Interview: Steven George-Hilley of Centropy PR

Centropy PR is one of the UK’s fastest growing technology and fintech PR agencies, working with several FTSE 250 and Fortune 500 tech companies as well as an array of venture capital backed startups. Founded in September 2017, the company has seen a sharp rise in new business wins with clients specialising in artificial intelligence, analytics, healthcare and cyber security. In an interview with TechRound, Steven George-Hilley, co-founder of Centropy PR discusses how the technology industry is transforming the healthcare landscape and how it can fuel the post-Covid recovery.

Tell us About Centropy PR

We’re a Shoreditch-based PR agency and have just turned three years old! Our areas of expertise include financial services, technology and fintech and we work with a growing portfolio of retained clients. These include VC-backed start-ups, private equity driven businesses, legacy IT specialists and larger FTSE 250 listed companies.

Our team specialises in bringing policy expertise to communications campaigns. Many of our clients provide key support around AML, GDPR, KYC, cyber legislation and other core areas and are looking for agency partners that understand how to navigate these complex regulatory requirements. We also help companies develop campaigns that resonate with political stakeholders and policymakers as well as think tanks and other key influencers.

How Have You Found 2020?

Like most companies, we’ve had a very bumpy ride!

The traditional tech calendar of cyber security events, dinners and exhibitions has been eradicated by the Covid-19 crisis. So we’ve shifted a lot of our activity towards webinars, online interviews and invested client budgets in research and insights to drive media engagement. Despite all the economic turbulence, social distancing issues and constant cycle of remote working, the business has grown considerably this year. It’s clear that despite all the financial uncertainty, PR is still recognised as a powerful tool for driving brand engagement, sales and awareness in these difficult times.

What are You Most Proud of With Centropy PR?

We launched the agency with a pledge to look after our people and invest heavily in their personal and professional development. The reality is that agency life can be very hard work, with a lot of pressure and client demands to juggle, especially for new graduates starting out in their career. The Covid-19 pandemic is causing serious distress and disruption for so many people that supporting your team is more important than ever. We’ve worked hard to ensure every new team member is given the necessary support they need to grow with confidence, fine tune their PR skills and feel fully included and respected by clients.

As a team we have also made major commitments to charitable giving and pro bono initiatives. This includes launching a school-building programme in Africa and providing free PR support for documentaries around youth knife crime, the importance of diversity, and awareness.

How Has Covid Affected Your Clients?

Many of our clients employ several hundred people, and our team has been drafted in to provide internal communications support, copywriting and engagement initiatives to help them keep workers fully updated with remote working policies and support schemes. We have also signed up a surge of new clients providing solutions and support around the pandemic. From medical testing providers, temperature checking technologies to contactless payment apps, we are promoting a range of high impact solutions that can ease the pandemic.

How Can the Technology Industry Help with the Recovery?

From analytics to artificial intelligence and machine learning, the tech industry has all the solutions needed to ease the pain of the pandemic. We’ve already seen how easily Zoom consultations with doctors can help reduce physical waiting times and tech support can process and manage critical public services online at the touch of a button. As we move towards a post-Covid society, technology has a critical role to play in rebooting key areas of the economy and providing much-needed skills training for a new generation of workers.

What Next for Centropy PR?

We have had a strong year, espite the chaos and disruption, so we hope to continue growing in 2021. As part of our development, we will be announcing new hires, wins and partnerships to take the agency to the next level. It’s been an incredible experience so far, but the journey is just beginning!

—Steven George-Hilley is co-founder at Centropy PR—