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Save $180,000 on your next tradeshow by renting a Yacht!

Paul Hayes

The Trinity Enterprise Network invited Marketing Consultant Paul Hayes from Beachhut PR to give a talk on building an international brand. And they very nicely agreed to let me come along.

Paul was previously Marketing and Communications Director at Havok and currently works with JoltOnline among others.

Paul had some brilliant advice and war stories from his time in Havok on how they, as a start up from Trinity, had go out and sell to the leading companies in games and film. Image it seams is vital but not that difficult… or expensive.

I got a lot of great points to take away from the day and here they are in no particular order.


  • Start your PR locally. Use it as your training ground to hone and practice your message before you move international.
  • With everything showing up on Google do not underestimate local press. A Wired journalist rang up Paul after a story in the Tipperary Star popped up in his alerts.
    • Develop relationships with three key Journalists and publications.

    • THE trade publication of the industry.
    • A national publication
    • One international publication.
    • Wired Magazine

    • Wired is THE publication for a technology company and it took Havok a year from initial contact to getting covered in the magazine.
    • The easiest way to get international PR is to get on a plane and go have a drink with a Journalist and start a relationship.
    • Journalists do not write for their readers first. they write for other Journalists and their editor. Remember this when pitching a story.
    • It’s easier to get coverage if you ‘promise’ to take out advertising in the future. Most trade magazines are run at a loss to maintain an audience for other business activities, events for example. So do not stress too much if you are unable to take out advertising for a long while.
    • Third paragraph PR is better for credibility. The public are very media savvy. They recognise a PR piece about a company for what it is.

      However if your opinion is mentioned in an overall industry piece it lends more credibility to you being an industry expert.

    • You are the best person to tell your story. Do not use a PR firm to be the middle man. It annoys Journalists.


    • The first sale was for $1 to get past the ‘First Customer’ credibility problem.It was a marketing deal in return for using the customer in PR, Marketing and Case studies.
    • There is value in everything you produce. Watch out for opportunities. Havok had an artwork tool to help users of their main product. 3dStudio Max wanted this for their application and it generated $18 million for Havok over 3 years.
    • Paul believes Tradeshow stands are a waste of money. Think smarter or of a ‘Meta Stand’.Instead of a stand Havok would organise wacky transport (with a bar) carrying VIPs from a tradeshow to the afters party and again at the end of the night back to their hotels. A fraction of the cost, and more memorable.Microsoft Trade Show Stand
    • One horror story in the early days of Havok involved spending half a million on a stand, intending to make a splash. They ended up wedged between Microsoft and Sony who each spent about $10 million to launch their next gen consoles. It almost broke them.
    • At a tradeshow in Calais they rented a $20k Yacht and moored it outside the event instead of spending the $200k cost of a stand inside. They also got to save costs by sleeping 8 people and eating on it as well.
    • For a tradeshow all you need is you and a laptop walking around. Just as effective.
    • In most cases you are not selling your features. What you are selling is reduced risk.Customers assume that your product works. They want to know you will be around in 3 years and will not make them look bad to their piers and boss.
    • And last was a question from the audience asking if the Trinity name helped them abroad when making contacts and selling. He said at the time no but after the very successful companies that have emerged over the years including Havok and Jolt Online it can open doors now.


    | | 01/02/10 03:33 PM

How not to die (as a startup) BizCamp Belgium Takeaways

For my second takeaway form BizCampBe here is the presentation from cofounder of, Paul Geurts. Paul gave an inspiring talk about his strategies for staying alive as a start up. Lots of light bulbs went off for me listening to his talk. Paul is certainly not afraid to take chances and to prioritize the big stuff. His approach is a must read for every start up CEO. Go check out Paul’s company and see the promotional video they made on a shoestring budget; impressive.

How not to die (as a start-up)

1. Know when to pay and when to hassle
2. Don’t be afraid to spend money
3. Make decisions. Don’t think I should have had …
4. Act
5. Be creative with Banks, Governments
6. Lie, just a little
7. Do what you do best
8. The press is your best friend
9. Never lie to the media
10. Never lie to users
11. Mobilize your friends
12. Invest in Pizza and Beer
13. Be good
14. Understand the Art of War
15. Never attack the walled city

Let me know what strategies you use to keep moving forward as a startup. Would you agree with Paul’s list?


Image Hadassah28 (Martha’s Vine 90% done) (CC)

| | 08/12/09 10:52 PM

Golden Spider Awards Tonight

As tonight is Eircom Golden Spider Awards night we want to wish all the finalists the very best of luck. We are delighted to see so many of our clients making the shortlist this year. In all 9 clients have been shortlisted for 8 awards and well deserved they are too. We are honoured to work with such amazing people this year.
Drop by and say hello to us tonight. Looking forward to it!


| | 19/11/09 12:50 PM

Hard work, trees, and rewards. Spoiltchild Updates.

Sometimes you work so hard you can’t see the wood for the trees. Thankfully, hard work pays off and this week certainly proved it for me. It all began last Thursday as we arrived in Brussels for BizCamp Belgium (more about BizcampBe later). We were greeted with the news that Spoiltcild has been selected for the prestigious Enterprise Ireland internet Growth Acceleration Programme iGap. We are really thrilled and very excited to be selected along with some of the best internet companies in Ireland. We are looking forward to learning lots from the programme and from our peers. We are more than honoured to be given the opportunity to learn, to push ourselves and to grow our business. You can read a bit more about iGap here. We can’t wait to get stuck in and will keep you posted on our progress.

If that wasn’t exciting enough for one week, Lee Munroe’s article ‘Showcase of Web Design in Ireland‘ was published in Smashing Magazine online last Friday. Alan was interviewed along with Ray Doyle, Eoghan McCabe and Sabrina Dent about the state of play of Irish design. It was a lovely article and covered topics like is a college education important for aspiring designers to the quality of work produced by Irish designers. Thanks to Lee and Smashing Magazine for such an informative piece. Keep reading the series on ‘Global Web Design’ as Smashing takes a look at the design industry worldwide. Interesting to see how designers internationally rate their design, quality, output and education in comparison to the Irish design industry.

And so the BizCampBe last Saturday. It was fantastic to discover that the start-up industry is alive and well in Belgium and has lots in common with the Irish community. We met so may amazing people who were more than willing to share their knowledge and share the benefit of their experience with the 150 attendees. Contributors from Belgium, Holland, Spain and the US gave flawless presentations on everything from ‘Partnering with the Big Boys, Marketing your product to my mother, ‘how not to die’ (as a start-up), the benefits of outsourcing, and how to sail round the world for twelve years while running your business. Fantastic talks every one of them and I wished I had the ability of bi-location Thankfully, the organisers have put some of the presentations up on Slideshare so go there now and be inspired.

As this was the first BizCamp in Belgium everyone was in agreement that it was a great success. Everyone I spoke to really took on board the spirit of the day, sharing, networking, learning and listening. The fact that the organisers had a small shortfall in sponsorship to cover the costs wasn’t a problem. Attendees gave generously and it was covered by the end of the day.

Alan and I were really proud to be a part of the day. It goes to prove that a good idea and the willingness to help others transcends country boundaries and languages and connects us all together. The BizCamp format has as much relevance and is as necessary in Belgium as it is here in Ireland. At start-up stage, no matter where you locate any advice no matter how small can have a major impact. To get this kind of information form those who have gone a similar path is better than gold.

I learned lots and arrived home with new friends and a penchant for Belgian beer! Hopefully, we can extend the welcome to our Belgian colleagues next year at BizCamp Dublin. Well done BizCamp Be team I will certainly be back for the next one.

To top it all of we arrived back to the office on Tuesday to the news that or long time client Rehab Bingo have been shortlisted for a Golden Spider for best entertainment and games related website. We are thrilled for Irene and all the Rehab Bingo team. These guys are a treasure to work with and deserve to be finalists. Their enthusiasm, hard work and dedication are really inspiring. Fingers crossed for Rehab Bingo at the Golden Spiders on the 19th. See the full list of finalists here. It will be a fantastic night.

So to sum up. It is lovely when things come together and when hard work pays of. Even better it is inspiring to share these positive experiences with others. Lots of management theorists tell us at the end of a project it is important to celebrate success, smell the roses so to speak. So smell the roses today and congratulate yourself on a job well done. To take a point from one presentation in BizCampBe, celebrate the fact that you ‘did not die’ in business this year and that you are here to learn and to share even more next month.
Happy Halloween everyone!


A couple of new ad designs

We are known for a quite clean, crisp style of design so it was a lot of fun recently to break from that for a few design projects.
Michele over at Blacknight posted a few of his new magazine adverts today. One for Total Film magazine and the other for SFX.
I especially had fun with the movie one :)

Click to view larger.

| | 06/07/09 10:20 PM

RTE Doc on One Launched

Spoiltchild has been busy working with RTE over the last few months to develop a new platform to showcase documentaries online. We are very pleased to announce the launch of the new Doc on One website showcasing over 200 documentaries from the RTE archives. You can download, search by category, review and listen to documentary podcasts. Users can even send suggestions for future documentaries to the RTE team. If like me, you are interested in a wide variety of subjects; events, history and culture, log on and enjoy 40 minutes of pure listening pleasure. Documentary lovers bookmark this site now!

You can follow Doc on One updates on Twitter and Facebook. Stay tuned as there will be over 400 documentaries added to the site by the end of the month. So plenty of entertainment and education for everyone.

The Doc on One team is passionate about their work and bringing documentaries to larger audiences via the web. Spoiltchild is happy to be part of the team that facilitated such a worthwhile endeavour. We are very proud of the site in helping to create a buzz and promote such a fantastic artform. We wish continued success to the Doc on One team.

Thanks to Damien and all those on Twitter who reviewed Doc on One and gave it the thumbs up.


| | 02/07/09 04:48 PM

Why Spend Money on Advertising? You already have it - learn how to use it.

We have just confirmed the location for our next two Email Marketing courses. Here is the ad that is going out to promote it.

Email Marketing: Small Outlay! High Return! Get Results Now!

Following fantastic reviews from our previous courses, we are happy to announce an evening with Bafta nominated designer and founder of, and; Alan O’Rourke.

When: June 25th 6.30 – 8.30pm
Where: D Hotel Drogheda

Learn how to:

• Make this highly effective marketing tool work for you
• Use the technology you already have
• Find and grow a subscribers list
• A stepped approach to successful email campaigns
• Layout your Newsletters for maximum effect
• Simple writing techniques
• Measure and adjust your campaigns
• Integrating other types of marketing
• Working within the law

Book now to ensure your place.
Call Mary at 041 9830152 or email
€95 per person.
All welcome.

Next course date: July 9th D Hotel, Drogheda, 6.30 – 8.30 pm.

Image thanks to foundphotoslj

| | 15/06/09 06:47 PM

Get poked!

But in the getting attention way not the sexual way…
Spoiltchild, Damien Mulley and echolibre have been secretly working on a small project the last couple of months. I am not going to reveal all just yet but believe me when I say its pretty cool and you will be using it when it launches.
To tease you here is some work in progress on the design.

It’s one of the few opportunities where I have been able to repurpose an unused concept design. To use the Bob the Builder phrase, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Engaging with your Customers - Netimperative Presentation

Below is my presentation from the Netimperative Digital Roadshow – in the GUINNESS STOREHOUSE Dublin.

The talk was on
How to engage a two-way conversation
How to ensure the ultimate user experience

Thanks to the Netimperative team for hosting a great day.

The Ultimate User Experience – Netimperative Presentation from on Vimeo.

| | 02/02/09 11:00 AM

Things I resolve to do today

It all started with a post from Jessica Mannering on Facebook the other day, “25 things” to be exact. Now it was my turn to write something. So I wrote 25 things about me and sent it round to friends. Then I realsied that there were other things I had resolved to do but had not got around to them. The first was to blog regularly and the second was to use more.

Yes, Marcus you are right. There is not enough activity on my account. What is the point of having this fantastic resource at my fingertips if I never get around to uploading my pictures? So last night I took out an old friend, my trusty SLR (non-digital I might add). We had not met in quite some time and it was a great feeling to be reacquainted with a passion of mine.

All this talk of recession, negative climate, negative equity, negative prospects, bad vibes and fear thrives when people do nothing and procrastinate.

So if like me and you have good intentions get out there and do something. Use or try out all the fantastic services and applications out there like and IGOpeople. Why? Because all of them were conceived, developed and delivered into the world by people with passion, flair and creativity. Which leads me back to the 25 things I spoke about earlier, I really admire people who take a risk. No room for good intentions, just action.

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