Industry Thoughts: An interview with Jo Timmermann, Babel’s Director
On the 11th June, Babel will be hosting its own London Tech Week event: Harnessing the power of the media to grow your start-up.
As the second in our Industry Thoughts series, I sat down with our Director, Jo Timmermann, to discuss her experience of working in tech PR, which social channels she values the most, and what Babel’s LTW event will teach start-ups.
Jo, thank you very much for taking the time to answer a few of our questions!
To start us off, can we hear a bit about your background in PR?
Could you tell us how you got into PR?
I really enjoyed communications, business studies and design subjects at school, particularly the marketing side, so I went on to study PR at university, with a view of wanting to do fashion PR. This obviously changed a little further down the line!
And what is your favourite thing about working in the PR industry?
Every day is different. The media agenda, your clients’ challenges or the next new thing means you are constantly evolving what you are doing, regardless of what sector you work in.
Can you tell us about your PRoudest moment in your PR career?
I spent time running communications for the MOD on the ground in Afghanistan which was challenging and professionally very rewarding at the same time…. Every day was definitely different.
How about the tech PR industry specifically…
What do you like so much about tech?
Today’s world is digital…. it’s not so much tech in its own right, but that everyday life is now optimised by technology. We are in a digital economy. Translating what technology can do for people and how it works for them to solve problems is something I find really interesting.
Do you have a favourite tech sector? And why?
I’m into sports tech stuff at the moment…. Gamification applied to exercise is very addictive!
What is your favourite bit about your job?
Being able to problem solve creatively. I’m very much half data analytics, strategy, planning, and half applying that to come up with creative ideas. PR is one of those spaces where you can do that rather than it always being segmented into different departments. Watching a campaign materialise and come off is a great feeling.
Now on to social media…
Which social network is the most valuable to you, professionally?
I do a lot through LinkedIn, but it depends on the need.
And which social platform do you promote the most to your clients?
There is no one-size-fits-all; you need to tailor the social strategy and platform content to the client’s needs. Social media provides brands with a voice with which they can engage different audiences, so often it can be the target audience that dictates which social platform a business should use.
And finally, about the upcoming event…
Please can you give me a bit of background as to why Babel is hosting an LTW event?
Babel has worked with accelerators and start-ups in the past to coach them on communications strategy and brand building, so we wanted to develop this idea for a dedicated London Tech Week event. Along with our expert panel, we’ll be providing guidance to those looking to understand how to work with the media as they turn their ideas into successful businesses, and showing them where they can seek help from when it comes to specialists.
And what are three key takeaways you’re hoping start-ups can learn at Babel’s LTW event?
- What the media is looking for from their company, and how to give journalists what they want!
- Why messaging and your story are so important
- To know when and where to get advice on PR and comms strategy
Thank you for your time, Jo!
To find out more about Babel’s London Tech Week event, please head over to our dedicated webpage where you can register to attend, for free.