Nike, Crunch Fitness and Laser Cosmetica as well as consulting for ABC, Toyota and Bloomingdales the Perks Consulting team has leveraged content and event marketing tactics combined with marketing know-how to create engaging multi-faceted strategies and campaigns for clients. Perks Consulting has also worked closely with start-ups such as ADRail, Yoga Local, and AB skincare from business strategy to brand. From entrepreneurs to emerging brands including 85 Broads and eDiets, our team of experts have the industry savvy, and ability to fulfill businesses creative, marketing, and media needs.
The Perks team supported client YogaLocal at their Launch Party last week, where we celebrated our collaborative efforts in the launching of the new iPhone application. Held at the Urban Zen Center at the Stephan Weiss Studio, the soiree featured live music, cocktails and yoga classes. Don’t miss pictures of the Perks team at the event. Ask Perks about how to bring your business to the age of the iPhone!