How Autocab challenged the perception of the taxi industry

Raising awareness of an alternative transport solution that's putting private hire firms at the heart of the mobility revolution. UPDATE: Uber announced it had reached an agreement to acquire Autocab on 6th August 2020.

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 needed to rise to the challenge posed by ride hailing apps, which have disrupted the taxi industry 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 fulfil customer demand nationally. These solutions have the potential to become an integral component within the mobility revolution which is currently transforming the transport industry. To realise that potential, 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 would be difficult, however, as Autocab needed to gain a large share of voice in a marketplace where the news was heavily focused on the rise of ride hailing apps, and a pervasive view that this was 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
  • visionary and thought leader in the transportation industry
  • 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

At a glance:

  • 1 million views Coverage has included tier 1 titles such as Wired & BBC
  • Industry experts Sharing the stage with transport tech firms Uber & Trainline
  • Key commercial conversations Coverage and social media has stimulated interactions

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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