PR Interview with Richard Parker, MD of EML Wildfire
Specialising in technology PR on a global scale, EML Wildfire is the recent product of a merger between EML and Wildfire PR. Managing director Richard Parker talks about the main benefit the merger has brought and shares his advice to start-up tech companies.
About the agency
What areas of PR does the agency specialise in?
We are a technology agency, covering B2B and consumer tech on an international scale. We cover a wide range of technologies and engage with our clients’ audiences wherever they are and by any PR method.
What was the reason behind the EML and Wildfire PR merger?
Quite frankly, a belief that to be successful an agency has to be able to offer the widest range of PR tactics to its clients, reaching their audiences by all methods appropriate to meet their need and the countries they want exposure in. Merging the two agencies increased the skills and experience we could offer and brought them all under one roof. Our combined talents mean we now run both digital and traditional trade media campaigns when and where the client needs it. We believe this gives us a great platform for success and the ability to support our clients as their campaigns grow into new areas.
What is special about the agency’s approach to PR?
Basically, our campaigns have a commercial impact. We take an integrated approach to position our clients effectively in the market and engage with their audiences across all communications channels, everywhere.
What do you look for in new recruits?
The right attitude, intelligence and ability to be a team player. Alongside that we want to see ambition and the potential for star quality.
Tell us about one of your clients you are working with at the moment. How is the campaign for them going?
Train2Game is a distance learning company for people wanting to become games developers and animators, and a recent win for EML Wildfire. It’s early days, but it’s an interesting client, which requires us to use traditional and digital PR techniques to help them achieve their objectives. On the one hand we are busy putting together a research and thought-leadership led campaign to build credibility in the games industry and education sector via the national media. And we are also advising the client how to better use social media channels to build online credibility and engage with existing and potential students more effectively.
What are the main issues for your clients in the tech industry right now?
For the start-ups that we work with there has, over the past few years, been a drought of investment but that is beginning to change now, so campaigns are ramping up again. With our global players, it is retaining share of market that drives their campaigns. With all clients, the need to plan a social media campaign is occupying their minds – it is increasingly seen as an essential part of any marketing plan.
How do you ensure your clients get the right coverage in the press?
A solid, and clear strategy; first-class content; a great understanding of their target audience, and, the media channels to reach them.
What PR advice would you give to start-up tech companies?
Don’t be shy, you need to build your awareness and credibility early. Credibility in particular takes time to establish and don’t worry about your competitors stealing your ideas, they won’t believe your claims and, anyway, they are much too fixed on their own route to change tack.
How useful do you find social media?
It is an integral part of our campaign planning, both for the agency and our clients.
Do you attend networking events? If so, which are you attending soon?
Networking is incredibly important to our business, to ensure we keep on top of industry events, keep in touch with peers and journalists, but also to meet with potential new clients. And we attend a variety of events large and small. Look out for the EML Wildfire team at the August UKTJPR drinks, the CIPR digital summer events, and a variety of seminars and social events organised by the PRCA.
[img|jpg|Richard Parker, MD]