Technology PR specialist
As a subsidiary of Hill & Knowlton, Blanc & Otus gets to draw on the global resources of a firm with a wide range of services—public affairs, investor relations, employee communications—but what B&O brings to the table is its technology expertise. It focuses on four emerging technology market—enterprise technology, digital entertainment, telecommunications, and professional services such as venture capitalists, investment bankers and management consultants—and works particularly well with fast-paced, entrepreneurial clients, particularly those who expect public relations deliver against business (not just media) objectives.
B&O’s U.K. operation is just three years old and is only just beginning to realize its potential in the U.K. market, where it is on track for 30 percent growth this year and has eight employees, led by Simon Glazer, who took over as managing director earlier this year from Zena Martin, who left to pursue a new career as a diversity communications consultant. Clients include Agile, Epiphany, Fujitsu Software, Nominum and PKWARE, and new additions over the past 12 months include Hitachi Data Systems Corporation (B&O is leading a network of WPP companies that provides competitive messaging, media outreach and analyst relations services in strategic markets around the world); enterprise software leader Cramer (U.K. public relations and selected activity in Europe); CORE++; and the Blu-ray Disc Association.
The firm’s Lifecycle Methodology draws on its 19 years of experience in the U.S. market and its belief that in the fast-moving technology world, typical company, product and market cycles are accelerated. The firm identifies the market situation of each specific client and the strategic and tactical PR approach necessary to move it forward. A newer offering is its “8-Minute PR” concept, which applies the principles of speed dating to the PR business, providing clients and prospects with an opportunity pitch their messages (based on an earlier messaging workshop with B&O executives) to target media.
Interesting assignments over the past 12 months include a series of European customer, media and industry analyst events for Nominum, introducing the company to key influencers and resulting in a number of new customers and business leads. Working with the Blu-ray Disc Association, meanwhile, the firm maximised the consortium’s presence at CeBIT 2005, with a press conference for 300 media, and arranged one-on-one executive interviews with leading publications such as The Financial Times, Computeractive, Screen Digest and DVD Monthly.
While B&O currently handles several pan-European PR programs in conjunction with WPP sister agencies, additional offices in key European tech centres are not out of the question.