The stage has been set for Connected Britain – 3 tips for maximising media coverage from the show
With less than two months to go until Connected Britain, the marquee event for Britain’s digital infrastructure players, the past week seems to have set the stage for the show, with a flurry of news regarding government investment and independent reports on the prospects for the broadband industry.
The government has proposed a £160 million investment into a ‘satellite revolution’ to boost the nation’s 5G and broadband coverage, and it also announced a £40 million investment fund to ‘unlock 5G benefits across the UK’. These investments have come at a crucial time, with the Financial Times reporting that the UK is falling behind other countries on its 5G network rollout, based on metrics such as speed and availability. 5G is an opportunity worth £173bn to the UK economy, according to Assembly Research, and the recent infusion of funds by the government is an acknowledgement of this immense opportunity.
The importance of closing the digital divide is always a key message at Connect Britain. A recent study from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) and Virgin Media O2, states that improved rural connectivity could boost the UK economy by £65.1bn. Again, the government has recognised this, with its £5bn Project Gigabit fund aiming to close the divide and exploit this economic opportunity. The fund recently awarded £318 million in funding to City Fibre to provide connectivity in rural areas in Norfolk, Suffolk and Hampshire.
Now, companies advancing the UK’s fixed, mobile and satellite infrastructure will be looking to demonstrate their credentials as potential suitors for investment and business. Connected Britain is the event where they’ll be looking to make their case. But it will be noisy, awash of announcements and brands vying for attention. To stand out, companies need to ramp up visibility in the media, both in the run-up, during, and after the show. Here are a few ways they can do this:
Formulate strong thought leadership opinions
To generate cut-through, particularly in the run-up to Connect Britain, companies need to avoid just plugging their solutions. They also need to be developing unique and bold thought leadership messages about how the sector can grow and thrive during what is a challenging economic environment.
If you’re a smaller or medium-sized brand, you should have the freedom to be disruptive and outspoken on major developments within the sector. You can allude to how your company’s technology or services can either support them or compete with the major ISPs. Ensure that these messages are distinct from the competition, and incorporate some of the biggest trends that journalists are writing about, such as FTTH, 5G, smart cities, and so on. You want prospects, investors, the government, etc., to be reading about your ahead of the show to be generating demand for meetings at the show.
Bigger brands can’t just assume that the stature of your company will generate column inches. You also need to be prepared to talk about some of the key issues impacting the industry and your company’s role in moving these trends forwards.
Having strong opinions and generating coverage in the run-up will help put you at the front of mind for media, analysts, prospects and clients, creating a platform for any announcements and messages that you want to highlight at the event.
Develop clear messaging for the show
For years, many journalists and analysts have visited companies at events like Connected Britain and had discussions with spokespeople, only to be confused by jargon and overly technical language, which obscures the valuable and sometimes groundbreaking ideas being presented. The details of what your company does, or a new product and solution can sometimes become lost in a sea of acronyms.
Any journalists or analysts you meet with will need to understand how your company fits into broader developments within the industry and will require this to be presented clearly and concisely. So, while technical detail will be appropriate for seasoned journalists and analysts, a priority in the coming weeks should be developing high-level messaging. This messaging will also be beneficial for any prospects that are unfamiliar with your business.
Consider the timing of your news announcements
Many companies will be wanting to promote their latest news at Connected Britain, but determining when to promote news is a key consideration. There are likely to be a lot of announcements during the week of the event, in addition to write-ups of the keynotes and panels, so generating coverage that week will be challenging. Companies should consider whether they’re better off making an announcement a few weeks before Connected Britain, to create interest and demand, for when they’re there.
You’ve got six weeks until Connected Britain, so now is the time to get your ducks in a row for the show. As specialists in the sector, we’ll be representing a handful of clients at Connected Britain, helping them refine their messages and tap into some of the hot topics driving discussions across the sector. So, if you’re interested and want a discussion either now or whilst we’re there, do get in touch.