Monthly Archives: January 2017

Introducing: Riikka Heinäaho

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Tell us a little about your background:

I’m originally from central Finland, where I studied at Jyvaskylan Kristillinen Opisto and received a degree in Children and Family Welfare. After graduating, I became an Au Pair in a small coastal town in Scotland. In 2014, I moved to London as I wanted to pursue career in the technology field.

Prior to Liberty, I worked at a startup called AnyVan and this is where I fell in love with communications and PR. From AnyVan I moved to a PR agency that was fully consumer tech based, where I supported Acer with their communications and PR in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

Why are you excited to support Liberty and our clients?

My past experience and interest in tech were the main factors I wanted to join the Liberty team. I was really impressed by the company’s client base and am excited to start as an Account Executive.

So far I am really enjoying my time at Liberty because of the fast paced environment.

What are some of your hobbies?

I enjoy walking, hiking and anything outdoors related; luckily London has many great green spaces to offer!

I also love taking advantage of all of the amazing museums and art galleries that London has to offer.

What was the last book you read/song you listened to?

I’m currently reading a couple of very different books; Tess Gerritse’s, Playing with Fire and Ernst Fischer’s, A Kim Jong‑Il Production.

Last song I listened to was; Friends – Tom Misch remix. This song is really bittersweet and anyone who has friends overseas can relate!

Looking Ahead in 2017

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It is time to look ahead to what the New Year might have in store…

Predictions are always a tricky thing to make. Fast forward twelve months and you will either look smug or red faced – as an agency with fee paying clients, neither is particularly desirable. So rather than risk the annual prognostication gauntlet, this year we are going to suggest a couple of trends that as communications professionals, (in-house and agency-side) you might like to consider.

You can bet that trade shows and events will be on agenda for our clients in this year and one of the perennial challenges in PR and marketing is how to elevate a brand message above the crowd and thus making clients stand-out. The start of the 2016 saw a big ground-swell for VR, and while this will no doubt continue, the success of Pokémon Go (to us at least) highlights the great opportunity represented by AR from a comms perspective in 2017 too. Being less immersive and more interactive with the physical world, AR must be on the radar of comms people as a genuine tactic for events and campaigns alike in the New Year.

Content will always be king for my money, but what has changed however, is the type of content that agencies should look to be encouraging with clients in the New Year. We would definitely keep an eye out for visual storytelling trends; for example, how brands implement Instagram stories or Twitter videos into their online marketing and communications strategies – done well they can offer the ‘wow-factor’ and attract attention to core brand values and messages.

Artificial Intelligence is big news across the pantheon of global media. Whether it’s autonomous vehicles, cybersecurity or marketing orientated news, AI is here to stay and with the ‘Big 5’ all vying for a piece of the pie, with various offerings such as Siri, Cortana, Alexa & Echo, 2017 will see plenty more developments.

But have we thought of the potential of AI from a comms perspective? What if you could have a link to a chatbot at the end of an email or press release rather than a stagnant corporate boilerplate or URL to a ‘press section’ on a company’s website… wouldn’t that be different? It would certainly be something innovative and could even serve to elevate awareness of the brand over its competitors.

Finally, part of our job is to remain at the cutting edge of the comms space as it grows, morphs and changes direction. A favourite in terms of discoveries in 2016 was Medium (essentially long-form Twitter), and Ghost runs a close second!

As 2017 in upon us, keep your eyes wide open for new platforms that might provide a good fit for presenting client messages untapped to areas and audiences – it is no longer enough to simply revert to ‘type’ and the likes of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as the social media platforms when considering campaigns.

So there you have it, 2017 in a nutshell… let us know if you agree, or indeed if you have any ideas of what you think will be big in the comms space in the New Year – we’d love to hear your opinions too!

Introducing: Mike Walker

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Tell us a little about your background:

I graduated in September from the University of Lincoln with a degree in English, but have been working since late April, when university all of a sudden, sadly, no longer was a thing.

Prior to arriving at Liberty, I was a freelancer for Hotwire PR’s B2B and consumer tech accounts, drafting by-lined articles along many verticals including robotics, AR/VR, home technology devices and 3D printing.

Before I started working in PR, I was the Lifestyle Editor of the university paper, The Linc, and I wrote articles for my regional newspaper, the Leicester Mercury, over the course of my degree as an intern. In my second year of university, I wrote a theatrical play, which was performed in February 2016, for which I won an award at the end of year awards ceremony. During the production, I headed a marketing campaign for the play, which achieved several pieces of regional coverage; technically my first PR experience!

Why are you excited to support Liberty and our clients?

The main reason I wanted to be in PR was because I am passionate about writing and creativity, and I’m also keen to work for brands that develop products that are perpetually changing. Therefore, tech PR is the space to be a part of in this evolving new digital age.

Liberty’s fantastic range of clients caters towards many of my personal interests, and I am ecstatic to be working not only with a brilliant team here in London, but also with the great team over in the US. What also attracted me to the agency is its global presence. The fact that the agency has offices in the UK and US is testament to the fact that it is doing very well, and I love having the opportunity to work with people from all over the world on a daily basis!

Another big reason why I am excited to be supporting the team at Liberty is that I really want to build my media network. Clearly, Liberty has extensive connections in all corners of the media world. To build my own network through Liberty is not only great for me professionally, but also highly satisfying on a personal level.

What are some of your hobbies?

My passion has always been writing, especially stage and film scripts. My friend and I are currently in the early stages of producing two short films that I have written. We eventually aim to get funding to film them on a larger scale! I also love reading (I’m thankful for books on the long tube commute), swimming and travelling – you can find my travel ramblings on my blog, if you have nothing better to do!

What was the last book you read or song you listened to?

Ironically, the last book I read was Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?  by Philip K. Dick.  Inevitably, this has resulted in some seriously dangerous existential thinking whilst at work, but I’m comforted by the fact that a robot apocalypse perpetrated by the robots we work with won’t be TOO bad… right?