Automation PR: Raising awareness and creating a national agenda

Since 2009, Stone Junction has been managing all PR and marketing activities for GAMBICA – the Trade Association for Instrumentation, Control, Automation and Laboratory Technology in the UK for several years. The organisation wanted to promote its fundamental argument to non-technical stakeholders outside the field of automation. The main objective was to influence board level company management, financial staff and purchasing departments; communicating to them the compelling energy saving arguments that using variable speed drives on electric motors presents.

In all media relations Stone Junctions handles the entire process, from managing the strategy and idea generation procedure to producing imagery, writing all copy (including highly technical copy), distributing material and reporting on success rates.

Within the remit of GAMBICA's cornerstone message 'System thinking', the organisation wanted to raise awareness of the benefits of automation for UK industry.


Automated Britain

Automation PR | Engineering PR | b2b technology PR

Thus, on March 6 2012, Stone Junction was commissioned to organise and manage the media element of Automated Britain, a joint event organised by trade bodies GAMBICA and Intellect, with the objective of raising awareness of the benefits of industrial automation, such as robotics and variable speed motor drives, on the UK economy.

The event targeted UK industry leaders in the manufacturing chain, including senior strategists and decision makers, investors, business consultants and Government. Stone Junction was called in with just six weeks to go before the event, so the strategy was to focus on online content, both self hosted and earned, and to generate post event reviews.

The message for the campaign was that automation has an important role to play in improving energy efficiency and can make a significant contribution to the carbon reduction agenda. Most of the highest profile energy efficient technologies of the last few years, such as lean burn car engines and domestic boilers, have been largely the result of the incorporation of modern automation, sensing and control technology into the equipment.


Automation media relations

Prior to the conference, Stone Junction:

  • Issued a preview press release

  • Introduced GAMBICA to 12 target journalists

  • Arranged a media partnership with leading trade title The Engineer

  • And produced a series of Blog posts on the GAMBICA blog that were also shared directly with the media

The blogs were attributed to a series of industry leaders who were also participating in the conference discussions. Speakers and panel members included Juergen Maier, Managing Director of Siemens UK Industry Sector, Alan Courts, finance director of Rittal UK, John Frieslaar, chief technical officer for Western Europe at Huawei Technologies, Atul Mehta, partner and industrial sector leader at IBM Global Business Services, Mike Berridge, director of business improvement at AWS Electronics Group and Ian Schofield, key account manager at ABB Robotics as well as Mark Prisk MP, Minister for Business and Enterprise.


High profile media

Automation PR | Engineering PR | b2b technology PR

The press office was organised and managed entirely by Stone Junction who, thanks to the mixture of tactics employed, secured fifteen media attendees from key magazines and online industry TV channels.

Furthermore, the Stone Junction team arranged for Peter Marsh, manufacturing editor at The Financial Times to chair one of the panel discussions. A recognised authority in the field, and author of The New Industrial Revolution: Consumers, Globalization and the End of Mass Production, Marsh was one of the many high profile attendees Stone Junction enlisted for the event.

In addition, we also obtained support from three MPs, including Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle Central and shadow minister for innovation, science and digital infrastructure.


Press coverage

This suite of tactics helped put Automated Britain onto the media event calendar of the year and created a great deal of interest from the press. The total number of articles written about Automated Britain reached 55 within a month, in a variety of trade publications including Process and Control, The Manufacturer, Automation, Plant and Works Engineering, Food Processing and Energy News Live, just to name a few.

Tina Compton, events director of Intellect, Steve Brambley a director of GAMBICA and Dr Graeme Philp, GAMBICA's CEO were all enthusiastic in their praise for Stone Junction's work.

Delivering within a short timeframe was made possible thanks to accurate planning and precise execution.

Stone Junction's complete range of services meant that GAMBICA and Intellect found a one stop shop, which made the process of implementing a coherent PR strategy a lot easier than anticipated. Moreover, the efforts of the team were replayed by a good press attendance which resulted in great media coverage. Overall, the clippings focusing on Automated Britain were worth total of £15,412.5 in advertising value equivalent. This means a return on investment of over five times, no mean feat.


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