Archive for Public Relations

ThingLink Appoints Tech PR Veteran Neil Vineberg as CMO

San Francisco, CA (August 01, 2011) — ThingLink, the provider of in-image interaction tools, today announced that Neil Vineberg, a former executive at leading communications firms Middleberg Euro and Golin/Harris, has been appointed as the company’s chief marketing officer.

Vineberg, whose 20+ year career includes pioneering strategic work for clients across digital music, social media, online communities and technology, will oversee ThingLink’s marketing and PR functions, drive U.S. business development for the Helsinki-based company, and manage soon-to-be opened offices in New York and San Francisco.

“Neil’s vast experience in and out of the tech sphere makes him the ideal person to introduce ThingLink to a wide range of prospective partners and brands across the U.S.,” commented Ulla Engeström, founder and CEO of ThingLink. “He has been associated with some of the most creative work in the business and boasts a strategic track record that speaks for itself.”

Vineberg’s varied consultancy career has seen him take up advisory roles with UNICEF, Procter & Gamble, United Airlines, IBM, Sony, Sprint,, and eMusic, while also cultivating a successful career as a renowned contemporary acoustic guitarist and composer. Performing under the name ‘Shambhu’, his debut album ‘Sacred Love’ peaked at #1 on the World Music charts and was named “One of the Best of the Year” by Common Ground magazine.

“By turning images into a platform for rich media, ThingLink is innovating a new paradigm in consumer engagement,” added Vineberg. “I look forward to working with our team and growing community of partners in the U.S. and around the world to drive the growth of this exciting multi-media platform.”

Launched in 2010, ThingLink transforms images into a navigational surface for rich, relevant content that enhances a viewer’s knowledge and experience. The free-to-use application installs seamlessly onto blogs, websites or community pages allowing publishers to maximise the usability of images for story telling, advertising, promotion, sales and retention.

For more information, visit


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How to Insert SoundCloud’s Player in ThingLink Tags

Cool video of how to set up a SoundCloud player in ThingLink tags. There’s a post on my music site about ThingLink, an innovative company that I’m working with.

Read music marketing master Michael Brandvold’s post on ThingLink.

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New PR Hires Must Know Social Media

dv631010Public relations professionals are taking the lead in managing the organization’s use of social media communications channels, and social media skills are nearly as important as traditional media relations skills when searching for and hiring public relations professionals, according to a new study, The 2009 Digital Readiness Report .

Among the key insights from the study are:

  • When searching for prospective new hires, social media communications skills are nearly as important as traditional media relations skills.
  • Public relations leads marketing in the management and oversight of all social media communications channels within organizations.
  • When searching for prospective new hires, social media communications skills are nearly as important as traditional media relations skills.
  • Public relations leads marketing in the management and oversight of all social media communications channels within organizations.
  • Marketing leads public relations in the management and oversight of bulk email communications and search engine optimization.
  • Social networking, blogging and micro-blogging skills are the three most important social media communications skills for job candidates to have, according to public relations and marketing hiring decision makers.
  • Most organizations are considering hiring social media specialists.

The 2009 Digital Readiness Report  “Essential Online Public Relations and Marketing Skills” is available for download free at (registration is required).

Social Media Skills Influence Hiring Decisions

Survey data also suggest that public relations and marketing professionals without new media and social media communications skills cannot, and will not, satisfy the requirements of today’s hiring decision makers.

The research also suggest a potential gap in online communications strategy  at most organizations, since the channels with the greatest reach and adoption levels — email and search engine optimization — do not appear to be the most important channels in practice.

In addition, organizations do not appear to be as intent on leveraging the trust advantage of their own websites over social networking services to promote their company line. Instead, organizations say they’re more focused on getting the word out than on using new media and social media channels to attract visitors to their own destination websites.

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SF MusicTech Summit Hits The Spot

IMG_0097Fourth time’s a charm? Maybe. The 2009 SF MusicTech Summit really hit the spot this year. Organizers Brian and Shoshana Zisk brought together a who’s who of music industry executives, managers, musicians, promoters and lawyers, to discuss the current state of the industry and how it should move forward. Topics covered included technology – tools artists and labels can use for marketing, promotion and measurement, and monetization – new models and legal issues related to how music will be delivered and paid for in the future.

There has never been more opportunity for musicians to take control of their careers. Recording and career promoting technologies are now in the hands of the artist rather than the record label. At the same time, there is lots of competition out there among artists. Someone in the band also needs to wear the hat of a ‘creative director’ for it’s often superlative creative marketing across new platforms (i.e. MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) that helps gain attention for an artist and his/her music and can make the difference and help elevate music among its intended audiences.

There was a terrific mid-day performance by songwriter/singer Matt Morris, whose new album is produced by Justin Timberlake. My friend and triple-Grammy winning record producer / hit-maker Narada Michael Walden showed up at the post-conference reception to promote Let The Sunshine In, a benefit concert taking place on May 25th in San Francisco, featuring Sting, Earl Klugh, Bob Weir, Dave Grisman, and many others.

This year’s’ event was standing room only…and I suggested to Brian that it might be time for a larger venue. One more thing…there was nobody on the floor I met who was bummed out about the economy. People were excited and optimistic.

(PIC: S. Neil Vineberg, Narada Michael Walden, Brian Zisk, )

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Remember When Obama Lost Stride the First Time?


Remember last summer when Obama headed off to meet European leaders and drew huge, adoring crowds in the hundreds of thousands, and the media covered his travels as if he was ALREADY President? In contrast at the time, John McCain looked irrelevant.

McCain’s new campaign manager, Steve Schmidt, countered with a new playbook and TV ads that sought to attack Obama as nothing more than a ‘celebrity,’ as ‘uppity,’ as the ‘Messiah’ and they started to make the election about Obama. Remember those startling and entertaining TV commercials that compared Obama to Paris Hilton? Welcome to the Republican playbook 101. Trash. It took the public several weeks to realize that the Republicans were all mind-games and no substance. Because there were few policy solutions in the Republican play book. Only criticism of Obama for being popular combined with stale, failed ideas – like tax cuts for business. What Schmidt succeeded in doing was throwing off Obama’s game. Maybe it was just the law of physics – a pendulum swing…what goes up must come down.

The same pattern is happening now with the Stimulus Bill. The Republicans are in their first joust with the White House. In response to Obama’s olive branch approach to Congress – meetings at Congress, meetings at the White House, etc. – the Republican minority decided to play hardball (thanks Chris Matthews) and demonstrate the power of the minority at a time when bi-partisanship is needed.

Rather than joining on a Stimulus Bill to create jobs, the Republicans are stonewalling, focusing on the less than 1% of the proposed bill they consider to be unrelated to job creation, and voting no as a bloc. It’s a good PR stunt when every day we are losing jobs and people are suffering. While this bill is far from perfect, Obama feels we simply need to put $800 billion dollars into the system to get things moving. And I honestly have no proof it will work – nobody does. This is take your best shot. But, we elected Obama to take the shot.

While it appears the Republicans have taken control of the debate on the Stimulus Bill and put the President on the defensive, this will turn in Obama’s favor because the Republicans have shown themselves to be sad losers, and somewhat vindictive in their approach to the American people. They will seek to deny the American public a powerful economic engine for growth – one that will put people back to work – for politics sake. And by playing terrible tactics, they will continue in their free fall as a party.

Look, Obama is a fierce competitor who may appear to lose now and again, but don’t count on it. He starts out kind and if you want to play nice, he will play nice. If you diss him, he will outlast you, out-think you and never give up.

A majority of American have entrusted national leadership to Obama and the Democratic majority and the Republicans should play nice.

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PR: When Times Get

42-15483590Times are going to be tough for tech companies moving forward. Venture Capital firms are advising their portfolio companies to tighten up on spending, especially in areas of PR and marketing. We agree.Times will be tough. So what are the implications?Companies need to work harder, faster, smarter.

Innovation will drive us ahead.

Marketing and PR (including social media) need to be truly integrated like never before.

These are not fun times and as someone who lived through the Internet bust, it’s going to feel strange. But reality is where we are.

Companies cannot stop growing. They need to move forward. How?

It’s more important than ever for companies to shed their high budget, high infrastructure PR firms and opt instead for a leaner and higher performing alternatives.

That’s where my firm, Vineberg Communications, plays well. We couple business strategy and PR/social media in ways that elevate our clients to leadership and drive metrics important to their success. And rather than post junior staff to your account, we post experienced pros at every corner of your business. This is the value we bring to market during high and low times.

Accelerating success has always been our value proposition and it remains so. Because it’s more important than ever that success is found fastest, especially now.

If you’d like to find out how we can help your company thrive in these tough times, ping me and lets have a conversation.

Now is the time to race past those of your competitors who sit idly by. Now is the time to accelerate success.

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PODCAST: Launching Your Startup

This past Sunday at Sun’s Startup Camp before an audience of about 600 attendees, I had a chance to explore the challenges facing startup companies with a brilliant panel: Matt Dickman, Fleishman-Hillard (Matt’s blog); Christina Kerley, ckEpiphany, Inc. (CK’s blog); Jyri Engström, Google (Jyri’s blog); and Adam Metz, theMix (Adam’s blog).

Now you can view and download the sessions as we explore prelaunch and launch strategies and questions on Branding, Messaging & Positioning, Social Media, and Public Relations. You’ll hear real-time experience and sage advice from these experts in digital and social media, advertising, PR and technology. Rejoice: there’s something here for anyone managing or promoting a company, product or service.

Read Mashable’s report on the panel, CK’s post and Matt Dickman’s post.

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