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Media Relations Contacts:

Alison Bell Yasmeen Khan
Skinkers Media Relations Reuters Media Relations
+44 (0) 118 975 4541 + 44 (0) 207 542 0496
alison@communic8consulting.com yasmeen.khan@reuters.com





AlertNet service cuts through email clutter and delivers breaking humanitarian news straight to the desktop


LONDON, 23rd May 2005 - Skinkers plc, the leader in desktop alert technology, and humanitarian news portal Reuters AlertNet (www.alertnet.org) have joined forces to launch an emergency information service that will ensure breaking news reaches the world’s humanitarian relief community. Called AlertNet Desktop Alerts, the new service uses sophisticated desktop alert technology from Skinkers to create a high priority information delivery channel that circumvents e-mail overload.

Designed to cut through email inbox clutter, the alerts appear on registered users’ PC screens as soon as important information breaks, whether or not they are on the AlertNet website at the time. All AlertNet desktop alerts carry a brief summary of the breaking news, provide a web page click-through option for further information, and automatically disappear when the information is no longer current. Free-of-charge to AlertNet Member Organisations, the desktop alert service can be used to share humanitarian relief information with NGOs in the field as well as subscribing members of the general public.

Mark Jones, Editor of AlertNet, comments: “Feedback from our users shows us that they don’t have time to scour the news in full and filter out the information they need to get to in a hurry. Staff from NGOs can become overloaded with information; these desktop alerts allow us to immediately highlight key news. By flashing straight on to the desktop, we can cut through email clutter, make messages more relevant and engaging, and help humanitarian relief agencies to act faster.”




Faith Mall, Communications Officer, HelpAge International UK comments: "AlertNet's desktop alerts are really useful to me. The fact that the icon flashes up on screen and give you the choice whether to go further or not, means that they are informative without being intrusive, giving me choice of whether to read the story."

Christina Schmalenbach, Oxfam Humanitarian Officer for East Asia comments: "Like many people I am suffering from information overload, all the time working to stay on top of emails coming in - AlertNet's desktop alerts are very helpful as they jump out at me and can't be ignored."

Rob Noble, Chief Operations Officer at Skinkers says: “In a disaster situation, it’s vital that charity and relief organisations can quickly share vital news and information with field workers in remote corners of the world. Recent research has proved that Skinkers news alerts can increase the visibility of important information by up to 400%. Leading commercial news organisations already use our desktop alert technology to reliably distribute breaking news, so we are delighted to be working with Reuters AlertNet to support its work in the not-for-profit sector.

Reuters AlertNet can be downloaded from www.alertnet.org.


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About AlertNet
Reuters AlertNet (www.alertnet.org) is a news portal for humanitarian response agencies. Started in 1997 by Reuters Foundation - an educational and humanitarian trust - AlertNet has developed into a forum for non-governmental agencies around the world active in emergency relief, and aims to provide relevant services and information to the international disaster relief community.

About Skinkers plc
Skinkers Desktop Alerts are a business-controlled channel to the desktop of computer users that guarantee important messages are seen when most needed. With email communication starting to fail under the pressure of spam and viruses, it is crucial for businesses to be able to guarantee the delivery of important messages to both customers and employees. Skinkers has created a software technology that allows organisations of all sizes to quickly and cost-effectively deploy their own high-priority message delivery channel to the desktop of their employees or their customers worldwide. Clients include: BBC, Comic Relief, Kelloggs, Reuters, Sky, Warner Bros and Xbox. Skinkers Alerts are very effective as they can:

- Deliver messages at a predefined time
- Support hundreds of thousands of users in a very cost effective way
- Track how many people receive and interact with the messages
- Deliver alerts both to anonymous and identified users
- Control the look and feel of messages for brand control
- Drive people to other information on the internet/intranet/television/etc
- Deliver large multimedia files in a highly optimised way.






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