promoting technology PR THAT CONNECTS
IN THIS ISSUE
A breath of fresh air WE ALL KNOW THAT exercise is good for us. We also hear how cycling, rather than getting into our cars, can help reduce our carbon footprint, cut energy use, ease traffic congestion and reduce stress levels. But poor air quality in some of our major cities could actually mean we do ourselves more harm than good by running and cycling on their streets, according to Professor Alison McConnell, a leading respiratory scientist and inventor of the revolutionary PUREbreathe breathing filter. According to Professor McConnell: “The lungs are a very efficient conduit for getting all sorts of materials into the body. We’ve designed a lightweight, multi-purpose device
to protect urban exercisers not only from pollution, but also from ambient dust and pollen.” LifeLab Innovations, the company behind PUREbreathe, announced the findings of a six-week study into the pulmonary function of a group of cycle couriers working in London. Launched to the media by Six Degrees, the study found that pollution can significantly impair lung function even in healthy people – a problem magnified by exercise. Picked up by publications like thelondonpaper, That’s Health, Green Living and Smart Planet, the study also led to heated discussions on blogs like Moving Target written by and for cycle couriers. PUREbreathe can be ordered from www.purebreathe.com, while LifeLab looks for a global licensing deal.
WHERE THE HEART IS NVIDIA Heartworks media event Page 2
BEING SOCIAL Talking to your audiences online
Picture perfect HAVE YOU EVER FOUND online hotel searches a bit frustrating? Has your search for a classy boutique hotel resulted in a list of venues that could more accurately be described small and chintzy? Your prayers may well have been answered by a new search tool designed to match travellers with their ideal choice of hotels from Hotels.com, the world’s most-visited online accommodation website. The Hotels.com Visualiser, developed in conjunction with Six Degrees client Imagini, assesses users’ responses to a series of questions, but with only visual prompts for answers. A personal
profile, known as a VisualDNA™, is created for each traveller, and this is used to find hotels that precisely match their individual tastes and requirements. Travellers get to choose from a series of photos that best describe what kind of style and experience they’re looking for – whether fun and quirky or relaxing and peaceful. The Hotels.com Visualiser also takes into account the activities that travellers enjoy, and their preferred food choices. Clever, innovative and completely addictive, the new service was launched jointly by Six Degrees and Hotels.com’s PR agency. We created a buzz campaign using social media tools Twitter and YouTube, as well as working with bloggers.
PLENTY OF FIBRE Nexans shows fibre in action in Sweden Page 4 Deskside briefings and interviews with consumertech, gadget and travel media led to coverage in New Media Age, Times Online, Travolution, Contagious, Web User, mad.co.uk and Shiny Shiny.
SEEDED Entrepreneurial spirit at this year’s Seedcamp
NEW CLIENT WIN Page 4
Twitter tender winner WHEN PAUL WALSH, Chairman of BIMA (British Interactive Media Association) decided to practise what he preached and put his PR account up for grabs on social networking tool Twitter, Six Degrees was one of the first agencies to respond. Established in 1985, BIMA is an independent industry association
dedicated to celebrating and supporting individuals, agencies, organisations and students that produce innovative and creative digital media solutions. BIMA alerted agencies through the Twitter micro-blogging tool (which now has more than 2.5 million users) as well as Facebook and various blogs. Six Degrees won the business to help promote the association’s aims,
communicate with members, raise the profile of the BIMA awards, promote its recently formed working groups, and drive general awareness and membership. Paul Walsh (left) says: “BIMA has set an ambitious marketing agenda for the next year and we’re looking forward to raising our profile in partnership with Six Degrees, a highly strategic and buzz-centric communications agency.”
BLOC VOTE Profiling our agency partners in Central and Eastern Europe Page 4
Heart-rendering graphics DID YOU KNOW THAT YOUR PC MAY HAVE A MINI-SUPERCOMPUTER WORKING AWAY INSIDE IT? WHILE YOU MAY THINK of the Central Processing Unit (CPU) as the brains of your computer, an increasing amount of software depends on the immense processing capabilities of the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) – whether it's 3D games, Google Earth or the Microsoft Vista user interface.
An image from HeartWorks, built around NVIDIA’s latest generation Quadro graphics card
For the Heart Hospital – part of University College London Hospital – Six Degrees client NVIDIA’s powerful GPU technology has been a vital component in the development of a revolutionary new training tool called HeartWorks. HeartWorks was developed by a group of anaesthetists, frustrated by the inadequacy of the tools available for instructing students in the anatomy of the heart and performing cardiac ultrasound scans. Working alongside Glassworks, a post-production company known for its work on commercials and music videos, NVIDIA provided clinicians with the technological know-how to create a realistic, beating virtual heart which students could examine from
every angle. Sue Wright of the Heart Hospital, explains: “In the past we were reliant on 2D medical diagrams, plastic models, cadavers and real patients for training. What we now have is a highly-detailed, correctly animated and realistically textured virtual organ which can be manipulated in real time.” Six Degrees invited media to come and see HeartWorks in action at a special launch event at the Heart Hospital. The combination of a compelling product, excellent visuals and a heart-warming story has led to great coverage in titles including The Sun, The Times Online, The Evening Standard, Reuters and BBC World Service.
CONSUMER PRODUCT LAUNCH
ad:tech: setting the digital marketing agenda FOR MORE THAN A decade, ad:tech has provided media, marketing and technology experts with everything they need to succeed in a changing digital world. With 11 shows in seven countries, ad:tech consistently delivers a wellrespected roster of speakers, workshops and exhibitors making it a must-attend for interactive marketers. This year, Six Degrees worked closely with the Editor & Content Manager for iMedia Communications UK and ad:tech London to help identify strong speakers to address the pre-identified themes. In the months leading up to the conference, held at London’s Excel in September, Six Degrees contributed to no fewer than seven sessions from the likes of Acceleration, Gomez, Coull, Fizzback and SpinVox. These covered
On a personal note everything from search and web analytics, to targeting and contextual advertising – as well as Six Degrees’s own very well attended workshop on digital PR, co-hosted by Vikki Chowney and Jennifer Janson. The conference produced some fantastic insight into brand interaction following a panel about co-working, featuring big hitters from MRM Worldwide, Glue London, MySpace and Blyk. David Flower, Managing Director of Gomez EMEA also took to the stage with Mark Hewis from the BBC to talk about the importance of the user experience to publishers, and NMA launched this year’s Top 100 Agencies list.
NEW SIX DEGREES CLIENT, TOUCHNOTE IS OFFERING A MORE PERSONAL WAY TO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY. A TOUCHNOTE IS EASY and quick to create – simply go to the website www.touchnote.com, upload a digital photo, add a personal message and where you’d like to send it to. It’s then transformed into a personalised greetings card printed on recycled paper. You have the choice of sending it directly from the site, or back to yourself to add your own handwritten note. Six Degrees has already successfully launched the concept to consumertech and lifestyle press and bloggers.
THERE’S ALWAYS AN EMOTION THAT CAN BE TURNED INTO A TOUCHNOTE Co-founder of Touchnote, Raam Thakrar, reckons the idea will catch on: “No-one is ever really surprised to receive birthday or thank you cards, but what about those everyday moments that make us smile, like a baby’s first steps or simply to say ‘I love you’? There’s always an emotion that can be turned into a Touchnote.”
NEWS IN BRIEF
POWER QUALITY BUZZ Power quality company, Powervar, is the latest Six Degrees client to participate in First Friday Club, the monthly gettogether for trade and technical journalists at London’s traditional Fleet Street haunt, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. A dozen editors and technical writers were impressed by a live demonstration of the disruptions inherent in the ordinary electricity supply. The demonstration highlighted why users of sensitive electronic equipment should protect against sudden and potentially costly failures – and resulted in several news and feature articles.
Digital PR: making and breaking reputations BEING PART OF relevant conversations is at the heart of successful communications and, ultimately, successful businesses. Communication has never been more important than it is today – amid economic uncertainty, cash may be king, but a strong reputation can go a long way to helping maintain and grow your customer base. Six Degrees has been doing ‘traditional’ PR for some of the biggest technology brands for over 30 years, but we also have a lot of experience working for small, fast-growing companies (like Skype and Zyb). Some of these companies have depended entirely on viral, digital and word-
of-mouth communications to grow their businesses. Chances are your target audiences are going online – whether it’s for personal social interaction, or as part of their business. That gives you an opportunity to engage with them as individuals, one-to-one, rather than in the old-fashioned ‘broadcast’ model. Social media has relevance for your business whether it is B2B or B2C. How much relevance depends entirely on the social media habits of your audiences. This marks something of a return to true public relations. The reasons for doing PR haven’t changed: having third-party endorsement reinforces your credibility, reassures customers and, ultimately, can help drive growth.
What has changed are the channels to connect with audiences. The market has effectively moved online, and conversations are taking place about your brands, your customers and your industry that you need to be aware of. If you don’t know these conversations are going on, you cannot try and influence them. More than ever, successful PR is about having good, relevant content … something that makes people sit up and take notice. It’s an exciting time with more ways than ever to get your message across to the people that matter. If you want to know if using digital media is right for you, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
There are new rules of engagement, but … TRADITIONAL PRINCIPLES STILL APPLY 1. Tell the truth – honesty is always the best policy. 2. Avoid jargon – you wouldn’t talk to your mother about optimising solutions and leveraging fullfeatured technology … so don’t talk to your customers that way! 3. Let your company’s personality shine through – the opportunity exists now more than ever to do so. A FEW THINGS HAVE CHANGED 1. Speed. 2. Direct interaction with customers (good or bad) on a public stage. 3. Journalists and bloggers are using new technology – so should you.
SIX FOR SEVEN Being on the shortlist for one award is pretty special, but being shortlisted for seven is some achievement. Six Degrees is on the shortlist for this year’s CIPR PRide, B2B Marketing and PRCAAwards. Up for three client campaigns – Empirix, ScanSafe and Skype – the team is also crossing its fingers for Agency of the Year in all three award schemes.
CREDIT LUNCH With impeccable timing, Six Degrees hosted a private lunch for a small group of clients with HSBC senior economist Mark Beresford-Smith. Intrigued to hear Mark’s views on UK and global economic issues that could affect their businesses, entrepreneurs and business owners from Acceleration, BIMA, Innovision Research & Technology, Oracle, VideoJug and Zyb took part in a thought-provoking discussion around the current economic outlook.
Gomez roundtable a sure bet GOMEZ HELPS organizations deliver the optimum online user experience to their customers, by ensuring their websites work the way they are designed to work and from wherever in the world they need to. Online gaming is a key vertical market for Gomez. Six Degrees recommended that Gomez join forces with Betting Business, the industry’s leading magazine, to
organize a roundtable for key figures from the industry. This provided an opportunity to network with peers, discuss and debate the key issues of the day, and to spend time with Andrew McCarron, editor of the magazine and one of the most experienced journalists in the industry. The discussion was moderated by Andrew and attended by representatives from Betfair, SkyBet, Ladbrokes and Boylesports. Gomez’s VP of Professional Services, Matt Poepsel
also participated. The event was a win–win for everyone. Gomez was firmly positioned as the expert in online user experience and was rewarded with a contract from Ladbrokes almost immediately after the event. Andrew McCarron got strong editorial content for his magazine and the industry representatives got to network with each other, meet a key journalist and were included in a feature-length article in their industry’s leading publication.
All set for SET When the UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Science Engineering and Technology (SET) Group was resurrected back in 2003, Six Degrees was instrumental in bringing it back to life. The SET Group provides networking and ideas-sharing opportunities for PR professionals in the science, engineering and technology sectors. Chaired by our very own Andrew Bartlett, the SET Group has recently hosted a successful ‘Meet the Media’ event, held its annual quiz and organized a visit to the Sizewell B nuclear power generation facility in Suffolk, UK.
PR THAT CONNECTS
Out of the bloc PR Point in the Czech Republic and Slovakia is the latest agency to join our partner network Eurocom Worldwide. This takes the tally of agencies in Central and Eastern Europe – to four, including Business Communications Agency in Russia, Vision Communications in Hungary and Imago PR in Poland.
“We place huge emphasis on local expert service delivery and direct personal links across countries and cultures,” explains Mads Christensen, Network Director, Eurocom Worldwide. “We are seeing a lot of business being passed back and forth in this area of the network at the moment, which just shows how much these markets are opening up especially for international tech firms.”
From little acorns BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS AGENCY (BCOM)
PR Point, which has been servicing the Czech Republic since 2003 and Slovakia since 2007, has grown quickly and offers a wide range of strategic communications and media relations services to national and international companies from its offices in Prague and Bratislava. MD and co-founder, Jaroslav Duron says: “Having an experienced team with in-depth knowledge of clients’ sectors means we deliver results.”
A successful agency in the Polish market, with offices in Katowice and representation in Warszaw, Imago PR is one of the oldest PR consultancies in southern Poland – recognised as having the best sector knowledge according to a national 2008 client ranking. Rafa Czechowski, Managing Partner says: “We build client reputations by providing the right message to the right audience at the right time in the right way.”
Based in Moscow, BCOM was formed in 2000 to address the growing demand for integrated PR services, including marketing consulting, event management and web site development. Founder Julia Kursova, explains: “IT is a big market for us and we are certainly seeing lots of demand from both local and international firms like HP, EMC, NCR, Teradata, Fluke Networks and Trend Micro.”
VISION COMMUNICATIONS An established and active member of the network, Vision Communications was formed in 1999 in Budapest to provide integrated communications services
and consultancy for the Hungarian market, but with links into neighbouring countries like Romania. Clients include international companies, local subsidiaries and government, such as Fujitsu Siemens Computers, GE Medical
Systems and DNV. “More and more companies are recognising the importance of PR and how it can deliver real value to their bottom line,” according to GM, Tibor Szentgy Rgyi.
SEEDCAMP WAS created in 2007 by serial entrepreneur and partner at Index Ventures, Saul Klein. It is an intensive week-long event held every September in London, and targeted at young entrepreneurs from across EMEA. The goal is to provide seed funding and world-class connections for start-ups. 2008 saw 23 shortlisted companies compete for €50,000 funding and access to some of the ‘rock stars’ of the start-up world, including Martin Stiksel of Last.fm, Michael Birch of social networking site Bebo and Lastminute.com’s Brent Hoberman. In addition, some of the world’s largest technology companies were involved, as mentors or sponsors, including Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, Oracle and Yahoo. Throughout the week, competing teams had access to 200 advisors
and mentors, offering insight on everything from business models to product development, funding and marketing. This was the second year that Six Degrees MD Jennifer Janson participated in the event as a PR mentor, “There was nowhere else I would have rather been,” Jennifer says. “As the world’s financial institutions faced meltdown, I was among a group of passionate, optimistic entrepreneurs with single-minded determination to see their businesses succeed. It was inspiring and offered some perspective on what was going on all around us.” This year’s winners included startups from Germany, Romania, France and the UK. Full details at www.seedcamp.com.
INTERNATIONAL PRESS TRIP
The goodness of fibre
Cabling of fibre ribbon in slotted core
THE NUMBER OF HOMES connected by optical fibre will grow to around 86 million by the end of 2011, representing about five per cent of all households worldwide according to a
recent report (FTTH worldwide market – technology forecast 2006-2011) published by Heavy Reading. When long-standing client and world leading cable company, Nexans
decided to highlight the infrastructure challenges of the Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) market, it turned to Six Degrees to help establish its credentials particularly among influential telecoms journalists. Kicking off with an FTTH Council event in Paris, the team took a group from the telecoms and IT media to hear Nexans talk about the latest developments in specialized cables for FTTH applications and to launch its FTTH white paper. A visit to see the fibre in action soon followed – taking in the FTTH node in Stockholm, part of Stokab’s Citynet broadband infrastructure and widely regarded as one of the leading implementations of FTTH anywhere in the world, and a tour of the Nexans optical fibre plant at Grimsås in Sweden. Journalists from Total Telecom, Professional Engineering, Fibre Systems Europe and advanced-
telecom.com took part in the trip. “It’s rare for journalists to see technology not only in action, but actually being installed,” says Six Degrees senior consultant, Andy Bartlett, “They really appreciated the chance to see fibre ‘up close and personal’. “But I think the factory visit to see advanced fibre optic cabling technology being made was the icing on the cake,” he added.
Six Degrees Limited Old Trinity Church, Trinity Road Marlow, Buckinghamshire SL7 3AN United Kingdom Telephone: +44 (0)1628 480280 firstname.lastname@example.org www.sixdegreespr.com
Fibre installation © Copyright Stokab
PR THAT CONNECTS