All posts by Elisabeth Goossens

The expanding Silicon map

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Several weeks ago I spotted an article in the FT that highlighted 2013 as the year that New York’s tech start-up community really took off.

 

 

Tim Bradshaw went on to include comment from Napster founder and first Facebook president, Sean Parker, who stated that while Silicon Valley feels ‘totally in the clouds’, New York feels more ‘real.’ An interesting theory on a city unlike any other.

 

Having been a New Yorker myself, it’s nice to see that the Big Apple has become a big city on the global technology map and I can’t help but think about how technology territory has expanded.

 

When I first started my career in technology PR, my portfolio of clients were all largely headquartered in California. Most of my client calls almost always featured someone at the beginning of the day while others were finishing theirs, and the nerve-wracking continuous triple checking of time zones to ensure that none of these calls, or even worse media briefings, were scheduled in the middle of the night.

 

The news that one of my clients is relocating its headquarters to Texas, makes me realise that while California remains a major technology hub, many of my current clients today have their head offices scattered across the globe. Its positive to see that technology skills and expertise are now omnipresent and that technology in itself, together with local and national government incentives (like the recent launch of the European Internet of Things grant), is enabling companies, large and small, to grow roots where they are. I can’t help but wonder what the next technology hotspot is likely to be.

 

There’s no doubt I’ll need to continue relying on my trusty Outlook diary and my WorldTimeBuddy to help me avoid scheduling client meetings and media briefings at half past rude. But, with over a quarter of the London job growth coming from the technology and digital sector, my Outlook diary is remaining upbeat.

As the sun sets on MWC 2014…

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Another year and another MWC under our belts. As always the show has been filled with exciting news and developments from the communications industry.

 

 

Headlines throughout the show have been heavily device focused with a number of big industry players such as Samsung, Sony and BlackBerry unveiling new handsets. However this year it was not only phones that took centre stage. Wearable devices have become an increasingly popular development for manufactures and we will no doubt all be wearing smartwatches by the end of the year.

 

In his keynote, Facebook’s CEO made some noise, when he discussed his recent decision to buy WhatsApp and announced the introduction of voice calls with the service.

 

There were some additional interesting themes this year: harmonisation of data protection laws, emerging markets, collaboration between operators, and the need for 5G development.

 

So as the dust settles, heart rates return to normal and the sun sets on Barcelona, a very well deserved pat on the back and a pitcher of sangria for all!

 

With so much activity in one week we certainly can’t wait to see where the next year in the mobile industry will take us. If the event is an indicator of the year ahead 2014 will be a busy one.

 

See you all next year!

The (lack of) Fear Factor

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I was sitting down to my Sunday breakfast and papers not too long ago when low and behold I was faced with Felix Dennis on the cover of the Observer Magazine, stark naked, with nothing but a pair of boots and a fedora hat covering his modesty.

 

 

 

I thought to myself that surely, somewhere in London there was a PR with their head in their hands wondering how they were going to turn this one around.

 

However, as I thought about it more, I realised that Felix Dennis certainly isn’t the only spokesperson to have caused a stir. Remember the time when Sir Richard Branson dressed as a flight attendant and served drinks to passengers on a long haul Air Asia flight with the world’s press looking on? Or let’s not forget the time that he jumped off the Palms Hotel Casino in Las Vegas to make an inaugural Virgin American flight resulting in split trousers and a bruised back.

 

Many would that say that these PR stunt tactics are only suitable for consumer facing brands and that there is no way that this could ever work in the enterprise world. But what about the Marc Benioffs of the world who commandeered taxis to rival’s event or moved his scheduled Oracle OpenWorld keynote to a nearby venue when  Oracle tried to move it to later in the week? Both of which drew in the attentions of journalists and event attendees.

 

Whilst we certainly don’t encourage our clients to dress in drag or abseil into their next press conference, we do believe that they shouldn’t be afraid to show their personality. Spokespeople walk a fine line between representing a brand and representing themselves. But because we work in a people industry, making introductions and building relationships, it is crucial to make an impression that the media will remember. After all journalists are humans too.