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Simon Malik and Bruce Bealby are March 2024’s Top PR/Comms People

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March was an insanely busy month in tech and that means plenty of emails and phone calls from tech PR people. It’s important to note that while these operators help facilitate news and reviews, they have no say in our stories.

So with that said .. Image Matrix Tech is pleased to announce that Simon Malik from Herd MSL is the winner of BEST AGENCY OPERATOR MARCH 2024.

Simon Malik from Herd MSL

I’ve been working with Simon for several years, going back to N2N Communications. He is an absolute delight to work with and relationships matter in the media game. Someone you can trust from the outset is someone that will ensure the job gets done. It also helps that Simon is always understanding and calm.

Herd MSL handles some big tech clients like Meta and Lenovo. I have a particular soft spot for the team at Herd MSL because they managed the liaison with Wing Aviation during my award winning exclusive documentary about drone deliveries in Canberra.

I deal with Simon about Meta regularly, especially VR, which I’ve been covering for a long time. But recently the main client we’ve been working with is Lenovo. Last month Simon was able to work around my requirements for a media briefing at the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Lenovo F1 Grand Prix Coverage Revealed Amazing Broadcast Tech

F1 has very strict rules for media covering each Grand Prix and Simon’s tireless work across many time zones not only delivered the result I needed but it showed excellent initiative. I wish this was more common in the business.

Simon’s work has led to increased coverage of Lenovo in this market. Especially here at Image Matrix Tech and Sky News. The best example I can point to is the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i EVO, which I thought was the best device released in 2023.

I really liked this laptop but I needed more time with it to get a true understanding of the use case for a dual-screen notebook. Simon made sure I had more time with the device and that enabled me to form a strong opinion about the form factor and capabilities of the Yoga Book 9i EVO. No fuss, no worries.

Lenovo Yoga Book 9i EVO was our device of the year in 2023

When I’m onto something good, it is counterproductive if an agency sticks to a ‘two week review period’ before I finish getting the review right. Quality video analysis takes more time. This requires some juggling from the agency but the rewards will come, as they did for Lenovo. Good products deserve a good run.

Simon is also a keen street photographer. Another reason why I like him. Check out Simon’s Instagram page.

Congratulations Simon for being named our agency winner – March 2024.

BEST IN-HOUSE

The in-house PR/Comms job is a pressure position and one that can make or break a story.

It is with great pleasure that I announce Bruce Bealby, General Manager – Marketing Epson Australia as BEST IN-HOUSE MARCH 2024.

Bruce Bealby, General Manager – Marketing, Epson Australia

Although Bruce is GM of Marketing, this award is based on the editorial interactions we’ve had over the years and especially in March. A key event for members of the Australian media was a ‘fireside’ chat with Epson’s global president Mr. Yasunori Ogawa.

I was deeply honoured to be chosen among the elite few to sit down with Mr Ogawa. Bruce works hand-in-hand with previous agency winner, Salvatore Di Muccio to provide excellent access to Epson people and products .. and this was a big one.

Bruce Bealby on the far right with Australian media and Epson team including global president Mr. Yasunori Ogawa.

Bruce handled this session with great skill given translations were required. We had supplied some questions in advance to help speed up the process and I was pleased to hear Bruce read out several of my questions. I’m still putting together my piece on this chat as it was wide-ranging in its scope.

Bruce, like all our winners, is a terrific person to deal with over media matters. I think as a GM of Marketing, Bruce is one of the best in the business. Epson is fortunate to have him on board.

Bruce can also present to camera, which has helped me in other reviews, like the LS12000 projector. See below.

ACCESS TO EPSON’S PRODUCTS HAS BEEN HASSLE-FREE

Bruce not only covers the big picture, he’s knowledgeable when it comes to technical details. Far too many PR people are not tech savvy. It sounds silly when talking about the tech business, but it’s absolutely true. I often get questions deferred because the person doing the briefing is woefully poor on the technical details.

I remember having lunch with Bruce and Salvatore back in 2019. I explained how I do business. I run my own timeline (when suitable) and ever since then we’ve worked brilliantly together, whether I’m reviewing printers or projectors.

Congratulations Bruce, you thoroughly deserve this month’s award.

WHY IS IMAGE MATRIX TECH DOING THIS?

The process of creating great review videos can’t happen without the help of competent, energetic, sharp media relations comms people. They send out the info, supply the product and help answer our technical questions so we can better inform the public.

PR/Comms people are often easy targets. We want to change that.

So that’s why on the first day of every month, Image Matrix Tech will be acknowledging the best comms people and agencies we deal with for our tech coverage from the previous month.

Yes, there are bad ones but they’ll never get a mention in these awards.

It’s all about being positive.

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