The Motor Industry Communicators Association (MICA) provides sector-specific training, mentoring, networking and events that will help to accelerate your career, increase your industry knowledge and introduce you to new friends and colleagues. Working closely with a wide range of automotive and mobility industry experts, MICA is unique in its ability to bring together fascinating insights from leading specialists.
Your MICA leaders, pictured above from left: Mark Harrison, Poppy McKenzie Smith, Richard Gotch, Liz Turner, Oliver Rowe, Richard Gadeselli, Jamie Fretwell and Danny Fleet. (Not shown: Euan Antona, Mike Orford and Roger Ormisher.)
A word from our new chair, Oliver Rowe
Welcome back from summer breaks to MICA’s latest newsletter and my first as your chair. The MICA committee has been working on the online and in-person training and support outlined in this newsletter. Member feedback on the benefits you want us to prioritise cites further expertise in our communications craft, and more downtime together to socialise and network.
Following our ‘From Top Gear to Tiktok’ masterclass, about the consequences for comms of scheduled TV being overtaken by on-demand streaming, we looked for other MICA friends and contacts who have conquered new platforms. MICA MD Richard Gotch took the opportunity for a Cotswold drive to Harry’s Garage to record an enlightening podcast with owner Harry Metcalfe on his transition from EVO magazine co-founder to YouTube presenter.
The last MICA masterclass brought together Top Gear, TikTok, Carwow and Driver61 for their takes on the trend of auto comms’ seismic shift online and on demand. The next, Auto PR Essentials, is skills based for new hires to auto PR, other newcomers to comms, or to provide a general refresher. Given how broad the background of auto comms practitioners has become, there’s appetite for a full-day run through of the PR basics facilitated by MICA - find out about our forthcoming Auto PR Essentials masterclass below.
By December we will all be overdue a MICA social, which is deliberately being held on December 7 at the RAC Club before the Guild’s dinner and awards to ease end-of-year diary congestion. We will be in the club’s Long Bar between 4:00pm and 7:00pm to catch up with members and guests. Do make a note to drop in, whether or not you are also at the awards. The benefit of informal mixing with peers at other brands, agencies and different sections of auto comms came up in the MICA mentoring service, which committee member Roger Ormisher runs from McLaren North America. Unless mentees can remember five to 10 years ago, when there was more networking and even joint media hosting between brands, they are surprised how much intra-competitor contact and idea swapping were possible – without causing compliance hiccups.
I hope mutually beneficial collaboration between MICA members can resume following the ‘lost’ pandemic years of next-to-no industry activities for comms specialists. Do enjoy this newsletter and looking at Mica.org.uk to learn more about us.
- MICA membership is now live. Join quickly and easily on the MICA website.
- Three membership levels are available. The £150 full membership, £50 p/a two-year associate membership for those embarking on their communications career and a £15 student membership for anyone in full time education
- Members from across the world and any sector of the motor communications industry are welcome
- All members receive the same impressive range of benefits, masterclasses and networking opportunities regardless of location, membership level or stage of career
Is video the future of journalism? Harry Metcalfe thinks so
Four million channel views a month along plus over 600,000 subscribers; no wonder former EVO editor and now proprietor of YouTuber Harry Metcalfe thinks that online video is the medium of the future.
In Part One of this podcast, the face of Harry’s Garage and Harry’s Farm talks to MICA Managing Director Richard Gotch about his transition to videos for new car tests, the skills needed and whether PRs understand what video journalists need. Noting how today’s audiences prefer watching to reading, Harry highlights some of the other benefits of video, from its instant publication and massive global reach, to the ease of analytics.
Coming up: Harry offers more insights into video journalism, revealing the secrets of keeping viewers coming back for more, what YouTubers need from PRs and how Harry’s Farm approaches reviews of trucks and off-highway vehicles.
Webchat with... Abigayle Andre and Jim Holder
As the internal combustion era nears its end and car buyers strive to get to grips with the new age of the EV, they need the motoring media like never before – but not in its traditional form.
In this podcast, social media influencer Abigayle Andre and former Haymarket Editorial Director (now heading comms at Renault) Jim Holder ponder the fast-changing world of automotive communications. They discuss how PRs need respond to new and more diverse audiences who are opting for free and easily digestible information online instead of struggling with technicalities in specialist magazines - and consider which channels provide the most bang for squeezed budgets.
Find out what they had to say during the webinar, hosted by MICA’s Training Lead Euan Antona and Oliver Rowe.
Head of McClaren PR Roger Ormisher talks about the launch of the all-new Atura; their first supercar for a decade as well as their first hybrid. MICA's US and Mentoring Lead, he also gives an insight into the evolving media landscape in the US and working with influencers, and shares his three top tips for PRs today in MICA's next Webchat coming soon.
MICA Masterclass - Auto PR Essentials
What do you do when the fan has been hit and there's a growing risk of brown stuff creating unwanted headlines? Handling crisis communications is just one of the topics covered in this second MICA Masterclass – which will also see committee members sharing examples of how they dealt with real crisis situations.
Hosted by motoring journalist and lecturer Andrew Noakes (pictured) at Coventry University and online, Auto PR Essentials asks what is automotive PR; addresses finding, shaping and developing stories; as well as the role of AI in modern PR practice. Also covered in this full-day class is evolving and protecting a brand, building relationships inside and outside your company and, crucially, how to measure success and keep your boss happy. The sessions will be led by PR professionals, and there will be plenty of opportunities to chat to committee members and other guests.
The event will take place in person and online on November 8 or 9 (tbc) from 10:30am to 3:00pm with a break for lunch.
The Masterclass is FREE for all members. Please email email@example.com to reserve your place.
Visit the recruitment page on the MICA website for the latest job vacancies in the motoring communications industry.
If you have a vacancy you would like to share with our members, please send an email with a job description to firstname.lastname@example.org
MICA newsletter editor Paul Jeffries has written for a number of motoring magazines, such as Street Machine and Classic American, as staff and freelance, as well as contributing words and pictures to the national press. He has also edited internal publications for a number of FTSE 100 companies including British Airways.
Please feel free to share this newsletter and all MICA activities with colleagues or friends in the industry. We are excited to grow the association and create a welcoming, supportive and productive network of motor communicators.