Oct 27th 2017

Mobile World Congress: A call to action

Mobile World Congress

A collective “Is it that time of year already!?” resonated around the Babel office earlier this week, as the GSMA’s MWC registration email landed in our inboxes. Yet preparation for the annual Mobile World Congress has already begun in earnest here. The Babel team has been busy laying the groundwork, before a contingent flies out to Barcelona to support our clients and enjoy our twelfth year at the show.

If you’re exhibiting at MWC, no doubt you’ll be planning stand layout, booking flights and accommodation (if you haven’t already) and then attempting to work out how to finance the rest of the year! So, what next? MWC is the perfect opportunity to elevate your company and messaging, build relationships (and leads) and set the tone for the rest of the year, and if you’re planning to make a splash at the show, then you need to start planning for that eventuality right now.

Ahead of picking up the phone in the New Year to journalists with the age old question ‘are you going to MWC?’ here’s what should be happening in the next couple of months.

OCTOBER

If you didn’t get the hoped-for coverage and briefings around MWC last year, it’s time to reconsider your approach. If you haven’t got a PR team in place, you need to move quickly to find one, ensuring that you have enough time to work with them to prepare for the show. Choose an agency wisely: history and knowledge of MWC and the industry are a given, but proven media and analyst contacts, results-driven strategies, and experience working with everyone from start-ups to corporate giants, are also important factors. A PR team should offer your company a clear roadmap of MWC activity that begins now and carries on even after you’ve caught the last taxi leaving the Fira.

NOVEMBER-DECEMBER

Develop clear messaging for the show. Many journalists and analysts have spent years traipsing from stand to stand, only to find themselves bewildered by jargon and technical language at the expense of a necessary and sometimes ground-breaking proposition. The story behind a new product or solution can sometimes get lost in a soup of acronyms. Yes, cloud, 5G, IoT (and LTE) will be big issues at the show but in order to get noticed companies need to sharpen their messaging to clarify exactly where their proposition sits in the grand scheme of things.

The next two months provide the opportunity to refine messaging and positioning. Work on the detail but don’t lose sight of the bigger picture, ensure content and messaging are accessible to the press and other key influencers. Make sure that press releases and other collateral are able to communicate the strategic importance of your product portfolio to the carriers, equipment manufacturers, consumers or whoever your target audience happens to be. A good PR agency will work closely with you to develop clear and precise messaging, they may even challenge you on it. It’s always useful to get a third party perspective on your branding and communications, its healthy to exchange ideas, particularly if you’re working on a new concept that you want to unveil at MWC. It’s better to go through that meticulous process now rather than weeks before the show.

Look out for our next MWC blog in a few weeks’ time when we look at how companies can hit the ground running in January to ramp up PR and coverage in the lead-up to the show.