A strong media relations strategy is at the heart of any technology PR campaign. Taking the time to get to know the technology journalists and publications will pay dividends in your quest for earned media coverage.
Need a hand? In this blog, we’ll share our insights based on two decades of dealing with the technology press as well as some common mistakes to avoid. Here are our top five tips on how technology public relations firms should pitch to press.
1. Pitch a story, not a product
Let’s face it, tech writers – like any other journalists – just aren’t going to be sitting and waiting for the latest product that you’re releasing, unless you’re Microsoft maybe. You know why you’re launching the product – after all you wouldn’t do so without some robust market research – so focus on the reason your product or service exists when pitching to a journalist. Make the story about your end user, rather than yourself.
2. Make your story timely
Think about the reason you want to talk about your product or service now. Why would an IT manager or CEO care? Hooking your story to something topical; whether that’s an industry or national event will help to make it stand out to a journalist. Better still, what industry conversations are happening right now that would be of interest to a tech journalist? Can you give them an insight into these and at the same time offer your point of view? Always think about what you can offer them above and beyond the product that you’re trying to push.
3. Tailor your story according to the publication
If you think you can use a blanket approach to pitching to tech journalists, think again! Each publication works slightly differently; from the areas that they cover to the types of content that they want to receive from vendors and MSPs. For example, some publications will only accept news content or customer stories with household name brands. Others love thought leadership content but require an exclusive. Take time to do your due diligence around each publication. Is there a title that you’re finding particularly tricky to get into? Find a relevant journalist and research what they’ve written before. Find out about any regular features are unique to this publication. Then you can reverse engineer a story to suit them.
4. Make your content consumable
Tech journalists are a clever bunch, there’s no doubt about that. But they don’t want to receive a press release that is pages long and goes into minute detail about the features and functionality of your product. Make press releases short, punchy and to the point. Offer a quote from an independent industry expert as well as your CEO if you can. Above all, think about their reader and the particular challenges they are facing to make your offering more consumable.
5. Become a trusted source
Remember, it’s not just your product or service that is your company asset; your spokespeople are too. Their knowledge of the industry and their insights is what makes your company credible. People buy into people, after all. Having good spokespeople on the front line of your tech pr strategy that can offer a slightly different perspective on an issue and are a reliable source of compelling content are what journalists need access to on tap.
And this means sometimes helping them in a non self-promotional way. For example, do you have a good industry contact that you can put them in touch with to support their story? Or know of a company that is doing something interesting and relevant to them? All of this helps to build a long term relationship with the journalist. Tech journalists tend to stay in their posts for a long time – the AMBITIOUS team has been dealing with some industry journalists for well over a decade. It’s also good to bear in mind that if they do move publications, they often stay within the industry so it’s a good idea to keep in touch with them.