Supply chains will change, automate and truncate to become rapidly more responsive. The way we work, communicate and engineer the future will be reshaped. The degree to which countries must be more self-sufficient in key areas will emerge as a national priority. Health, energy, infrastructure, defence, flexible manufacturing, construction, sustainability will all be at the forefront of change.
Some of the changes will be new; some will be an acceleration of trends that were already underway; and some will kill off old practices that were already on life support before Covid-19 struck.
While no-one has a clear chart to the future (that would be like having tomorrow's race results or share prices) we do know there will be challenges and opportunities; and there will be winners and losers, depending on how they see the future.
So, while most of us right new are focussed on survival - and rightly so - it might also be time to look over the parapet to the world ahead and position ourselves for change.
Ask yourself, is it time now to get out and get your abilities known, to position yourself early as a master of change in the area in which you operate? To present yourself as an authority with a vision of the future - as someone who sees challenges and change as a time of opportunity, a positive thinker.
Or do you do nothing and believe your reputation will carry you through? That might work for some, if their corporate vision is clearly understood by the people who sit down to make choices about who gets considered for work, or who is selected for tender lists.
But please don't sit back and presume that everyone knows your company and what you are good at. Because they often don't, according to our decades in the B2B business.
Some customers will have a strong idea, because they deal with you frequently. Others will have less of an idea - they may know that you do one thing well, but may not have a clue that you are good at other things as well (we find this often, with engineers, designers, maintenance managers and staff and leaders at all levels others throughout industries such as manufacturing and materials handling; mining and energy; oil and gas; construction and architecture; contracting and maintenance; food and beverage; waste management and waste water, for example).
It is fundamental to understand that all businesses have a reputation in the marketplace. Their choice, really, is not whether they have a reputation, but whether they choose to define that reputation, or let their competitors do it for them.
And, if you do need to address your marketplace, it may be useful to consider whether you need the help of specialists in local and international B2B communication, publicity and promotion?
If so, find the right people to talk to (naturally our company is happy to talk), enter a discussion that should be without obligation, but with an eye to the future.
Author Brent Whyte has decades of experience with down-to-earth (or up in the sky!) industrial companies. He is pictured here suspended the equivalent of 16 storeys above the iron ore in a shaking basket. At this point, the cherry picker operator turned to Mr Whyte, and asked casually, "You're not afraid of heights, are you?" A bit late for that question, but luckily, he wasn't! He got the pictures (some examples below) - and world coverage for a giant ball mill lift.
"Whyte PR has been a great help in generating visibility and coverage for Hyster-Yale. They have specialist experience in B2B communication, which was ideally suited to our multi-national and diverse industrial company. They helped us with the publicity for a major launch (a new hydrogen-powered forklift), which achieved great results, and they've always provided support when we need to get the word out to market about a new product, service or case study. Brent and the Whyte PR team are results-focused and even when we’re too busy to submit material, they’ll think of new ideas for us, which really helps when times are busy. I've been really happy with the service and results from Whyte PR, and I'd happily recommend them to any B2B company seeking publicity, visibility and strong PR results"
"During the time I have worked with Whyte PR, Brent Whyte and Jack Mallen-Cooper have always been accessible, supportive, creative and constantly seeking new ways to increase our brand visibility and media coverage. The team have always thought strategically and been involved and interested in our business to ensure they have a deep understanding of the complex automation industry. Brent and his team have always been professional and have made substantial improvements to the improve the visibility of Swisslog Australia. They are an integral part of our marketing team and are an absolute pleasure to work with. They have not only added value locally, but also supported with content for our global Swisslog team. I cannot speak highly enough of Whyte PR and would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a B2B partner to increase visibility and coverage."
"An effective PR professional can make an enormous difference to both individuals and businesses. Whyte Public Relations is not only highly qualified but very skilful, modern and experienced in their delivery of PR solutions that met our company's brief and delivered results. Brent and Jack's professionalism and expert knowledge made them a turn-key public relations and advertising solution for our business and were an absolute delight to work with. I would recommend Brent and Jack and the team at Whyte Public Relations."
Boon Edam Australia has evolved considerably during the past five years and Whyte Public Relations has remained flexible and responsive to our changing needs throughout that time. Whenever I have contacted them with unexpected projects I know that I can count on Brent Whyte and his team to provide immediate proactive support, advice and most importantly results.
The firm has strong connections with journalists who write for the high-calibre national and regional media outlets that we have targeted, and they have a proven ability in generating high value media coverage with placements of our very specific content in a large variety of types of outlets (including print, electronic and social media). That coverage has reinforced our brand messages and increased the visibility of Boon Edam Australia beyond what we could have afforded to do with paid advertising.
The firm's principal, Brent Whyte has been highly accessible and involved with strategy and direction of our account from the beginning. The account management has been unwavering and innovative under the administration of senior Account Manager, Jack Mallen Cooper, for all of the past five years - a rarity in the agency world. Their professionalism and reliability has served us well, both in Australia, and on an international scale having integrated seamlessly with our Dutch head office and other subsidiaries around the world. The Whyte team has worked well with our internal staff and has strongly supported the objectives of the other segments of our marketing goals. And what has particularly impressed me is their willingness to understand our unique market niche within which we operate. The Whyte staff literally feel like employees of our business.
Whyte PR have been invaluable to Boon Edam Australia and I have enjoyed working with Brent and his talented and hardworking team very much. On behalf of Whyte Public Relations I would be happy to speak to any Manager considering working with the agency.
Whyte PR has been a valuable partner for CST Wastewater Solutions over the past decade. They have consistently and cost-effectively delivered outstanding publicity/visibility results in local, national and global B2B and industrial media. They are easy to work with and have all the right media contacts for our niche area of business.
What's particularly useful to us, as a busy company, is that they're self-starters. If we haven't given them much to write about, they'll actively seek the material they need to ensure a constant flow of material. I'd happily recommend them to any B2B company seeking increased visibility, brand awareness and publicity.
Whyte PR has been particularly helpful in extending the local and global reach of our hot water RV products after we introduced a new model. Not only did they push hard in attracting both distributor and consumer inquiries through print, radio and online editorial and ads, but they also chased down and caught the attention of opinion leader publications that we had been trying to contact for years. They did it in a week. Whyte PR’s diverse and cost-effective programme ranged from media release, radio and ad work, right through to redesigning our product’s box artwork. I was really happy with the results.