Why do leap years make tech companies feel anxious?

It might sound like a question from QI, but there is a real answer. And it’s not because there’s an extra day of campaigning to account for.

Leap years almost always coincide with the presidential elections in the US. And for tech companies, elections bring a huge dollop of uncertainty.

This year the same is true here in the UK, with a general election imminent and the prospect of a new government taking power looking very possible.

So what does that mean for tech firms?

Building bridges: tech’s relationship with future policymakers

To dive deeper into that question, we recently brought together experts from tech, politics and public affairs for a panel discussion on what to expect this year and how to prepare.

Image of the Panel from the Definition Tech event

On the panel, moderated by James Boyd-Wallis at Highbury Comms we had:

  • Chloe Smith MP, former Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
  • Jane McIntosh, Global Director of Public Affairs at Trustpilot
  • Drew Smith, Head of Government Relations for the UK & Ireland at Zoom
  • Alice Campbell, Head of Public Affairs at techUK

And out of the discussion, five key trends emerged:

  1. Both main parties want the UK to be an AI leader
    Whether red or blue, politicians across the spectrum believe in tech’s potential. That means the outcome should be positive for the industry whoever wins. But…
  2. Expect AI regulation – maybe
    Labour have been cagey on specifics, while the current Tory government favours a lighter touch than stricter European rules. Exactly what form new AI laws will take is still up for grabs.
  3. Don’t wait to act – engage policymakers now
    With key legislation still going through Parliament, there’s time to influence decisions. Build relationships with stakeholders and position your expertise for the long-term.
  4. Stay agile with a flexible strategy
    Elections always have upsets and surprises. Understand the key players’ stances on tech issues and maintain close MP and peer ties across the field.
  5. You’re primed to boost the UK’s productivity woes
    Whichever party takes power, increasing the UK’s poor productivity levels will be priority No 1. And no one is better placed to drive those wins than innovative tech firms.

Definition: the tech PR agency with a penchant for policy

At Definition, as a B2B PR agency, we’re helping companies cut through the noise to get real results. That’s why we’ve created a model blending public relations with public affairs.

In short, that means we hit two critical audiences at once – media and politicians. This lets us highlight the challenges in your industry and gets you a say in shaping the policies influencing them. We’ll also keep you in the loop with all the information that matters and help you set the agenda ahead of the polls.

It’s a powerful model for influential voices. And in a leap year election, it could make all the difference for your tech business.

Want a say on the future of tech rules? Let’s talk.


Katy Bloomfield Screen 2

Written by Katy Bloomfield, MD of PR at Definition.