Millennials, Technology & Public Relations – Hook, Line & Sinker
How a bunch of tech funds are breaking conventions and changing perceptions of some of the world’s biggest software and tech brands
Three years ago, Hook, Line & Sinker (HLS) was born with a simple formula to combine marketing, advertising, content and social media to bring the PR game to life. And then the pandemic arrived. Many companies and global stock markets were struggling for growth, but for some it was about seizing the opportunity. What was considered a business threat quickly turned into a business opportunity, and the tech client recipe – Covid-disruption – coupled with digital agency support, saw HLS revenue quadruple as its business reached l ‘Africa, Europe and the Middle East, while forming partnerships with global giants such as SAP, IBM, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and the United Nations.
The key to success? The rapid growth of their technology customers combined with their multifaceted digital offerings. âTimes are changing, and so are the era of press releases and red carpet events,â said Adam Hunter, the big boss of HLS.
âThe written press has been challenged for many years. This, combined with Covid-19, has seen news houses shut down and publications disappear and resulted in one reporter for 10 PR professionals – making it extremely competitive for brands to be seen and heard. ”
HLS was formed in 2016 as a small consulting firm that provided clients, many of whom are Fortune 500, with marketing and public relations expertise. We’ve been growing steadily and have won various Pan-African and Tech Campaigns awards over the years, but 2020 has been a watershed moment for the company.
âWe have turned a global threat into an opportunity for growth. We have hired several full-time employees, nurtured a growing client list and multiplied agency revenue during this period through our digital offering and focusing on smart content development. Hunter oversees the HLS team which now supports 16 different market units around the world and specializes in business-to-business (B2B) technology clients and global startups.
But it’s not just HLS that has seen promising results. The agency’s client list includes companies such as SAP, Skynamo, RoomRaccoon, Mobiz and CoGrammar in the UK, operating as HyperionDev in SA – all heavyweights and innovators in their spaces and all leveraging of HLS’s unique approach to ensure highly visible penetration in competitive markets.
Local Stellenbosch start-up Skynamo secured R371 million in funding last year and is aggressively acquiring UK competitors as part of its growth strategy. Likewise, Mobiz closed a R18million funding to continue its African innovation growth journey to enter the US market this year, and RoomRaccoon won the award for the best hotel management system in the world for two years. consecutive.
Last year, more than 1.2 billion students were affected by school closures around the world. As a result, education has changed dramatically with the distinctive rise of online learning. Two HLS clients, Meet and Code Europe and HyperionDev, have made significant strides in the technology space and shown solid growth during the pandemic, supported and amplified by HLS digital communications.
Europe’s largest digital skills program for young people, Meet and Code, now spans 35 countries. In 2020, more than 40,000 young people were empowered through 1,325 virtual coding workshops. In addition, HyperionDev is one of the largest providers of digital skills bootcamps in the world and offers digital learning in over 40 countries. In addition to financial support from Facebook and Google, HyperionDev’s 2021 UK equity crowdfunding initiative raised Â£ 1.8million and exceeded targets by 200%.
Using HLS expertise, clients can connect with key audiences to realize the full potential of digital and ride the waves of change that are fundamentally changing the media space today.
Content, the agency realized very early on, is king and, as such, is versatile and scalable. As the world of media changed, the agency changed with it, intelligently creating and amplifying content across multiple touchpoints, platforms, and publishing networks. The goal was to cement the brand image and customer growth without relying too much on publishing houses and press releases.
âWe’re continually coming up with creative ways to reuse content and increase value,â says Hunter. Using budgets once reserved for large events and conferences, companies are looking for partners to help them build their profile and stay connected at a time when we feel so disconnected. Digital may have opened doors across the world, but it still creates a gap and noise that only highly specialized and targeted campaigns can bridge. For HLS, it’s about building bridges to get results – and that keeps them innovating and adapting to the challenges that digital and the pandemic present for their customers.
âBusinesses and service offerings are evolving. Our customers have evolved and we must evolve with them to remain an asset, âconcludes Hunter. âWe hire specialists who share our philosophy and support our growth strategy, and we work with brands who want to translate the complexities of digital and publishing into opportunities. Our growth is continuous and our client roster is growing, and we look forward to helping more clients discover the power of working with the right digital agency.