Movin’ On Up
For those of you that might not follow our social channels or news streams closely, on Wednesday it was announced that I was promoted to the position of Managing Director at Babel. This comes after eight years of service at the agency. Upon reflection, the PR and technology industries have changed significantly since I first walked through the doors, charged with growing the telecoms portfolio.
Rewind to 2008, the year I joined Babel. We were in the midst of a recession, but it wasn’t all bad. Spain had won the Euros, Barack Obama was elected President of the United States, and the year before a fruit-based device made its way onto the smartphone market, conquering all before it. At the time, it was well-known that Obama couldn’t live without his Blackberry; anxious officials would take it off him once he entered the Oval office. Eight years later and US officials – this time the FBI – found themselves embroiled in a very public row over an encrypted smartphone, only it wasn’t a Blackberry. By 2016, the game had changed.
The impact of the iPhone can’t be underestimated. Not only did it alter the technology landscape as we now know it, but mobile became central to the conversation brands and PRs were having with the media. Babel found itself at the heart of these new industry discussions, with the onset of 4G and Wi-Fi underpinning this shift in focus.
Babel followed the story, cultivating it along the way, exposing our clients to new audiences, new market opportunities and new horizons. But there were not just opportunities for our clients – the agency was also able to diversify its expertise, sector knowledge and portfolio, moving into new markets that were being transformed and enabled by wireless technologies. And we’ve never looked back.
Funnily enough, the explosion of new apps driven by the iPhone also affected media relations. In 2008 people were getting hooked on Facebook, but we never anticipated how pervasive social media would become until we started ‘Poking’ or ‘Tweeting’ each other from our smartphones. Journalists declared they would only accept pitches via Twitter, the logic being if you couldn’t sell your client in 160 characters, they weren’t worth talking to. This gave us a taste of what was to come and how PRs and journalists would interact in the future.
Babel has evolved as a communications agency along with the rate of change of technology. This has consolidated our position in the PR market as experts in our field; a business still successful 10 years after it was originally founded by Ian Hood and Narelle Morrison. When I arrived as an Account Manager in 2008, Babel positioned itself as a TMT agency. Today, that doesn’t even begin to cover the diverse range of sectors we now serve as a confident technology all-rounder.
While it’s clear that both the technology and PR industries have changed significantly since those days – where have all the publications gone? – what certainly hasn’t changed is the need for sector expertise, quality consultancy and service delivery. And, regardless of the technology or market segment in question, that’s something Babel never fails to produce, time and time again.
The world continues to evolve, and Babel with it. Bring on the next 8 years; I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes us in my new position as Managing Director. Now where is that Chesterfield office chair I ordered?