SEAM Honored With SXSW Interactive Innovation Finalist Award

 

January 22 might have been known as the day the Academy Awards announced their 91st annual nominees but for us, it’s the day that SXSW announced their Interactive Innovation Award finalists. Included in this prestigious group was our very own client, SEAM Technic. We are so thrilled for our friends at SEAM! Take that, Meryl Streep! You might have 3 Oscars but do you have a SXSW Interactive Innovation award?? I didn’t think so!

We’ll be joining SEAM at SXSW and we’ll be showing off the Lotus by SEAM personal safety wearable in the Innovation Award finalist exhibitions at the Austin Convention Center Exhibit Hall 1 on Saturday, March 9 from 12pm – 6pm. If you’re going to SXSW, please stop by the booth and bring us a beer! Other things we’ll accept: Food, BBQ, a cowboy hat, money.

SXSW has grown into one of the must-attend annual events so we’re very excited to go and even more excited to see SEAM honored. Let us know your best tips, survival guides and places to go in Austin by tweeting us at @ChangePR.

See you in Austin!

Lotus By SEAM Is Smarter Personal Safety For Everyone

When you think of non-weaponized personal safety devices, most currently available ones are panic buttons or cheap GPS trackers – single feature solutions that only induce more fear.

With the new Lotus by SEAM and the SEAM personal safety platform, our Toronto-based client solves this issue by enabling you to share your contextual data – GPS location, full-streaming audio and images – real-time with your chosen contacts. This allows your chosen contact(s) to know exactly what the situation is, whether negative or positive, and how to help you, if you need it.

The Lotus aims to make people feel safer by connecting them naturally to their social circles. The sleek, gender-neutral wearable device works with the free standalone SEAM app to allow you to record your GPS location, images and full-streaming audio.

If you want to share your journey with one of your five designated guardians, you can do that. And for its coolest feature, if you’re in an emergency and can’t pull your phone out of your bag or pocket, you can press a button on the Lotus and it will call one of your guardians directly, allowing you to have a hands-free phone call. On Android devices, you can designate emergency services like 911 to be one of your contacts.

In addition, the Lotus features Voice Assistant access, so clip it on your shirt, press a button and ask Siri what the weather is, or have Google Assistant send a text message for you, all directly from the Lotus device.

The Lotus would come in handy if you’re traveling, work late at night, take public transportation (like I do), use Uber or Lyft, or often find yourself in a situation where you’re alone and not completely comfortable. It’s not about living in fear, but about love.

And we could all use some more love.

Interested in reviewing the Lotus? Hit us up for a review unit. Email katy(at)bethechangepr.com

3 Things I’ll Be Filming With My Drift Compass Camera

Drift Innovation's new Compass camera
Drift Innovation’s new Compass camera

We’ve been pretty giddy to show off our client, Drift Innovation‘s new wearable camera, the Compass, and now the day has come for us to post endless photos of our cats #ShotWithDrift.

I mean, just look at it! It’s wearable tech that actually looks good – good enough to win the 2016 Red Dot Product Design award already – and won’t make the wearer self-conscious (unlike my Crocs, which have been banished to the back of the closet).

Wearing a Drift Compass is guaranteed to give you a good hair day
Wearing a Drift Compass is guaranteed to give you a good hair day

The Compass is all kinds of rad for a couple of reasons:

  • It’s so tiny and cute! The fact that it packs so much technology and features in a sleek little design makes me think Elon Musk is right and this is all some sort of joke. The camera weighs just 1 oz and can fit on my wrist if I wanted it to, without making my arm feel like I’m training for the CrossFit Games.
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I’ll never make it as a hand or wrist model 🙁
  • The battery is great and can shoot up to 2 hours of 1080p HD video (which is about how long I will be shooting my cats for), or I can film 50 days of timelapse video on a single charge.
  • Once you download the free Drift Life app on iOS or Android and boot up the built-in WiFi, you can livestream whatever you want (in my case, it’s cats. Lots of cats).

The Compass comes just in time for wanderlusters to partake in summer travel. Instead of viewing your vacation through a smartphone, the Compass lets you be hands-free and enjoy #LifeUnfiltered. Besides travel adventures, here are a few other things I’m looking forward to shooting with my Compass.

I already started! Check out my first cat video clip on my Drift Life page.
I already started! Check out my first cat video clip on my Drift Life page.
  1. Cats. Yup. Lots and lots of cat videos. I’m a proud crazy cat lady and my entire Drift Life page will likely be filled with cat videos. That’s just how it’s going to be. DEAL WITH IT. The Compass is so lightweight that I can easily clip it on to the one cat (yes, I have more than one cat – I’m that lady) that tolerates collars and bow-ties, and score some sweet cat POV videos.
  2.  Film For Safety. I’ll be clipping the Compass to my top while I walk and bike around the streets of San Francisco. I love to walk around my beautiful city, but it’s crowded and no matter how many times I look twice, many car drivers don’t. Pretty much every single time that I go out for a walk, I nearly get hit by a car doing something illegal. It’s like the wild west on the city streets and having my Compass record while I do my thang should result in extra evidence for San Francisco’s #VisionZero pedestrian safety program.
  3. Livestreaming events. When I officiated a friend’s wedding a few years ago, I saw the photographer struggling to get a good shot of the bride and groom’s teary-eyed faces as they were facing me. I had the best angle of all and was tempted to reach out, grab the camera and snap a few pics for her. The officiant always has the best seat in the house, so why not clip on a Compass and livestream the wedding for friends and family members who can’t attend, especially destination weddings? The chic design won’t clash with the formal wear and friends and family who didn’t hop on a plane will still get to experience love…from a livestream.

     

There’s a lot more I can do with my Compass and I’ll be happily sharing all of my adventures on the ole social media. Be sure to follow @DriftInnovation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and tag #LifeUnfiltered or #ShotWithDrift so I can see all of your cat photos and videos as well!

By Katy L.

Hip Hop For Change’s 3rd Anniversary Show – April 2, 2016

Good people of the Bay Area, you know what you should be doing on Saturday, April 2? Joining us at the Uptown Nightclub in Oakland for HipHopForChange‘s 3rd Anniversary Show.

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The guest list for the big anniversary event includes:

  • Kev Choice
  • OPIO of Hieroglyphics
  • 2nd Floor Samurais
  • BPOS
  • Ren the Vinyl Archaeologist

And maybe a special guest or two will also make an appearance as we join together in celebration of the organization’s three year fight on the front lines of important cultural and social justice issues.

Who is HipHopForChange?

Photo of co-founder Khafre Jay, from HipHopForChange's Facebook page
Photo of co-founder Khafre Jay, from HipHopForChange’s Facebook page

Founded in Oakland by activist and local hip hop artist Khafre Jay in 2013, HipHopForChange works to counteract negative stereotypes too often portrayed within the mainstream media. The brand of hip hop widely celebrated within the music industry is of particular concern to the organization.

According to its founders, negative associations with hip hop culture play a role in criminalizing minorities and, in particular, young people. An unbalanced portrayal of the culture is largely depicted through music glorifying violence, sexism, materialism, drug abuse and a host of other negative images. HipHopForChange actively works to educate young people on the full, rich history of hip hop culture, including the much more diverse and positive role that it plays in society beyond mainstream music.

HipHopForChange further uses hip hop culture to actively address issues of misogyny, homophobia and other socio-economic injustices prevalent in everyday life. Working directly with young people at schools and within communities, the 501(c)3 organization also regularly showcases conscious hip hop artists at live events in an effort to spread messages of unity and social change.

From HipHopForChange's Facebook page
From HipHopForChange’s Facebook page

HipHopForChange has helped young, often disadvantaged, students draw upon hip hop’s influence to pen their own lyrics as a way to interpret and express their own realities. Educating young people on these issues and inviting them to lend their voices is why the organization also hosts fundraising events to support other local programs with similar agendas, as well as public discussions. HipHopForChange even canvasses the streets providing people with CDs, which deliver messages of equality and justice for all.

In just three years of organized activism, HipHopForChange has received awards from the Zellerbach Family Foundation and the Bill Graham Foundation. More than 5,000 people have also given financial support to this most worthwhile non-profit through various fundraisers and through direct donations toward their CDs. Now, you can also show your support of their vision by attending the April 2nd anniversary party and cheering HipHopForChange on into the future!

HipHopForChange Anniversary Information and Tickets

Mark your calendars for the anniversary celebration which will be held on April 2 at 9p at the Uptown Nightclub located at 1928 Telegraph Ave. in Oakland. Get your tickets right now through Eventbrite or contact us if you need more information. If you are a member of the media and would like a VIP pass, we’re happy to hook you up. Last, but not least, be ready to seriously party on April 2nd and we’ll see you there!

Written by Laura S.

HipHopForChange is a pro bono client that we are proud to be assisting via our University of San Francisco Communications class 

ASIAN, Inc. Celebrates Diversity With Inspirational Gala

Kicking off with an incredibly powerful speech by MSNBC news anchor and journalist Richard Lui, ASIAN, Inc.’s annual Gala celebration was an exceptional night that reminded the audience of why diversity shouldn’t be a catchphrase but a way of life (and business). We were honored to support ASIAN, Inc. and be a small part of the September 18 event at the beautiful SF Design Center.

 

 

Thanks to the generosity of community-minded sponsors, ASIAN, Inc. is able to provide services for low-income individuals in housing, finance and entrepreneurship throughout Northern California. Because of its proven value to the community, the 40+ year old nonprofit was selected to operate the Minority Business Development Agency centers in the Bay Area (including Fresno, San Jose and San Francisco) to promote the growth of minority-owned small businesses.

As ASIAN, Inc. president Michael Chan put it, “Equal access means opening doors and being at the proverbial table along with everyone else at the same time.”

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Titled “A Force For Good,” the superhero-themed Gala celebration proved the value of  being at the proverbial table by celebrating and promoting minority-owned businesses and showcasing diversity among its 300 attendees. With local band The Delivery delighting everyone with their jazzy-y rock cover tunes, returning MC’s Fiona Ma and Ash Kalra kept the evening light on its feet.

The Delivery rocking
The Delivery rocking

Lui was the first recipient for the Empowering Diversity award. His work behind and in front of the camera has provided a platform for civil rights stories that deserve to be told. Lui demonstrated exactly why journalists are so important in shaping the civil rights narrative. Other recipients included trailblazing judge Harry Low and Kwon Wo Ironworks CEO Florence Kong, who spoke about being a minority female in a male-dominated industry (construction).

MSNBC anchor Richard Lui accepts his Empowering Diversity award
MSNBC anchor Richard Lui accepts his Empowering Diversity award

The deserving award winners exemplified what it means to be a “A Force For Good,” as did the sponsors and attendees who were no doubt inspired to continue to lead the change.

See you next year at ASIAN, Inc.’s 45th Gala Celebration!

Union Square SF hosts 2nd Food + Art June 4

The only thing that we like more than food and art is FREE food and art. Our client, Union Square SF, is hosting its second showcase of the popular neighborhood’s exciting food and art scene on Thursday, June 4 from 5-8pm. And yes, it’s free. You just have to RSVP to get a wristband.

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So here’s what you have to do to take advantage of Union Square’s generosity.

RSVP on EventBrite

– Check out the lineup here and make a note of which places you want to hit up

– Read about the event on Hoodline and listen to Union Square rep Jeani Hunt-Gibbon chat with the always entertaining Joel Riddell on Dining Around (Union Square segment comes around the 9:18 mark but listen to the whole segment because Joel’s awesome).

– Grab your best pair of eating and drinking shoes.

– Show up at 5pm at Emporio Rulli on Union Square and get your wristband and map. You’ll also get the opportunity to enter to win a Union Square gift basket.

Emporio Rulli on Union Square - Official headquarter for Food + Art 2015
Emporio Rulli on Union Square – Official headquarter for Food + Art 2015

– Use hashtag #SFFoodArt to document your exploits

– HAVE A GREAT TIME!

This could be you.
This could be you.

We’ll see you there.

If you’re a reporter/blogger and want a media badge, shoot an email to katy(at)bethechangepr.com

Today Is A Good Day: Threshold Interactive Acquired by Zealot Networks

Our reaction to today's news
Our reaction to today’s news

Change Communications proudly congratulates our client Threshold Interactive on being acquired by former Maker Studios co-founder Danny Zappin’s Zealot Networks! Threshold has been recognized for their kickass work for brands including Butterfinger and Hot Pockets, and their creativity clearly caught Zealot’s eye. Just watch their hilarious video for Hot Pockets with Kate Upton and Snoop Dogg for further evidence.

As a small powerhouse, Threshold’s goal has been to grow, and this acquisition achieves that. However, Threshold has not forgotten what makes them so dynamic. Threshold’s CEO John Montgomery told AdAge “The first thing I tell clients is Threshold’s not changing, what this does is it makes us a much more powerful marketing partner for them. Now we’re plugged into the Zealot network, and our level of relationships [and] the tools and talent that we have to plug into from Zealot is a perfect complement to what we already do very well.”

We’ve had the pleasure of working with Threshold since 2012, and we’ve seen them earn success and recognition for their talent, including winning the AdAge Small Agency of the Year award in 2013, and cross their ten-year anniversary milestone last year. We look forward to toasting the next ten years with Threshold and Zealot. Read the rest of today’s news on AdAge.

The Holidays in Union Square SF: A Brighter Celebration

It’s that time of the year again. You know, that time of the year when you get all those advertisements about Black Friday, when you scour online forums to find the perfect deal, when you can enjoy the winter season with a cozy cup of hot cocoa, caroling, decorations, and a two block open pedestrian-friendly plaza in the heart of San Francisco, Union Square – wait, that’s new!

San Francisco has always known how to be festive. From the outdoor ice skating rink, to the humongous Christmas tree in front of Macy’s, Union Square has been an international holiday destination that brings thousands into the city each year. This year, Union Square decided to change its traditional pace.

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From November 28th to December 31st, the central subway construction will stop and astroturf will cover the streets for Winter Walk SF where two blocks of Stockton Street will be open for pedestrians only. Winter Walk will have caroling, demos, live music, and other surprises as well as be illuminated by an impressive light art show projected on the Macy’s Men’s Building featuring Jack Frost’s adventures as he spreads festive icicles throughout San Francisco. As an added bonus, Off the Grid food trucks will be there every other day of the week (M, W, F, Sunday) to help show off SF’s great food truck culture.

For more information on Winter Walk SF head over to WinterWalkSF.com and we hope to see you there!

By Brian Liberman

Threshold Interactive Wins WOMMY Award!

We’re popping the champagne today to celebrate our amazing client Threshold Interactive‘s WOMMY award win!

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Threshold was honored for their launch of Butterfinger Cups (which we’re addicted to – for the holidays, we’re totally okay with you sending us a crate of Butterfinger Cups), where they used a variety of social media strategies to get the public salivating.

Congratulations, Threshold!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Our favorite time of the year – Fall – is here! Why do we love the Fall season so much? In San Francisco (where our summers are famously cold), Fall has the best weather. Don’t believe us? Just check out this shot we took of the Palace of Fine Arts last week.

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Fall is also the busiest time of the year for us and our clients, and we like to stay active. Here are some other things we’re excited about this Fall:

-Union Square SF’s Fall Fashion Fest

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As far as we’re concerned, Fall Fashion Fest is the best time to go shopping (forget the holidays – too crowded). The best weather and some amazing deals will be front and center on October 9 in the shopping mecca of SF – Union Square. Plus, there’ll be food, drinks, music, entertainment and everyone going gaga over the glorious weather (oh yeah, we’re just gonna keep rubbing that in everyone’s faces, especially when all we hear year-round is “oh, don’t you just hate the fog?”).

Threshold Interactive hires Julie Gordon as new Creative Director

Julie Gordon has a really awesome resumé! She’s worked on every major brand that we admire and has changed their respective markets (Apple, Netflix, Pixar) and now she’s joining our beloved client Threshold Interactive. As a female-owned business, we love seeing more women in creative roles. Even though the numbers are increasing (even the 2% Conference upgraded to the 3% Conference, heh) there still aren’t enough. Threshold not only has Julie, but Steffany Carey as their creative directors: two brilliant creatives who just happen to be women.

-The Top of Broadway Community Benefit District‘s upcoming new website

Photo by Rick Marr
Photo by Rick Marr

We’ve been working with the Top of Broadway Community Benefit District for a few months and have been deeply impressed by the dedication of their board members, business and community leaders. From Naked Lunch to Tommaso’s to the Beat Museum to Monroe Lounge, these entrepreneurs are not only working hard to make their businesses the best that they can be, they’re also giving back to their community. They even kicked things off by participating in Bold Italic’s North Beach microhood. With the addition of new restaurants Little Szechuan, Elaine’s and nearby Doc Ricketts, the Broadway district in North Beach is thriving. We can’t wait to show it all off on the new website.

Apple’s October 16 iPad event

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We’re still playing with our iPad 2’s and we’ve been waiting (and waiting) for the major upgrades and enhancements. Hopefully the October 16 event unveils the extras we’ve been waiting for so that maybe my mom can enjoy my old iPad 2.

-New season of “The Walking Dead”

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Braaaaaaains!