Open side-bar Menu
 What's PR got to do with it?

Posts Tagged ‘Liz Massingill’

Massingill on creating stories

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013


My colleague Liz Massingill spoke with IPextreme CEO Warren Savage about her approach to PR, i.e., what she wants to accomplish on behalf of her clients.

The main message? It’s all about the story…the company’s story…and how Liz creates it, substantiates it, reinforces it. In the end, it’s all about putting a human face on the faceless company to give it personality, an image, a life.  An entity that customers want to do business with.

Check out the video:



Who owns IP quality?

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Piyush Sancheti of Atrenta brings up a good point: for Ip to work as we envision it can, what players have to contribute to the quality effort? And what does each player type need to contribute?

So why comment on blogs?

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, a client asked, in essence, “why comment on articles or blogs?”

OK, so he didn’t say it exactly like that. But he did say that he’s

…struggling to figure out what really makes sense regarding the growing amount of posting by anybody and everybody….Is all this writing and blogging serving a real purpose? I’m not sure. Some blogs get recognition and response….I think most don’t.

He’s got a point. I think bloggers (indie, company and editorial) all feel, in our gut, that there’s value. But how do we measure that value? What do comments add to a blog or article? Tough one.

So I asked some of the bloggers what they thought. First off, I went to one of the longest running bloggers in EDA – Karen Bartleson. (Is it really three years, Karen? She’s at She shed really insightful light on why EDA blogs get so few comments, if we compare them to consumer blogs like Yelp. And, she has her blog up on what she’s seen in the three years since she started her blog. So do take a look at Karen’s analysis of EDA blogging. I bet she’s got a take on the state of EDA blog comments.

Karen’s, along with a bunch of other bloggers’ comments on EDA blog comments gave me some trends to ponder. Some recurring points:

__the honeymoon infatuation period for EDA blogging has come…and is going. Now there needs to be some sense of longterm value.

My take…just what is “value” in terms of EDA blogs? Different from perspectives of the client, journalist and PR person.

__some indie bloggers say they see their blogs as diaries, written for themselves and interested people.

My take…everyone is aware of a larger cast of potential viewers, however. (By and large, they value comments but don’t use it as a metric of their blog’s value.)

__there are more eyeballs on the blogs than we can ascertain.

My take… however, these numbers are impossible to get for viewers and bloggers hosted by other sites. There’s no SRDS* in the EDA & IP social media world.

*SRDS was (is?) an organization that certified reader numbers for print publications so that they could charge advertising rates based on readership.

__engineers by and large are pretty quiet, shy types who rarely will comment or extend a discussion, even if they do read the blog, article and their accompanying comments.

My take…this came up a lot. I’m not sure…would their shyness prevent them from commenting? Probably. Would the relatively anonymous filter of the comment field encourage them to speak out? Potentially.

__by and large, the number of comments aren’t an accurate measure of eyeballs.

My take…lots of agreement that some sort of metric on value is reasonable, understandable. Less agreement on whether it’s needed now.

(One person compared the dilemma to the old attempt to measure column inches to value, which measures volume but doesn’t take into account perceptual, qualitative value.)

__commenting is a lot like getting a quote into an editorially-written article insofar as creating an authoritative voice that gets recognized, over time, as an industry voice to listen to…or not, depending on the content of the comment).

My take…one especially insightful editorial blogger felt that comments are a dynamic part of a living, breathing article that encompasses new perspectives with new comments and discussion.

One difference that I see is that the editor or author of the article hasn’t vetted the comment or incorporated it into his or her article. The comment is a response to the vetted article, which is the insightful editorial blogger’s point, I now see.

__the blog (and blogger) or article (and author) and its comments, to some degree, form a community onto each of themselves.

My take…this discussion got a bit abstract for me but I hear the notion. Help!

__this is a good time to talk about the expectations of each community (indie bloggers, editorial bloggers, company bloggers) and how to sync up each community so that there is value for everyone.

My take…but it’ll require the different goals and expectations of each community to somehow sync up so that each community’s efforts bring value to one another. How does that sync up with goals and expectations of customers, clients?

Of course, there’s no answer (yet) to the question about value here. The bloggers (indie, company and editorial) feel that there is value in commenting. Many of them agree that no one can measure value right now but that there ought to be some way to do so. Most everyone thinks that there is an existing, intangible value of being a voice of authority, an industry citizen.

And everyone thought we ought to keep talking about this issue.

Comments anyone?


– end –

Harry’s Job as a blogger: Harry the ASIC Guy talks about his EDA role

Monday, January 11th, 2010

(Liz Massingill concludes her conversation with Harry “the ASIC Guy” Gries)



Liz: What do you feel that your job is as a blogger?

Harry: By “job”, do you mean “responsibility”?

Liz: Responsibility or purpose.

Harry: I wanted to make a distinction there because a lot of people view bloggers like the next generation of journalists. That’s not me. I don’t feel I have a responsibility to cover any one issue or to be non-biased.

Liz: Well, no, you aren’t a reporter, but I would call you a commentator or columnist. Would you agree?

Harry: I suppose, if a journalist is supposed to be totally objective and a commentator is allowed to have an opinion, then I’m more of a commentator. There’s been a lot written lately about bloggers vs. journalists and I’d rather stay out of all that argument. We’re different, period.

Liz: So what is your responsibility or purpose or duty?

Harry: I write the blog because I want to write and it gives me a unique connection to my audience. I can have this conversation, debate, commiserate, etc that I could not do otherwise.

Liz: I get that.

Harry: Ron Wilson had an interesting insight at DAC.

Liz: What was Ron’s insight?

Harry: He said that in the past, conferences were the way that engineers socialized and networked. Also, when EE Times or EDN came out, they’d stand around the coffee machine and talk about it. Now, this kind of interaction is happening online. As a blogger, I’m kind of like the instigator for those conversations. In fact, some of my best blogs were where I put out some idea, and the most interesting insights came from the comments.

Liz: Kudos to you that you were able to elicit so many comments. That isn’t too far off from what we have tried to do with our blogfests and what we were trying to do with Jim Hogan’s presentation at ICCAD. We were trying to initiate a discussion. And this brings me to…..What do you want or not want from PR folks?

Harry: I’ll tell you about someone in PR who I think does a good job working with bloggers.

Liz: I’m all ears…

Harry: First off, she follows my blog and follows me on Twitter, so she has an idea of what I write about and what I am interested in.

Second, if there is some news or item she thinks I’d be interested in, she will email me or tweet me, but not a SPAM press release. She’ll say something like “I know you are interested in XYZ. We have an upcoming announcement regarding that, would you be interested in learning more.”

Last, if I am interested, she’ll help me to know more about it, either through material or talking to someone at the company.

Liz: That makes sense. I think it’s pretty clear that bloggers do not want press releases.

Harry: It’s not that I don’t want press releases; it’s that they are 90% out of my area of interest. Hold on, lemme just take a quick look at my Inbox:….Ok, so the last 10 items I got either from PR people or thru EDA company mailing lists, are not my area of interest. That’s why SPAMming press releases doesn’t work.

Liz: So what are your favorite topics in EDA?

Harry: I look for something that will be disruptive because that interests me the most and generates the most interest. When the OVM/VMM battle was going on, that was a hot topic. When Oasys Design Systems claimed to have a Synopsys-killer synthesis tool, then that was interesting.

Harry: Dog is barking at the UPS guy :)

Liz: I’m familiar with that scenario….esp. lately. ;-) So let’s talk about something controversial….

Harry: uh oh

Liz: Jim Hogan insinuated during his ICCAD presentation that EDA is complacent. In your opinion, how complacent is EDA?

Harry: I probably would not choose that word to describe EDA. I’d probably pick the word ‘angst” to describe EDA. In the last year we had a DVCon panel called “EDA: Dead or Alive”, we’ve had several companies go under or get bought, and we’ve had a lot of talk about new business models and where EDA provides value. I think EDA is struggling, like it always has, to find out where it fits in the design chain and the supply chain. So there is a lot of angst in that way.

Liz: What do you think the trend will be for the next 10 years?

Harry: 10 years is a long time, especially the way that technology is accelerating. I think that over such a long time, you need to look at the bigger trends going on overall, not just in EDA, and then see how EDA will need to respond. On the economic side, I think the entire IT and software world will change significantly. Cloud computing is a big buzz now but it is for real and companies are going to continually want to rent IT infrastructure rather than own it.

Liz: EDA is driven by the Intels and AMDs of the world.

Harry: Yes, and even Intel and AMD are embracing cloud computing even though they may stand to lose out in the short run. The economics are such that it is more advantageous to build a large data center somewhere that power and cooling are cheap rather than everyone have their own data centers. Companies, like Amazon, rent computing time for 10 cents per CPU hour; and that allows companies to make their IT costs into a running expense rather than a capital expenditure. I think that EDA will need to embrace cloud computing and eventually a Software-as-a-Service model.

I think the technology trend will be that custom ICs will be too expensive to design. In 10 years you’ll have standard off-the-shelf ICs that have hundreds of processors and 10s of millions of gates of reprogrammable logic, like an FPGA on steroids. Most products will be designed with these, so today’s chip design will become tomorrow’s software development.

– end –

Harry the ASIC Guy on what blogging about EDA has done for him

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

(Liz Massingill was fortunate enough to snag Harry Gries … the ASIC Guy for an interview on a rainy Friday morning. Here’s what they had to say.)

Liz: Harry, why do you blog?

Harry: There’s really 2 parts to that … why did I start and why do I keep doing it. I was having lunch with a good friend a few years ago, who is also a blogger, and I was sharing my opinions about some subject when he said “you should have a blog.”

I always liked to write and always had an opinion, so I said, “what the heck.” It was right before SNUG (Synopsys Users Group) so I also thought it would be a good way to do some personal marketing since I’m an independent consultant. So I got the blog up just in time for SNUG.

Liz: Was your first blog successful?

Harry: When I first started writing the blog, I told a few friends and colleagues about it and they subscribed and commented. Then, one day, I got a comment from someone I did not know at all. That was the first time I knew that people were reading this other than my friends.

Liz: That first comment must have gotten the adrenaline going. So why do you continue to blog?

Harry: As for why I keep going, I think I actually get a lot out of writing it. It keeps me plugged into what is going on in the industry. Also, I’ve met people through the blog that I never would have had a chance to know.
One example: There was a press release related to something one of the big 3 EDA companies was doing for training for their consultants. I wanted to write something about it on my blog so I emailed the VP of Consulting, who I did not know, and he answered back and did the interview. I never would have been able to do that without the blog.

Also, I’ve found that the people who read my blog are pretty influential, so it’s good to know them as well.

Liz: It never ceases to amaze me how small the internet has made our world. Who is your audience?

Harry: That’s a good question. With RSS, you never really know exactly who is reading. However, from the comments I get, from the people that follow me on Twitter, and from the analytics, I can tell that there are a lot of people in EDA companies, especially sales and marketing types.

Liz: Do you have Google analytics to find out how many hits you get?

Harry: Analytics helps, but not in the way you might think. I’m more interested in learning how people find my blog rather than who they are. I can tell what keywords they might have used in Google or what links they came from and that helps me to understand what they are looking for as valuable content.

Liz: Can you give me an example?

Harry: Well, lemme pull up my analytics right now: I just did a quick scan and noticed that “verification” and “FPGA” were used as search terms several times to find me. So I might write my next blog post on “FPGA verification.”

Liz: Then it is very useful.

(End of Part One.)

DAC’10…capturing the WHOLE essence, revitalizing the role of the traditional press

Monday, October 12th, 2009

(Sean Murphy, Liz Massingill and I conclude our conversation about how DAC’10 could improve.)

Sean: There are two different trends at work here, one is that we are becoming more “real time” and connected, the other is that print media and traditional journalism is withering. I do think they   interact – and perhaps reinforce – one another.

Liz: Could the press be resisting? Sean, I’d like to see the press interact more with the bloggers.

Ed: Two years ago, reporters saw bloggers as a major threat, veritable Matt Drudges that sullied the sanctity of objective reporting. This year, the reporters see bloggers as opinion makers who work off the basic reporting that the few remaining reporters do. There’s a great potential interaction there.

Liz: True. And some reporters also blog.

Ed: That’s true, Liz. We are talking in big, broad strokes, and segregating reporters and bloggers into strictly defined camps. The reality is, reporters are also bloggers. So I think we’re talking more about the traditional reporting role. Not so much the evolving nature of the reporter/blogger. How many major reporters? In the US, I can count them on one hand. In the US and Japan? Maybe 6 or seven. US, Japan, Europe? Maybe 9, 10?

Sean: So compared to ten years ago one-third to one-quarter of the number of press attendees?

Ed: Easily a third. Probably a quarter. And the remaining press are getting older. One columnist has long noted that we have no new reporters coming into EDA. How come?

Liz: So with fewer and fewer traditional press, there has to be an acceptance of the bloggers.

Ed: You have that middle group who sees the need for change and are trying to form a hybrid reporter/blogger identity. We all need bloggers, but I’m not sure bloggers will be the foundation for basic reporting. So my question: will basic reporting go away?

Liz: I certainly hope not.

Sean: Liz, I think to your earlier point, bloggers are accepted. Look at Atrenta inviting them, Synopsys now invites several to their press functions. Cadence hired Goering to blog. Synopsys, Mentor, Cadence have all unleashed dozens of their employees to start blogging and are highlighting it from their home pages.

Liz: It is a trend. But I think we also still need the more objective reporting to balance out the bloggers.

Sean: I think the way that you are going to get objectivity is through multiple reports. I think there are probably at least two dozen bloggers who feel an obligation to their audience to be objective.

Ed: But the bloggers’ very nature is to render an opinion. By definition, the opinion, while legitimate, isn’t objective. One could argue that same point with reporters, but there’s a presumption that reporters try to report without injecting an opinion or slant into the article. At least, in the US.

So Sean, it’ll be up to the reader to digest many many blogs, articles, etc and then come up with his or her own interpretation? More or less, that’s what we do now and did before…except that there no longer is that authoritative editorial voice to point to any longer.

Liz: Well, for sure, bloggers don’t want press releases. It’s crazy that so many PR people do mail bloggers with what the bloggers have always said they do not want!

Ed: Ok, So if we were to sum up our thoughts, we’d suggest to DAC that

1) they find a way to capture the essence of the conference…and that is NOT restricted to papers;

2) CC brought an energy and momentum to DAC that ought to be replicated;

3) the press room needs to become a place of activity, not of refuge;

4) the press engage those EDA folks who need to know what the press needs in order to do their reporting job.

Maybe that would help redefine the reporting job and possibly resurrect that very necessary function.

– end –

What about DAC has to change?

Friday, September 25th, 2009

(Sean Murphy, Liz Massingill and I finish up our discussion about DAC¹09 acknowledging that the role of social media in EDA, not technology, was the story this year. All of us see DAC needing to change. First of three parts.)

Ed: So let me throw this question on the table, since we all seem to be saying that DAC has to change with the times, as heralded by this year¹s social media debut: What has to change?

Sean: I think it’s a question of adapting changing circumstances and returning to some of the practices that allowed the industry to negotiate earlier transitions.

Liz: And I think that DAC’s press room has to change with the times.

Ed: Sean, you have the broadest perspective, being able to speak from the customer, attendee AND marketing perspectives. Liz, you go next since
you¹re not burdened with a long DAC history.

Sean: As I said previously, I think the show needs to abandon a number of things that have made them historically successful but are no longer appropriate.

Liz: Like what?

Sean: People want history and context. Lots of content has been lost
over the years. At DAAC¹09, Doug Fairbairn’s historic talk has been lost. A ton of content from the pavilion panels that¹s been lost.

Liz: So you¹re saying that there should be archival recordings at DAC?

Sean: yes, and not only recordings, but accessible archives. After all, what good are these recordings if no one or only a select few people can get to them? DAC papers were captured, in the form of the proceedings. But most of actual conversation about the papers’ topics migrated out of the formal conference and into the hallways.

What we have right now with DAC feels more like EDA during 1988 through1994, when synthesis became established and new platforms were established and many new companies were formed.

Liz: But how do you capture that hallway discussion?

Sean: well, a lot of these technical papers might easily work as well as webinars. Then you can do get the premise of hallway conversations captured in the webinar discourse. In the end, DAC has to foster more small group conversation. There has to be a vibrant community of practice. An unconference model, if you will.

Liz: What¹s that?

Sean: Five minute lightning talks. Open space where people who are interested in a particular topic come to an open room. Many sessions running on parallel tracks. At the beginning of the day, people post topics. Then DAC posts a schedule, and people show up and talk about that topic.

I also worry that my recommendation is ultimately too grandiose.

Ed: Sean, grandiose is fine. Did you see Warren Savage¹s suggestions for DAC? It’s easy for all of us to suggest change. But it’s up to the DAC Committee and MP Associates to decide what to change and then how to implement. That’s their problem and their mandate! One way not to do it
is to hire that consultant who¹s pissed off everyone he’s talked to.

Liz: If we could capture the excitement of CC somehow. Location is key. CC was so, central. The press room was off by itself. I think scheduled activities/ discussions bring people in and then engage them.

And variety is good. CC went from an interactive class to lecture to discussion to free form.

Sean: In prior years the press room was excited and exciting, or at least buzzing with activity. I remember going in 1995 and doing a round of interviews.

Liz: Was it always off by itself? I think that’s a major problem for the press room.

Sean: It seems to me that CC and the press room serve different functions.

Liz: I think they might need to combine forces.

Ed: That’s a good point, Liz. The press room WAS isolated, as they wanted it to be. Historically, it was a sanctuary for press, to keep from getting hounded. Inadvertently, it walled them off from the action.

Sean: The press room preserved the press as a gatekeeper to the larger audience of conference non-attendees and assumed that communication would not unfold in real time (now events at DAC are twittered/blogged/ videoed, podcasted within minutes to hours.

Liz: I think they need to change the press room with the changing times, though.

So what was the DAC’09 story?

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

(Sean Murphy, Liz Massingill and I FINALLY get together to talk about DAC’09. Sean was instrumental in the highly-successful programming at Conversation Central, the bloggers room. Liz attended, participated and jawboned with the bloggers with a view toward them being a new group of individual opinion makers who, as a collective, form a cadre of influencers that take on a permanent role in the EDA world.)

Liz: So what stood out for you two at DAC?

Ed: Not so much technology but the rise of social media in EDA, and especially the role of bloggers in EDA…whatever that role might be.

Sean: For me it was conversations at the Birds-of-a-Feather session on Project Health and Conversation Central. Both venues had CEOs – admittedly CEOs of small firms – wrestling with new issues: managing global teams, social collaboration, SaaS, and cloud computing. These events allowed them and others to compare notes, explore scenarios for what future companies and design teams will look like and how they will interact. Current tools, design flows, and methodologies are not going to scale. And in both the BoF and Conversation Central, we could explore the changing landscape together. CEOs met, exchanged information and will continue the dialogue after DAC.

Ed: Sean, interesting insight. What needs to be tossed and who needs to do the tossing?

Sean: The conference needs to return to its roots. DAC was formed as a community of practice among EDA practitioners, comparing notes face to face on design automation issues that they faced. I think the conference should organize around fostering face to face conversations, between practitioners, with vendors, with researchers, at both a management and engineering level. The second thing that used to be true was that key aspects of DAC’s output were persistent. Too much of the important content–like Doug Fairbairn’s Pavilion panel–is completely ephemeral. When I look back at earlier panels often all I can find is the description, no slides, no transcript.

Liz: What stood out at DAC for me was Conversation Central. I thought it brought a lot of people from various ranks together talking about what blogging meant to EDA……….and not just about blogging but also focusing on the other forms of new social media like Twitter and LinkedIn.

Sean: Why was Conversation Central significant?

Ed: For me, it was the first time the bloggers appeared as a force. And compared to the press room, it was alive – educational, on the cusp of a new constituency in EDA.

Sean: Accentuated by the disappearance of regular press. Karen Bartleson contacted me earlier this year and said “I want to run a press room for bloggers.” We talked about it and I suggested that Synopsys instead focus on fostering conversations between a variety of stakeholders: customers, competitors, partners, new media, legacy media.

Liz: I think the press room is in the midst of being re-defined. The question is…will the press and bloggers co-mingle and be a big happy family? And will others outside the media be welcome?

Sean: Clay Shirky wrote a great piece on ” Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable < > ” which concluded “That is what real revolutions are like. The old stuff gets broken faster than the new stuff is put in its place.” I don’t think we know what is going to take the traditional publishing model’s place.

Ed: Conversation Central gave us a valuable program, invited all interested parties to attend and participate. The twitter feed made it seem like Times Square in buzz and activity.

Liz: There was a certain energy at Conversation Central. The room was alive with enthusiasm and the sharing of ideas.

Sean : And the tweeting was viral. Karen Bartleson worked diligently to let people know about the #46DAC hashtag, and it created a common channel: that’s what gave Conversation Central its buzz, the formation of a community.

Ed: Almost like creating a town on the old west frontier, where only isolated homesteads existed before.

Liz: I tweeted for one client’s event and was pleased by the reception.

Sean: Liz, you can only say so much in twitter and it can be hard to be succinct, so kudos to you.

Liz: Twitter has its place. And the EDA bloggers know how to make good use of it. And Karen did a marvelous job in Twitter for Beginners of showcasing the various features of Twitter. I think maybe the point is that there are various forms of media that one can make use of and that it’s probably a good idea to try to tap into as many avenues as possible.

Ed: So it sounds like we’re all saying that social media will somehow, some way fundamentally affect many aspects of how EDA operates. Clearly in customer service, inevitably in marketing and PR. Now the question is, “how?”

Liz: Yes, how? Anyone have any ideas?

Sean: Maybe your readers could chime in on that.

S2C: FPGA Base prototyping- Download white paper

Internet Business Systems © 2016 Internet Business Systems, Inc.
595 Millich Dr., Suite 216, Campbell, CA 95008
+1 (408)-337-6870 — Contact Us, or visit our other sites:
TechJobsCafe - Technical Jobs and Resumes EDACafe - Electronic Design Automation GISCafe - Geographical Information Services  MCADCafe - Mechanical Design and Engineering ShareCG - Share Computer Graphic (CG) Animation, 3D Art and 3D Models
  Privacy Policy