Affect, With Global Alliance

WGA: The Global Media Landscape is Changing – Here’s How Tech Companies Can Make the Most of It

By Sandra Fathi | On August 18, 2020

As the world works to adapt to its new normal, the media is undergoing a similar transition – and the stories that made headlines pre-COVID might not hold up the way they used to, no matter where one is in the world. However, new circumstances bring about new opportunities. Affect’s international PR partner firms in the With Global Alliance (WGA) spoke with Everything-PR about the media’s current focus across the globe, and identified areas for potential growth for businesses in the technology space. Check out these global perspectives below.

Brazil, Luis Claudio Allan, Founder, FirstCom: The Venture Capital scene is hot in Brazil despite the pandemic. Fintech is the hottest market in the startup ecosystem right now, but there are others growing, such as apps for delivery of anything, healthtech, edtech, foodtech and agtech (technology for farming and agriculture). Artificial Intelligence, SaaS, streaming services and ecommerce solutions are also areas of interest.

China, Sarah Li, Managing Director, WEdge: In the post-pandemic era, to gear up new growth engines, China has called for new infrastructure construction including 5G, AI and the industrial Internet. Such efforts are in line with the nation driving to ensure stability in domestic and foreign investment. With more and more industries and companies going back to business as usual, the media focus has spread to wider industries such as biological pharma, fintech, e-commerce, software and hardware, where growth is expected after being on hold during the past half year.

Germany, Andrea Buzzi, Founder & CEO, Frau Wenk: The media focus a lot on the digitalization of traditional industries and companies and new technologies, such as artificial intelligence or blockchain. Corona is seen as a catalyst for digitalization of traditional industries. Currently, there is much discussion in the media about the role and power of big platforms such as Amazon, Google, Facebook or Apple and how to deal with them.

India, Minal Drozario, Co-Founder, Ideosphere: Beyond COVID – 19 the media has been focusing on two primary talking points:

  • ‘Work from home’ and its impact on overall company culture and disruption of the entire working culture.
  • Technology adoption and opportunity for innovation. As a people, we have been divided into two groups: the first, having no exposure to the new technologies and the pandemic has forced us to adopt them for our essential needs, the second, people who have widened their exposure to technological platforms for various services and needs. These disparities are dominating the conversations in India.

India being a hotspot for COVID – 19 is gradually opening businesses, but there still lies a lot of ambiguity in the overall sentiment of the people.

Netherlands, Sabine Steen-Lakerveld, Founder, DOK30: Following the ‘coronacrisis’ there are a number of topics that the media are focused on ranging from the use of offices versus remote working (and the tools to make that work), new management styles, office interior, smart work spaces, but also the change to a more sustainable economy and sustainable world where the economy and environment are better balanced out. The pandemic saw a rise in ecommerce, which has not subsided since the lockdown ended. Smart ecommerce solutions, tech-driven services, apps to stay in touch with people / find new people in the area are also of interest when talking about ‘the new normal’. Before COVID-19, there was a lot of interest in sustainability solutions, sustainable companies and smart healthcare solutions. The current situation has only strengthened this interest, as now is the time to change for the better! And tech can deliver on a lot of the much needed change and promises in this respect.

Russia, Alexander Izryadnov, Co-founder, Vinci Agency: Clearly Covid-19 is a big focus for the media. Interestingly a significant amount of coverage looks at the personal impact which reflects a popular and growing approach in other areas the media covers. It’s important to not only write about actions but also show some emotional involvement and share real thoughts and feelings about a company, its technology and its impact and influence. It’s fair to say there is no more B2C and B2B communications rather everything has become person-to-person (P2P).  Audiences want to take a look inside your company, to learn how the product they are using is being built and developed. They also want to see the people behind it, how they feel about what they do and what makes the company tick. 

Singapore, Oliver Budgen, Managing Director, Bud Communications: Singapore is going through a general election in July which is attracting even greater attention and scrutiny as COVID-19 brings about deep economic uncertainty for the island nation. Within the technology-space the age old topic of digital transformation has become even more nuanced. Whereas twelve months ago, ‘digital transformation is kind of important’ stories may have been interesting, it’s now being prioritized as a survival instinct, rather than purely as a growth driver. From a communications standpoint this has been an area of focus for Bud Communications, helping clients build real thought leadership through education and insights that help make sense of the opportunities and potential threats ahead.

South Africa, Samantha Hogg, Owner & MD, GinjaNinja PR: In South Africa digital transformation continues to feature not only as a result of coronavirus, but also because of the general pressure from the market to offer a customer experience that cannot be achieved without being in the cloud and digitally-able. Tied to this is a focus on AI and IoT, all part of the digital transformation journey.  South Africa’s cloud adoption rate is behind international counterparts, but progress is being made and businesses are realizing the vital importance of being mobile and agile in these unprecedented times.

United Kingdom, Debbie Zaman, CEO & Founder, With PR: International trade relations are garnering a lot of column inches, especially as it impacts technology infrastructure like 5G. There is always a huge focus on politics and the machinations of the current government. And of course, as Brits, we obsessively report on the weather. Opportunities are definitely increasing for IoT, cyber, edtech and gaming companies right now as they emerge as post-COVID success stories. Anything with an environmental angle is also highly topical.

United States, Sandra Fathi, Founder & President, Affect: The U.S. is one nation, but our experience of the pandemic varies greatly by geography, industry and economic status. This is also reflected in the media landscape. Although stories about the pandemic, its impact on the economy, employment and the political arena are center stage, journalists still have assigned beats and are focusing on all of the diverse subjects that interest them, albeit, with less real estate in their publications than usual. Many of the tech outlets are seeking stories on businesses, services and tools that are going to help restart and reenergize the business and private sectors. These include stories on supply chain and logistics, healthtech, medtech, infrastructure, cloud, cybersecurity and other topics critical to getting the country ‘back to work’. We are also experiencing a significant political and culture awakening around the Black Lives Matter movement and issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Sandra Fathi

Sandra Fathi has spent the last 20 years helping technology, healthcare and professional services companies achieve their goals. As President and Founder of Affect, a public relations, marketing and social media agency, Sandra has successfully led the company with consistent growth since the agency’s inception in 2002. Sandra is also active in the communications industry and professional community. She has been a board member of the PR Council and has served as Chair of PRSA’s Tri-State District, President of PRSA-NY and President of the PRSA Technology Section. Adding to her accolades, Sandra has been recognized as one of PRNews’ Top Women in PR, a PRNews PR Professional of the Year finalist, and a Bulldog PR Agency Professional of the Year.