Birds Eye View

Keep up with the latest news and views from the world's leading virtual PR Agency.

It's been a busy autumn so far with another exciting win: handling PR and analyst relations programmes for software firm Onna.

Onna is leading a new category of software called Knowledge Integration Platform (KIP) helping firms integrate and centralise workplace applications and joins a stable of tech pioneers that favour The PR Network's innovative and scaleable model.

Onna is fast becoming one to watch having just raised $27m in Series B funding led by Atomico, and $43m to date from investors as well as from integration partners, Slack and Dropbox. Becoming increasingly important in an age of virtual intergration, Onna can be integrated with any cloud or on-premise application, including Slack, Dropbox, GSuite, Office 365 and Salesforce, and its clients include Facebook, Electronic Arts, Fitbit, Carvana, Lyft, and Newscorp as well as Slack and Dropbox.

The PR Network has been brought in to help Onna drive awareness and understanding of the KIP category with stakeholders including investors, customers and partners. We've been chosen by global head of PR and communications, Nick Morris, to help him quickly scale Onna’s comms function. Nick has worked with PRN in three previous roles. He values our agile model, which gives him access to senior people without making expensive hires or having to manage multiple agencies in different countries.

Nick commented, “As I build the comms function for Onna, I know I need support from people I know, like and trust. By working with one partner, I’m now able to tackle multiple challenges and kick start several key projects at once. This approach is often more efficient than having to hire different agencies for each market or communications discipline.”

Four senior associates who have worked with PRN for many years make up the team for Onna and will work collaboratively across borders to introduce Onna’s leaders and create a buzz around its new product launches and partnerships in the UK and the US.

Our head of client services Eileen Boydell who is leading the account says, “Onna plans to be the market leader in its category, to which a strong profile and clear communications will be key. We are really excited to welcome Onna to the PRN tech client portfolio which includes Dropbox, Western Digital, Snapchat, Soundcloud and Nextthink.

#pr #internationapr #ar #clientservices #integration #software #clientwins

  • George Blizzard

In the words of Coldplay's The Scientist - "Nobody said it would be easy" - never has a truer line been uttered about 2020. With that anthem whirring away in my mind (and now the ear worm in yours - sorry) we kicked off our second session of our PRN Client Collective with the esteemed scientist Professor Georgina Ellison Hughes and our collective of senior leaders in the PR and communications world from UK, France and Italy.

Georgina is a leading expert in how stem cells and cardiac muscles regenerate helping to solve heart conditions in adults. If like me you don’t totally understand it - it’s worth watching her TEDx talk "What becomes of the broken hearted" on her discovery that the heart is a self-renewing organ and can grow new heart cells, aiding longer, healthier lives. It's been viewed over 76,000 times on YouTube and getting lots of attention beyond the scientific world. Geena has worked all over the world including a stint at New York Medical College and Mount Sinai School of Medicine in NYC - USA and has gained worldwide recognition for her work.

Now if that doesn’t make you feel inadequate, Geena has been working round the clock on COVID19 research trying to help the teams identify data patterns which will aid treatment and in the longer term, prevention. She’s also been directly involved in studying treatments for COVID19 and was involved in the first clinical study, which showed mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), owing to their powerful immuno-modulatory ability, potentially avoid, prevent or attenuate the cytokine storm induced by COVID19. Take a look at this video to understand more.

Geena sat down with us (virtually) to take us through her research, what she's seeing on the frontline and what lessons we are learning from #COVID19. We were lucky to once again have Chapple Cartoons visually capture our discussion:

We covered so much, perhaps too much to capture here - but what was perhaps most interesting were Geena's insights on leadership. You won't be surprised to know that she flagged Angela Merkel's methodical and scientific approach as world-leading. We also discussed the #futureofwork. The need for us all to take our own responsibility for our health and any risk were fascinating when evaluating our return to the physical office.

One thing that really struck me was her view, as a scientist, on how the media have covered the crisis - something fascinating for us as comms professionals. Geena's view is that the message has been diluted or sometimes wrongly reported which has had huge impact on our day to day lives. She gave us her top tips for reviewing media coverage of #COVID19 and where to seek out the most reliable information.

Top tips from Geena:

  • Sign up to the UK Research and Innovation newsletter or follow them on Facebook

  • Check out posts from the scientific community on Medium

  • Follow scientists on Twitter like:

  1. Prof. David Paton (@cricketwyvern) the Professor of Industrial Economics at Nottingham University Business School who gives good updates and posts on death rates and R values and transmission rates etc.

  2. Prof. Karol Sikora (@ProfKarolSikora), ex director of WHO cancer programme

  3. Prof. Carl Heneghan (@carlheneghan), Professor of evidence-based medicine at Oxford

  • Always scrutinise the media and don't believe the headline - always check there is a scientific source being quoted, check there is a link to a report or an author of a published scientific report

Thank you to Geena and to all our PR and Comms Collective who joined us to make the discussion so engaging.

#pr #science #data #COVID19 #clientservices

  • Nicky Regazzoni

As recorded by our first work experience intern, Katie Headley...

I graduated from University at the beginning of this summer and gradually I began the ever-challenging task of having to search for a job in the real world - made even harder by the current climate. I have previously worked for a marketing team and a PR agency. I really enjoyed both roles and found them very interesting, so these are definitely my starting point of what I want to do in the future.

I was put in contact with The PR Network by one of their previous clients, and the opportunity arose for me to do a week’s work with the agency, something which I was super keen to do to broaden my knowledge. However, as PRN is a virtual agency it would mean "meeting" the team via Zoom and working from my home. The previous work experiences I’ve done involved commuting into central London and going into an office with the rest of the team where I had a desk, a computer and anything else I might need. Luckily, the idea of working virtually wasn’t completely new for me (I completed my final 2 months of uni all online); nonetheless, joining a totally new team and never actually meeting anyone in person seemed a little strange! So I seized the opportunity to work with a different agency which is running UK & international PR campaigns for great brands including Purplebricks, SoundCloud, Snapchat and Zipcar.

I didn’t really know what to expect, in terms of whether I would be as productive as I would be if I was sitting in an office, or how easy it would be to ask questions if I was unsure - and most importantly, whether I’d get as much out of the week as I had hoped. However, after one or two technical hiccups (to be expected really!!) I got going and settled in very quickly. All the work was shared with me easily, and I very quickly forgot I was working from home.

I supported the core PRN team with a range of research and admin tasks working on clients such as Purplebricks, and I was also given the opportunity to sit in on (virtual!) team and client meetings to gain insight into strategy, planning and implementation.

This week with The PR Network highlighted to me how easy it can be to work virtually, and that it can be just as efficient as working together in an office, especially when a video chat is only a few clicks away to smooth out any issues!

I would like to say a big thank you to The PR Network for taking me on board as their first work experience intern, hopefully a successful experiment for both parties! I believe it has been an invaluable week, not only in preparing me to work from home, something I’m sure will become the new norm, but also the wealth of knowledge in the team that has been shared with me. I'm hoping to apply this experience to my next role, and I can be contacted via LinkedIn (see below). / @katieheadley_

#workexperience #internship #pr #comms #virtualagencies

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