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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Ovum MWC19 Debrief webinars: Operator Strategies and Technologies & Devices
- Strategy Analytics MWC Webinar: Commercial Opportunities for the Components Industry
- For an overall look at 2019 trends, check out 451 Research series of webinars here.
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.
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:
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
In summer 2019, Forbes published a great article written by John Hall, CEO of Influence & Co. detailing the five marketing trends to pay attention to in 2019. As we welcome 2019, here’s our take on how PR can complement a 2019 marketing strategy that embraces these trends.
Build Trust. PR content has to communicate value to the audiences you are targeting. This is where thought leadership becomes incredibly important. PR communication has to go beyond the press release to resonate with the media, your customers and your prospects. In addition to establishing a strong thought leadership platform, it’s important to build relationships with key industry influencers. They are trusted sources and the audiences following these influencers are doing so for their point of view and unbiased thoughts. Having their support will go a long way towards creating trust with your audiences. Your PR team can help you find the right set of influencers to support your goals. For further reading, check out our blog about how to build a thought leadership programme here.
Embrace Creativity. Everyone is vying for attention and people are becoming more and more overloaded with information. Your PR content has to stand out in a distinct way just like your marketing communications. It needs to be memorable and bold to make an impression. For example, arranging a PR event in tandem with a marketing campaign roll-out or creating a digital, viral PR campaign to support a product launch.
Collaboration is Critical. To be successful, PR needs a seat at the marketing table and vice versa. We need access and quick responses from your internal team when we secure media opportunities and are creating contributed articles. If there are a lot of hoops to jump through in your organisation, no one can be effective at getting the job done. Collaboration with the key stakeholders is paramount to our collective success. So let’s work together to break down any barriers before the New Year begins to ensure we keep things moving.
Speak in the Language of your Target Audiences. We recommend this to clients all the time. Overly technical and jargon-filled language in your communication materials, including your website, marketing and PR content, is not going to be well-received Your PR team can help craft copy that is simple, straightforward and delivers your messages to communicate the value of your solutions and services that will appeal to your audiences more effectively.
Authenticity. 2019 is the year to get back to some basics when it comes to building and nurturing relationships with your customers/prospects and ultimately, your media targets. Show them that you prioritise providing an exceptional customer experience above everything else. The personal touch and the details matter in a tech-driven, increasingly faceless world. Can you communicate digitally? Of course, but personal contact - whether that’s a phone interview with a reporter or a press event with your customers (clients) will go a long way in helping you to stand out from your competitors. And if your PR content isn’t authentic in tone and purpose, it’s time to review and revise your approach. We can help!
The TechComms UK team is excited for 2019 and ready to help you build a PR programme that keeps you top of mind with the audiences you target. Let’s get started. Contact us @ email@example.com
Instant gratification has infiltrated our collective consciousness and our “want it now, get it now” kind of mindset all too often spills over into our work lives. The simple truth is: Building meaningful relationships with customers and the media and creating a lasting brand takes time and having the patience to allow your PR agency partner to do it is critical.
While we completely agree your amazing product or service deserves attention, there is no magic way for us to get it covered unless we are allowed to do the hard work of building relationships with target media and positioning your experts (thought leaders) as relevant sources of quality commentary.
So, we kindly ask for your patience. And we realise this can be easier said than done. We appreciate that you have objectives you’re trying to meet and ROI you want to see from your relationship with us, but if we aren’t given the runway to establish your PR presence and build your reputation, we will always be behind the proverbial eight ball when it comes to providing you with the significant value PR can bring to your organisation.
Famed entrepreneur E. Joseph Cossman once said, “The greatest power is often simple patience.” We could not agree more with this statement. Companies who are able to exercise patience when launching a PR partnership are able to leverage PR more effectively and see results faster. How can this be the case? It has to do with building a foundation before you add the walls. A truly great PR partner is going to be about more substance and less flash and they are going to deliver on what they’ve promised. If your PR partner hasn’t told you honestly about what it takes to build meaningful relationships with reporters and influencers and they don’t have a process for learning your business, we advise you to question them or re-evaluate.
For example, when we start working with your team, we request the following: a full briefing from key stakeholders in your organisation; access to marketing and product content that can be used to build PR pitches for the media; spokespeople trained to speak with the media and stay on message (we can help with training); a social media presence we can expand to support our PR outreach and most important of all we need time—this can range from several weeks to a few months for us to really learn your business, identify media targets and create a PR strategy aligned with your business goals.
We find this approach enables us to better meet your expectations and while it may take more time than you’d like it to, it is so worth it in the end. And if you need help setting realistic expectations for PR results with internal stakeholders, we can provide it to ensure a smooth transition. So, while you’re waiting and starting to feel like: Is our PR team doing any work for us? Let us assure you we are busy behind the scenes building a viable PR program for you. With your support and patience, we can show you how PR can make your brand an industry leader and create next-level (beyond marketing) awareness for your products amongst your customers and prospects.
There’s a reason that all good things come to those who wait. Patience can be your secret weapon when it comes to helping your PR team hit the ground running.
One of the biggest challenges facing PR pros and marketers is how to keep content fresh so that it appeals to the media and target audiences.
Here are some top tips on how to freshen up content:
Plug into Hot Topics: News jumping or news jacking is one of the best ways to keep your content current. Take a look at your key messages and active marketing campaigns as well as topics your subject matter experts are well-versed in and then ask yourself, could you connect it to what’s happening in the world right now? For example, ransomware and cyberattacks continue to be a hot topic as the one-year anniversary of WannaCry recently passed. There’s a renewed news cycle about what companies learned from the WannaCry experience and what can be done to prepare, respond to and increase their security efforts to protect technology assets.
Make a Seasonal Connection: Think creatively about how you can tie your content themes to the current season. People enjoy reading information that’s current and relatable so if you can make a connection to them, and the season or date, you’ll be better able to engage more with your readers. For example, take the recent World Cup 2018 – could there have been an opportunity to connect what you do to it? Mobile carriers could have provided data about how much texting happened during certain matches or a retail company could have shared the number of team kits (jerseys) sold per country.
Share Expertise with an Educational Focus: All too often content creators turn valuable communication vehicles like blogs and other mediums into a sales promo and miss the opportunity to highlight the value of what their own industry experts can share with their audience. When you approach content creation from the standpoint of helping your audience better understand the value of working with your company, it results in increased credibility and establishes trust.
Sharing useful tips, creating guidebooks and dispensing advice on how to address problems or pain points are incredibly helpful to your audiences and more likely to appeal to the media as they aren’t a blatant sales promotion. Can you turn your latest ebook into a guide to addressing a market need rather than promoting the latest, greatest product in your portfolio? It could then become a valuable tool for your PR team to secure media opportunities for your industry experts to be quoted as credible sources about this topic.
Just like strawberries always taste best when they’re fresh and in-season, your content will resonate and be more effective if people can connect what you’re doing in the marketplace with what is of interest to them both personally and professionally.
We’d welcome the opportunity to help you create fresh, engaging content. Contact us Rahme Mehmet at firstname.lastname@example.org.