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Launching COVID-19 safe distancing tech - Speed for Pathfindr



Tech startup Pathfindr quickly pivoted from Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices to develop a safe distancing device to help employers reopen workplaces amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Speed led a media relations campaign launching the device, which secured over 65 pieces of coverage, a 1,500% increase in web traffic and over 200 multi-unit orders being placed in just one week.

The challenge

The production of the devices, which sound an alert when users get too close, coincided with new UK government guidance on returning to work safely. Speed was tasked to run a proactive PR campaign to quickly communicate the new product to a range of industries including manufacturing, construction, leisure and retail.


Speed worked with Pathfindr to secure and develop case study examples of early adopters trialling the tech, to support media relations. Using these case studies Speed launched a targeted and intense media relations campaign kicking off with coverage on Sky News online, who sent a crew to film a product demonstration with Pathfindr, and interview a customer that had implemented the devices.

Following the Sky piece, coverage was secured on BBC radio and online, across more than 40 commercial radio stations – including an in-depth interview on LBC – and in The Sun and Evening Standard. Reports in the UK caught the attention of US media, resulting in an article on the New York Post’s website, and a video interview with Fox TV.


In total over 65 pieces of coverage were secured, with a media reach approaching 60m.

As a result of the coverage, demand for the product surged. In a single week, nearly 200 orders were placed by businesses including blue chip manufacturers, engineering firms and retailers, with over 400 enquiries made.

In the same week, Pathfindr’s website saw a 1,500% increase in traffic based on normal levels – primarily first-time visits though organic searches. Its website now dominates related search terms around safe distancing, to drive future organic visits.

Matt Isherwood, Managing Director at Pathfindr, said: “The demand for our safe Distancing Assistant resulting from the national media coverage has been phenomenal. A significant number of orders were placed by large businesses with entire workforces to keep safe as they look to reopen.

“We’ve quickly developed relationships with new customers that will be of longer-term importance to our business, as we look to continue the conversation with them about our wider IIoT portfolio.”


Media Relations