Following a period of persistently negative headlines, Uber UK asked for tactical support with amplifying a drumbeat of positive corporate stories. The primary goal was to rekindle positive relationships with business and tech journalists, while shifting the narrative away from the company’s own operational failings and onto competitor’s problems. A series of key announcements – from brand partnerships to the decision to introduce a pension for drivers – were part of a busy corporate programme.
Working closely with Uber’s international comms team and consumer agency, we stress tested key messaging and talking points while sharing our close knowledge of business journalists to secure fair and balanced interviewers for the Northern Europe General Manager. Working across a range of stories, we were able to forge new relationships with younger journalists and specialists who came to the story fresh, while building on the long-standing relationships developed over time with the likes of The Times and Sky News. Where appropriate we outreached specialist journalists in the sustainability, pensions and transport press, where we found a fairer hearing for the initiatives Uber was taking to improve the business and attract more drivers.
This led to coverage for key Uber stories in tier-1 publications, transport trades and local media including The Sun, ITV, The Daily Telegraph, The i, The Independent, CityAM, Intelligent Transport, CiTTi Magazine, TechCrunch and AirQualityNews. From a persistently negative tone, coverage shifted to a drumbeat of positive corporate news, shifting Uber’s reputation to some extent with important stakeholders including unions, transport authorities and driver groups.