Boardroom Insight

Consulting Sector News and Trends

Firefly Communications names Charlotte Stoel group managing director

Firefly Communications, a pan-European PR consultancy that works with several of the biggest names in enterprise technology, has appointed Charlotte Stoel as group managing director.

The executive is taking up the post, a newly created role, after a nearly two-decade run at the firm. Not missing the opportunity, Boardroom Insight caught up with Stoel to get a pulse check on the state of the technology communications market. But first, some key context.  

Firefly launched in 1998 and Stoel joined about seven years later as a member of its Paris-based team. She spent the next decade and a half in increasingly senior roles at the firm, picking up multiple internal “Firefly of the Year” awards along the way. The most recent role she held prior to her promotion this week was group director, a position to which she was appointed in 2022.

Firefly provides a broad menu of communications services including press coverage acquisition, social media campaign management and content marketing. Its work also extends beyond the PR space: the firm can assist clients with tasks such as internal communications and managing employee rewards programs.

Firefly has a noteworthy client roster. In 2018, the firm worked with the IT consulting arm of electronics giant Hitachi on a pair of PR campaigns designed to reach retail executives. The goal was to promote Hitachi’s technology consulting services to companies in the sector. 

Firefly also boasts other notable clients including Ansys, a relatively low-profile but highly influential company that makes software for engineers. Many of the world’s antennas, batteries and other high-tech components were designed using the company’s applications. Another standout name on Firefly’s client list: Databricks, one of the most valuable AI and big data startups in the world.

AI has also emerged as a major focus for PR agencies that don’t work with well-known software vendors in this space. Over the past two years or so, multiple communications consultancies have launched AI tools for tasks such as generating press releases. At least one firm went as far as building a custom large language model of the type that powers ChatGPT to help its staffers measure brand trust.

But what about the other trends unfolding in the tech PR world right now? We asked Stoel. “In tech PR, the current trend I see revolves around enhancing the reputational clout of leaders,” she told Boardroom Insight exclusively. “The tech industry is noisy, with many organisations unveiling AI-powered products and services. Amidst this, a crucial differentiator is the executive teams – their positioning, and their visibility.” 

“Organisations thriving in the limelight are those that have strategically positioned their leadership, leveraging their visibility to stand out,” Stoel elaborated. “In this highly competitive landscape, bolstering the reputational strength of leaders has become an important strategy for tech companies seeking to captivate their audience and establish a significant share of voice within the industry.”

In her new role as group managing director, Stoel will lead Firefly’s business operations from its London headquarters. The firm maintains branch offices in Paris and Munich.