The brave new world of PR and marketing:
Recently our CEO Jennie Marwick-Evans talked with fellow PR and Marketing professionals to the IABM to discuss the impact the last 6 months has had on both our business and that of our customers. They talked about the impact of loosing trade shows during 2020 and how the creative industry adapted to working remotely.
The article can be found on page 54-56 in the IABM journal here:
We are currently living in a world of unprecedented change. More people are working remotely, businesses are fighting for survival. We have witnessed the cancellation of numerous tradeshows and events which can be detrimental for many reasons. Obviously, there is the monetary implication – lost flights, non-refundable hotel fees, stand costs (I could continue but you get the idea) and more importantly the valuable face-to face meetings with suppliers, dealers, partners and customers, old or new. Unfortunately, many companies see marketing departments as an unnecessary overhead and are often the first to take the hit. This could not be further than the truth. This is where marketing comes into its own. Doing it right could successfully navigate your company through the storm and even make it stronger.
Right now, your brand is everything. You need to ensure that you stay at the forefront of your partners, dealers and customers minds. Show you understand their pain points, their needs, give them the support they seek and advise them. Provide them with all the tools they require to make their business work – make yourself indispensable! People buy from people – take the time to build that relationship – it will be rewarding in the long run. Like they say, it’s a marathon not a sprint! Make your brand stand out as the go-to company – everyone remembers good service and support.
With remote working becoming the norm, more webinars, online demonstrations and press conferences are being promoted on a daily basis. Daily back-to-back online meetings are exhausting. Ironically, sitting at home and facing people via a computer is much more draining than real life physical interaction. With this is mind, when hosting an online event (whatever it may be) make sure you keep it short and snappy – people no longer have to attend and chances are they have signed up because they want to, not because they have to. Concentrate on the most important messaging you want to get across, make sure you don’t drown it out with unnecessary chatter; you’ll lose their attention and the message may be missed. Remember, there is nothing stopping you following up at a later date.
With different regions coming out of lockdown and back online at differing times, your partners, dealers and distributors, as well as your customers, will be getting back to work. Your dealers, distributers and partners are your field sales team. They have the ability to reach out to places you cannot. Equip them with the right material now. It’s the perfect time to regionalise and personalise your collateral; get them translated into the appropriate language; make them relevant – cut out the unnecessary. Host online events, write HTMLs in their native language, give them everything they need in a format and language they can understand.
There’s no doubt that how we work has changed – a vast number of industry sectors now all require online communication. Take the time to investigate how your products could fit in and benefit. The home has become the new office, the studio, the heart of many operations. There is a world outside of broadcast, now is the time to embrace it!
Getting your news out there is important, but business continuity is vital. Its about forging those relationships, maintaining those relationships and making yourselves the go-to brand for knowledge, support and of course products. Marketing is key to success – utilise it!
" How we market what we do and how we do it is critical right now."
Throughout the past nineteen years, Manor Marketing has faced many challenges albeit none such as those we face today amidst the COVID19 Pandemic. Marketing and branding have never had a more important role in business continuity than now. In this short IABM TV interview CEO Jennie-Marwick shares her top marketing tips and ideas for business continuity in these unprecedented times.
Manor Marketing is geared up to work from home #WFH. Everyone has mobiles, laptops and another screen to use. Everything is online and shared. #RemoteResponse and #BuisnessContinuity is our total #focus for our #clients and our local #community too.
And we are moving into new offices this weekend. It's actually right next door to our current office, but a self-contained building. Almost like a little house. No-one apart from us, will be going in or out. And it's being deep cleaned before we go in.
It's on three levels - downstairs is big and with our six desks, we can be more than 1m+ apart easily. Level two is a bathroom and an office which is the green screen room, as well as a general breakout area.Level three is a kitchen and another large room which is where a massive smart TV is being installed, together with #online meeting facilities.
Why am I excited about the new office? Or even going ahead with it? And why am i #investing right now?
Because we have to protect now and the future. And when we are all asked to stay at home for a long period of time, we're all going to go a bit stir crazy. With or without kids! Our new office will be a safe haven when we all need a break. It's stocked well with cleaning materials, snacks and drinks, and there will be rules about cleaning. And as long as everyone is healthy, kids can be safe upstairs watching Netflix or Youtube, playing a game, getting creative, or revising etc. - whilst we're downstairs ,doing videos on having online meetings. Or frankly just having a bit of a catch up! And no, I'm not saying everyone has to work form the office, but giving people options is the smart thing to do.
This situation isn't ideal, but taking care of your #team, #business and the local community is not only a duty of care, it's the right thing to do. Physically and Mentally.
NAB CEO Gordon Smith has today released the following statement about NAB 2020:
Dear NAB Show community,
As you know, we have been carefully monitoring coronavirus developments both domestically and globally over the past few weeks.
In the interest of addressing the health and safety concerns of our stakeholders and in consultation with partners throughout the media and entertainment industry, we have decided not to move forward with NAB Show in April. We are currently considering a number of potential alternatives to create the best possible experience for our community.
This was not an easy decision. Fortunately, we did not have to make this decision alone, and are grateful to our NAB Show community for engaging with us as we grappled with the rapidly-evolving situation. This Show is as much yours as it is ours, and it is important to us that we move forward together.
For nearly 100 years, NAB Show has provided superior value and the best possible experience for exhibitors and attendees. We knew that if we could not deliver on those expectations, we would not move forward. More importantly, keeping the community safe and healthy is NAB’s highest priority; therefore, we are deferring to the developing consensus from public health authorities on the challenges posed by coronavirus.
We are still weighing the best potential path forward, and we ask you for your patience as we do so. We are committed to exploring all possible alternatives so that we can provide a productive setting where the industry can engage with the latest technology, hear from industry thought leaders and make the game-changing connections that drive our industry forward.
I want to stress that despite our disappointment at how this year’s Show has been impacted by global public health concerns, we are more excited than ever about the future of NAB Show and our relationship with you.
We are grateful for each and every member of our Show community. It is your passion for the industry that makes NAB Show a success year after year, and it is that same passion that will drive us into the future as we look ahead to new possibilities later this year and beyond.
Gordon H. Smith
President and CEO
The Organisers of CABSAT 2020 have announced the show's postponement in the following statement.
"In light of the evolving global developments around the COVID-19 virus, Dubai World Trade Centre has been closely monitoring the situation, particularly as it pertains to our key stakeholders and participating delegations from around the world across all our upcoming shows.
"Whilst the UAE remains completely safe for travel, and has deployed the strictest medical and hygiene protocols, we fully recognise that for some specific shows, we have a high majority of key participants significant to the event’s programme that are unable to travel due to restrictions in their home countries. As such, we have been working closely to assure that our clients’ needs are most effectively addressed, and the delivery of strong international participation considered, in these extraordinary times.
"Bearing this context, CABSAT, the Middle East & Africa’s leading event for content creation, production & broadcast and satellite & distribution is being postponed from 31 March – 2 April to 26 – 28 October 2020.
"Our decision comes after much deliberation in consultation with the event’s main participants and industry stakeholders, who have strongly endorsed our prioritisation of the collective interests of both the global exhibitors and the key buyers from the region. With the event now rescheduled to 26-28 October 2020, CABSAT shall facilitate greater participation across our global communities, enabling more inclusive access for all.
We look forward to welcoming you to CABSAT 2020 this October."
ConnecTech Asia Press Release: Singapore, 06 March 2020 – In light of global concerns due to the on-going Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, Informa Markets, organiser of ConnecTechAsia, is postponing the 2020 edition to 29 September – 1 October 2020 at the Singapore EXPO & MAX Atria. The event was originally scheduled for 9 – 11 June 2020 at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.
Informa Markets will continue to run ConnecTechAsia in partnership with Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). Mr Ivan Ferrari, Event Director, Tech, Media & Entertainment Events, Informa Markets, said, “Our ability to deliver an event that maximises our attendee’s investment in time and resources is our biggest priority, and after considering all aspects, we have taken the decision to postpone this year’s edition. I would like to thank our partners, exhibitors, registered visitors and all stakeholders for their strong support during this period. We are taking immediate steps to provide all parties with the assistance they require.”
Mr Howie Lau, Chief Industry Development Officer at IMDA, and co-chair of the ConnecTechAsia Advisory Committee noted the decision to postpone the event to the later part of the year. He added, “Singapore is delighted to host ConnecTechAsia in September. In partnership with Informa Markets, we aim to create a comprehensive trade show, where Singapore’s vibrant infocomm industry and innovation ecosystem will benefit from the array of activities.”
“We understand Informa Markets’ decision to reschedule ConnecTechAsia, and are committed to working closely with them and our valued partners towards a successful show. We remain confident in Singapore’s strong reputation as a preferred destination for MICE events. The event is a key highlight in Singapore’s event calendar, and we look forward to welcoming all attendees and exhibitors at a later date,” said Mr Andrew Phua, Director of Exhibitions and Conferences, Singapore Tourism Board.
About Informa Markets
ConnecTechAsia is organised by Informa Markets, a division of Informa plc. Informa Markets creates platforms for industries and specialist markets to trade, innovate and grow. Our portfolio is comprised of more than 550 international B2B events and brands in markets including Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals, Infrastructure, Construction & Real Estate, Fashion & Apparel, Hospitality, Food & Beverage, and Health & Nutrition, among others. We provide customers and partners around the globe with opportunities to engage, experience and do business through face-to-face exhibitions, specialist digital content and actionable data solutions. As the world’s leading exhibitions organiser, we bring a diverse range of specialist markets to life, unlocking opportunities and helping them to thrive 365 days of the year. For more information, please visit www.informamarkets.com.
It’s literally taken over all conversations - globally. Which in turn has led me to communicate directly with many organisations and associated personnel to determine how best we can all work closely together and achieve the best results.
Nothing can replace one-on-one interaction with people – be they our partners, dealers, customers, consultants, media – you get the idea. It’s how business works. People buy from people. That simple. Email, phone, even video calls won’t and can’t replace talking to someone directly – right in front of you – and changing your behaviour, tone or even complete topic to communicate with the individual.
But now we’re faced with meetings/trips being cancelled, events being debated and our current behaviour, and infrastructure, questioned.
Manor Marketing is carrying on with all its NAB plans. And CABSAT, MPTS and ConnecTechAsia too. We have flights, hotels, meetings, events and more planned. And we continue to work with our numerous clients on show preparations. But we’re also sensible and therefore, in parallel, we’re working on Plan b.
We are working hard (with our clients) to produce their NAB videos, what they are going to be showcasing at the show and customer user stories out to the media, analysists and consultants, as well as their partners and customers via newsletters, HTMLs and webinars. And information is being sent physically, as well as dynamically. More than ever, contact and information is vital and we’re going out of our way to ensure this happens – and then some. And it’s being really well received!
This is all quite standard in many respects, and we’re focused on providing the information in multiple ways so that everyone receives everything in a way they can digest and use. And because it’s important to manage expectations, it’s being done in a positive and enthusiastic manner.
But everyone has to have a Plan b, and we’re no exception. It’s called Virtual NAB.
We have a green screen studio in our office and although have done (and had planned to do more) webinars and videos on NAB already, we will be broadening the scope to enable one-on-one demos and discussions with the media, partners and customers. We also have the facility to do this remotely, via Zoom, and with a green screen, so regardless of your location, you can still get your message/demonstration out there. We are working on a schedule of presentations and demonstrations that people can join in, or watch later. Everything that would happen at a show, just not face-to-face.
FAQs will become dynamic, rather than just a list. Whiteboard explanations and working through individual solutions will be interactive.
This is also the time to reinforce support and services – to give confidence to all that it’s business as usual. You’re not panicking, and neither should your customers or partners.
There may be a short period of virtual shows, conferences and possibly meetings/demonstrations, but it won’t last. And we won’t let any virus stand in our way either!
#CuriouserAndCuriouser #NABShow #CABSAT #BroadcastAsia #ConnecTechAsia
Although sales and marketing (including PR) are regularly put together, they rarely understand or appreciate each other. Traditionally, one is trying to make it and one is trying to spend it.
So, in today’s world of cutting costs and making every £, $ and € count, any outbound communication needs to support sales and sales needs to respect what marketing is trying to do for it.
Let’s take the basics of PR. Getting and taking a good idea and making it set the company apart from all the rest. This idea could be on the back of a product, technology, vision or installation. But it’s not enough to just do the basics anymore and by that I mean generate a press release or article for purely one objective/goal. Getting it published – dynamic and/or print – is still important and a valuable part of the mix. And strong relationships with editors and freelancers will make that happen in the most timely and effective way. But you also need to be able to take that story and visualise its reach in many different ways outside of the traditional.
A good story can be repurposed to suit many different audiences and requirements:
I’m going to be doing a series of short articles exploring the relationship between sales and marketing and how it can be made more effective.
Manor Marketing provides the ultimate sales-driven marketing communications strategy. What we do can be measured and have a direct impact on sales. Which means your revenue. Your bottom line. And therefore, your company’s future.
I have been in this industry for more than 16 years and have done everything from working for one of the largest exhibition organisers in the industry to marketing and now, PR. I often joke that I’ll one day be an engineer and then I can say that I have tried it all. I won’t of course, I’m not in the least bit technical and don’t pretend to be, but that doesn’t mean to say that I’m not excited by the technology that I encounter in this industry.
Virtual reality is something that really excites me and is a very hot topic right now. My inner geek screams to be let out whenever I see it!
I was at my local sports club at the weekend and a guy came in with his new VR headset. I sat there quietly observing everyone having a go and seeing the delight on their faces at being transported to another world, all whilst thinking to myself, “This is nothing new folks. I saw it at IBC last year.”
I had the pleasure of getting to try on a VR headset on the Elemental stand at IBC 2015 and from the moment I placed it on my head I was suddenly in what can only be described as a large warehouse, in which musicians started appearing around me from all directions. The singer, a ghostly appearance of a woman, started walking towards me and just before she finished she lifted a large rope from the ground in front of her and started pulling it towards her. I swear I started moving towards her, like she was pulling me, and it was the most bizarre sensation. I knew I was stationary, and yet there I was, inexorably advancing towards her.
More recently my client Presteigne Broadcast Hire was involved in Good Morning America’s “GMA on Safari”. GMA took its audience on a live, immersive 360-degree virtual reality tour of the “Great Migration” in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania. Presteigne provided technology, project management, and system design for deployment of its mobile IP Mesh system. Five DJI drone-mounted camera systems and a stationary IM360 virtual reality camera were used to capture the wildlife in their natural habitat. Presteigne deployed a wide area NETNode IP mesh system from Domo Broadcast between the crater and the base camp. The result was nothing short of breathtaking.
Unlike 3D, which came and sadly went away again, VR is here and I truly believe it’s going to stay and we will all have it in our homes. Can you imagine watching the likes of Grand Designs and actually being able to walk around the homes along with Kevin McCloud? I can, and it will happen. Of that I am certain.
I have always felt immensely privileged to work in this industry, because we get to see new technology emerging before anyone else. We get to walk the red carpet and see the technology premiere, except we do it in comfy shoes (or at least you do if you have done as many tradeshows as I have!) and not in posh designer frocks and killer heels.
I look forward to seeing how far this immersive technology will go, and how my six year old daughter will view content in years to come. Probably by VR, on her way to work in her driverless, fuel-free car.
So to all the technologists out there, I salute you. Long may your brilliant brains continue to amaze me.
Photo credit: DJI / Ferdinand Wolf