Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Defending the delete-on-receipt news release. . . and an example of a better format

Posted by Tom Foremski - March 1, 2006

By Tom Foremski for SiliconValleyWatcher
There has been lots of whining from the PR community about my press/news release should die post. Lots of business models to defend I suppose.

I am providing the PR community with feedback on what works and what does not. I'm a target of the product and I'm using my own time and money to to help it become a more effective and useful communications entity. You can ignore my feedback if you want, but change will come, I guarantee it.

Also, there seems to be some mistaken belief that the SEC mandates news releases in their current format. No, it does not.

The SEC wants broad distribution of company data as quickly and as efficiently as possible so that all investors have equal access to material information. The only thing that is efficient about the news release is in getting access to client money!

Anyway, while a bunch of the old guard have been stalwartly defending the classic delete-on-receipt news release, others have spent their time more productively.

For example, the always resourceful Julie Crabill, from Shift Communications on Tuesday sent over what she called a "Foremski style" news release, and the same release old style. And it is a good example and a great step in the right direction--just these simple things already made the news release a lot more useful.

Take a look:

Hi Tom: We took a whack at re-formatting a release that's already gone out, to comply with some of the ideas from your blog .We've also attached the original. Is this "Foremski-style" version close to what you had in mind? (Please keep in mind that we were constrained to quotes that had already been approved by client and analysts, and, that this is a privately-held company, so the financial data is as robust as we could reasonably make it.)

What do you think? Feedback welcome.


Old Style:

 
 
 

For More Information
Contact:


Julie Crabill       Marie Domingo


SHIFT Communications for UGOBE    SHIFT Communications
for UGOBE


Office: +1-415-591-8411     Office: +1-415-591-8409


Mobile: +1-408-219-5617     Mobile: +1-650-888-5642


[email protected]      [email protected] 

 


UGOBE UNVEILS FIRST
DESIGNER LIFE FORM®


Organic Robotics
Blends Technology and Behaviors in a way that Breathes Life
into Robotics


 

EMERYVILLE, Calif. – Feb. 6, 2006 –
UGOBE, developer of organic robotics, today revealed the company’s
first Designer Life Form®, Pleo. Pleo is modeled after a one-week-old
Camarasaurus Sauropod, or long neck dinosaur, and incorporates basic
traits of autonomous life. Pleo has been specifically engineered to
mimic life with organic movement and behaviors that allow him to relate
to humanity on a personal level.
 


UGOBE’s unique and patented robotic
motion platform enables Pleo to move in a fluid, lifelike way, while
behaving completely autonomously. Equipped with nearly 40 sensors, including
infrared and stereophonic sound, Pleo requires no remote control and
is free to interact with his owner and environment. Through UGOBE’s
“Life Form Operating System,” Pleo is able to use simultaneous sensory
inputs along with a sophisticated behavioral platform to act independently
and express himself through motion and sound. Pleo can convey emotions,
is aware of himself and his surroundings, and evolves in behavior over
time.
 


“With this flagship product, UGOBE
has shown that they are a forward-thinking company that sees the shift
within the industry toward interactive organic robotics” said Tim
Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies.
 


UGOBE is made up of a multidisciplinary
team of robotics experts, animators, technologists, scientists, biologists
and programmers. Through a unique blend of life sciences, artistic design
and sophisticated engineering, UGOBE has created its first scientifically
authentic designer species. Pleo has an astonishingly realistic form,
which is revealed in his amazingly fluid motions, advanced sensory systems
and lifelike body language.
 
 
 


“UGOBE’s goal is to re-animate life
by transforming inanimate objects into lifelike creatures exhibiting
organic movement and behaviors,” said Bob Christopher, CEO of UGOBE.
“Through evolving companionship, Pleo will suspend disbelief by bringing
magic and beauty to life.”
 


Pleo features include



  • 14 servo joints (torso, head,
    tail, neck, legs) with force feedback

  • 38-touch, sound, light and
    tilt sensors including nine touch sensors (mouth, chest, head, shoulders,
    back, feet) and 8 feet and toe sensors

  • Fluid quadruped motion

  • Ability to avoid obstacles
    and not walk off edges

  • Sound output, stereo sound
    sensors and music beat detection

  • Autonomous interaction with
    owner and environment including coughing, blinking eyes, chomping, twitching,
    sighing, sneezing, sniffing, growling stomach, tail drift, and yawning

  • Distinct moods including anger,
    boredom, playfulness, hunting, cautious, cuddling, disgust, disorientation,
    distress, fear, curiosity, joy, sorrow, surprise, fatigue, hunger, and
    a desire for social interaction

  • Upgradeable, Life Form OS
    and Personality System

  • SD card memory expansion

  • Ability to communicate with
    other UGOBE Life Forms

  • Rechargeable battery


 

Pleo will be available in Q3 2006, in
time for the holidays, and will MSRP for $199.
 


About UGOBE


UGOBE develops and markets revolutionary
robotic technology that transforms inanimate objects into lifelike creatures
that exhibit stunning organic movement and dynamic behaviors. Ugobe’s
multidisciplinary team of robotics experts, animators, technologists,
scientists, biologists and programmers are led by polymath toy inventor
and Furby co-creator, Caleb Chung, one of the most successful and respected
toy creators in the $25 billion U.S. toy industry. UGOBE’s groundbreaking
line of robotic creatures called Life Forms, promise to inspire and
entertain the child in all of us. For more information about UGOBE,
visit
www.ugobe.com.


Foremski Style:

Feb. 6, 2006:
UGOBE launches first product at DEMO 2006
 


Contact:


Julie
Crabill
, SHIFT Communications, 415-591-8411 


Description:


UGOBE, a new company started by Furby
co-creator
Caleb Chung, today revealed its first product, Pleo. 
Pleo is modeled after a one-week-old
Camarasaurus Sauropod, or long neck dinosaur, and has been specifically
engineered to mimic life with organic movement and behaviors. UGOBE’s
patented robotic technology enables Pleo to move in a fluid, lifelike
way, behave autonomously, convey emotions through motion and sound,
and evolve in behavior over time. Pleo will be available in Q3 2006
and will MSRP for $199.
 


Executive Quote:


“UGOBE’s goal is to re-animate life
by transforming inanimate objects into lifelike creatures exhibiting
organic movement and behaviors. Through evolving companionship, Pleo
will suspend disbelief by bringing magic and beauty to life.” –
Bob Christopher, CEO, UGOBE
 


Analyst Quote:


“With this flagship product, UGOBE
has shown that they are a forward-thinking company that sees the shift
within the industry toward interactive organic robotics.” –
Tim Bajarin, president, Creative Strategies 


Financial Information:



  • Private company

  • Venture capital backed

  • Series A funding: $2.5 million

  • Series B funding: Plans to
    raise $5 million

  • Investors Include:


    • Band of Angels

    • FMG, headed by Chauncey Shey,
      president and CEO, Softbank China Holding (SBCH); CEO, Softbank China
      Venture Capital (SBCVC); and co-founder and director, UTStarcom, Inc
      (NASDA: UTSI).


 

Photos: 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 


Videos:




 


Relevant
Coverage To-Date:



 

Boilerplate:


UGOBE develops and markets revolutionary
robotic technology that transforms inanimate objects into lifelike creatures
that exhibit stunning organic movement and dynamic behaviors. Ugobe’s
multidisciplinary team of robotics experts, animators, technologists,
scientists, biologists and programmers are led by polymath toy inventor
and Furby co-creator, Caleb Chung, one of the most successful and respected
toy creators in the $25 billion U.S. toy industry. UGOBE’s groundbreaking
line of robotic creatures called Life Forms, promise to inspire and
entertain the child in all of us. For more information about UGOBE,
visit
www.ugobe.com


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