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Volvo CE unveils space age autonomous concept machines to international media

Volvo CE unveils space age autonomous concept machines to international media

Last week, client Volvo Construction Equipment invited journalists from around the world to Sweden to unveil a prototype hybrid wheel loader and autonomous electric haulers that demonstrate the radical technological shift the company believes represents the future of the industry. With support from SE10, the event ran without a hitch and has since received top billing from the international press.

The eyes of the international construction and business press were focused firmly on Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) this September as the company revealed its vision for the future, including several hitherto classified R&D projects. Across two days, 50 journalists from 24 countries were invited to the Volvo CE Customer Center in Eskilstuna, Sweden, to discuss the company's goals for zero unplanned stops, zero accidents and zero emissions – part of its wider plan for economic, social and environmental sustainability – and watch live demonstrations of several key prototypes. These game-changing machines included a hybrid wheel loader, offering fuel efficiency gains of up to 50%; a fully electric autonomous load carrier; and an autonomous wheel loader and articulated hauler. As well as senior management, journalists were able to meet the engineers responsible for developing these innovations and the visionary customers testing them in real-life environments.

"The press event was a resounding success," says Brian O'Sullivan, partner at SE10 and global lead for the Volvo CE account. "Volvo CE had kept these astonishing projects tightly under wraps until now, so it was a pleasure to witness the genuine anticipation and excitement among the journalists as they arrived – and they were not disappointed! The journalists were impressed by Volvo's technological advances – far beyond those displayed by the competition – and really appreciated being invited to take an in-depth look."

Precise planning

In the months prior to the event, SE10 recommended influential potential participants to the Volvo CE corporate communications team, sent personal invites to secure their attendance and helped plan the content and schedule. SE10 also produced a press kit – consisting of press releases, images and biographies of key spokespeople – which was translated into 10 languages; Q&A documents to ensure all staff who came into contact with the journalists were able to answer their questions correctly and with authority; and presentation materials, designed to capture and hold the audience's attention and imagination.

During the event, SE10 partner Brian and account directors Charlie Ebers and Hannah Kitchener hosted journalists from their respective target publications to ensure they had access to the details required to write up informative and engaging stories – and felt comfortable and welcome at all times. As well as promoting maximum editorial output from the event, this relationship-building work contributed to SE10's year-round effort in establishing and maintaining trust and good will from the media – a perquisite for the regular positive coverage and strong corporate reputation that Volvo CE enjoys.

"Many of the journalists we work with have become good friends so the event was an ideal opportunity to catch-up. It wasn't all play for the journalists though. Reports and video footage from the event were published online within a matter of hours and received top billing in several leading construction newsletters. We can expect many more pieces of valuable coverage – both online and in print – to appear in the coming weeks, showing that Volvo CE truly is at the forefront of the construction equipment industry," Brian concludes.

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