Monthly Archives: March 2013

Finding Focus

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In my office, I am surrounded by meaningful, funny and generally inspirational statements by some of history’s most influential minds.

 

 

“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream”

 

“Don’t nag yourself with thoughts of failure, Simply do”

 

“Keep Calm and Carry on”

 

I love these quotes for many reasons, but there is a particular quote by Mark Twain, the famed American author, that left a lasting impression upon my mind:

 

“There are no trivial occurrences in life if we get the right focus on them”

 

It is important that we always keep in mind that nothing we do in life, whether in business or privately, is trivial. Brick-by-brick, step-by-step, precept-upon-precept, if we consciously seize and focus upon life’s moments, these experiences will directly influence everything we do…for the better.

 

I strive to apply this principle everyday. As a professional communicator, it is especially important to realize that delivering lasting quality, creativity and success is realized by streamlining the specifics, focusing on the details and remembering that everything (and everyone) contributes to the end result.

 

There is great stagnation in settling for an ordinary level of accomplishment. And, most importantly when we deliver less than our best effort, we betray our client’s trust. This trust means everything to me.

 

Remember there are no trivial occurrences if we…Find the proper focus…
Share our client’s passion….Never settle for mediocrity…Act with honesty and integrity…Fearlessly communicate….everyday!

 

This is what I believe in, and what Liberty promises to deliver.

Budget 2013 – what does it mean for UK tech sector?

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The UK technology sector is one of very few to have seen steady growth since the start of the economic downturn in 2008.  Reports claim that it now represents 12 per cent of UK GDP.

 

What does Budget 2013 mean for UK tech sector?

 

 

With this in mind, it is perhaps not without cause that some may have thought the 2013 budget announcement would have contained a bit more good news for UK tech sector.

 

On the surface – especially when compared the 2012 budget – the 2013 budget doesn’t seem to offer much cause for cheer amongst the UK tech sector.

 

The 2012 budget unveiled a series of incentives to support the UK’s technology industry, including funding for ultra-fast broadband rollouts in the UK’s 10 largest cities, ensuring protection of the £100 million science budget. The 2013 budget didn’t have anything specifically for the tech sector.

 

There are some incentives, like the new Employment Allowance that will knock the first £2,000 off the NI bill for every business and charity. There is also an extension to the Funding for Lending scheme and the announcement of £75 million of new funding for venture capital to support start-ups.

 

None of these are directly for the tech sector, but when you consider the growth of small and medium sized businesses in recent years, and the part technology start-ups and hubs like Tech City in London have played in this, it could be claimed that the 2013 budget has more for the tech industry than it might seem at first glance.

 

The 2013 budget builds on the last budget and will give tech start-ups and SMEs that sprang up as a result of the 2012 incentives more room to manoeuvre and grow. The Employment Allowance, for example, will hopefully help tech start-ups overcome the hurdle of bringing staff on board at their early stages.

 

Of course we would have loved to see a more specific technology focus in the Budget, and some more overt steps taken to future proof the UK’s position as a world leader in tech, but those steps that have been taken are definitely ones in the right direction.

 

Thanks to the recent developments of SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme), Corporation Tax, creative tax reliefs and additional funding, the UK now has one of the most supportive sets of public policy for SMEs & fast growing technology businesses – we’re not there yet, but Mr Osborne is leading us in the right direction.

MWC Briefing Express places media and clients on perfect track to Barcelona

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A new venue, and clients requesting more briefings than ever before. It can only be Mobile World Congress 2013, and the chance for Liberty to unleash its latest mediovation (media innovation), the MWC Briefing Express.

 

Liberty’s latest mediovation, the MWC Briefing Express is full steam ahead for next year after a successful start in its first year.

 

The ingredients for our mediovation were simple. Take eight clients, 19 media, and select members of the Liberty team on a luxurious train journey from London to Barcelona via Paris, and a night’s stopover at Perpignan. Add some fine wine and gastronomic food along the way ‑ the whole way granted ‑ and you have the making for a memorable media trip that will become a mainstay around MWC for years to come.

 

The MWC Briefing Express combined the necessity of travelling to the world’s biggest mobile festival with not only the desire to maximise the number of media briefings for clients, but to serve news and thought leadership to the media before the noise of the Congress.

 

With the client-media briefings scheduled for the afternoon’s Paris-to-Perpignan leg of the journey, eager clients talked shop while the media scribbled furiously as the Eurostar made its way early Saturday morning on February 23rd from London to Paris.

 

Having successfully negotiated Paris, the TGV to Perpignan was a 5-hour journey with each client undertaking eight 30-minute interviews. In the relaxed surroundings of the TGV as it raced south through the stunning French countryside, it was perhaps the first time conversations on a French train on a Saturday afternoon ranged from mobile marketing effectiveness, mobile operator payments and deep packet inspection, to mobile consumer research, mobile apps and business assurance.

 

As the MWC Briefing Express Party relaxed over sumptuous French food and fragrant wine at the Perpignan hotel that evening, and networking into the early hours – not to mention the Full Monty in the swimming pool!!!! – it was s time to reflect on an incredibly successful days work.

 

In total, 71 briefings took place over a 10-hour period between London and Perpignan. Stories from those briefings started to emerge as early as Sunday afternoon. And to date, there have been over 40 stories, with countless others to be published over the coming months. What’s more, every client achieved their 15 minutes of fame with a recorded interview on TelecomTV.

Liberty’s MWC Briefing Express not only delivered an unprecedented number of briefings in such a short time in a unique and innovative manner, it also provided a platform for ongoing media coverage, and perhaps most important of all, lasting relationships between the media and clients were forged.

 

A massive thanks to everyone that helped make the Express happen, but also to the clients and media that embraced the concept wholeheartedly and made it a truly memorable expedition for all.

 

Planning for next year has already commenced. Watch this space for more mediovation.

 

So there you have it; one truly successful media trip, but don’t just take our word for it:

 

“It [the Express] was a great idea. I talked to loads of people at MWC about it. You should definitely repeat it.”

Paul Berney, MMA

 

“Let’s make it [the Express] a tradition!”

Alan Burkitt-Gray, Global Telecoms Business

 

“I found the access to companies that the Express provided, together with the chance to outline certain thoughts before the event itself and get to know companies better over a longer time frame was absolutely invaluable.”

Keith Dyer, The Mobile Network

 

“It [the Express] was an awesome trip, and I really appreciate being a part of it.”

Mike Shaw, Mobile Choice

Happy 15th Birthday Liberty

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On 15th March 1998, Liberty opened its doors to the technology world for the first time. Sat in my PJ’s in a back bedroom at my home in Berkshire, we had one client based in Connecticut, North America.

 

 

From those humble beginnings, we’ve worked across a variety of clients, a variety of technology solutions and a variety of time zones and everyone at Liberty today should be really proud of what we’ve built together. In a year when Liberty USA has been launched and our London HQ has been dramatically refurbished, it seems fitting to think about all the fantastic things still to come and to look forward to sharing many more great career moments as we go.

 

I’d like to personally thank everyone who has either worked with or worked for Liberty over the last 15 years and supported me in making Liberty what it is today – and for realising my professional dream.

 

Happy 15th birthday Liberty – let’s celebrate!

Liberty Communications names Michael Bingham to spearhead business in North America

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Liberty Communications, the specialist technology communications consultancy, today announced that it has appointed Michael Bingham to promote Liberty’s business in the United States, effective immediately. He holds specific responsibilities for building the company’s position within the local market to include increasing visibility of the company’s current U.S. client base, driving new business in the region and managing the company’s local offices.

 

According to a 2012 report from New York-based public policy organisation, Centre for an Urban Future, New York has the United States’ fastest growing technology sector second only to Silicon Valley. With this in mind, Liberty is in the process of consecutively launching support for both East and West coast offices to service clients in both technology centres, aiding them in taking advantage of potential future growth opportunities.

 

“I believe Liberty’s work ethic will really help differentiate us from local competitors and drive long term success,” said Michael Bingham, head of the United States region, Liberty Communications. “Our flexible, proactive and creative approach means that we track what is happening in the marketplace and adapt our plans, and the channels we are using, to keep business success at the forefront of our communications strategy for clients. It’s not just about offering integrated and digital campaigns but also making sure that the right campaign is being implemented at the right time.”

 

Dee Gibbs, managing director and founder of Liberty Communications commented, “When we decided to launch Liberty in the United States we committed to finding a team with the local market knowledge and understanding to help drive our clients business forward in the region. Michael has the experience to implement our integrated communications and digital approach within a regional context and at the same time embrace our dedicated approach to client services, recognising that this must lie at the heart of everything we do as a company.”

 

Michael is a seasoned technology public relations and marketing professional with over 15 years industry experience. He has a proven history of building brands, nurturing client relationships and simplifying complex topics for companies including Toshiba America Information Systems, SRS Labs, Networks in Motion, Gunnar Optiks and STEC

In the flurry of MWC news, there were some themes that quickly came through.

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The venue – we had a shiny new venue – I liked it. One of the aspects that went down especially well was the central concourse as it brought in the ‘serendipity effect’ of bumping in to people. This was something that some of you may remember when the show was based in Cannes.

 

Mobile World Congress 2013

 

On topics – M2M (the internet of things) truly arrived. While M2M is a fairly mature industry the depth and breadth of it at the show was a sight to behold. At the centre of this was the Connected City which showed applications from mobile health to e-learning.

 

It was also the year of challengers – from Ubuntu to the Firefox (and even Sony and Nokia), there were some interesting announcements which have the potential to change the mobile landscape.

 

Mobile security, device management and the enterprise were all big topics too – combined with BYOD. This we know but the threat landscape means that enterprise grade services and security are becoming an increasing priority for handset manufacturers, operators, app developers and system integrators. There were a pleasing number of exhibitors really focussing on these crucial areas. We’re looking forward to what next year will bring already!