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Make the Jump: iPad Apps for On The Go Communicators

15 Aug

It has been just about two months since I swallowed some more of the Apple beverage and snagged myself the latest bright shiny object. And while I’ve engaged in quite a bit of show-n-tell, along with justifying my purchase to a handful of doubters, I’ve been slowly integrating the tool into my daily life. While we haven’t engaged it for client purposes as much as I had hoped (besides utilizing it for some intimate presentations), I’ve found it extremely useful to help organize, integrate and streamline portions of my life. This round of Make the Jump is a run through of the iPad apps I’m finding the most useful for communicators on the go.

Evernote: I’m almost embarrassed to include this one. How have I lived without this capture platform until now? Who cares, it’s now living happily on my Mac, iPhone and iPad and serving a purpose on all three. Keeping my thoughts, musings, ideas, inspirations, images, campaign strategies, and sanity connected. A simple brand statement ‘Remember Everything’ is dead on. From notetaking in meetings to web clipping to travel plans and program outlines. While I love the pen and paper, I lost too many good ideas on notepads and sticky notes strewn about. No more.

Instapaper: These next two links will show that while I enjoy the online and virtual, my brain still craves the familiar of the static page and the page flip. Every day I come across full articles/posts/columns that upon a quick skim are intriguing. But if I followed my interest down every rabbit hole that opens I’d never move forward. Instead, I click ‘Read Later’ on my bookmark bar and it turns the web pages into articles I can read later – syncing between my laptop and iPad.

FlipBoard: The newest hot app (well, at least earlier this month), it’s your personalized social magazine. One of those, see-it-to-believe-its, it also allows me to browse, make the jump and absorb at my leisure in an appealing format that is visually stunning and super-skimmable.

Readdle Docs: I was adamant that my iPad not become just another laptop. So I don’t have my work email loaded onto it. Instead, I use Evernote and document management system Readdle Docs or DropBox to load, store and edit documents.

And for sanity? I’ve turned my iPad into my yoga and meditation studio. A take-it-on-the-road-or-to-the-office Zen platform. There are a lot of life improvement apps out there – but I’m really loving Relax&Rest and Pocket Yoga.

– Jess

Putting the Bright Shiny Object to Work

30 Jun

If you follow me (@JessFlynn) on Twitter you probably know that I succumbed to the BSOS (Bright Shiny Object Syndrome). I went out an bought an iPad. A first generation gadget. I NEVER buy first-gen anything. Heck, it took me two years to get an iPhone and many more years than that to switch from a PC to a MacBook. But I have a good reason for doing so this time around. At least, I’m trying to convince myself I do!

The more that I skim, read and consume about the evolution of PR the more I’m thankful we started Red Sky in early 2008 – right when signs on the street corners began popping up saying the world was coming to an end. I thank the universe every day we kickstarted when we did – in the midst of the global shift, the democratization of communication, and at the nexus of the integration of communication strategies. Incorporating multi-media and activating technology in the name of public engagement is more important – and possible – than ever.

So how is Red Sky thinking of integrating the iPad into our work for clients?

  • Exit Polling We’re working in support of a passage of a levy for public safety. So what are the best channels of outreach to spur citizens to get out the vote? What works in a rural community vs. an urban setting? We’ll be utilizing a simple tally app to conduct exit polling the day of the vote.
  • Live Surveying Red Sky is heading up a component of a market testing program for a food product this fall. Boise’s the first stop for this multi-national client to test out a brand new product. We’ll be conducting sampling and outreach throughout the Valley. We plan to use one of the many polling apps to develop an instant feedback form for samplers to let us know what they think. We also plan to have videos loaded and ready to show about the production of the product that explains its unique attributes.
  • Recording How many times do you find yourself in a meeting struggling to keep up with notes or the flow of brainstorming? Or – you’re jiving on an idea and just want to get your stream of consciousness down?  We’re going to give Dragon Dictation a whirl in some upcoming brand discovery sessions and proposal sessions.
  • Livecasting Any list of top business apps for iPad always includes Webex or GoToMeeting. So that’s a must and we plan to utilize it for some upcoming professional development seminars
  • Intimate /Customized Presentations Not that I don’t feel like killing PowerPoint at least once a week. But the iPad will definitely change the way we present concepts, trainings and plans. We plan to utilize the platform  – and Keynote – for more intimate presentations and proposals. Incorporating video and photos, and using it as a ‘handout’ of sorts during our projected presentations. For instance, While we are talking to a static presentation up on a screen for a group of 25 people, we’ll use our CradlePoint to connect the iPad to 3GWifi and have the various websites we’re addressing available for browsing as the toy (I mean, tool) gets passed around.

And I’m sure as I sit at home snuggling my iPad  – and more apps roll out – the list will grow. Already the staff is jonesing to move our tangible office Scrabble game onto the iPad and take it outdoors for some park Scrabble. I’m thinking we’ll tackle that next week.


(7/5/10) and just learned of an iPad app from MailChimp that could prove pretty useful as well – Chimpadeedoo, a simple sign-up app for physical locations. Think we’ll put it to use at my family’s Lakeside Lavender Festival this weekend….

And here’s a great post from Arik Hanson on 4 PR Uses for the iPad

– Jess (& the Red Sky office via Yammer!)

The iPad Echo Chamber

28 Jan

Don’t worry, this isn’t a post pontificating on the wonders of the iPad, or delving into the intricacies of the technology. (Heck, it took me 2 years to get an iPhone – I’m not a first generation tech bandwagoner)

But with the plethora of posts and the echo chamber of conversation I had to post a few of my favorite articles, posts and comments from the past 24 hours.

What’d I Miss? If you are in PR – you might have been thinking ‘If I had some bad news to drop nationally this might be the day – what with that whole iPad furor and the SOTU.’ Gawker has you covered on what you may have missed in the maelstrom with their ‘Tablet Day News Dump’ Verizon laid off 13,000? Really, it was Holocaust Remembrance Day? And you think the presidential candidate who made so many personal missteps actually planned the roll-out of this one?

It’s Called What? The name. Oh god the name! This just confirms my belief that there is a serious issue with certain groups (ahem, men) naming products or companies – especially in the tech world. Maybe it is the influence of my un-p.c. other half. But putting ‘pad’ into the name of the latest object of desire from the Apple cult might not have been the best step – and A LOT of people’s minds went there. There are lots of voices out there backing up this thought – but having the venerable Wall Street Journal weigh in doesn’t hurt. And from the NYTimes Blog ‘When Apple announced the name of its tablet computer today — the iPad — my mind immediately went to the feminine hygiene aisle of the drugstore. It turns out I wasn’t alone.’

Too. Much. Noise So with the millions of posts (1500 tweets/minute?) – where to turn for what you need to know about the new widget/gadget/kool-aid drinking device? Mashable of course with Apple iPad: A Comprehensive Guide

Wish I Was There And for those into the spectacle of the unveil itself, a link to watch Steve Jobs’ keynote

– Jess