Feb 13th 2020

MWC is over, but your PR and communications campaign must go on

Covid-19 has brought Mobile World Congress (MWC) to its knees. The GSMA, exhibitors and the wider industry, could never have foreseen the turn of events that has resulted in the cancellation of the world’s biggest mobile technology tradeshow. Companies will now be focusing on if and how they can recover the time and resources they’ve invested in the show. But all is not lost!

Without MWC as a platform to voice your brand’s messages, effective PR and communications is arguably now the most important vehicle for driving visibility and positioning your brand as a thought leader. Babel has decades of experience doing just this for brands, during and outside of major industry events.

So, don’t panic, use the coming days and weeks wisely – and if in doubt, speak to a team that can help. In the meantime, here are Babel’s five top tips for driving engagement with the media and for ensuring your messages, technology and solutions are firmly on the radar of the people that matter:

Capitalise on the MWC media spotlight

Covid-19 has drummed up more media interest in MWC than ever before. Journalists from a broad range of fields and from right around the globe have been reporting on the drop-outs and the ‘will-they won’t-they’ issues surrounding the show.

This means that influencers that weren’t previously attending the event will have a heightened awareness of MWC and may be interested in hearing from the companies that were due to go. This gives your brand an opportunity to engage with media that hadn’t previously registered. Do your research and see which journalists will be interested in the news and views that you were planning on sharing at the show.

Create virtual round tables

Despite MWC not going ahead, journalists will still be looking for stories on big news and industry issues. However, every company that journalists had arranged to speak with will now be contacting them to set-up phone briefings. This will result in a busy time for the media, many of whom would have had both scheduled MWC briefings and more informal chats during the course of the event.

The solution? There’s strength in numbers: Speak to your partners and customers and find out if they would be willing to join you on a virtual round table conference call/video with a journalist. Providing a journalist with multiple different viewpoints and opinions on a major industry issue or announcement will result in a well-rounded story that could secure coverage for you and your partners.

This is something Babel has arranged for clients in the past, with great success.

Reconsider when to drop MWC news

MWC is undoubtedly the busiest time for news in the mobile industry, and companies will still want to push out the announcements that they’ve been working hard to develop with customers, R&D teams, etc. But with the show cancelled, is this still the best time to go out with the news? Will it get lost amongst the huge number of other company announcements that will be going out during the same period?

On the plus side: the ball is in your court – instead of being held to the timeframe of MWC, you can release news when it works best for your brand. You won’t benefit from an exhibition stand and at-show face-to-face, so make sure you package all associated collateral so that it can be presented over email, phone, webinar, and so on.

Hold a media relations and networking event

Your brand may have been planning on launching a new product at MWC, or offering live demos. These are great tools to demonstrate the value of your technology and bring it to life for a journalist. However, you don’t need to be in Barcelona to do this.

Consider holding a media day at your offices (or event space), which offers an opportunity to showcase your innovations. It would be worthwhile holding back one or more of your MWC announcements, such as the launch of a product or customer win, as a tool to entice media to your event. Late March, once things have calmed down, is probably the best time to host this.

Visualise demos, bring MWC to your audience

A final tactic that can be used alongside or instead of an event is filming your brand’s demos. It’s easy to get a film crew into your office to record a demo, and many agencies (Babel included) offer this as part of their client services.

Make sure you maximise the value of this opportunity by using the time to record spokesperson interviews and explainers, which will be valuable collateral year-round. Consider how you could present your demos to journalists as part of the virtual round tables, discussed above.

Babel has helped our clients implement all of the above tactics (and more), for MWC and throughout the year. We’re able to quickly and effectively leverage your brand’s marketing collateral, announcements and customer wins – plus craft creative original content – to ensure that your comms campaign goes on, even when the show isn’t!

Get in touch with me if you want to find out more.