TechComms is an integrated marketing and communications agency renowned for its extensive experience and expertise in the B2B technology sector. Our specialised knowledge spans a range of key markets including mobile & telecoms, enterprise tech, retail & ecommerce and collaboration. We are a team of senior marketing and communications experts, dedicated to helping companies large and small develop their profile and messaging, establish their market position, grow their sales and channel networks and build on their brand and market awareness.

We are currently looking for a PR Senior Account Executive (or Account Manager) to help us continue to grow the business and become an integral part of our small but ambitious team.

The successful candidate will earn a starting salary of £24,000 and will have opportunities for international travel as well as progression and development within the company. We also offer flexible working opportunities including homeworking and are happy to discuss this as part of your application.

What will you be doing?

Working with current clients and helping to support new business opportunities

Supporting the CEO and small account team in managing strategic PR accounts – tasks may include researching and updating media contacts and features lists, news release writing, distribution and monitoring, media outreach (phone and f2f) and arranging media activities

Supporting the CEO with the new business programme ensuring that accurate records are kept and that new business is being progressed

Organising and maintaining diaries and making appointments for the CEO, arranging travel and accommodation as required

Screening phone calls, enquiries and requests, and handling them when appropriate, as well as dealing with incoming emails and post and ensuring the smooth running of the office

Accompanying the CEO to meetings and attending new business teleconferences as appropriate, providing administrative support as required.

Contributing to the generation of material for the Proactive PR newsletter, blogs and social media as required

Helping develop and maintain strong relationships with clients

What are the requirements to apply?

A commitment to developing a career in PR within the UK Technology sector

Desire to be an integral part of an agency with ambitious growth plans and for your role to grow with it

Educated to degree level with either a degree in PR, English, Journalism or similar

At least 2 years experience working in a PR agency or in-house environment

Confidence in working in Media at all levels. You will need to have good media contacts already and be happy to pitch in news releases / feature ideas to all media, regardless of their job level, or type of media (e.g. a national or small trade)

Competent writer / content creator

Organised, with a close eye for detail

Efficient and able to work at a fast pace

Happy to work in the office by yourself a couple of days a week

Flexible and positive attitude 

Self-motivated

 

Interested? Email info@techcomms.co.uk

 

There is often confusion on what the difference is between AR and PR and how to best manage an AR programme. In the first part of this series, we looked at the do’s and don’ts of analyst briefings. In the second part, we are now going to share some best practices that can bring you some great results.

Have a strategic narrative

The story and message has to make sense and be relevant.

It is easy to fall into a tendency to provide the basic information, an architecture map and a cursory note on customers. But there needs to be an overarching theme and a strategic vision for the business. For the presentation to have any impact, the content must match the strategic vision. Without this approach, the client’s briefing will meld into the 20 other briefings that week with varying degrees of impact.

Foster a business relationship

Analysts are business people as well as industry researchers. They will have one eye on their existing client base, another on potential new work. The briefing is not just a (largely) one-way flow of information. It is also an opportunity for the analyst to help your client with potential consultative work or bespoke research in the future.

Budgets or plans may not allow this at the start, but it is worth remembering, the analyst is likely to contact you again for a regular update and suggest areas where your client may benefit from a strategy session, a custom report or speaking slot at one of your events.

Keep in regular contact

One of the regular gripes we hear about from analysts is the refrain that after the briefing, the analyst never heard from the client again. This results in an analyst being interested but unfulfilled. PR agencies have the bad habit, on occasions, of only organising analyst briefings around an industry event (Mobile World Congress (MWC) is a good example) and effectively by-passing analyst relations activity for the rest of the year. Until MWC comes round again.

That’s just one example of the damaging effect of not maintaining the analyst relationship. When a client is planning an analyst event, it’s chances of securing analyst attendance are increased if they have kept your target audience regularly informed. After all, why should they attend if they hardly know you? So, in short, have a structured analyst relations programme that values the analyst.

 

We are often asked by our clients what the dos and don’ts of analyst briefings are. So, here’s a two-part series on how to get the most value from your analyst relations programme.

These hints and tips will guide you in planning briefings, presenting to analysts and ensuring you service your analysts in the best way possible to maintain a positive relationship and achieve impressive results for your client.

Know your audience

Analyst are not journalists. A simple rule but easily forgotten. Analysts value open dialogue, discussion of long-term strategy and detailed insight beyond the headline. To get value out of the relationship it is worth remembering this rule, when planning a briefing or event.

Don’t ever think of inviting an analyst to an event where they will have multiple briefings, a week or three before it happens. They won’t attend. Analysts have multiple roles. One of the most important is handling client inquiries. That’s right – analysts have clients and earn money for their employers. They do this every day.

Taking time out to attend an event must be justified from a cost and time perspective. You’ll have a greater chance of analyst attendance if you give plenty of notice – two or even three months will do the trick. And try and pay their travel costs. It shows you really do value their time.

Do the basics. Know what your analyst researches, which companies and technologies they are interested in and what have they been writing about recently. Some analysts will also have written short articles, blogs and commentary pieces and will be on the analyst’s company website. Or they might have been asked to author an article for a trade publication. This is easily searchable and valuable background knowledge.

Get your content in order

An analyst presentation needs to be fit for purpose. For example, if you are briefing an analyst on a new suite of products, provide detail on how customers are using it. Analysts want to see proof of the pudding and match what the product strategy is with what it provides.  

If you are briefing an analyst wholly unfamiliar with your clients’ business, except a cursory glance at the company website, provide background details in the presentation. This initial briefing is an introduction, enabling the analyst to get to know a little more about your client so, while the background details do not need to be extensive, they do need to provide an accurate summary of how the business was created and got to where it is today.

Too much content is bad. No analyst will thank you for sending them a presentation with 50 slides. Keep PowerPoint presentations to around 25 slides maximum, but less is more as the briefing call itself should offer them the insight that they will want - the slides are just a summary for their information both before and after the call. Briefings typically last one hour so that time needs to be apportioned and spent wisely – do not waffle, instead get straight to the point and be sure to ask the analyst whether they have any questions at regular points of the briefing.

What is the information most relevant for that analyst in the briefing? Remember rule number one? Know your audience. Find out what the analyst researches, what their planned reports are and which clients they talk to. This information is gold dust for your client.

Look out for the second part of this series which continues to look at how to manage an analyst relations programme that brings value to your clients as well as to the analysts.

Members of the TechComms team were excited to be at last month’s hugely successful Mobile World Congress. It was another amazing event connecting with the world’s best from across the mobile industry.

This year the MWC theme was intelligent connectivity and this was fully supported in the many announcements made around 5G and what this will mean for the future of the industry. AI and machine learning were also getting plenty of attention.

5G
With 5G set to officially become a reality this year, expectations are high. Service providers showcased 5G-enabled handheld devices, and promoted the enhanced user experience and new applications made possible with faster gigabit speeds. Sprint revealed its 5G launch time frame – May 2019 starting in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Kansas City but with another five US cities having 5G network rolled out by the middle of the year. T-Mobile however said that it’s 5G network would not launch until the second half of 2019 – later than it had originally intended.

With 5G roll outs now being planned and announced, new 5G ready phones were also revealed at MWC2019. Galaxy’s S10 5G and Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 3 5G along with the V50 ThinQ 5G, while HTC’s upcoming 5G Hub debuted.

Foldable phones

But 5G was not the main focus for new phones as the latest in device innovation, folding phones, were showcased on the big stage and received an enthusiastic response from attendees and media alike. Nubia’s dual screen phones were put aside in favour of its Alpha smartphone-watch hybrid at the event. Galaxy showcased its standout Galaxy Fold, which is overshadowing competitors as it’s agreed as having components that are simply generations ahead of anything else. Huawei’s Mate X rose to that challenge though with a sleek design which was quite mesmerizing and attractive.

Beyond mobile

Blu Wireless demonstrated its real-time 4K video connections in the GSMA Innovation City and the data sharing capabilities and next-gen technologies being introduced and discussed at the event brought the reach of controlled autonomous vehicles (CAVs), virtual reality (VR), Industry 4.0 and augmented reality (AR) to life. The exciting applications and products that these evolving technologies are making able are taking an increasing amount of the MWC spotlight. While mobile devices will stay a key part of MWC, next year we may see wireless technologies become more of a thing as 5G continues to develop those opportunities.

Connected cars

AI assistants and keyless access and activation plus telematics were all demonstrated and talked about in the cool, connected cars on shown at this year’s MWC 2019. BMW, Toyota, Volkswagen, Daimler and Tesla were just some of the automotive brands to showcase their products and services. Qualcomm announced its expansion into the auto sector, with its suite of smart technology and automotive solutions, including the Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platforms and Qualcomm C-V2X “paving the way for cars to connect to each other, the road, and virtually everything else around them”. The conference topics for auto OEMs included presentations on intelligent connectivity, asking how the convergence of core technologies like AI, 5G, IOT, and even blockchain are driving mobility, and the future of mobility with vehicles driving data to the edge.

Next-gen innovation

Emerging technology breakthroughs that we saw and marveled at went from simple cool new AR headsets with integrated speech and a wider field of view plus better hand tracking for gaming to 360-degree cameras that are absolutely tiny but super duper powerful, like the Ricoh flagship Theta Z1. Lenovo revealed its Yoga ANC and ThinkPad X1 ANC lines of noise-cancelling headphones. Smartwatches were also a highlight of ours, since we all wear one here in the TechComms’ office. Our favour from the elegant and lightweight newbies was the Samsung Galaxy Watch as it comes in a few different colours – silver, green, rose gold and black – so you can choose whichever colour best suits your style.

Women4Tech
More than 25,000 female attendees registered for this year’s MWC and women representing 37 per cent of keynote speakers and 27 per cent of all speakers in the conference programme. Recognising the contributions women in tech are making in the world of digital communications, the third year of the GSMA Women4Tech Summit was a bona fide success, bringing together women leaders from across the industry.

Watch the MWC2019 highlights from Mobile World Live here.

For a closer look at the top announcements and their impact on the industry, here are just a few on-demand webinars hosted by leading industry analysts discussing key takeaways and providing their expert insight into this popular event.

Save the date for MWC2020 Barcelona which kicks off on 24th February next year. More information is at mwcbarcelona.com.  We hope to see you there!

The Power of a Simple Thank You

It seems obvious enough that if someone does something helpful for you, it is common courtesy to thank them for their help. Far too often a thank you is getting lost in the busy, always-on world we’re operating in nowadays, but showing appreciation has been proven to create loyalty and increase productivity.

In fact, according to a Westminster College poll on employee motivation, 69 per cent of people surveyed would work harder if they believed their leaders appreciated their work. And since feeling unappreciated is the #1 reason customers switch away from products and services, are you doing all you can to make your own customers – both existing and potential new ones - feel valued?

For anyone who isn’t sure that they are, here’s a quick look at three very simple ways you can show your gratitude to employees and customers (clients).

Express it. The just-passed holiday period is perhaps the ideal time of year for saying thank you and showing your appreciation with a well-crafted email or handwritten greeting card (timed around Christmas and the New Year). If you missed out on this opportunity to express your gratitude with a Christmas greeting, why not take the time now to tell your team and your customers how much you appreciated their hard work and contributions (team), business (customers) and loyalty over the past year and why you’re looking forward to continuing to work with them in 2019.

Get feedback.  Survey your employees and customers to gauge satisfaction and look for areas that need improvement on a regular basis. Be sure to tell employees you’re looking for ways to create a culture where people are valued and recognised for the work they do and encourage a two-way conversation with them so they can express best practice ideas that will enhance the service you’re offering your team and customers – they will all thank you for that. Also be sure to tell your customers you are committed to providing exceptional service and want to hear from them about how you can improve and enhance how you provide products and/or services to them, and what else they might be looking for from you that you’re not already delivering.

Use all of the feedback gained in the previous step to do the most important part – deliver an exceptional service to everyone you work with and for. Employees are more engaged when they feel valued and when they are given this recognition they tend to go above and beyond to provide exceptional customer service and do their best work. Consistently delivering excellent service also happens to be the single best way you can show customers that you appreciate them. Make employee and customer satisfaction a priority, and the people who work with you will always feel appreciated.

It only takes a minute to show you are grateful: to your team for their work and to your customers (clients) for their investment. Value them by saying thank you as often as you can and when you do, mean it.

And in the spirit of today’s post, we’d like to thank all of our TechComms UK clients. We are truly grateful for you and your business. We value your partnership and collaboration and your commitment to PR excellence. Every day you inspire us to go above and beyond to do great work for you.

Thank you!  

 

Do you have plans to attend an Industry Event in 2019? If yes, it’s time to plan how you’ll promote your attendance and get as many visitors as possible to your stand.

Here’s a helpful list to get your planning started:

  1. Check out sponsorship opportunities: Can you sponsor a panel discussion or a networking reception? Can your company name and logo appear on the tote people are given when they register to get their badge?

  2. Determine what announcement(s) you’ll make before the event or during the event (think: must be newsworthy) and draft a press release to issue well ahead of the event start date to interest media in meeting with you to learn more. When inviting key media and analysts to meet with you, make your pitch compelling, timely and relevant to their areas of coverage to maximise success.

  3. Decide who will be your spokespeople for meeting with media and analysts, and pitch him or her for one to ones at least four weeks before the event start date – before media and analysts’ diaries are too full to allocate any time for meeting with your spokesperson.  

  4. Put together a showcase of your products/services to highlight. If appropriate, plan to show a demo of the latest product enhancements or any new products you’re announcing.

  5. Set up a dedicated section of your website for your event attendance with the spokesperson, announcement and showcase on it – ensure that this landing page link is shared in all outgoing communications and in your press release, plus social media, to attract as many visitors as possible. While people are visiting that page on your website, they may stay to take a  look at others.

  6. Pick a hashtag you’ll use in all social communications promoting your attendance at the event and while your team is onsite. Make it memorable and use it everywhere. If you have the budget, ask a relevant influencer to partner with you to also use your hashtag as their followers may share it with their followers, helping you reach a wider audience. Who knows, your hashtag could be one that’s trending before the event finishes

  7. Create or update stand signage to create a bold impression that will attract more visitors to stop by your stand. Could you do a small pop-up display in another area of the event floor to amplify your presence and get more people to notice your brand, products/services?

  8. Consider a branded item to giveaway at your stand. Ensure you stand giveaway is a useful item that will be carried around for weeks or maybe months after the event - like a reusable coffee cup or quality stationery. It's also a good idea to give away chocolates and little treats for passers-by and visitors to keep them going energy-wise as they trawl the event floor.

  9. Consider working with a team of leafleters for them to go around the event handing out notices about your demo and stand number to try and entice people to swing by and see you.

  10. Do a Facebook Livestream from your stand, announcing you are at the event and where about on the event floor, to encourage any followers who are also at the event to come by.

  11. A joint marketing effort might be a good idea, if your new product or service is being used by any companies that are also attending the event – you could set aside some time in a planned location to both invite key media and analysts to attend a joint press conference, which would be held at the event. – you could set aside some time in a planned location to both invite key media and analysts to attend a joint press conference, which would be held at the event.

  12. Before the event, have each and every one of your customer-facing team members highlighting the fact that you will be at the event – not just so they know, but also so they tell any of their friends and business colleagues who may also be in the market for similar products and services about your attendance.

  13. Have a dedicated tweeter for the time you’re at the event, sharing images of people visiting your stand and your demo, plus talking about what you’re up to and how the event is going for you but, most importantly, your stand number and the benefits of coming to speak with you there. Live social interaction is priceless so having someone 100% focused on social means that any conversations or comments that come through can be answered and responded to straight away, which is what every potential customer or visitor wants.

 

To stand out and maximise your attendance, it’s important to take a creative and thoughtful approach so you don’t get lost in the crowd. If you’d like help planning your event promotion strategy, please contact us on +44 7886 015 222 or via email: info@techcomms.co.uk


 

 

Have you ever questioned the enormous investment – both in terms of time and finance - it requires to attend an industry event? You may have asked why are we spending this money and why is our PR team scheduling so many meet and greets with attending media and analysts?

While it’s true we’ve moved into a more mobile world where physical meetings seem to happen less and less,  the fact remains that in an ultra competitive business environment you have to stand out and show up to garner the attention you need from key influencers and make a place for your products or services in the industry. You can’t be a wallflower when it comes to building a successful thought leadership presence.

Your PR agency partner plays an instrumental role in making your industry event presence a success so it is essential to work with an agency that you can rely on, that knows the industry and you as a client well enough to advise you on what will work to meet your needs.

More often than not, a successful event begins with a solid business strategy: What are you trying to achieve? Who is most important for you to meet with while at the event? What is your idea of success before, during and after the event?

Once you have this in place, the PR team will collaborate with you closely to develop a compelling invite to secure meetings with media and analysts.

Here are three key things you need to consider having in place to successfully secure event briefings:

1.   Newsworthy announcements: You can’t expect to have a meeting if you have nothing new to tell people. So plan to make some kind of product or company announcement timed with the event. This doesn’t mean you need to do a press release, though we highly recommend this as a way to amplify your presence at the conference. The announcement must be something meaningful and interesting to the industry at-large or your customers and prospects to secure any attention.

2.   Cater to the media: This doesn’t mean serve them a meal or buy them a drink! Media and analysts attending these events are often on tight deadlines and under pressure to deliver relevant news items. Keep this in mind when doing outreach, the more you can provide them with information for timely news stories the more likely they will be to take the time to meet with you and hear what you have to say.

3.   It’s all about relationship building: The success of your conference attendance should not be measured on the number of meetings secured. It’s really all about the quality of the meetings with the most influential media and analysts in your particular space. Building a relationship is far more important than landing a handshake. Target the influencers who matter most and lean on your PR team to make these recommendations. Once you have these meetings scheduled, you need to do your homework to understand what they cover and are interested in and where you can slot in your expert insight. Again, your PR team can help with this and prepare detailed briefing notes to ensure meetings are a success.

With CES over and MWC just around the corner, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on +44 7886 015 222 or via email: info@techcomms.co.uk. We can help determine which industry events are the best ones for you to attend, identify key influencers you should be meeting with, and schedule these meetings for you to  align with your marketing and PR goals, resulting in a positive outcome.

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