IP Expo: Agency, Client, Media – leveraging industry events to connect the dots
By Lesley Gikas, PR Consultant
The modern business environment is fast-paced and digitally driven, which in a PR context is a definite advantage. From an account management perspective it means that client communications can occur remotely and more flexibly, virtually eliminating the need for meetings in person that are often time-consuming and hard to arrange. The time gained can then be channelled into focused PR actions that translate into client results – it’s a win-win.
Unfortunately the downside to this is that the traditional interpersonal connection between PR agency and client can be watered down over email and phone calls. At Touchdown, making this work is something in which we specialise – working as one team with clients, across regions, to deliver outstanding results. This is precisely why the recent IP Expo proved to be a great opportunity to link up in person with both clients and journalists.
A day at IP Expo
Set against the annual showcase of next generation enterprise cloud solutions, we spent a day connecting and being ‘connectors’ i.e. catching up with clients and putting them in contact with journalists, analysts and bloggers. As several are based outside of the UK, it was even more meaningful to be able to spend time with clients including Cloudian, Zerto, Nexsan, Scale, E8 Storage, Wherescape, Node4 and Cradlepoint, as well as media with whom we interact electronically on a regular basis, but don’t often get the chance to speak to in person.
For this reason, and considering our strong belief in the value of networking, we didn’t stop with IP Expo, choosing to host an informal drinks evening nearby with clients, journalists and bloggers. After a long day of briefings and business tech discussions, it was great to touch base in a more informal setting and take some time to gain more insights into our clients and their businesses, as well as get a better understanding on a one-to-one basis, of the type of information and news different publications and blog channels look for. We couldn’t think of a better way to match what a client has to offer, with what a journalist is looking for!
In today’s modern environment there is a real risk in becoming distanced from others because of technology. For PRs a lot of benefit can be gained in forging real connections with clients and media. It is hard work – organising over 30 briefings and a networking event took lots of preparation and teamwork. However, investing in a few industry events like these, which align with client and media interest, can help to underpin meaningful long-term client and media relationships, and coverage that is valuable and relevant.