A high tech public relations campaign can make a company stand out in a busy marketplace. The UK is a hub of technological innovation, with a third of Europe’s fastest-growing tech firms based here.
Increasing brand awareness and securing earned media coverage is key for many growing technology companies. But PR agencies that have experience in technology public relations will tell you that it’s not just about earning a spot on Tech Crunch Europe or The Register.
In this blog, we’ll share our top tech PR agency tips if you’re running a technology public relations campaign, whether you’re an established business or a growing start-up.
1. Build relationships with industry analysts
Analyst houses such as Forrester Research, Gartner and Omdia track markets and have the power to influence. The job of an analyst is to ensure that they are consistently researching your industry and will have key focus areas and specific skill set.
With this in mind, it’s important to treat an analyst as you would a journalist. Schedule regular catch-ups with them and send them any relevant company news that covers their space. The same can be said for tech evangelists who also have the ability to influence and mobilise your target market.
At the heart of a good PR campaign is creating relationships with stakeholders and journalists. A PR firm with tech clients will have a bank of contacts on hand to help you build your relationships and brand awareness.
The technology industry is brimming with experts so you can find the right one for you.
2. Create a bank of customer stories
Foster a culture in your organisation that really celebrates your customers’ successes and allows them to be a part of your story. It’s an important part of reputation management – demonstrating how you have worked with other clients. Encourage client managers to be proactive in asking whether a happy customer would be willing to be involved in a PR activity; whether that’s a quick news release or a longer-form case study for your website and marketing materials.
A technology public relations agency will be able to leverage a successful client story and case study in multiple ways, so this action will really pay off. It’s also great for reputation management!
Also, your customers will do a far better job of singing your praises than you championing your own prowess. Create brand advocates for your customers and have a bank of them ready in your armoury for your high tech public relations.
This is something where PR firms can help. They can interview, write up, and film as necessary to create a bank of stories that you can access at any time.
3. Create white papers
Think white papers are old hat? Think again. A white paper is a platform for you to address the particular problems that your product solves and sets the scene for why the industry needs it.
There’s lots of value in doing this from a tech PR perspective; from hosting it as a downloadable guide on your website to generate leads for your sales team, to staff posting it as social media content, further bolstered by a LinkedIn sponsored content campaign, perhaps?
Offer it to your key analysts and evangelists to build upon your relationship, and in press packs. Finally, technology PR agencies can also use it as viewpoint material to gain media coverage.
White papers are also great pieces of content to use in a wider integrated marketing strategy. They can be used as part of lead generation. And technology companies can have a lot to share, more than can fit in a press release. Your PR agency can help.
4. Run a high tech public relations roundtable
Take your white paper further by using it as the basis of a roundtable discussion. Invite industry influencers along as well as other companies that operate in parallel industries that can also add to the discussion. Finally, invite key technology journalists along to both contribute to the discussion and report on it afterwards.
Even though current global events have put a stop to physical meetings, there is no reason why this can’t be held as a virtual meeting. However, our top tip would be that it’s even more important to have someone independent moderate the conversation and ensure that everyone gets an equal share of voice.
Ensure you present your best with media training. Whether it’s a Zoom meeting or an in-house roundtable, media training will ensure you look, sound and present on top form. Choose PR agencies with extensive experience in media training. Our team member, Rob Stewart, is an experienced national journalist who can help boost your media profile.
5. Think outside the box
Has a team discussion raised an interesting industry trend that not many others would know about? Has someone in your sales team just heard an interesting anecdote that a journalist may be interested in?
Keep your technology PR team front of mind and discuss these things with them when you have regular catch-ups. Successful tech PR agencies are always thinking outside of the box when it comes to pitching interesting stories from within your organisation to the media.
Media relations is still at the heart of communications activities, whether you are using traditional PR to target outlets or building backlinks through SEO outreach.
6. Boast about your ESG
For example, have you included your environmental, social and governance activities in your wider comms? Tech businesses are making the ESG needed to their businesses to keep today’s investors interested.
They are putting money where their beliefs are, and good PR agencies will help tell your story through your owned and earned channels.
There’s a growing awareness in ESG and your business could be at the forefront of it. Are your competitors sharing their ESG stories yet? Good PR firms will advise on how to include your ESG work into your wider comms narrative, such as being transparent, your charity commitments, and your environmental impact.
7. Use high tech public relations to boost your backlinks
A good PR campaign will ensure your quotes, thought leadership and guest blog posts are placed in outlets that provide good quality backlinks.
Quality backlinks are essential to boosting your website’s domain authority. This will increase the likelihood of your content appearing in search results as a result.
Backlinks from websites with a high spam count can negatively affect your website. Toxic backlinks are to be avoided at all costs.
Top PR firms with tech clients will have the contacts you need to reach and engage with the outlets that have the audiences you want to reach. This blog post delves into how technology PR firms pitch to the press on your behalf and what they can achieve for you.
Top tech PR campaigns to know
Tech businesses get original
Qualcomm, mobile technology, combined the online and offline world to promote themselves. They took over a static billboard at a bus stop (this was in the 2010s) and put up a URL that people could log onto when they were bored.
What happened next made internet history. Ferraris, dog sleighs, buses filled with puppies and more all arrived to take people to their final destinations.
It was a successful campaign that brought attention to Qualcomm and is still talked about today.
Tech PR with a twist
The Wolf is a four-part series made for the web by HP and stars Christian Slater as an invisible hacker. His character targets a finance business in the most unexpected way.
This was a brilliant way to capture attention as there are millions of printers used by businesses. And a lot of them are ignored when it comes to security, with only 2 per cent secure.
Christian Slater is well known for his Mr Robot character and this series plays nicely to this.
Vikrant Batra, HP’s global head of marketing for imaging and printing, said: “We had a lot of explaining to do around what the (security) risks are, and when you have that much explaining to do, and frankly, when you’re talking about printer security, you better have the engagement level very high up there.
“We also felt very inspired by shows like Mr Robot, which are based in similar areas around security and privacy, and they’re very engaging. So we thought, what better way to engage the IT community than with the kind of content they love to watch?”
This was part of an integrated marketing strategy that got in front of the right people.
Tech PR doesn’t have to be boring. The technology sector certainly isn’t. Choose the right PR firm for you and your business and bring your PR campaigns to life.
Your next steps
Tech PR is a specialised vector and so you need to choose a PR firm that has the experience, knowledge and connections to tell your story and assist with your reputation management.
More importantly, get the measurable results that you deserve.