Harvard’s Big Moves of the Month: April

Joe McNamara

06 May 2022

This month, we look at what hit the headlines in April, developments in the marketing and PR industry, pick our favourite creative campaign, and ask one of our wonderful team members for her best piece of career advice.

Tech news: Regulations mount up

It’s been a regulatory month in tech. The EU progressed its Digital Services Act (DSA) – a set of proposals putting the onus on Big Tech to act more forcefully on disinformation and illegal content. The DSA can be viewed as the twin sibling of the Digital Markets Act (DMA). Whereas the DSA, like the UK’s Online Safety Bill, concerns itself with harmful and inappropriate content, the DMA (stay with me) is all about breaking up tech monopolies and penalising anti-competitive behaviour.

Industry news: Musk buys Twitter

The biggest industry news of the month (and maybe the year) was the world’s richest person, Elon Musk, buying Twitter in a deal worth $44bn. Musk has been keen to declare that Twitter must rigorously adhere to the principles of free speech as a key pillar of democracy. This has prompted enormous amounts of speculation about what changes he might make to the platform – perhaps loosening its recent firm approach to tackling abuse and disinformation, trying to authenticate users and remove bots, and even shifting its business model away from advertising. Musk’s acquisition, and the furore surrounding it, seem to highlight Twitter’s massively influential role as the home for global opinion former conversation, but also its inability to capitalise on that commercial potential.

Frontpage news: Macron marches on

April saw an election in France, where the centre-right incumbent, Emmanuel Macron, managed to see off the far-right challenger, Marine Le Pen. Despite another loss, Le Pen did improve upon her 2017 performance and picked up over 41% of the vote. As the French tech ecosystem ranks third in Europe in terms of fundraising behind the United Kingdom and Germany, the tech scene proved to be quite a battleground throughout the campaign. Macron’s ambitions for the tech sector are certainly very European-first, previously stating that he wants to create European autonomy by building the bloc’s own cloud. In a post-victory interview with the French crypto publication, The Big Whale, the President even discussed his desire for Europe to build its own metaverse, to compete with the likes of Meta, and other Chinese and American giants.

Creative moves: Happy Earth Day (again)

Makers of non-dairy milk, yoghurts, and desserts, Alpro, launched a year-long campaign on Earth Day to encourage everyone to think of every day as Earth Day. Earthdays is a 365-day campaign born from the simple thought that without Earth, there will be no days to remember or celebrate the things we love. It launched with a hero film and rolled out across digital, social, print and press, to call attention to the many promises often pledged around Earth Day and beyond. The film also pokes fun at the idea that things like pizza and passwords get as many awareness days as the actual Earth to reinforce the message.

Making your move with… Amandeep Turna

As an Account Manager in our PR team, I drive day-to-day activity across a range of clients – from global technology consultancies and enterprise collaboration platforms to anti-fraud technology providers. I switched to PR after starting out working with a local charity and have loved it from day one. My one piece of advice to anybody looking to forge a career in PR is be prepared to adapt your working style to those around you. It’s a team sport and everyone has a different way of working, so adopting an open and flexible mindset will help you produce results and be happy at work.