Orb Communications Group

The Orb Communications Group team
The Orb Communications Group team

Orb Communications Group

www.automotivepr.com

Dacre House

19 Dacre Street

London

SW1H 0DJ

020 7952 1070

Longest-held clients

Bosch, Chevrolet, Chevron Lubricants, Continental Tyres, Cummins, DAF Trucks, Ferrari, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Leyland Trucks, Optare plc, RM Auctions, UKIP Media and Events and Vauxhall

New business contact

Martin Hayes, Executive Chairman, mhayes@automotivepr.com,  020 7952 1071


 

CEO/MD

Martin Hayes, executive chairman

mhayes@automotivepr.com

020 7952 1071

Describe your agency in five words.

No 1 in automotive PR and events

How would you sum up 2011 at your agency?

A watershed.  We completed the merger of Automotive PR with Torque PR under the Orb Communications Group banner and launched a social media business (Sceptre Social Media), an events division (Orb Events) a non-automotive PR consultancy (Orb PR) and developed Orb Consultants - a special projects business co-owned with a Chinese partner.

We’ve also extended our truly global network partnership – with affiliates across Europe and North America, Latin America and India to augment our own company in China.

What was your agency’s high point of 2011?

Has to be the merger of Automotive PR and Torque PR, balancing strong consumer and events expertise to our well tuned B2B focus. But being re-appointed to Bosch after an exhaustive three-way pitch, growing our market share in the ultra competitive auto sector and running our largest automotive media launch event to date weren’t bad memories either.

What was the low point?

The on-going economic bleakness has a depressive effect – not just on our business directly but in the overall environment. In reality, I think we’ve held up remarkably well in an industry which is suffering strongly fluctuating fortunes in different global markets.

Please give an overview of your staffing through 2011, including significant hires and internal promotions.

Though our merger, we now have three more talented and motor experienced individuals, who strengthen and broaden our capabilities.

Peter Haynes and Phil Hale have over 30 years’ automotive industry experience between them that has served Torque PR well and they will be a big part of the development of the Orb Communications Group.  Matt Sanger, hired from What Car?, has greatly strengthened  our motor trade expertise.

What were your three best campaigns of 2011?

  1. We organised a vehicle launch programme for a major vehicle manufacturer – involving 150 international media on a ride and drive in snowy Austria, the largest event our combined team has handled to date.
  2. We also looked after British bus maker Optare throughout a year in which its fortunes fluctuated tremendously  but included opening a brand new factory, securing a host of orders for its innovative green products and ended with its acquisition by India’s Ashok Leyland, an event which meant dealing with trade, business and financial media across three Continents.
  3. We also helped launch China’s Lifan car maker on to the world stage – their first international show being in Dubai where we organised a press conference and then went on to secure extensive media coverage in its 18 current target markets, ranging from Iran to Peru and from Brazil to Nigeria.

Of which achievement in 2011 are you most proud?

Absolutely the creation of the Orb Communications Group, with two successful existing businesses at its core and rolling out the largest dedicated motor industry PR company in Britain, with an unrivalled, specialist global network.

We’ve also begun to work for other non-automotive businesses in allied technology-led industry sectors – construction, defence, refrigeration, power generation, etc.

What trends did you notice throughout the year in the industry?

A continuing migration from the high cost, generalist agencies to specialist, low overhead, specialist consultancies such as ours. In the past, a ‘flags on the global map’ approach has been a strong sales point; now a network of like-minded, cost-effective local services is more valuable to clients..

Tell us how your digital work became more measurably effective in 2011.

We’ve developed our own social media strategic consultancy – Sceptre Social Media. Its leader, Tom Callow, has also developed the Automotive PR Twitter feed into one of the most authoritative UK-based automotive channels and, with over 8.000 followers, one of the best read too.  We use it as a tool to engage with the automotive media as well as a newsfeed for client news and our own developments. It’s proved to be a successful asset in targeting key existing and emerging influencers in our sector and beyond and has underlined our own reputation as the leading agency in our field.

What’s your priority for the agency this year?

To further strengthen or global partner network (we have Japan nearly ready and Poland and Australia are now live) and use our extended resources to develop our new businesses within Orb Communications Group.

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