Allow me to introduce myself. I am IBA’s newest starter, Samuel Walker and I joined the IBA International team earlier this week. Just five days in and so busy was the team that I was the last person standing to write the monthly activity review for our Friday Drop blog! So, with brand new virtual notepad at my quaking fingertips and a blank screen, I braved the job of interviewing my new colleagues.

Here goes. It’s been a real whistle-stop tour in a non-stop week – so let’s see if I can do it justice with a run through of the latest IBA happenings! I’ve already had my first introduction to the wide range of technology clients in our portfolio, dabbed my hand at drafting tweets for the @iBAengage twitter account (subtle plug here to make sure you’re a follower!), and had my first foray into journalist briefs to help the team prepare our enterprise software client’s spokespeople ahead of their major global conference.

Major industry shakeups provide the perfect backdrop for new industry interest

It was eye opening to see how we use current market trends to inform our thought leadership work with client subject matter experts. Supply shortages have caused havoc to businesses in the food industry bringing about ingredient alterations. But when you add this to continued consumer demand for more sustainable goods, and the impending regulatory pressures to switch to sustainable packaging by 2025, the team could see a great fit for new thought leadership for our client that specialized in artwork and label management for consumer goods.

A quick debrief with the client subject matter experts provided the lowdown for our comment and provided my first introduction to the art of trendjacking. The team created two articles, both quickly approved – IBA prides itself on short client approval cycle, our job is to get it right first time (no pressure then!).

Showcasing their perfect timing, our pitch and place team secured interest in new vertical publications for our client across the pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and cosmetics industries in both the UK and the U.S. (note to self – we have international clients), all in one fell swoop.

A major client anniversary milestone and a call for the human touch is back

The IBA team has been assisting our insurtech (I’m getting up to speed on the lingo here!) client with its annual customer review report, which will tie into the company’s 30-year anniversary.

We’re helping the company tap into its wealth of experience of just how CX (I’m definitely in the jargon zone now!) has developed since the company began. From phones through to webchat, AI and automation, technology has played a key role – but the humanizing CX is essential.

At the end of the day, whether the interaction is a call about a quote for insurance cover or a panic claim call from a customer in distress, it’s crucial to give the customer a more humanized experience. Our client has been able to implement innovative changes to their CX processes to match these ever-increasing customer expectations and we hope our contributions to this year’s customer report will do them justice!

Firing on all social media cylinders – over the jumps for Team Jones

From daily TikToks to organizing a course walk with our international event rider, it has been a busy month for our social media team as they ramped up activity for our pro bono equestrian eventing client, ahead of this year’s prestigious international Burghley horse trials. It has been nothing short of a success all round with fan interest and our rider finishing seventh.

Over 100 people applied for the course walk – with journalists from around the country and up-and coming-riders all wanting to get in on the action and learn about the Burghley experience from a true equestrian professional. But momentum didn’t finish there, as the team has been able to secure feature opportunities and many national news articles following the event to further increase Team Jones brand awareness.

Another note to self – need to check out #HorseTok!

Success is in the air as we round off another action-packed month

And now I can add blog drafting to my new PR and marketing skillset – provided the sub editor passes this copy!

If my first week is anything to go by, I don’t think I’m going to get bored soon. From TikTok to global supply chain issues, from webchat to humanizing AI, and with a horse thrown in for good measure – I can’t wait to see what next month and Q4 brings as I hone my fast-developing marketing and PR skills.  

Sam Walker is PR Executive at IBA International

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