Wildfire Tech PR Blog

The importance of getting the right brief

Posted by Darren Willsher on Apr 15, 2013

It must have happened to everyone working in PR and marketing. You get a brief, exceed the targets and proudly present the results expecting the feedback to be wonderful. Only to then find yourself answering to someone further up the chain as to why you’ve not delivered on something you were never asked about in the first place.

Now imagine the ‘person further up the chain’ happens to be George Osborne and you’re starting to get an idea of what’s unfolding in the UK telecoms space at the moment.

In case you hadn’t noticed, the UK is a bit short of funds at the moment. With this in mind the Government got very excited at the end of last year and promised that the 4G spectrum auction would be adding a tidy £3.5 billion to the bank.

So it was perhaps a surprise when the auction raised ‘just’ £2.3 billion and particularly when people remembered that the 3G auction raised £22 billion.…

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The 4G auction: What it means for PR

Posted by Darren Willsher on Feb 20, 2013

4G – it’s like 3G, but faster

It’s safe to say any tech PR types hoping to send out mobile news today would have spent the morning swearing – if you’ve managed to miss it, Ofcom has announced the results of the 4G Spectrum auction.

For the most part it’s as expected; the big operators got in on the deal, but there’s a new entrant with BT – likely to use its allocation to supplement mobile broadband services.

There’s a lot of decent write-ups out there already and you’re on a PR blog after all, so I won’t go into the finer points, but what does this mean for us telecoms PR types?

Well the 4G story has been around for a while now, but the main challenges faced by the operators are rolling out their new networks – and then making sure they deliver on what people expect.

I’ve already written about how 4G should give operators the chance to change how they charge, with OTT services (Over the top – think video and extra content on top of the basic voice and data) having a big role to play here.…

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The consumer experience of 2012

Posted by Darren Willsher on Jan 09, 2013

Yesterday Ofcom released ‘The Consumer Experience 2012,’ its annual report into the consumer experience of the fixed and mobile, internet and digital broadcasting markets.

The link to the full report is here – it’s over 140 pages so not light reading. The good news is that we’ve read it so you don’t have to. Well, most of it, we do have social lives you know.

The report covers a surprisingly broad range of areas, for instance did you know that to complain about the postal service you go to Ofcom? Me neither (HT @nifs).

Some of the conclusions won’t come as a surprise – that mobile data is still on the rise along with smartphone ownership and that email is replacing posted mail for example, but the report is well worth a read and does go into a good amount of detail in each of the areas it covers.…

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A simple solution to Olympic reputation challenges

Posted by Darren Willsher on Jul 18, 2012

Suffice to say the last week and a bit haven’t been brilliant for PR surrounding the Olympics. Between the complete faff around security staff, massively OTT branding police and overspending, the UK media and its readers are starting to get a bit fed up.

It’s worth pointing out that, although I’m firmly in the camp of people bewildered about all these laws and mistakes, I can’t wait for the actual games to start. It’s just the bureaucrats who are trying their best to spoil things. Anyway, I’m not going to write about all that’s happened, there are many others who are much smarter and funnier than me who have already done that. Instead I want to look at how some of this boils down to some basic PR and marketing errors and how a fix might not actually have been that complicated.


One of the biggest issues that people have is over the branding police, and examples like the Weymouth butcher told to take down an Olympic Ring of sausages in his window hardly help the cause.…

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Posted by Darren Willsher on Aug 31, 2011

There have been a flurry of tweets and blogs from the tech press this morning, with an unfortunate PR agency receiving a fair amount of flack for trying to recall an emailed press release.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who, when you see an email attempting to recall another, goes straight to the original and inspects it in great detail to see what the cock-up could have possibly been. Often I would have only skim-read the original mail or, putting myself in the shoes of a busy journalist, possibly ignored it altogether.

So here’s an idea, the next time you need to send out a press release and you really want the press to notice, why not hit recall 10 minutes after? Or would this just be another feature ruined by over-keen PRs with inboxes doubled thanks to all the ‘recall’ notices?…

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