News Article ————

Eleven Hundred Agency helps ethical AI pioneer, Purple Transform, find its PR wings

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Published Date 17.06.2024

Midway through 2023, UK-based technology trailblazer, Purple Transform, decided to look for its first-ever PR agency partner, to help raise the company’s profile and position it as a pioneer in ethical AI.

Despite only being founded in 2021, the company already had a great story to tell, as its groundbreaking technology was making a tangible difference to the safety of passengers and employees across the UK railway network. The company’s AI-driven platform, SiYtE, works by aggregating feeds from CCTV cameras, sensors, and other data sources, before running this information through AI models to ensure everything is behaving as normal. If, for example, it spots overcrowding on a railway platform, a trespasser, a vulnerable person or unattended luggage, it alerts a nearby member staff who can investigate. The use cases are endless.

It needed to find a PR partner which could take this compelling story to a wider audience, establishing its credibility with potential customers, partners and investors.

Dual objectives: awareness and education

Selected as its strategic partner, Eleven Hundred Agency started from ground zero, launching an ambitious digital PR campaign that centred around Purple Transform’s two core objectives.

Firstly, Purple Transform needed to raise awareness among different types of audiences, primarily C-suite decision-makers in the rail, policy, and health sectors, who are charged with improving the efficiency and safety of their services. Purple Transform also wanted to boost its brand awareness with potential technology partners, which could integrate Purple Transform’s AI capabilities into their existing solutions. To ensure that Purple Transform continued its growth trajectory, it was important that the company’s name was on the lips of potential investors.

Reaching these audiences was one thing, educating them about AI’s ability to enhance human decision-making, and have a positive impact on business operations and human outcomes, was quite another. With the media awash with stories about AI – a great deal of them negative – Purple Transform would need to work hard to show AI’s positive side.

Integrated strategy to maximise results

To get mindshare with these various audiences, Eleven Hundred devised a strategy that leveraged numerous PR techniques, targeting broadcast, national, business, tech, investor, and vertical digital media.

It was important to reshape Purple Transform’s technology-centric narrative so it would resonate with these different stakeholders. As well as explaining SiYtE’s many compelling applications, a comprehensive thought leadership programme would enable company executives to educate the market about the vast potential of ethical AI.

The launch plan also included a new social media strategy to amplify the brand’s voice and showcase its capabilities. Social campaigns would give increased oxygen to flagship media coverage and to Purple Transform’s own blog and other owned content; assets that Eleven Hundred would also help craft.

Showcasing AI for good

For an instant impact, Eleven Hundred kicked off the PR campaign with a major news announcement – that Purple Transform had secured funding from Innovate UK for an initiative called Project SAIVE. This project would use AI and computer vision technology to identify and protect vulnerable individuals at risk of suicide on the railways. This story was a powerful way to illustrate how Purple Transform enable better human outcomes.

The team went on to showcase the versatility of Purple Transform’s technology by building a pipeline of stories around its diverse use cases, such as monitoring for landslips on railway tracks, platform overcrowding, bike theft, and how AI can be used to improve conditions in health settings. One story even focused on how SiYtE is enabling conservationists to better protect sea turtles in the Maldives. This really is AI for good!

Eleven Hundred Agency also secured exposure for Purple Transform’s spokespeople on a range of thought leadership opportunities, discussing AI, innovation, AI training, and GDPR, all highly relevant topics for Purple Transform’s audiences.

To boost awareness and credibility further, the team nominated Purple Transform for some of the industry’s most influential awards. This led to its first trophy at the highly prestigious Rail Business Awards. The company was also included in TechRound’s regarded 100 Most Innovative Startups UK/IE and AITech35 lists and is currently in the frame for both the Railway Industry Supplier Excellence Awards and the National Rail Awards. 

Overcoming PR challenges

Having never engaged with a PR agency before, Purple Transform wasn’t widely known or understood, so the agency had to take swift action to boost awareness. A busy news agenda, thought leadership campaigns, social media, and awards all helped put the company on the map, and in the shortest possible timeframe.

AI often receives negative attention, with people worried it will make the world less human. To counter this misconception, the team emphasised Purple Transform’s dedication to developing ethical solutions and data protection. For instance, Purple’s Chief Technology Officer was a guest on the Disruptive Live TV Show, countering fears surrounding AI.

Convincing large corporate customers to assist with PR has been a further challenge. The team has been required to pivot activities, focusing more on thought-leadership and owned content rather than case studies and contract win announcements. Award nominations have also been a key tool here – the team has been able to illustrate how Purple Transform is benefitting clients and their end users in real life, with winning results.

Results that make a difference

The campaign has been 100 percent focused on Purple Transform’s dual objectives to reach new audiences and educate them on how they can leverage AI to improve human outcomes.

For example, the company’s media coverage reached a business audience of almost 970,000 within the first 90 days of the campaign alone, not bad for a company that had never done PR before. What’s more, its LinkedIn saw a 345 percent increase in organic impressions and a 172.5 percent increase in followers in just six weeks.

Purple Transform’s first award, at the prestigious Rail Business Awards, together with subsequent high calibre shortlists, has added to the credibility of its story, and is the perfect complement for a comprehensive thought-leadership track for the CTO, which included this insightful commentary in TechInformed on AI trends for 2024.

In summary, this campaign perfectly demonstrates how a strategically executed PR campaign can deliver big results in a small amount of time. By overcoming people’s misconceptions about AI, Purple Transform firmly positions itself as a force for good.

Shortlist: more than a bonus

This PR campaign has been hugely rewarding, not just for Purple Transform, which has seen a major increase in the awareness and understanding of its brand, but for the agency too – the team’s sense of achievement is extremely gratifying.

The success lies in the close working relationship between agency and client, who work together as one to maximise the impact of the campaign. Being shortlisted for the highly prestigious UK Digital PR Awards is recognition of this brilliant teamwork. We all have our fingers crossed for the win!

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