Google setting aside millions for European startups

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Jason GrillGoogle has established a $100 million euro investment fund to back European companies. Created in 2009, Google Ventures is the branch whose focus it is to provide venture capital by funding companies to help them get started. Currently, Google Ventures invests over $300 million annually and manages $1.5 billion in assets from its offices in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Boston and New York.

The new European venture has a starting fund of $100 million to spend. Tom Hulme, Peter Read and Eze Vidra, are the partners in charge of the fund. It is planned to be set up in London in the center of Tech City, also known as Silicon Roundabout.

Not only is Google Ventures good news for London, but is also good news for startups throughout Europe. “We believe Europe’s startup scene has enormous potential,” says Google Ventures managing partner Bill Maris. “We’ve seen compelling new companies emerge from places like London, Paris, Berlin, the Nordic region and beyond: SoundCloud, Spotify, Supercell and many others.”

Other European startup successes include the Gaming company, Mind Candy, and Skype which was acquired by Microsoft for $8.5 billion in 2011. “The European tech startup scene is booming,” says entrepreneur Kate Unsworth, co-founder of wearable technology jewellery company Kovert. “With a multi-national talent pool and an inherent understanding of contrasting markets and cultures, European startups think globally from day one. I have no doubt they’ll back some future rockstars.”

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Public Relations vs. Advertising

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It is sometimes difficult to distinguish the difference between public relations and advertising. While there are numerous quality articles that explain the difference, even professionals have a hard time determining the difference between the two.

Advertising is paid media while public relations is earned media. By convincing reporters or editors your organization is worth talking about, they can write a positive story about your company or client, brand or issue. This media and publicity is earned. This attention has more credibility because it was independently verified by a trusted third party.

A recent study found that PR is almost 90% more effective than advertising. On average expert content lifted familiarity 88% more than branded content. With advertising, you brag about how wonderful you are while with publicity, other people sing your praises.

The best analogy for public relations, is gift wrapping, If you gave a woman a gift in a Tiffany box, it would have higher perceived value than if I just gave it to her plain. We live in a culture where we gift wrap everything, our politicians, TV stars and even our toilet paper.

Almost every article you read is careful crafted by a public relations agency. Most stories were rehearsed in front of publicists, staffers, speech writers or corporate experts before being sent to reporters who processed the information and edited it to its perfection.

With the creation of social media, a single story can last forever with emails, posts, tweets and instagrams. However simply throwing up a post about your favorite brand of toothpaste simply will not have the same affect.

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Venture capital fund gives entrepreneurs a piece of the pie

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Venture capitalists promise lots of advantages when they are courting technology entrepreneurs. Things like being able to offer expert advice and claiming they have a network of contacts are how they try to rope in potential clients.

Kent Goldman, former partner at First Round Capital, left this year to start a new venture capital fund. One that promises the start-up founders something a little extra, investment profits.

Goldman on Thursday announced the establishment of his new fund, Upside Partnership, and said that it would come with an unexpected twist. The founders of the companies that Upside invests in will receive a generous cut of the profits earned by the fund.

“I want to build a really strong founder community,” he added. “I thought one way to encourage that would be to make it so every founder felt as though they were an investor in other businesses in the portfolio.”

Goldman said that his new firm had already raised a little more than 30 million to make seed-stage investments in young companies. An early investor, Josh Kopelman, a partner at First round, was the provider of a good chunk of the investments. However much of the capital came from institutions, such as endowments or other funds.

“It stuck in my mind this idea that when you see an investor announce an investment in a company, it’ll say, ‘We look forward to partnering with founder X as they build their business,’” Mr. Goldman said. “One day I thought, what if they really were a partner?”

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Jason Grill on About.me

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Find out more information regarding Jason Grill and his experience working in public/media relations.

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Ways to achieve public relations success

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The lines between advertising, marketing and public relations have always intertwined. More and more firms are now providing services that are a combination of two or three of the services. The internet has almost completely removed all of these lines. Advertisers are now reaching out to customers on social media and press releases are being posted on search engine rankings. By keeping this in mind there are numerous ways to take advantage of this and achieve PR success.

Ad placement, analytics, customer engagement and pitching stories have left today’s marketers tasked with covering a wide territory. To improve your effectiveness there are steps to take to increase the return on your investment.

Press releases and personalized email marketing are both great ways to reach out to customers. To become more effective, personalize your approach. To stand out, supplement your PR blasts with targeted news releases to a small group of influencers.

Marketers must create value by both knowing the customer base and finding ways to reach out to it. Announcing the opening of the new store is not enough, marketers should provide information on how that business is relevant and how it will affect the local economy.

When pitching stories to reporters, be sure to focus the information that meets the reporters needs. Let the journalist know you are available to help them in any aspect from providing quotes to helping with facts.

Marketers and PR professionals have many tools available to help them reach out to both customers and journalists. Taking the time to do a little research before directly pitching a reporter, can make a greater impact and potentially build the foundation for an ongoing working relationship.

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