Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Yippeee....one of my startup clients makes their public debut!

Phonesheet.com Introduces Phone Message Manager

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- DROP THAT STICKY NOTE! In an
effort to free desktops and workspaces of stacks of phone message slips,
random pieces of scrap paper, and layers of sticky notes stuck to one's
computer monitor, Phonesheet.com today introduces the phone message

Unlike an online contact manager geared towards sales professionals,
Phonesheet.com is the only secure, Web 2.0 portal designed to aid in the
organization of phone calls and messages for anyone that relies on
telephone communication.

Making and receiving telephone calls are a necessary part of a work
day. Amazingly, calls and messages are still managed using phone message
pads, spiral notebooks and sticky notes, upon which call information or
important details extracted from a voicemail message are handwritten by
administrative or personal assistants, business colleagues, or us. Phone
message slips can quickly pile up and efforts to make four phone calls can
easily result in four voicemails (voicemail tag). Mental checks of calls
made, messages left, and calls that still need to be returned swim in our
heads alongside ever- expanding professional and personal to-do lists--
making the management of daily 'phone work' a tedious, inefficient and
disorganized process. In a day of technological innovation, a paradigm
shift away from the handwritten phone message is afoot with the
introduction of the online phone message pad.

With no complicated set up, no large manual to review, and no software
to install, Phonesheet.com is a tool designed to alleviate multiple
telephone challenges by providing amateur and savvy computer users alike a
web-based method of managing, sorting and storing phone messages. Once
entered into the spreadsheet-style application, calls and messages are
displayed as a color- coded overview -- allowing immediate identification
and sorting of calls that need to be made, calls that have already been
made, and new messages received. Anyone that relies on telephone
communication can leverage Phonesheet.com's 'virtual phone message pad'
which securely stores contact information and archives phone
messages-resulting in a personal, online phonebook for each user that is
accessible anytime and anywhere in the world where Internet access is

"Phonesheet.com solved the problem of always trying to find my phone
call note sheet and allowed me to keep track of my calls anywhere I might
be working," said Jim Gabriel, director of Michigan-based St. Hugo of the
Hills. "I've been recommending it to everyone."

Why Voicemail Isn't a Failsafe Solution
When known or expected callers leave a message in our voicemail box,
response is easy as many of us submit phone numbers to memory or program
them directly into our landline or wireless phone. Yet, should a message be
left by an unknown or unexpected caller, we're left reaching for a pen and
piece of paper to draft a handwritten and ultimately disposable message.
From a point of innovation using voicemail, we return to an antiquated
method of managing our messages. To maintain progress towards innovation,
Phonesheet.com augments voicemail by digitizing phone messages,
streamlining message management, and eliminating wasted paper-a nod to the

Phone Message Manager Can Become an Assistant's Most Used Application

Many businesses today employ administrative professionals or personal
assistants charged with scripting and maintaining a daily inventory of
phone messages for one or multiple team members. Phonesheet.com insures
that messages taken are in one location rather than scattered across
cluttered desktops or pasted amid swarms of sticky notes atop hidden
computer monitors. The US Department of Labor and the International
Association of Administrative Professionals report that in 2006, 4.2
million administrative assistants and secretaries were employed. This
figure is expected to grow an additional 362,000 by 2016. Administrative
professionals are not being replaced by technology or voicemail. Rather,
technology which aids these professionals and those they support becomes
more relevant.

"After struggling to keep track of more than 80 calls a day, I went in
search of an application to help me organize calls and messages," said Jan
Zands, founder of Phonesheet.com. "Sadly, no available software or phone
message service fit my needs. There seemed to be a hole, and Phonesheet.com
now fills it."

Professionals in finance, broadcast media, real estate and business
consulting, through synagogues and small business owners, use
Phonesheet.com. "The business of being a broker in a top Dallas commercial
real estate firm requires an extraordinary amount of focus and
communication with a large clientele," said Collin Curtis of Harvard
Companies, Inc. "When making hundreds of calls a week, Phonesheet.com
becomes an invaluable tool."

The Phonesheet.com service is immediately available for US $15/month or
$160/year. A free 30-day trial and online tutorial are available at

About Phonesheet.com
Phonesheet.com is the premier online phone message manager. Through its
secure Web 2.0-based portal, users can track phone calls, messages and call
history in real-time when at their desktop or when working remotely.
Phonesheet.com simplifies the management of phone calls and messages and
helps to eliminate stacks of phone message slips and sticky notes stuck to
one's computer monitor. The company, based in Los Angeles, was founded by
an entertainment industry veteran seeking an easier way to manage a high
volume of phone work. More information and a free trial of the service can
be found at http://www.phonesheet.com/.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Strategic political PR or just dumb luck?

(Photo by Getty Images/BBC)

Was the appointment of vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin (AK) a smart move on the part of Republican presidential hopeful John McCain, or just a fantastic publicity stunt?
Interestingly, since the news made public McCain's selection of Palin, the most talked-about fodder of the Governor of Alaska hasn't been her track record, or even much about her political bent. In fact, the main focus has been on her as a working mother--to five children--the youngest of which has Down syndrome.
For members of the special needs community (of which I am a proud one), this is a coup! Individuals with special needs of all types comprise a sizable portion of our population and while strides have been made to reverse social stigmas and stereotypes, many still exist.
Palin is also a wife and working mother. Is she a perfect surrogate to Hillary's past profile, or not quite woman enough to fill those shoes?
Regardless of your politics, McCain and his team did something right. They selected a female politician, mother, and parent to a child with special needs. All of those tied together create an incredibly powerful media package for any journalist worth their salt. The potential articles that could be drafted from those components alone seem limitless. Add on her actual stance on abortion and the gun law (she's pro-life and a member of the NRA) and wow, it's fireworks set to explode!
While Obama's text messaging campaign was wrought with foibles and earned his office little more than negative publicity, McCain has started to fire with guns a blazing. From the PR perspective, Palin's appointment will assure the McCain camp a nearly endless opportunity to pitch the Republican party and its campaign for the White House.
It'll be interesting to see if McCain's appointment was strategic or simply lucky, and whether or not it will work for or against him. I remain in waiting on the sidelines like all other Americans to see what will happen next.