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How to increase the chance of getting a Press Release published

In the communications industry, advertising in magazines is one effective means of getting your message across. Placing a one page advertisment on the right newspaper or magazine can most probably get the message to your target demographic. However, there is always a back door to getting published without having to pay a cent. Welcome to the strategy known as the press release – a means to get your message through without having to pay P100,000.00 for an ad space.

I was part of a panel last week at the “PR Rocks” PRSP Summit together with Ms. Pennie Azarcon-dela Cruz of Sunday Inquirer Magazine and Jones Campos of Globe Corporate PR. We discussed the Malu Fernandez controversy from an editorial perspective, corporate transparency to consumers, and tips on how to pitch to the media. Ms. Pennie, an award winning editor, gave some tips on how to make the editor’s job easier in choosing which press release to place.

Are you a PR or marketing practitioner? Here are some effective ways to get your press released published. You have to bear in mind that dozens of press releases make it to the inbox of newspaper and magazine editors every day. How does the editor pick the really good ones to publish? How do you make your piece of paper stand out from the rest of the stack? Here is a compiled list from Ms. Penny with some of my notes:


Blogs as Tools for Nation Building

Although the term is widely used, I must give credit to Joey Climaco for lobbying the term nation building whenever we dialogue about advocacy campaigns.

Back in June, I volunteered my time with the Coca Cola Foundation for a project that made use of blogs as tools for documenting effective ways to help save the environment. This project is currently running as part of a contest for Coke Barkada, which involves the participation of 100+ college organizations across Metro Manila. Meaningful blogging is but one of the measures for this contest outcome as the students have to undergo tasks ala Amazing Race to determine the winners. Here is one of the examples of the blog of the UP Sandigan Organization maintained by Efriel Hazel Leynes:

Morph: Helping tech entrepreneurs in more ways than one


Last month, Winston Damarillo launched yet another company called Morph (their website is a neat domain hack), which is described to be a “SaaS accelerator” for entrepreneurs.

Morph is a Software as a Service (SaaS) marketplace company. We are engaged in every aspect of the SaaS industry. Our business portfolio includes subscriber-supported web services, hosted web applications, web infrastructure, delivery platform, and market engine for web-enabled applications. Founded by a team of entrepreneurs, Morph is a “technoprise” entity that builds Web 2.0 companies. We provide the operational infrastructure, technical platform, and business stimulus necessary to bring web start-ups to market. []


From what I understood during the presentation, Morph helps tech entrepreneurs by providing the legal, marketing, investment and back end support for software as service ideas which they pitch and discuss together with Morph. This is why Winston describes the company as some sort of “accelerator” or “incubator” for new projects because it provides an ideal environment to jump start a SaaS-oriented project from zilch. I must stress the fact that Morph does help even with the legal and marketing concerns for the product. Very 360 degrees.

If you are interested in finding out more about Morph and maybe even pitch an idea, you can contact Macel Legaspi and she will help you get in touch with the right people.

Contact Information
Macel M. Legaspi

Other coverage:
The Manila Bulletin Online

Price drop for remaining stocks of Apple iPods


This is just a heads up – the old iPod models are selling like hotcakes in the Philippines. To give you an idea of the price drops, iStudio prices point to P12,900.00 for the 30GB iPod and P18,xxx.xx for the 80GB model. This is a huge steal for consumers who have been wanting to buy cheap, but brand new.

Last word was that the 30GB model is already sold out at iStudio in Bonifacio High Street, The Fort. Check out the other Apple official dealers for prices and availability. The new 2007 line of iPods will be out this coming 28th of September.

Survey says: Women don’t like pink gadgets!!!!


I wonder what Pink SEO and Geek Girl Manila have to say about this article:

Hardware Widow Advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi has put down in black and white what plenty of women around here have been thinking for ages: we want technology but we don’t want it coloured pink or encrusted with fake gemstones.

[…] Only nine per cent of the women S&S talked to think it’s important that their gadgets look feminine. Rather a lot of ladies are completely turned off by the abundance of pink products. [The Register]

I’m not a lady, so I honestly cannot give an insight on this claim. I do think that the mindset is taboo, and that consumers are a lot smarter than this. What do the lady geeks think?


Tobey Maguire as Rick Hunter? Oh no.


Swinging from his role as Peter Parker, Tobey Maguire is set to play one of the main characters in the upcoming live action version of Robotech. Now hold it right there. Tobey Maguire as Rick Hunter (Ichijyo Hikaru in the Japanese Macross version)? I make this assumption as Maguire can’t possibly portray Roy Fokker or Admiral Gloval.

I don’t know. The movie reeks too much of Hollywood to me. The fact that they’re using Robotech as the title and not The Super Dimensional Fortress: Macross (the original Japanese title from 1983) is already … err … never mind.

The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (超時空要塞マクロス, Chōjikū Yōsai Makurosu) is among the many 80s ‘space opera’ anime series produced in Japan. It was broadcast between October 3, 1982 and June 26, 1983 on the Mainichi Broadcast System, and produced by Big West, Studio Nue, and Tatsunoko Production Company, Ltd. North Americans may have already come to know the thirty-six episode saga as the first part of Carl Macek’s Robotech (1985). Driven by music from Haneda Kentarou and Iijima Mari, populated by mecha designs from the famous Kawamori Shoji, and developed by Studio Nue, Macross has become one of the most recognizable brands to this day. It was most certainly one of the leading series of the transformable-robot genre, thanks in no small part to Kawamori’s excellent Valkyrie designs.

But really, I don’t know. If I were them, I’d actually consider remaking Do You Remember Love? which was the title of the 2 hour movie finale which was actually a compression of the entire 36 episodes that aired in 1984.

What I have written, I have written

The following events take place within the last six months.

A public relations agency called me up after I posted a review of their client’s product x. The account executive was a little careful with the words coming out of her mouth and she was asking if I could “improve on what I wrote.” I stopped dead on my tracks (actually I didn’t really stop because I remember clearly that I was on an escalator at Rockwell) and asked her,

“What do you mean by … improve?”

It may be true that bloggers are now being tapped by PR agencies to test consumer products and services. Because of the nature of our content management system, we can edit our entries anytime. But I highly doubt that bloggers are becoming tools of PR. I think it is quite the opposite. Yesterday, I gave a short presentation to marketing and communications students at the PR Rocks Conference sponsored by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines. I told them that bloggers, though they may not be journalists are passionate individuals who hang on to their credibility. They, I would like to believe, do not sell out.

Out of politeness and still bearing the shock of not knowing what to say, I told this person, “Let me see what I can do…”

I texted her immediately after putting the phone down and told her that I was greatly disturbed by that request. She understood deeply as I have been in touch with this person since my editor / writer days at Hinge-Inquirer – as the request was truly odd. I read my review once more and it was no different in style to the dozens of reviews I have written since 2003. I am always fair and want to give products a fighting chance in the market. I didn’t see why I had to “improve” on it. What I have written, I have written.

Take everything away from me, but please don’t take away my credibility. I understand that the PR fellow was just doing her job but it is also our duty to educate remind PR practitioners that we need to set criteria. Sometimes they get too engrossed in their work. :)

On bad products
I have a personal opinion about REALLY bad products – I never review products that don’t make sense to consumers (VERY iffy market / VERY sub par features / VERY horrendous pricing scheme) because I know that such types of products will die a natural death. Giving a bad product a bad review is like kicking someone when he’s already down. In the case of this scenario I just outlined, the product was not bad. I gave a fair perspective on the strengths and weaknesses.

So what is the purpose of this post? Because of this incident, I would like to reveal the 8th characteristic of Blog and Soul (only 7 are posted), something which I never really wanted to talk about because I felt that it was unnecessary. The 8th pointer of the Blog and Soul Movement is to protect bloggers from sacrificing their credibility to PR. This does not happen intentionally, but I tell you that it does happen. I have dealt with several PR and ad agencies in the past – Ogilvy, GMCI, Strategic Edge, Bridges, Dominguez, Stratworks, etc and know that they are all composed of very good and upright people whom I respect and love. But we, as bloggers, must always be on guard just in case. Just in case.

The last thing you want to happen is to realize that you’ve sold out without knowing it.

How to do a soft sell for a product

This video came out about a year ago as an advocacy campaign to promote Philippine tourism. As it is the dawn of the “ber” months and the holidays are fast approaching, I’d like to encourage the foreign readers of this little blog to visit my lovely country for the holidays. The beaches and food are to die for. :)

Do you see the 3 second plug at the end? That’s how you do a soft sell.

Does Mark Verzo stand a chance?

For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV

UPDATE: The Warrior Lawyer has some insight on the legalities of the issue at hand.

Shocking news yesterday, as Mark Verzo, the guy behind the infamous Boy Bastos series of websites was apprehended by authorities under the charge of potential human trafficking (i.e. prostitution).

In a statement, Verzo said:

Revenge is best served with a touch screen.


I knew it! I don’t know how it felt for those who bought non-working iPhones to have Apple slap them in the face. Sure, you may say, they all work now because of some unlocking mechanism but knowing Apple, the price to pay for having an iPhone in Asia is high – about $300 higher than the iPod touch and with that dwindling premonition that Apple may not even entertain the warranty on iPhones released in Asia (this is easily checked via the Apple Product Serial Number – those unique to the West and those unique to Asian release).

I reserved my iPod touch a few seconds ago. :)

My educated guess: The Apple iPhone will ship in the Philippines between December 2007 and February 2008. It will come with a suggested retail price of P40,000. Note that even with the price drop, this does not necessarily mean the price in the Philippines will change as the drop only applies to buying the unit with a two year contract subsidized with AT&T. If we follow correct pricing, the iPod touch will retail for roughly P17,000.00 to P20,000.00 for the 8GB model bringing down the price of the current line of iPods. Now is the perfect time to buy the “classic” iPod you always wanted, whether it be the nano, touch, or iPod 4th gen.

UPDATE: The cheapest 8GB iPod touch sells for P16,500.00 in the Philippines.

The Jayvee and Katie Show: Reloaded :)

I was able to tinker with iMovie HD a bit more and realized that it is a far more superior product to the new iMovie ’08. When I wrote about the new iLife ’08 package weeks ago, I did mention that both apps have their strengths and weaknesses and this still holds true. The new iMovie is best suited for 5 minute on-the-fly video productions because all you need to do is cut and paste your most engaged moments on film and add music.

I retouched the first episode of The Jayvee Show using iMovie HD and have uploaded a higher quality version for download. The differences are:

  • included a field video of the books
  • added an intro and outro
  • resized video to fit screen


Tuesdays with Colbert Low


I had the chance to meet Colbert Low at the Bangsar Shopping Center yesterday. Colbert is a fellow b5media writer who has been one of the cornerstones of the technology channel since 2005. Colbert and I go way back from two years and it is so surreal to have met in person only now. We “met” online through Duncan Riley back in the founding days of b5media.

Malaysia, Truly Asia: KLCC Aquaria!

Click on the photo for bigger version

The KLCC Aquaria
Price: 38 RM for tourists
Feeding time: Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays 3:00 PM

This was a lucky long shot – to come during feeding time! If you plan to drop by the Aquaria, it would be best to go on a weekday (Monday or Wednesday) at around 2:00 PM so that by the time you reach the sharks, you’ll be treated to a feeding frenzy.

Correct me if I’m wrong but I did hear some rumors that back in the Philippines, plans to construct a “Sea World” type of attraction is currently in the works. The site will be located in the reclamation area and funded by a European company.

Click on the link to view more of my photos of the KLCC Aquaria.

Batu Caves Photostitch!


Thanks to Francis’ fantastic Kodak V570, we were able to do wide angle photo stitching in front of the Batu Caves in Malaysia. Click on the image for a bigger view.

Big Things in Malaysia

I’m spending the week in Malaysia. Old friends from college and work are taking me out. Malaysia as a nation is very passionate about big things. Their “2020” vision aims to turn Malaysia into a first world country by the year 2020. And what better way to entice this revelry and optimism than a 50-hour countdown to their 50th year of independence?

I mean, what other country celebrates their 50th Merdeka for 50 straight hours at the best airport in the world? You can view photos of the 50th. Francis Miranda (a friend from way back in high school) has a knack for entertaining everyone as seen in this video of the self-blowing flagpoles (extremely awesome!!!).

As a tribute to the big things, here are a few other “bigs” that we saw:

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