The Similarities between Euro 2024 and European PR

The UEFA European Football Championship (Euro 2024) is now well underway in Germany, so while awaiting England’s next match I’m playing with the parallel idea in my mind on how global scale-up tech firms can effectively set up quality European (or indeed global) PR campaigns.  

As the European footballing nations will be tested as they adapt to the diverse and quality European footballing styles opposing them, breaking into new European markets is no easy feat either–especially for non-native tech firms. 

To expand in to the world’s second largest trading bloc, Public Relations is the most cost-effective way to build reputations, brand awareness and accelerate your sales momentum.  But, doing it right takes time and focus, so here are five initial tips when setting up that winning European PR game plan! 

1. The Importance of Planning

Currently, England Coach Gareth Southgate is in serious planning mode for his team’s upcoming games. 

By the same token, effective planning is the cornerstone of any successful PR work. Whether targeting one, two or several countries in Europe, aligning global, European and local plans upfront is crucial. 

That translates to solid business briefings and regular updates from the right company advocates to ensure that local teams are up to speed with business developments and potential issues. This mustn’t overload the team, but planning needs to remain flexible and 100% outcome-focused.  

2. ‘Glocal’ Thinking

While the core global and product messaging should remain consistent, localisation to the country context is essential. You need to find the right balance, but this goes far beyond basic translation.

Ensure your local teams are allowed the flexibility to capture and use relevant local market themes, evidence, customers and anecdotes to spark engagement. Your best ‘striker’ here is a “glocal” approach—combining global strategy with local execution by local executives, to ensure your messaging scores.

3. Use Local Expertise and Insights

With European PR, one size does not fit all. Working with the right PR partner means collaborating with professionals who have navigated these waters before and understand the local language, culture, holidays and media landscapes. 

Listen carefully to these local teams to ensure your approach is culturally sensitive and insightful. If England get through the group stages, and need to take on the mighty Spanish team, for example, Three Lions midfield hopeful Jude Bellingham played for Real Madrid last season, so his insights will help Southgate’s team.

4. Communication, communication, communication

Effective communications is critical across the whole football ecosystem (within the team, the coaching staff but also fans back home) before, during and after every game. Regular, team-wide communication is also important in European PR programmes, too, ideally face to face, but virtually too of course. 

While top-down/HQ communications will naturally play a role, ensuring each country is given the time to explain what’s working locally and where the challenges lie is vital. 

Best practice tells us this approach helps build team culture, aids understanding and addresses problem areas before they escalate. 

5. Keeping Score

Aligning on outcomes from the outset is vital. Tools are available for measurement, but getting alignment with your PR/marketing colleagues and the local agency team is key.

Ultimately, collective understanding helps ensure you’re on the right track and allows for adjustments. Local executive teams should also be aligned with PR plans to maintain that collective focus.

Extra Time

Whether it’s one or several European markets, winning in Europe requires a well-thought-out PR strategy that embraces local nuances and leverages both global and local strengths. 

The good news is that by focusing on planning, localising your messaging, embracing local insights, maintaining open communication and measuring your outcomes effectively, scale-up global tech firms can power through the ‘group stage’ and establish the strong PR foothold in Europe they want.  

Love to stay and chat more, but it’s time soon to shout at the telly. Come On England! 

To discuss your PR programme needs for 2024 click here to book a short intro strategy call.

What Padel Tennis and Public Relations Have in Common

I’m not an expert Padel Tennis (Padel) player, but I’ve been playing a fair amount of this addictive game recently. Many years ago, I squeezed in to my county tennis squad, so I thought I’d be a Padel ninja. But it’s very different and if you try to play it like tennis, you’ll soon come unstuck! 

I wondered (a little strangely perhaps) if there were any connections between Padel and the challenges tech firms face when they develop their PR programmes, so here are five initial commonalities.  

  • Get your positioning right

In Padel, positioning is key and you need to work with your partner–take the net together, move back together and be attentive to where you are on the court, in relation to each other and your opponent. 

In PR, it’s similar: you need to understand your position in relation to your competition. How? By research and building your messages, to define the best PR strategy to help you move to where you want to be.   

  • Preparation, preparation, preparation

In Padel—like all sports–you need to stretch and practice before the game. Failing to prepare and not warming up will result in injury and put you out of action.

Similarly, when conducting a PR programme, having the right messages sorted is vital, but have you practiced and rehearsed delivering them to ensure they ‘land’ with your target audiences? You normally have just one shot. So, if you ‘fail to prepare’ then ‘prepare to fail’.

  • The importance of consistency  

My Padel partner likes to smash/kill most of the balls. While finishing the point matters, consistency (and finesse) is key to winning most points. My current view, when starting in Padel, or your PR programme is you should be more like Borg or Federer (with ice-man-type consistency) than Nick ‘bad boy’ Kyrgios. 

In PR, whilst killer campaigns do play a role, once you are executing your PR programme, it’s advisable to be patient and don’t always look for instant (but risky) mindshare grabs. 

It’s better to be consistent in your communications, as success doesn’t happen overnight. So, do the hard work every day (or on every point) as that’s the way to win the game on a consistent basis.

  • Partnership is more than just a word 

Both Padel and PR are team games, so partnerships are key. In Padel, working closely with your partner is vital: talking and encouraging each other pre-, during- and post-matches can make all the difference. 

By the same token, working in partnership with your executive team, and the right PR agency team that can effectively advise and seamlessly execute will take you that bit further.

  • Analyse and evaluate

In Padel, a level of analysis is useful—both as you’re playing and after the game to see how you could adjust your tactics, do better next time or deal with a specific opponent. 

And in B2B tech PR, evaluation is just as important. You need to integrate the right outcomes, yet be flexible as you progress your plan, given what is happening in and outside the business.

So, in summary, and injuries aside, I’m learning so much about this great new game via Instagram and by watching/speaking to my peers who are ahead of me on that Padel learning curve. So, do the same with the experience, insights and know-how your PR partner can offer.

I am sure there are many other commonalities, but the most important one in Padel and PR is to have fun!

To discuss your PR programme for 2024 (or Padel technique) click to book a short intro strategy call.

It’s Time for a Messaging Spring Clean

In London, it’s still ‘brass monkey’ weather (very cold) out there, but Spring is now on us!   

This is the time to create, upscale or refine your company and proposition messaging. 

 It’s time for that messaging spring clean! 


Clear messaging is essential for tech firms as it underpins key aspects of the growth strategy, including communications, brand building, customer acquisition and retention, market positioning and investor relations. A well-crafted and consistently executed messaging strategy will contribute to the success and expansion of your tech firm. 

As a global communications director, and previous Elate client, says: 

“Your strategic messaging is one of the most important corporate assets you own. It defines what matters: who you are and the value you provide. Done properly, it puts you head and shoulders above the competition. If you’re not sure it’s 100% right, then don’t spend a penny more on communications until it’s nailed.”

“Messaging is the heartbeat of your brand, enabling meaningful connections with customers, prospects, partners, employees, investors and a myriad of influencers. It amplifies the value of your proposition, cultivates a quality reputation and builds your brand’s share of voice.”

Here are a few questions to guide your messaging Spring Clean: 

  • Is your corporate and product messaging aligned with your brand, mission and vision? 
  • Is it overly complicated and can you sum up your value in seconds?
  • Can the team roll off their tongues your top three strategic messages?
  • Do they resonate with your key target audiences? 
  • How does it play in your priority geographic and vertical markets? 
  • Are you leading key industry debates with a clear and authoritative voice? 
  • How does your story compare to key competitors? 
  • Do your messages include evidence or are they simply grandiose claims? 
  • When was the last time you refreshed and tested them? 

To discuss your messaging or 2024 planning, click here to book a short intro strategy call.

As a reminder, Elate Communications is a UK based virtual comms agency focused on supporting US, British and global tech firms to grow and prosper.

Lucky Seven! Seven Tips for Successful US Media Relations

Building and maintaining a consistent and impactful earned media relations program in the United States (and indeed the UK) is a long-term investment for scale-up technology companies. 

In the challenging US-based tech media landscape, when a tech scale-up has ‘allegedly’ a great product proposition, and a sound business strategy, but no exposure, they can easily get buried among their lesser competitors. These ambitious tech businesses, with no media presence will find it even harder to stand out from the crowd, with current and prospective, investors, customers, partners and employees. So what can be done?

Here are some tips from one of our top quality PR partners on the west coast of America, who has outlined the Seven Tips for a successful US-based media relations program. 

1- PR could actually stand for personal relationships. Build them! Read, read, read. Do your homework on EACH journalist, their beats, their story writing style, their foibles, their proclivities. Today, social media offers ample opportunity to see what makes them tick and discover that entry point.

2– Strive to be a resource of insightful information to journalists. Be steeped in knowledge, not just a buzzword bingo pitcher. And don’t just pitch your client, but broader industry topics that have relevance for the reader, and your client.

3— In your pitches, set out the context and the why now. Answer the 5Ws and an H: who, what, where, when, why and how. These are the basic tenets of journalism.

4– Email blasts don’t work. Period. Once you accomplish #1, you will craft smart, custom pitches that can grab the media’s attention.

5– If at first you don’t succeed, try try, again. Timing is everything. Make sure your pitches are in sync with the news flow – e.g.: in tech, don’t try to pitch journalists on the day Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft (or those other larger beasts) are making their announcements, or you’ll be drowned out.

6– Have your own opinion. Vocalize. Be clever and smart. Maybe even a bit sassy. This builds your own brand and establishes street cred.  As with #1, follow journalists, go where they are (including on the right social media platforms), read their work, engage in conversation on the topic, the trend, the news developments relevant to your work. 

7 — News? The old adage man bites dog still rules but most times we do NOT have real “news” to offer the media. Yet clients often believe they do. Our job is to properly position the client within the larger industry and to pay attention to timely market news and trends, where the client is relevant and has something to say. Help the journalist understand that by talking with our client, they will gain greater insight into their beat.

Hopefully, you are living by these lucky seven tips (and we’re sure there are more), but if you want to discuss your US (and/or your UK) PR and media relations program needs, then click here to call to book a short intro strategy call to discuss your comms needs for 2024.

Five Tips For Finding the Perfect Comms Agency Partner

Whether you’re still lounging on your holiday sunbed, with a Piña colada in hand, or steadfastly steering the comms and PR ship for your business, it’s important for marketing and comms executives to consider what’s key when on the hunt for that perfect agency comms partner.

  1. Define the Team & Cultural Fit: One time, my agency team thought we’d won the business after delivering a great PR pitch to a tech firm… only to have its marketing director challenge us with a group task to complete in 20 minutes to evaluate our teamwork. Despite feeling like we had lost control of the meeting, we displayed agility, creative thinking, and addressed the challenge well, ultimately winning the business. To ensure a successful PR partnership, meet or speak with the team members who will be running your PR campaign and assess if their skills align with your requirements.  Are they resourceful, proactive, agile, and consultative?  How will they work with your internal stakeholders? Do they have the X factor you need?
  2. Get Clear on Business Goals: Transparency is crucial; you need to share your company’s real business goals upfront–whether that’s driving sales leads, establishing a better position in your tech category to attract an acquisition, or seeking investment to expand overseas. Define and prioritise the key goals, as they should shape the comms objectives and, ultimately, your PR programme.
  3. Communicate the PR Goals: Be crystal clear about the PR objectives you want to achieve: is it driving more positive industry analyst engagement, or gaining higher media share of voice compared to your competitors? It’ll help you both to know what you really want, and it avoids later disappointments. Include at least three key messages for the PR campaign to guide the agency’s thinking. If you’re unsure about that at this stage, that’s fine, but identify it as a priority to work together on from the outset. Additionally, provide clarity on target audiences and geographic areas where regional assistance may be appreciated.
  4. Reach Measurement Heaven: Indicate how you’ll want to be measuring success for your organisation and its executives. Any agency worth your money should have concrete initial views on measurement criteria, e.g., industry measurement best practice.  Ensure alignment from the beginning: you can’t improve what you can’t measure.
  5. Outline Your Budget: Don’t leave agencies guessing what the stakes are here. Be explicit about your budget or at least provide a range. This enables the agency to create a well-suited campaign for you and establishes a level playing field. Budget clarity will also help rule out agencies that might not be the right fit, saving time for everyone involved.

All in all, investing time in to crafting a thoughtful, business-oriented brief that communicates your requirements in a communications partner is worth doing as it will ensure you receive quality proposals from agencies that align with your needs.

That’s because while team fit, culture, and chemistry matter, creating a comprehensive brief upfront will lead you to the most suitable PR partner which really is equipped with the right set of skills to elevate your planned communications blitz to the next level. 

Now, get back to your Summer holiday!