[Agency: Havas PR Global Collective]

Challenge: France is more than just Édith Piaf and Yves Saint Laurent. It’s BlaBlaCar, Sigfox, Visiomed and other radical startups. To support and unite French startups under a single, powerful brand worldwide, La French Tech launched in 2013. It has since grown into a €200 million initiative. Havas PR North America and Havas Worldwide Paris were tasked with establishing a strong, positive presence for La French Tech at CES 2016, highlighting the innovative French startup offerings and putting them at the forefront of the entrepreneurship and tech conversation.

Actions: More than 200 companies represented France at the massive gadget extravaganza, Europe’s largest contingent. To get French startups to stand out and create top-tier media opportunities, we first reminded everyone that entrepreneur is a French word, after all. We established new media relationships and drew on existing ones with key tech journalists and influencers. Our greatest success: identifying and securing TechCrunch’s Andrew Keen to interview Emmanuel Macron, French Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs, onstage during La French Tech Night. Throughout, we connected journalists with the right spokespeople, remained dogged with outreach and got social media buzzing.

Results: At La French Tech Night, 120-plus journalists joined several hundred entrepreneurs, investors and influencers. A phenomenal success by all accounts, this networking event was hosted by Macron, who was promptly mobbed by press after his onstage interview. “French Tech Startups Invasion,” declared Forbes, while Fortune named France “tech’s unexpected powerhouse.” La French Tech was included in 5,709 tweets during CES, becoming a trending Twitter conversation. And our outreach created a steady drumbeat of coverage for weeks. Total media impressions: more than 977 million. Best of all, in the words of Macron: “La French Tech Night was a wonderful indicator that other countries are taking notice of the creativity and risk-taking that we are encouraging.”