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  • James Read

PRN is really excited to have been working with what3words for the past few months. what3words is a super cool company that has divided the globe into a grid of 3m x 3m squares, and given each one a unique combination of three words: a what3words address. For example, ///chemistry.cloth.woke will take you to the entrance of Brighton Palace Pier. The technology is available in over 50 languages and being used around the world across industries including automotive, navigation, travel, logistics, ecommerce, humanitarian and ride-hailing

what3words has hired PRN to help them outreach in various countries on a tactical basis, through a mixture of product, partnership and corporate announcements.


PRN kicked off in April with the announcement of its partnership with Geoloc - a French emergency Computer Aided Dispatch (“CAD”) system used by many of the emergency services in France.


In the middle of June we helped what3words to announce to the Indian market that Jaguar Land Rover became the first automaker to deliver what3words offline capability over the air to new and existing customers. The update allows users to input what3words addresses directly into the navigation bar on the Pivi Pro Infotainment system.


Coverage has been exceptional with 17 articles in total so far, 304k online views and 67m unique visitors per month.


PRN has been selected as a partner to what3words for its flexibility and ability to quickly scale-up to support the ever-changing international communications needs of its fast growing, dynamic business.


Further projects are underway so watch this space!

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I made the move from PR agency life to in-house 15 years ago and vowed to never look back. While the hours in any comms role are demanding and will never fit the conventional 9-5 mould, I was working on some of the agency’s highest-profile clients and juggling their never-ending demands was exhausting. After six fantastic, but tiring years, I made the decision to move internally, to focus all my attention on one business, and firmly close the door on my PR agency days. Or so I thought!


When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, it was a turning point for so many reasons. For me, like any working parent, the height of lockdown was stressful. Juggling a full time Head of Comms role in a global crisis while home schooling (even writing those words still makes me shudder) was incredibly draining. However, the flexibility of working from home brought so many benefits to my life. I was able to do the school runs, attend class assemblies and cheer from the side lines on Sports Day, all while delivering the requirements of my role. As society started to get back to normal, I didn’t want this to change.


The crisis ‘come down’ and ‘great resignation’ headlines also made me question where my career was heading. Don’t get me wrong, my employer was fantastic, but I had become comfortable in my role - too comfortable for my liking - and my passion had started to wane. There was nowhere for me to move internally, so I made the difficult decision to look for a fresh challenge.


I won’t lie, I built up many barriers with my negative thinking. “There is no way I’m going to find a senior comms role which will allow me the flexibility to work from home”. “Being a new employee also means having to be in the office to get up to speed on the business. How will this work with the children and the dog?” etc, etc… I was almost defeated before I had even tried.


Some would say what happened next was fate. I saw a LinkedIn post from The PR Network advertising a Client Services Director role to work on some of the agency’s biggest clients. I had worked with George and Nicky 20 years ago and had followed their business journey with interest, long admiring their agile alternative to the traditional PR agency set-up. Our model allows the core team and its 1,800+ associates worldwide to work flexibly without compromising on results. After speaking with their senior management team, the rest as they say, is history.


I’m writing this four weeks into my new role with my patio doors wide open on a gloriously sunny day and I couldn’t be happier. Working for a virtual PR agency is a breath of fresh air and to think The PR Network was launched 17 years ago is astonishing. Thankfully, it’s a completely different experience to the agency life I once knew and promised I’d never return to!


I’d like to share some of the benefits; many are a first for me despite working in the industry for 21 years:


Only working with associates with 15+ years' experience means we're able to handpick a senior comms team bespoke to every single client. How many jobs enable you to choose your team? This approach ensures we have the right experts for the job and gives us unrivalled access to a much wider network of talent than account teams confined to a physical office. The added bonus is that within that network exists decades upon decades of knowledge and experience we can draw upon to provide the best possible service to our clients


Technology - this is the backbone of our business. Staying across cutting-edge innovations and trends is therefore built into what we do. Having spent many years in-house, this knowledge can sometimes slip as you become consumed by the day job


Variety - we work with such wide-ranging clients across different sectors, meaning no two days are ever the same


Complete flexibility - in the services we offer our clients and how we operate as a team


Culture - we’re an effective and close-knit team and we embrace innovation. We’re only one click or call away from helping and supporting one another if needed, we share the workload, we blend our virtual and in person catch-ups and we respect each other’s styles and preferences

Many businesses have used the Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity for change. The PR Network didn’t have to. It’s such a progressive business which enables my working day to be moulded around my life. We’re a core team of eight with 18 children, 22 sheep, nine dogs, nine chickens, one cat, and soon to be one pony between us. Our families are accepted as part of our (hectic) lifestyles, not as an inconvenience which disturbs the traditional 9-5 working day. The team has welcomed me with open arms and I’m relishing being back in an agency. Something I thought I would never say.


#pr #comms #flexibleworking #worklifebalance

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  • James Read

Big news this week as our London-based BCorp tech client – Yoti - has been selected by Instagram to provide age verification across the social media platform!


Starting this week, Instagram are testing new options for people on Instagram to verify their age, kicking it off with people based in the US. Now, if someone attempts to edit their date of birth on Instagram from under the age of 18 to 18 or over, they’ll require them to verify their age using one of three options: upload their ID, record a video selfie or ask mutual friends to verify their age. It’s a big step towards ensuring that teens and adults get an age-appropriate experience online.


Yoti’s tech plays into the video selfie option – enabling users to verify their age. Guided by on-screen instructions, users take a video selfie which is then shared with Yoti where the tech estimates their age based on facial features. That estimate is then shared with Instagram. In line with Yoti’s privacy values, the image is then instantly deleted.


It’s a hugely positive story and our PR team couldn’t wait to be able to share the news - yes, they’ve been working on this for a while!


You might think: “well it’s a great story, who wouldn’t cover it?” but the overwhelmingly positive coverage was the result of a well-crafted and collaborated campaign (with the lovely IG team) and built on relationships we’ve developed with key journalists over the past year – explaining Yoti’s technology, how it works and sharing other positive stories from them – such as their technology being used at cinemas to ease ‘proof of age’ challenges. Our team have worked particularly hard to ensure that the distinction between facial recognition and age verification is crystal clear (as a quick reminder, the latter doesn’t identify who you are, only your age) to avoid any confusion and reassure folks about this privacy preserving tech.


Working in conjunction with the Instagram PR team, the news finally went live on Thursday this week and we have to say, it’s gone down a treat! With positive coverage achieved across the national press including the Daily Mail, Metro, CityAM and across regional and trade press. Our client is naturally over the moon with the response.


Whilst we can’t share all the audience measurement, we can say that it was a stellar result for the team and on the first day alone, secured 90+ pieces of coverage – that’s over 2.5m online coverage views and 300K+ views across social media networks. Our use of coverage analysis tool Releasd, has come in very handy in demonstrating reach and value!


So, what’s next for the British tech leader? An interview this coming Sunday night with GB News on the future of digital identity – keep a look out at 9:20pm! Other than that, we have more big stories in the pipeline and no doubt lots of newsjacking off the back of more government legislations that are moving us all forward digitally and embracing a number of the technology changes that the pandemic has accelerated. Long live innovation!

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