Dee Gibbs, Liberty Comms - Taking the 10,000-year view

Even in the fast-moving world of tech comms, a good old-fashioned contacts book is essential.

In a recent interview with Metro, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said that he is taking the 10,000-year view.

Among other amazing extra-curricular activities such as a privately funded space exploration company, he has just spent $42m building a clock inside a Texan mountain that aims to run for 10,000 years. Not only that, it emits daily chimes created by Brian Eno. Very cool.

One of the fantastic things about technology PR is that there are lots of people like Jeff Bezos, revolutionaries who have made huge amounts of money developing new ways of doing things and who are only just getting into their stride.

But the passion is not just about space rockets and giant clocks. Bill and Melinda Gates, through their foundation, are using technology to change millions of lives, for example with a toilet that uses no water. This is technology at its very best.

We are seeing a mini-boom in the technology sector right now. It is fuelled by a number of things, including visionaries with pots of cash and, critically, a rich seam of amazing brains firmly housed in the heads of young people born into the digital age who are driving innovation.

In the UK and across Europe there is a Silicon Valley-style rush for the best talent and ideas, with some large corporations setting up funds with hundreds of millions of euros at their disposal to bag the best ideas and the biggest brains.

At Liberty, our business is technology. We are interested in anything new, innovative and in how it changes the way we do things, whether as a consumer or a business. Critical to our success has been the importance we place on media and opinion-forming contacts - on- and offline - as well as our early expansion into creative digital comms and marketing, creating a fully integrated service. The irony lies in the former; the good old-fashioned contacts book remains a fundamental part of technology comms, something we believe sets us apart.

The starting point for all new technologies is to engage the right audiences and know which channels, creatives and content will achieve this.

One of the advantages of being a specialist in technology is the comfort of knowing that we do not have to be a 'jack of all trades and master of none', to skim the surface of everything and get under the skin of nothing.

But for us it is not enough just to be experts in technology. After all, it touches so much these days, so we drill down even further. Therefore we have specialist sectors, each headed by an expert.

These are Telecoms & Media, Enterprise, Consumer Tech, and Corporate, within which sits Cleantech.

Supporting these are Digital, Marketing Services, Creative & Planning, and Measurement.

Many of our clients, whether they are start-ups or long-established corporations, hire Liberty to devise creative strategies across multiple international territories. We achieve this through our Liberty Worldwide network of PR and marketing services businesses. Comms today has few boundaries and as an agency we need to be able to build business around it.

If Liberty had been around in the stone age, we would have been shouting about a new-fangled device that makes fire; today we are on the verge of superfast mobile broadband; and in 10,000 years, if modern visionaries have their way, we will all be living in space. Even free-falling from 24 miles above the earth and breaking the sound barrier on the way down will seem like child's play.

VIEWS IN BRIEF

- What is the biggest challenge in producing PR campaigns in your sector?

As a creative PR and marketing comms agency, we believe that the best campaigns are fully integrated to achieve maximum audience engagement.

- Tell us about the most successful partnership you have set up to support a piece of activity

The importance of producing rich media content to support campaigns means that our partnership with Decisive Media has been most successful, not just in raw production values, but also in helping us create digital platforms that will achieve maximum engagement.

Dee Gibbs is managing director and founder of Liberty Comms.

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