Healthtech is an active and growing sector of the global technology industry, encompassing medicine, life sciences and biotech. It’s arguably one of the areas of technology that has the greatest potential to change the world for the better by improving the lives of millions – if not billions – of people.

Here in the UK, there are several interesting schemes and companies that are pioneering treatments and technologies that can boost the quality of our lives. The government- and EU-backed digitalhealth.london accelerator launched in 2016, two years after the MedCity scheme created a healthtech cluster in the south east of England. Since then we have seen the emergence of another accelerator in HS Live, a Clarity client that has a unique approach to the way it grows healthtech startups.

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On Feb 14th, Clarity PR attended The Content Marketing Association’s (CMA) Native Advertising Digital Breakfast, where speakers discussed the next generation of advertising in digital media.

The session was led by three speakers; Dale Lovell, Co-Founder and Chief Digital Officer at leading in-feed native ad platform ADYOULIKE (who are Clarity clients), Timothy Armoo, CEO at mobile video advertising platform Fanbytes and Chelsea Blacker, Co-Founder and Managing Director at SEO & content marketing agency BlueGlass.

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Digital advertising is a £165 billion industry, but it is one that has a fairly significant problem. Yet after a gathering of key decision makers last week, we may be one step closer to a long-term solution.

Let’s take a step back. Think about the way you’ll spend your day today, from avoiding eye contact on the commute to checking your phone before you head to bed. According to recent data, you’ll spend a third of the day “online”; in five years’ time it’ll be even more. And whether you’re checking emails, Googling, booking tickets or wasting time on Snapchat, it’s fuelling our era-defining appetite for all things digital – an appetite strong enough to support dozens of new industries and millions of new jobs. Ultimately, many of those industries and people are reliant on doing one thing well: monetising your attention.

Digital media owners – the ones who make the content, services and platforms we now love and use daily – need to make money. And that’s where you come in. For most of them, your attention is a valuable commodity, and one they happily trade in the search for a sustainable business model. From the first time you clicked ‘like’ on Facebook to the next time you let Alexa write your shopping list – you leave a trail of digital breadcrumbs that helps sellers sell, advertisers advertise, and a few intermediaries take a cut along the way. Sounds fair and simple, right?

Sadly not. The digital media supply chain has very quickly become very cluttered – riddled with loopholes, blind spots, hidden costs and more. Every link in the chain played their part, meaning that despite exponential growth, the burgeoning adtech industry was (morally) built on sand. “Where there’s mystery, there’s margin” says Jaguar Land Rover executive Ian Armstrong, in a new report from Clarity client iotec – the independent, transparent media buying platform. Even the world’s most successful tech giants – the pioneers of commoditising our digital lives – have faced backlash and reputational damage over transparency and control of content. Brands are growing worried, as made clear by some major stick-rattling by FMCG giant Unilever just last week.

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It might not surprise you to discover that the Clarity team are serious news junkies. We spend mornings combing through round up emails, poring over the papers old school style and checking online feeds for live updates.

The source that invariably delivers the news quicker than anyone else though is of course Twitter. Sure the platform has had its ups and downs recently, and clearly has an issue with extremists, but it is an invaluable part of any PR toolkit.

It is interesting to note too that recently publishers and news companies have started to get more interested in the platform once again. While at the same time Twitter, which has been dogged by financial poor performances and a lack of confidence from the investor community, has posted a profit for the first time.

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So what do you think are the key trends that will shape earned media in 2018? Are they likely to be technologically-driven? Or are the most significant changes going to be cultural ones that are a response to the ever evolving world of news media?

Gorkana asked a series of experts for their predictions for 2018 and came up with four major trends, two tech and two cultural, that it believes anyone in earned media needs to be following. Among the experts who peered into their virtual crystal balls for Gorkana was our very own MD Sara Collinge.

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Every now and then CES, the world’s largest and most influential consumer electronics show, gets eclipsed by something that is happening elsewhere in the gadget world at the same time.

This year the big topic of conversation was centred around the Uber rival Lyft. In collaboration with its partner Aptiv it offered delegates a free drive around the Las Vegas strip in one of its driverless cars. As it only had a pool of eight and over 100,000 tech obsessives attended CES it became the hottest ticket in town. Working out how to get a ride became a preoccupation for many delegates.

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The UK now has as many education technology companies as those in the financial technology space – and the country attracts a third of all Europe’s ed-tech investments, according to research for this year’s London EdTech Week.

Learning is close to the hearts at Clarity. That is why the company last year selected the UK Electronics Skills Foundation (UKESF), which encourages young people to study and work in the electronics sector, to benefit from pro bono communications services.

And, in the last few years, we have helped many of the emerging crop of ed-tech startups spread their message. But every student graduates, so what have our ed-tech alumni been doing since working with us?

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With a too-small team of inexperienced, egotistical and greedy bros at the helm, not enough time and even less money, the Fyre festival is our third dis-honoree for PR Disaster of the Year. This event, promoted as a lavish, star-studded extravaganza on a private island in the Bahamas, was destined to be a failure from the very beginning.

Perhaps if their marketing had been as inept as their planning, they could have kept this misguided, overly-ambitious idea from becoming the utter clusterf* that it was.

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Each year VC Atomico compiles a report into the state of European technology focusing on the growth of companies, the amount of investment and the key trends around industry niches. To compile the data it hooks up with many partners from LinkedIn to the London Stock Exchange and supports this by interviewing founders from across the continent.

This year is especially interesting from a British perspective as the report shows the impact of the triggering of Article 50 on the tech community in both the UK and Europe.

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Christmas is one of the key sales periods for any product business. Alongside an integrated marketing campaign, engaging a PR company for that well-needed sales boost over the festive period is a very effective way to increase brand awareness and get your product in front of the people who are most likely to buy it.

If you are thinking about PR for next year, here are six things to consider to ensure that your Christmas PR campaign is a success.

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