By Bekki Bushnell, Associate Director
In 1899, Charles H. Duell supposedly claimed that “everything that can be invented has been invented”. Whether he really did or not is a debate for another day, but supposing he did, I started to wonder what he would make of Uber. Or Monzo. Or HubSpot. Or any of the wonderful tech inventions that have transformed the way we do things across both our personal and professional lives.
Just take a look at fintech – it’s one industry that continues to impress on the innovation front, with the UK boasting countless examples of startups and scale-ups that truly embody forward-thinking, setting an example for other industries of what bold, unashamed disruption can achieve.
It’s therefore well received news that following proposals from the Kalifa review in 2021, the government is going to roll out a number of fintech innovation hubs across major UK cities, managed by a new Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT). The overall ambition is to build upon the UK’s position as a global fintech leader, bring in international investment (that has waned over the last few years) and attract the right talent that we need to be able to deliver on those first two points.
But a ‘one-size-CFITs-all’ approach in fintech won’t wash. Companies with fast growth ambitions have several economic, political and regulatory hurdles to overcome and a bold, innovative comms strategy (much like their solutions) must play an integral role in overcoming those. The three core objectives of CFIT (establishing leadership, securing investment and attracting talent) are actually the very same objectives we often hear from across our spectrum of B2B tech clients.
So what has this got to with PR and comms?
Put simply, decision making is driven by our perceptions and the values that we hold and therefore attribute to others. These will be shaped by a number of things, including covert and overt influences, lived experiences, shared and individual environments, cultural norms, etc. That is why when we want to arrive at a certain outcome (let’s say an investor giving funding to a fintech startup), we need to shape those perceptions around our brand by tapping into the values held by our target audiences (this fintech company is led by smart, trustworthy people that are building a unique solution that there is a demand for and will generate ROI). This is something we can only do when we understand the fundamentals of how that group of people operates (under pressure, data driven, risk aware, analytical etc). That then informs what you should be saying about your business in order to shape those perceptions.
Getting the right messages in front of the right people is what a good PR and communications plan will achieve and with so many game-changing products and solutions being developed every day, why wouldn’t you want to shout about it to the world?