Media Reviews

Evaluating new and existing products can be a time-consuming process. Drawing on years of experience the Advisist Group can assist in this process and help increase your bandwidth. We move reviews from subjective to empirical as quickly as possible. Our experience as product managers for Pro AV manufacturers helps with these types of product evaluations.  

The review of a product can be anything from looking at it as a general review or analyzing the suitability for its particular use. These processes while very much related are slightly different. The ability to tailor their review or evaluation to your needs allows us to provide the information you need. Reviewing a product is not simply opening the box and reading the specifications. It’s testing and using the product to make certain it is practical and functional. 

There are many things these types of product reviews uncover, such as:  

  1. How difficult is it to mount within an equipment rack?
  2. How difficult is it to carry?
  3. What is required to configure the device? 

This type of documentation isn’t typically found in the spec sheet. Evaluations can deliver information in multiple ways – it can be a simple 200-word review, or it can be an entire unboxing and use video to highlight some of the successes and challenges of the product. Just as every product is different, we handle every evaluation as its own unique situation. 

Media reviews that Advisist write may have a byline of the author, however, the business relationship between the companies may need to be disclosed. This approach is to follow Federal Trade Commission guidance. The reviews will be fair and honest, while being aware of the relationship between sponsors and media. Advisist does offer Advertorials as well as private Product Evaluations.

Facility Impact

Audio, Video, and Control systems are not completely independent, they need to interact with many things. No only do these systems need to work with the major systems in the building, such as telephone, building management, and Internet. The systems must interact and work within the facility itself. The impacts to the building can range from the basic of needing an outlet put in for a video display to needing additional footings to hold the weight of a large video wall.

The Advisist team offers review services to not only check the common items of AV systems but can expand into the Architectural and Engineering Program. Their experience with bringing concepts to life provides an invaluable level of reference when examining the facility, the needs of the AV System, and how the two interact. The evaluations are not simply will this device fit here, there are the other items to be considered such as how much cooling is needed or the amount of power required.

Content Creation

Creating content for the Pro A/V industry goes well beyond writing advertorials. The Advisist Group offers various writing services and has years of experience writing multiple pieces in multiple styles. The team has written press releases, thought or opinion articles, analysis pieces, white papers, product reviews, application notes, operations manuals, news content and much more. These services are detailed under their own website pages. 

We can tailor content towards any persona, vertical, or category of readers. It’s always a best practice to have another set of eyes review operations procedures being prepared for an end user to find items that the original writers may have assumed or overlooked in the process. Having both technical and editorial writers in the group provides a unique perspective when reviewing and writing the content. It can be evaluated for the audience, checked for accuracy and for style by our experts. 

We understand that content also needs to be visual as well sometimes, and our team can produce content for multiple formats with the same information for consistency. This type of content can be powerful and can illustrate concepts without many words which can be confusing. Creating a video version that shows the process can often aid in the process. The content professionals at Advisist understands content parameters and can assure that your messaging is clear and concise. Below are some examples of content pieces we’ve written.  

Some examples

Conceptual Solutions

It is one thing to say “if you build it, they will come,” and it’s another to know if it will function correctly once built. You start with a clean sheet of paper and an open mind to all the possibilities. With conceptual designs it’s not about mapping out how a project is going to get accomplished, but rather if it can be accomplished. It is not important to define the technology at the start of a project. Defining the goal of the project is important in the conceptual design process. This process includes defining what the guests or end users will experience, and then defining the story. After that, we can begin thinking of the technology that can support the projects objectives. 

During the conceptual designing phase, not every item will be defined, it is the intent to outline the approach, tools, and methods that would allow the project to achieve its objectives. For instance, while looking at concepts, it is not important to know if a video server is from Brand A or Brand B; it is important to know that the video server can perform then needed tasks to meet the objectives.  

Advisist can help determine if a concept is valid, and that the equipment specified can function as needed to support the systems objectives.  

Design Review

Reviewing projects is more than checking drawings or doing a cost evaluation. There are a great number of additional things to consider. 

  1. Will all of the items fit in the space allotted?
  2. Will there be sufficient access to service the equipment?
  3. Is the building’s systems able to support the system as designed?
  4. Does the documentation meet the scope of work?

Advisist can conduct a peer review of designs to assess your work before being submitted to spot small problems before they become bigger issues. For end users and technical managers, it allows some one else to be the “bad guy” while reviewing drawings and submittals. For other parties it allows for putting your best foot forward. This type of peer review can alleviate some of the political challenges projects sometimes face. Often reviews help improve performance and verify that standards have been met, and that the quality of work is aligned with the client’s expectations. Think of it as having the project work graded before submitting it to the “teacher” so that one has the chance to correct errors. Peer reviews can be used for design submittals, fabrication, installation, and for commissioning anything that a neutral set of eyes should be looking over.  

The Advisist team has helped many companies over the years hone their skills with respect to following different standards and practices to meet the client’s needs. Ultimately the same approach is taken for each design review. By asking the following, questions with a fresh perspective Advisist can conduct a thorough to mitigate project challenges:  

  1. What is the expectation?
  2. Is there a checklist for guidance?
  3. Are there any standards to be enforced?  

Advertorial

A challenge many manufacturers or distributors face is telling customers about their products beyond the specification or cut sheet. One-way manufacturers can tackle this problem is with a compelling advertorial written for industry publications or catalogs. One often gains more product understanding from an advertorial as it provides elements far beyond spec or cut sheet descriptions.  

As products come to market with unique sales propositions (USPs), tailoring the message of the USP can become quite a challenge. It’s often not black and white to customers as to the solutions the product or service provides. An advertorial offers a lengthier message and positioning statement to highlight these solutions, takes a deeper look into a products characteristics, and offers a deeper knowledge.  

Advisist is skilled at outlining a system or customer challenge and how specific hardware or software products from a manufacturer can solve the problem. We outline use cases and applications where products excel, making the customer’s life easier.  

The goal of the advertoial needs to be defined upfront in order to outline the targeted audience reaction. The goal could be a call to action asking a potential customer to provide contact information to download additional information, submit a contact request form, or put them in touch with a dealer in their area. Whatever the goal, Advisist can create an advertorial that helps convert leads, build brand awareness, and promote products for your company. The examples below show advertorials written when Bradford, our founder, was working for Harman Professional. 

Example

Note: Bradford was employed by a company with strict non-disclosure rules from March 2018 through November 2020. He reduced his writing for that period of time at their request.

Commentary

The AV Industry is a melding of art, science, and business. It is not always obvious how these elements work together. There is an industry saying, “if you have a discussion with three technical people, you will end up with five answers or opinions.” Some of these opinions are based on experience, some are personal feelings, and some are just instinct. In creating commentary Advisist can distill these complex ideas down to manageable thoughts. The creation of a coherent comparison of contrasting ideas is an effective way to provide insight. 

Commentaries are often pieces written to allow the reader to form their own opinions. These documents can also be crafted to express the preferred opinion or the writer’s opinion as well. The process is not just sitting down and having a stream of thought, the Advisist team works together to provide a compelling story while also crafting a reasonable conclusion or opinion. Below are some examples of commentaries written by Bradford Benn for AVNation. Contact us if you’d like to create content for you. 

Samples: 

Education & Training

There is the expression that one can never be a prophet in their own land. Roughly translated that means one can tell coworkers how to do something it will be ignored, but if an outside person tells them, it will be retained. Staying up to date on the latest technologies is a challenge, and training staff is essential.  

Leave the training to our professional team at Advisist. We can help educate and share the knowledge through their experiences. Bradford’s experience as a trainer for Harman Professional, as well as his work with synergetic audio concepts or SynAudCon makes him an invaluable resource. A transfer of knowledge is a skill honed over many years. We offer custom trainings can be developed to meet specific needs and can cover any topic. 

These trainings can also be based on the systems that are being installed. One of the requirements that is often overlooked is training the final operator or end user of the system installed. As an independent party, we know how critical this step can be, and can review the project to determine what information needs to be conveyed for training purposes. Whether it’s your staff, or your clients, Advisist can tailor a training program to meet your needs.