Sector: Influencer Marketing

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How we communicate is an ever-changing science shaped by society and technology. To succeed in this rapidly changing environment, businesses need to be at the forefront of the changes that will define whether they can reach, engage and be heard by audiences across the globe.

Here are five key insights that Grayling believe will create a communications advantage in 2023.

  1. Connecting with fragmented audiences

Audiences have continued to fragment and separate, making them even harder to reach because their sources of information are so varied. Even via social media or news aggregators, they are likely to see content that interests them. Simple ‘catch-all’ demographic data and assumptions won’t cut it anymore; brands need to crunch advanced data to customise their approach, creating engaging and shareable content that matches the motivations and interests of their audiences.

  1. The digital hyperloop

The rapid change in technology and cultural trends has made long-term planning incredibly difficult. The challenge in keeping up has led many creators to spend more time crafting content they know their audience will engage with, rather than simply jumping on the next trend. Similarly, PR and communications outreach and content must focus on ideas people will connect with and be prepared to pivot quickly according to changing trends and the public mood.

  1. Levelling up internal communications

The pandemic changed industrial relations forever. Employees are less driven by money and more by conditions, benefits, training and values. This trend has placed significant responsibility on internal comms and challenged HR teams to accommodate a wide range of needs across generations. Internal comms has become a battleground for the best talent in the market.

  1. The AI evolution

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has played a small part in the PR toolkit for years, for example, with increasingly intuitive search engines and grammar tools. However, in the last year, AI has flown up our collective agendas with AI-powered writing tools such as ChatGPT and image applications like Midjourney. AI will continue to learn and improve but the challenge is to understand what role new AI tools will play within the organization, train staff on how to make the most of them, and to be aware of pitfalls such as fact-checking, copyright and plagiarism.

  1. A post-purpose world

Consumers are alert to purpose-washing tactics and can spot a brand’s “say-do gap” from a distance – and they are not afraid to call it out either! Organisations need to demonstrate their purpose with action, not words.

Read the full report here: GAINING ADVANTAGE IN 2023

If your organisation wants to understand what any of these five insights mean for your business, please get in touch. We’d be delighted to discuss them with you.

Grayling named Large Consultancy of the Year at the European Excellence Awards

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Grayling has been named Large Consultancy of the Year at the European Excellence Awards 2021. The awards, which took place on Friday 10 December, also saw Grayling win across four other campaign categories including Food & Beverage (UK), NGOs & Associations (Russia), Benelux & France, and Germany, Switzerland & Austria.

These awards cap a stellar 2021 for Grayling across Europe. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Grayling has delivered double digit revenue growth across the continent. Underpinning this growth has been a strategy which has driven greater integration and collaborative working across all European offices. In the past year, Grayling has focused further on blended services, particularly higher margin, strategic consultancy work. The existing diverse set of skills has been bolstered by key hires across Grayling’s pan-European teams.

The multiple awards reflect the hard work of Grayling’s staff across Europe. Despite the pandemic, Grayling colleagues have delivered the highest quality of service for the clients.

Sarah Scholefield, Global CEO said: “We are delighted to be named Large Consultancy of the Year at the European Excellence Awards, alongside four wins for outstanding client campaigns across the region. These incredible results are testament to the dedication and hard work of our staff across Europe. The pandemic has presented many challenges for our people, but they have all consistently delivered outstanding campaigns and results. I couldn’t be prouder of the work they have done and we’re all looking forward to continuing this success in 2022.”

European Excellence Award wins:
  • Large Agency of the Year category – Grayling won the prestigious Large Agency of the Year award following a year which saw growth across all our European teams, in both revenue and employee numbers, and a number of landmark client wins.
  • Food & BeverageGrayling in London picked up the award for their work with fish-free brand Good Catch with OurWay, a campaign described by Ad Week as “promotional gold”.
  • NGOs & Associations – the Grayling Moscow team capped off a brilliant year – having already been named Russia/CIS Consultancy of the Year at the PRovoke Awards – with a win for their work with the Social Partnership Development fund, on the campaign No more Chemistry with Chemo which tackled the issue of social isolation for women with cancer in Russia.
  • Benelux & FranceGrayling in Paris were recognised for their work with client Badoo in the Benelux & France category. The campaign, entitled Yes to Real Encounters, Yes to Beautiful Encounters, addressed the issue of microaggressions in the dating process and involved the production of a short film to raise awareness and educate the public on the issue.
  • Germany, Switzerland & Austria – The team at Grayling Vienna have been named in the regional Germany, Austria and Switzerland category for their campaign Raising Worldwide Awareness about Old Age Poverty. This campaign was carried out with Vollpension Generationencafé and aimed to raise awareness about age-poverty and Covid-induced isolation for elderly citizens around the world.


For more information about the European Excellence Awards click here.

Communications in 2021: What Does the Future Hold?

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Well, no one saw 2020 coming… Picking the bones out of a year defined by COVID-19 can seem difficult – but there have been some clear themes. For example, we’ve seen an incredible acceleration in digital transformation, while tech brands have also been forced to think about what they should communicate.

As technology PR heads put their communications plans together for 2021, I want to explore four themes that will define the near future for communications.

  • The COVID-19 legacy

Despite the rollout of a new vaccine, it’s highly unlikely that we will suddenly flock back to the way things were before the pandemic. I think we’ll see more people working both from home and the office. Work-life balance, support and professional development for staff is going to be a huge differentiator when it comes to attracting talent.

Positively, budgets are likely to pick up in 2021 with increased hiring set to follow. We are also all looking forward to attending live events, and we know nothing can replace the value of meeting face-to-face, especially for the first time. However, the virus has pushed many events to be adapted online, reaching huge audiences at low cost. I believe that we’ll see innovative online events continue to play a key role in tech communications during 2021. Online interactions are not fruitless after all, as we’ve seen at Grayling over the last 12 months, having both won new business and delivered great work this year for clients that we’ve only ever met on Microsoft Teams.

  • Brexit will cast a long shadow

It’s already December and we’re still not clear what the UK-EU relationship will look like, more than four years after the referendum. What is clear is that there will be an impact on recruitment. British PR firms, for instance, looking to access talent from EU countries will face new difficulties that will make hiring from abroad less attractive. The detail is yet to be finalised, but my hope is that Brexit does not impair our ability to hire the best talent, wherever those people come from.

Brexit also has potential impacts on the way we handle data in the UK and is set to dominate the news agenda during 2021, as the pros and cons of leaving the European Union become clear. This will have a knock-on effect for UK-based tech companies and those that do business here. As spokespeople for the tech sector, we should be ready to support the sector as it goes through this uncertain period – and continue to bang the drum for our world-leading technology industry in a post-Brexit world.

Communicators will just need to continue to be flexible.

  • Social media literacy more vital than ever

PR communicators need to think more carefully than ever before about how their campaigns could be perceived to avoid a backlash across social channels. At a time when many consumers and businesses are feeling under pressure, brands need to ensure they have their finger on the pulse and ‘read the room’ effectively. It is important to get a wide consensus on any campaign ideas before you commit to them and open them up for scrutiny with online audiences.

And then there is the rise of TikTok. The platform continues to have real momentum and I think it poses a real threat to the dominance of the other main social networks. We can expect it to play a key role in Europe, although its future direction in the US may well depend on how the new administration views the platform.

Video content is the most persuasive content format for the C-suite, this medium is still under-utilised in business-to-business marketing, in particular. I’m also interested to see how business leaders use LinkedIn’s new Stories function or Fleets on Twitter as we go into 2021.

  • The rise of B2B influencers

Influencers are going to grow in importance and continue to host valuable platforms for tech brands to reach their target audiences, especially for many business-focused brands that may not have considered working with influencers before.

At Grayling, we ran a very successful B2B campaign for Kaspersky this summer with the help of two thought leaders in their field. The webinar we hosted as part of this campaign provided two conflicting viewpoints which really helped us see thought-provoking sides of a critical argument and create a solid piece of long-tail content that continues to deliver coverage and links to our client. The key is to make sure the influencers you choose to work with have reach and credibility, and that they are a suitable brand fit.

It looks likely that we’ll see even more competition for creativity in both B2B and consumer-facing tech marketing.

Recent action from the UK Competitions and Markets Authority led to the Facebook-owned platform Instagram committing to doing more to prevent hidden advertising on the social network. The PR industry must be more stringent on disclosure and make sure it is built into their influencer contracts.

So, those are four key areas that will define tech communications in 2021. Let us see what the new year brings…

If you’d like to discuss how Grayling can support you in 2021, please drop me a line on