How Autocab managed to combat the Uber publicity machine

Raising awareness of an alternative transport solution that's putting private hire firms at the heart of the mobility revolution

F ormerly a manufacturer of in-cab radios for private hire firms, Autocab has transformed its business to provide its customers with the SaaS-based technology they need to combat the threat posed by tech giants, such as Uber, that have disrupted the taxi industry so dramatically.

In the process, Autocab has created a suite of solutions – including iGo, a booking network that is connecting local taxi firms and allowing them to fulfill customer demand nationally – with the potential to become integral to the mobility revolution currently transforming the transport industry. To realise that potential, however, Autocab needed to be placed firmly on the radar of key industry leaders – not just within the taxi sector but within the broader transportation and business travel market.

This posed a challenge as Autocab would be competing against a commonly held belief, largely accepted in the media, that it would be Uber and other ride hailing apps, backed by billion dollar investment funds, that would be the driving force behind the mobility revolution. So, in 2018, Autocab enlisted Fourth Day PR to help change that perspective.

The PR objective

The main objective was to raise awareness of Autocab by highlighting how its technology is galvanising a previously fragmented private hire industry. This awareness campaign would raise the profile of Autocab with media coverage, through awards and at events. It would also target key industry organisations on LinkedIn.

To build a credible story, we wanted to draw attention to the company’s success story within business titles and establish Autocab as a fast growing tech company in publications capable of reaching key sectors, both nationally and internationally.

The campaign’s distinct messages formed the foundation for all content and media interviews. They positioned Autocab as:

  • a friend and ally to the private hire industry
  • a visionary and thought leader in the transportation industry
  • a fast-growing technology business

 

The output for the campaign included a combination of opinion pieces, news stories, editorial features, media briefings, customer case studies, LinkedIn profile raising, speaking opportunities and award entries.

 

“Fourth Day have improved our visibility which should pay dividends for us in the future. I have been in numerous situations where people have approached me and commented on something they have read about Autocab in the press. There’s been a real shift in awareness which gives us all a platform to build on.”
Safa Alkateb CEO, Autocab

Results

Autocab is now recognised as a multi award-winning, fast growth, tech business. Its leadership team are acknowledged to be industry experts and are regularly asked to speak at conferences – sitting alongside other disruptive transportation businesses, such as Uber and Trainline.

This followed coverage secured across top tier media, which hit all our target sectors and more.

At a glance:

  • Industry experts Sharing a stage with Uber & Trainline
  • Business impact Conversations with key organisations
  • 1 million views Coverage included Wired & BBC

Media coverage

Alongside transportation and business travel titles, such as Intelligent Transport, Travolution and B.Inspired, and regional Business publications, including Manchester Evening News, Business Cloud and BusinessLive, Autocab was also featured by internationally renowned technology magazine Wired and by national broadcaster the BBC. The latter included BBC technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones, visiting Autocab’s headquarters and producing a story which ran on BBC Online and the BBC’s Tech Tent podcast.

Reach

International coverage in the key geographic target markets of Germany and Australia helped estimated media coverage views reach almost 1 million (949,000) over the course of the first year. The average online domain authority of those media publications was more than 50 and all headlines and articles consistently reflected key messages and were 100% positive in tone.

 

Business impact 

LinkedIn activity has also amplified coverage, and stimulated conversations with key organisations. Social posts consistently received high engagement – with the most popular reaching almost 3,000 views and more than 50 likes within 48 hours. Key transportation companies including CMAC Group, Gett, the Institute of Travel Management and Jet Airways also actively engaged – prompting new conversations with Autocab.

Media coverage

  • London's minicabs have a cunning plan to beat Uber at its own game

    New technology is helping local taxi companies band together to share work and compete with ride-hailing services such as Uber. Wired

  • Taxi group fighting back against Uber and Ola sees large expansion

    The group has been working with Autocab to produce a solution that combines local knowledge with customer experience BusinessLive

  • Tech Tent: The taxi wars

    Who is going to decide how we travel around our cities - Californian tech giants or local transport businesses? BBC