Internet of Things – What happens with our data?



Whether it’s a smart refrigerator, car, or an entire smart home, the Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer just a topic of science fiction stories. Different devices are connected with each other, and make our lives more convenient. While they are at it they collect and save incredible amounts of data. The Internet of Things (IoT) has become part of our everyday lives, sometimes without us noticing.

Technology is developing faster than we can keep up. One day you are excited about your new connected dishwasher which starts automatically, in order to conserve energy, once your laundry is finished. The next day there is a new model that can also open its door on its own.

The huge amounts of data which are collected by our “things” every day are economically interesting for different companies. To most of us this is nothing new, however, we are often surprised when we look at specific examples.

In order to deliver a report about my energy usage at the end of every trip, my car collects data about my driving performance. My location is tracked as well, so I always know where I am, when I look at the display in the center of my dashboard. This data reveals a lot about me, it shows if I drive safely and stick to all the traffic rules, but also, where I shop and how often I stop at a fast food restaurant instead of cooking a healthy meal. My insurance company is highly interested in this information. By evaluating how risky or safely I drive and how healthy I eat, they can determine the price for my insurance or even if they should even take me as a customer at all.

We don’t just give our data out for free. As an exchange for our privacy we get applications and gadgets which make our lives more convenient. But what is the price? Selling our privacy? We hand over our data to companies that can make money off our style of driving, or use our occasional visit at McDonalds as a reason not to ensure us.

One can get the impression that all the concerns about data security are limitations to technical advancement. But many of the possible usages of the data are important to society. In the healthcare sector, the data can help with better insights into certain diseases. Some wearables can measure the blood sugar of a person with diabetes. And even the trackers in my car could come in handy, if my car gets stolen. Because of all these reasons, it is important to find a balance between safe usage of the data and technological advancement. The question is: How?

The difficulties already start when determining to whom the data belongs. Does the data of my car belong to me or the manufacturer? And if it was leased, does the data belong to the bank? Generally there is the right to informational self-determination. However, in the world of IoT it will become difficult to act upon this right the way we used to.

There are three steps to the process of data usage: 1. A device creates the data by measuring something. 2. A centralized system evaluates the data. 3. The data is saved for future use.

Everything we reveal about ourselves on the internet will stay there. Companies can use the data for their purposes, but also unauthorized usage cannot always be prevented.

Being connected to the internet also brings the danger of being hacked. What seems harmless in the case of a smart fridge (who cares about my milk consumption?) can be extremely dangerous in the case of a smart car. It will be up to IT security experts to find solutions for problems like this.

In the long run, it will not be sufficient to solve these problems after they arise. It will become necessary to implement concepts for data security and develop methods for the conservation of privacy. Extensive software tests will be needed to provide safety for users. On top of that, continuous updates will be required to maintain safety while new developments arise. At the end, there has to be a balance between protection of privacy and data usage.

The age of IoT will raise more questions, weather it is about the legal situation, or the impact on our daily lives. But if we address these problems correctly, we will be able to use smart devices with all the advantages they bring to our lives.

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PR and SEO – A perfect match

©Paloma Gomez/

©Paloma Gomez/

Public Relations and Search Engine Optimization have more in common than just increasing awareness for a product, an organization or a website. In fact, they both follow the same objective and complement each other perfectly. When investing in a new website, there is no way around spending money and time in SEO nowadays. But why is this the case, and what do both areas have in common?

Content is most important

Journalists expect the same things from our press releases as visitors of a website: meaningful and valuable information for the respective target audience. Therefore, it is not a surprise that content is of upmost importance when it comes to Google rankings. So how do we find out, what kind of content is most interesting for the website users? One of many ways to get an idea is brainstorming, where you think about all the terms that could be searched for, in order to find our products. Another way is to use googles’ autocomplete, where we type in a buzzword to see what has been searched in context with this word.

Relevant and unique content can bring the right visitors to a website. It also enables bloggers and other website operators to use information from the site or link to it. These links can again increase the ranking. But not every link is equally beneficial!

Link Building

SEO, alongside good content, improves a website’s ranking. Well targeted linking can do its part as well. Here, it is important, to set links leading to subpages on your own website. However, it is advisable not to go crazy with it, but using selectively targeted links that lead to further information on the website. Even links to other websites can increase the ranking of your own site; here it is very important so choose the right site. The more trustworthy and popular the site is, the more a link can increase credibility and ranking of your own page. A small blog for example will have less impact than a well-known website.

For us as a PR agency, this means we should incorporate positive reports about our clients in our own content. 😉 Here we would like to thank Marcel Mindemann for the positive comment about our blog!

In order to increase visitor numbers on the websites of our clients, it is always great, when a journalist links to the organization in their online reporting or even mentions the web address in a print issue. Blogger relations and communication about the products and the organization on social media are always a good idea.

You will see how broad the topic can be. When you engage in the topic more, you will also deal with topics like meta tagging, AdWords and many more, but for this article, we will focus on content and link setting. The rest will follow 🙂


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Work With What You Got: 5 Tips for Repurposing Existing Content

©Duong Tran Quoc/

©Duong Tran Quoc/

What does the idiom “one’s man trash is another man’s treasure” have to do with content marketing?

A lot, as it turns out.

While creating timely, reactive content is valuable in its own right, incorporating repurposed content into your overall strategy is an often overlooked, but valuable, strategy.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, more than half of B2B marketers are concerned with finding better ways to repurpose content, while simultaneously reporting lack of time to create content as a top concern.

With a little dusting off, your strongest pieces of content can continue to have impactful results on your audience, and content that may not have reached your performance expectations can exceed them if published on a different site, in a different format or even at a different time.

Before you begin the repurposing process, check out these quick tips on the basics.

1. Dig through your archives. For the purposes of repurposing, content falls into three categories. The first and most intuitive of the two is your evergreen content. As the name suggests, evergreen content is timeless, sustainable and continually relevant to your readers. Think stories like: “what your financial adviser isn’t telling you,” “top concerns for early retirees” or “tips for getting through an uncomfortable financial conversation.”

On the other end of the spectrum, look for timely, event-hooked content you can speak to further. Perhaps you’ve learned more as an expert on a topic or something has changed in the news since your original post was published. Find content that warrants a conversation and continue it.

Finally, look for your underperformed, lackluster or out-of-date content and brainstorm ways to refresh it. Using these as a starting point saves you both time and resources. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

2. Give your content an SEO makeover. Comb through your selected post, adding targeted keywords and inbound links wherever they fit naturally. It’s not always about getting visitors to your site, but about getting the right kind of visitors. And if you choose to republish your work on other sites, you are positioning yourself to receive quality link backs to you site while controlling the anchor text.

New to SEO? Moz’s Beginners Guide to SEO includes a super detailed guide to keyword research that explains how to conduct an audit of the most strategic keywords for your audience.

3. Change up your audience. Identify websites that accept contributed posts where your content is relevant and tailor it to this new audience. Publishing content on the same topic in multiple places is a way to gain authority in your space, raising your profile as an expert in your field and an active participant in the larger industry conversation – in addition to the obvious traffic benefits of having more content in more places.

Once you’ve identified a target, set a realistic goal of how many posts you would like to see publish in a certain timeframe and attempt to establish a regular cadence of posts by creating an editorial calendar to guide the narrative of your content. Once you’ve had success with your initial posts, consider reaching out to the editor to explore regular guest author opportunities.

4. Play with presentation. Depending on the subject matter, there are a plethora of ways to repurpose your content, including infographics, videos, slideshows, webinars, email series and podcasts, among others. Evaluate the copy and make a targeted, informed decision on the best mode of presentation for what you’re working with. Consider what formats have performed better than others. Is your audience visual, or are they readers? Can your content be condensed into a skimmable overview, or would it be most impactful in a long-form summary?

5. Strategically repost. While some content marketers consider reposting the same content to the same audience taboo, it can actually be a very effective way to further extend the life of your work.

One quick tip: content shared on Thursdays has the highest number of readers clicking on the link days later, according to Social Media Today. Due to the ephemeral nature of digital content, reposting to reach people in different time zones or at different times of the day can increase engagement without necessarily over-saturating your audience.

The value of incorporating repurposed content into your marketing plan is twofold – it drives traffic and saves time and resources, all without sacrificing value. Naturally, a steady flow of content raises your profile by increasing engagement with your audience and traffic to your site.

You’ve spent time and resources on creating your original content assets. Don’t let them expire.

How does repurposed content fit into your marketing strategy? We’d love to hear your insight and what you’ve experienced.


This entry was written by our WorldCom partner Bliss Integrated Communication. The original article can be found here:

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Tech Companies enhancing the life of disabled customers

©Andi Weiland, /

©Andi Weiland, /

Technology has enabled companies to create products to enhance the lives of people living with disabilities.  With customers in mind, tech companies create adaptive and innovative apps and gadgets to improve the lives of their disabled customers. Consequently, there are a lot of tech gadgets that ease the daily tasks of disabled users. A lot of companies focus on making disabled customers’ live easier and providing them with products for more independent living.

Products such as smart watches and eBooks are not as accessible to blind people. However, tech companies have developed products that will make these products more accessible by blind customers. Wearable companies like Dot give blind customers the ability to check messages and other apps anywhere at any time by translating everything into braille. Often times reading a book or even a braille book is an inconvenience because the brail books are so thick. However, a product such as Braille, an eBook that translates everything into brail, make reading a much simpler and more convenient task.

Another product enhancing the lives of disabled customers is bond conducting headphones. These headphones allow blind users the ability to enjoy audio books, music, or even use GPS without compromising their ability to still be conscious of the world around them, which is very important for independent mobility. Companies like our new client Aftershokz have an open ear design so users are still able to hear the world around them; thus, creating a safer way for the visually impaired to travel.

Bone conducting headphones also significantly improve the lives of those living with hearing disability. Sometimes bone conducting technology is the solution for deaf customers. For example, AfterShokz uses bone conducting technology to transmit sound through your cheekbones, bypass your eardrum all together. For some users, this product has been life changing and they have been able to hear audio again.

AXS Map is an app that allows physically disabled customers to view the nearby wheelchair-accessible ramps and restrooms. The app provides information about these services accompanied by how well designed these facilities are with ratings. A more innovative product not yet on the market is iBot, an all-terrain wheelchair. Going up stairs is a huge inconvenience for the physically disabled, so this wheelchair is designed to navigate any terrain, including stairs, by using self-balancing technology.

These innovative products have greatly improved the lives of disabled people by allowing them to carryout daily tasks easily and safely. These products are allowing disabled customers to live more independent lives as well as improve their daily lives all together.

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Why should I do an internship?

©Olu Eletu/

©Olu Eletu/

One of the constants in students’ lives – besides the permanent lack of sleep – is the search for the perfect internship. In this post, I will describe my view on why internships are so important to me as well as why I always seize these opportunities to develop myself and try new things.

At my internship at HBI, while also studying communication science at Ludwig-Maximillians-University in Munich, I would like to apply my knowledge and skills learned from lectures in everyday work. Additionally, I would like to learn how to plan, carry out and control PR activities with regards to different clients, and how to prepare different press releases or articles. Also, I can implement social media strategies and support trade fair preparations. These new experiences will prepare me for my future career and expand my personal view of the world.

When I reflect on my experiences as an intern with HBI, I realize how much they have helped me professionally and privately to communicate and develop my skills. Here I will provide three insights that I have gained during my time at the agency.

Gain as much experience as possible

Not all internships must correspond directly to your fields of study because even without a direct connection, you can still learn a lot. For example, you can participate in an internship in another country to show you how to easily and effectively communicate in a foreign language – for me this is German. This experience is valuable and can also be beneficial for another career. In PR you learn very quickly how to summarize important information in a text or on the phone. Also direct contact with journalist is really exciting. At each job or internship, there are certain activities or situations in which you can learn something.  There are certain projects in which you can enhance your skills or learn how to deal with colleagues, partners, or clients.

Find out your strengths 

The aim of your internship should be to find out what activities and topics you are most interested in and how to connect them to your personal interests. For example, before you do an internship, you may think that you are very good at communicating and writing, but you have never written an entire article or pitched a topic to the media. How do you know whether or not you really can do it and also enjoy it? Of course you should not expect to do everything perfect right away, that is not the point. It is to learn something about it and to be comfortable with what you do well, while also finding it interesting and exciting.

Show the best side of yourself

Try to make the most of your time as an intern. You are there to learn! Always ask your superiors for feedback on your work and how you can improve for next time. Ultimately, you should work as an intern in the everyday office life to know and see what it means to work in this career field. If your internship is not what you imagined, try to make the best of it. Go for lunch or a cup of coffee with an employee and ask yourself, what issues are important to you and if you can take over certain tasks. No matter what industry you end up in, your internship experience will prepare you well for working life in the future.

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