Satellite PR faces challenges. We often hear people lamenting the loss of British manufacturing exports. It’s said that Britain just doesn’t make anything anymore.
Clearly British manufacturing communications faces challenges. Much manufacturing work has migrated to the East in pursuit of lower costs, and there are fears of fallout from the Eurozone crisis as EU countries account for around half of British manufactured exports.
Despite these risks it is clear that the Made in Britain brand is far from extinct. Although a small country, Britain is the world’s 7th largest manufacturer. Programmes like the recent BBC ‘Made in Britain’ series have highlighted Britain’s strength in innovation and invention. Where financial services seem to have fallen short, the high-tech manufacturing and services industry is gaining ground.
A recent survey conducted by General Electric reported that 71% of high tech manufacturers predict business growth for 2012 and 84% are busy or operating near to capacity. These figures surely challenge the notion that UK manufacturing is in decline.
Britain is home to lots of knowledgeable and highly educated people and has many world-leading high tech manufacturing companies. Industries such as space, biotech and pharmaceuticals are hidden gems for our economy. The UK space industry has proved to be one successful British export industry. Our satellite PR client, SSTL, is currently building a satellite for the government’s Technology Strategy Board that will showcase new British technologies in space with the aim of winning exports down the line. And there’s a good track record – similar projects have led to big export contracts such as the £110million pound contract the company’s satellite imaging subsidiary DMCii signed with Chinese company 21AT.
Britain also pioneers new models for doing business, such as exporting intellectual property and expertise. One example is ARM, the world’s leading semiconductor IP company, whose business model ‘involves the designing and licensing of IP rather than the manufacturing and selling of actual semiconductor chips’. Engineering design consultancy Atkins is another company ‘who provide expertise not buildings’. Clearly British skills and innovation are marketable and exportable entities that should be considered when creating a satellite PR strategy.
British manufacturers are also earning revenue from so-called ‘Manuservices’, such as maintenance as well as their products. Prestigious brand Rolls-Royce now provide services to marine, nuclear, energy and aerospace sectors.
Either way, the successful British exporters are thriving by evolving to remain competitive in the global market place. This is positive news in an economy that has proved gloomy in recent years. Her Majesty’s Government has recognised this, promising efforts into encourage growth in the high-tech manufacturing and services industries.
The support of the government is an obvious requirement and one that politicians themselves have readily identified. – whether it’s investment, the lifting of red tape or diplomatic negotiations. George Osborne even called for a ‘march of the makers’ in his budget. High tech industry can’t survive without investment in education and R&D.
However, to succeed the other key requirement for high tech industry is robust PR. In order to be successful, British companies need to pack a punch in a highly competitive global market. Targeted and region-specific satellite PR are increasingly important to re-instate British manufacturing and engineering as recognised global brand for high-tech quality and innovation. Indeed, as Evan Davis emphasised in ‘Made in Britain’ a key strength of the UK is its skills in marketing. Countries like China have huge manufacturing ability still want and buy British made products because of brand reputation. In the UK, we have the ability to make our products desirable to the rest of the world, and we should capitalise on this by focusing our satellite PR expertise on developing markets.