Today we’ve reached the tenth anniversary of CommsCo PR and, as such, an opportune moment to reflect on what’s been, become and may be to come. The technology world moves at lightning speed. As leaders working in the industry, there never seems to be time to sit back and reflect, but an anniversary is a perfect excuse to get perspective.
The early years
Back in 2013, the biggest tech story of the year was the furore surrounding whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leaked files, while the iPhone 5c and 5s were the latest models from Apple, introducing the world to Touch ID. It doesn’t seem that long ago, yet the world feels like such a different place now to how it was a decade ago. Data privacy scandals and whistleblowers are a common occurrence, while there have been a further 26 iterations of iPhone models.
When we started our journey in the tech startup and scaleup scene back in 2013, a lot of the companies we worked with were focussed on cloud, SaaS and HR technology. Perhaps reflective of our beginnings as to what we could focus on as well, these services were centred on digitising businesses and making their workflows and operations easier, more efficient, and manageable.
Just as the world has undergone change, our services and clients have too — but, crucially, we’ve always maintained our ethos as the PR agency for scaleups and challenger brands, brands hungry to build profile. It’s what we consider the exciting part of tech PR.
Challenge and change
The two biggest challenges we’ve had to deal with during the last ten years are also the most unexpected events most could not have predicted — Brexit, and the pandemic. There’s no hiding from the fact that Brexit has vastly shifted and challenged the tech scaleup landscape, affecting the technology ecosystem and talent, rules and regulations and it’s so sad to see this continuing (see this week’s Revolut news). The UK’s leading tech position in Europe is at threat from Brexit and no doubt funding suffers too. Everybody, us included, has to work just a little bit harder.
And then along came the pandemic which brought ‘unprecedented’ changes, forever altering how we work, giving birth to a host of new technologies. This swell of technology infused the sector with new products and jobs, and it was astonishing to see the agility of brands as they both emerged and developed timely propositions to aid people through this time. As a business, it was an opportunity to shine, and I’m still proud of how we did, as well as in admiration of the most innovative and dynamic tech companies who quickly adapted to offer tangible solutions to real world problems.
Hello healthtech and eCommerce
It’s through these changes that we’ve witnessed more and more scaleups operating in healthtech and eCommerce as the world was forced to prioritise self-care and digitise. Transport tech too has innovated, optimising travel networks and facilitating the rise in active travel modes.
Looking ahead, AI is likely to be a dominant theme, and feature in most other tech subsectors, and indeed forms a part of most of our clients’ offerings. It will be interesting to see the focus on AI for good and responsible AI and how it evolves.
One of our most recent expansions has seen us delve into the world of agritech. It has an exciting promise to revolutionise the industry and take on the most colossal human challenge of all: the climate crisis. As politicians dabble and big industry still rakes in profits from fossil fuel projects, technology really is a source of hope in providing the means to fight the fight and create a remodelled sustainable society.
Most importantly, however, is our people, and how the workforce has evolved for the better. In the wider business world, people are now as important as customers, and that is reflected by the rise in HR tech in line with martech. Finally I’ve given up the CV and hire for skill over academic ability. We have a wonderfully diverse and talented team, and we’ve all settled well into our hybrid way of working. While we have the technologies to work from wherever, most of us have wanted the best of both worlds, and I love to see in-person back.
From an agency perspective, we have a lot to be thankful for, having had a front row seat to the scaleup tech scene. It remains for us to thank every one of our team and clients for their enormous support along the way. Here’s to the next ten – who knows where tomorrow will take us.