Is tech on the way back? A new report from Headland 


The last 18 months have seen significant uncertainty within the tech industry. High interest rates. The cost-of-living crisis. Layoffs. Valuations plummeting. IPOs practically dead in the water. Throw the launch of generative AI into the melting pot and we’ve seen change like never before.  

But tech has proven itself to be a resilient industry. Category-defining tech companies will learn, grow, and come out the other side even stronger, with a huge opportunity for comms leaders to make the most of the year ahead.   

Our new report, We are so back? Tech comms in turbulent times, is based on over 30 in-depth interviews with leading global comms professionals – from VC investors to scale-ups and global tech platforms – as well as top tier UK tech and business journalists. It seeks to analyse the challenges of the last 18 months, while providing recommendations as we move deeper into 2024 and, we hope, offering valuable and practical advice to those operating in the sector this year.   

In such a rapidly evolving tech landscape, the ability to communicate effectively is more crucial than ever – and our report looks at some of those more challenging areas for comms including (but not limited to): 

  • Maintaining relevance globally and locally, and striking the right tone  
  • Communicating difficult news such as layoffs, while protecting brand reputation 
  • Rising above the ‘boom and bust’ model in tech, and delivering a more ‘grown up’ approach to comms 
  • Building long-term trust with customers and stakeholders, even as the industry reflects on an uncertain period 
  • Educating the media as key influencers, especially for B2B tech companies with complex business models 
  • Managing the AI hype cycle, to ensure businesses can make the most of their tech innovations and communicate the benefits for customers, citizens and communities 
  • Breaking out of the tech bubble and telling a story that’s grounded in the real world, focused on how a business solves real-world problems 

It’s been a bumpy period for technology companies, with their employees, investors and customers all exposed to an uncertain macroeconomic backdrop, while an explosion of AI innovation has sent stock prices, private valuations and industry confidence on a rollercoaster ride. 

As one of the main ways businesses can reach and engage their stakeholders, tech comms is in the spotlight more than ever – and managing comms during this time has required deeper collaboration across the board. Those practitioners who can do this in the upturn will reap outsized benefits. While challenges remain, comms is increasingly connected across technology companies presenting new opportunities to help shape the future of the world’s most innovative businesses. 

We hope our report helps those at the sharp end remember they are not alone – and provides some actionable advice, based on interviews with scores of other professionals who have been through similar challenges. 

Full of fresh data, insights and commentary from fellow tech comms leaders, a link to the report is here. Drop us a line to let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you. 

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