Friday, 2 March 2012

Seeing PR from the business end

As PR professionals we (obviously) spend the majority of our time planning and actively running campaigns for our clients. Occasionally though, we get to put our skills towards a little self-promotion – something which we have done this week with a press release announcing our relocation to Southampton Science Park in Chilworth. It can be a strange and somewhat surreal experience for a PR agency, writing copy about yourself and posing for photos – the kind of thing that we are very well drilled upon for our clients, but a bit less familiar with when we are on the other side of the camera lens. Despite being in somewhat unfamiliar territory, the whole team at MCC International agreed it was a great experience, making us think about our strengths, the power of teamwork and how good PR does as much for company morale and pride as it does for external awareness.

Something else that caught our attention this week was the announcement of the latest educational IT must-have, the rather deliciously named Raspberry Pi (a nice addition to the fruit-based IT product names in the ilk of Apple, Blackberry and for those of us who are old enough to remember it, Apricot!) Whereby other popular IT devices such as the iPad and smartphones boast even greater performance and higher resolution displays, Raspberry Pi bucks this trend by offering all the basics of a PC for pocket money prices (we’ve found it on offer for less than £22). IT Pro has called it ‘A BBC Micro for today’s generation’ – which seems spot on and if you are a 30-something like me, it conjures up images of the well-loved early-generation 1980s personal computer (found in many schools) that inspired so many of us to bother with IT in the first place. Essentially using a motherboard, ARM processor and running Linux, the Raspberry Pi offers pretty impressive performance for such a small item – all you need is a TV, a keyboard/mouse and an Ethernet connection to essentially have a full PC. It even comes in a clear case so curious kids can see the innards and learn more about how a PC system is built and developed.

We were also reminded this week of the strength of industry awards with the announcement of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering. Backed by the likes of TV physicist Brian Cox (who is often muted in the office as a bit of a look-a-like of our in-house web and print designer Neil!), the award is designed to raise the profile of engineers, who are the driving force behind most of the technology that we take for granted. We are delighted to see another way for the innovative individuals and teams recognised, something which we highly recommend to our clients and actively seek to embrace in their PR campaigns. Technology is such a key part of the modern world and our everyday lives that we need to be shouting about it!
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