The tech industry is crowded no matter how niche your company is. Public relations, whether executed by an internal team or by an agency, is what separates those who float from those who sink. Here are seven pieces of invaluable PR advice to help your tech company stand out to talent, prospects and investors alike:
“Top Dogs” Should Be Your Brand’s Voice
In most cases, let’s say 99.9% of the time, journalists aren’t interested in hearing from a salesperson; impactful PR requires putting your marketing language on the backburner. Your leaders and high-level researchers should be the ones groomed as brand spokespeople and thought drivers. It’s a role most appropriate for the CEO, CTO or lead analyst, engineer, scientist or strategist. Occasionally, it is beneficial to call upon a product manager to speak to journalists who inquire about the technical aspects of a topic or trend.
Understand the Purpose of PR
PR is not advertising. While companies often manage PR under the marketing umbrella, PR is it’s own beast that requires a special skill set. The purpose is to build credibility and awareness by acquiring various forms of third-party validation (coverage, reviews, interviews, awards, etc.) on a continuous basis. While there are paid opportunities for publicity, a good PR agency will focus on presenting a brand with earned opportunities.
Define Success in Consultation with Your PR Professionals
Nine times out of ten, companies who are not experienced in PR define success by a coverage quota, which is a detrimental error. If you’re interviewing a PR agency and they promise to get you “X” pieces of coverage in “X” time frame, run for the hills! Quotas set brands up for disappointment and agencies up for termination. An experienced PR agency will educate your team about the nuances of a robust PR program and how various key performance indicators are needed. Together you can agree upon metrics that truly matter.
Never Bite the Hand that Feeds You
Journalists are your golden ticket to reaching wider audiences and developing further industry recognition. They should be treated with the utmost respect and courtesy at all times. Being short or argumentative (in a non-constructive manner) in your communications could result in a negative reputation among the media – a tight knit community, especially those that cover similar topics. If you’re a good source of information and professional, you can expect to develop a mutually beneficial relationship with specific journalists over time.
Embrace the Mantra ‘It Takes a Village’
A well-rounded PR program requires far too much time dedication for just one person to handle, even if your company is an early-stage startup. It’s beneficial to work with a reputable agency who will assign you a whole PR account team composed of communications professionals with various strengths to leverage – analyst relations, content writing, media and press relations, social media, etc.
Product & Service Differentiation is Key
It might be hard to hear but the truth is your company likely isn’t exceptionally different or more special than any of your top competitors. Engaging in PR is highly impactful for differentiating your brand through messaging and corporate credibility. Whether it’s highlighting a unique founder story or developing language that emphasizes your specific approach to the problem you’re solving, PR is essential.
Commit to the Long Haul
When interviewing PR agencies, understand the pay-off comes from a long-term relationship and engagement. These types of initiatives aren’t like a faucet you can turn on and off, and expect the same results. PR efforts require consistent nurturing to build and maintain relationships with external audiences. Not to mention, the longer your brand works with an agency, the more they will feel and perform like part of the internal team!
LaunchTech Communications is a tech and cybersecurity PR agency led by industry veterans. Expertise spans media relations, content development, corporate credibility tactics, analyst relations and management, and social media management. Get in touch to learn more about our services!