Already a pulsating sea of technological innovations run our lives and day-to-day functions. This digital age has led to the burgeoning of technology brands. Given this, there is an increasing focus on technology PR today.
So, what is technology PR? It is afunction that focuses and proactively helps manage the reputation and image of technology-based companies.
With many upcoming technology brands out there, the question of how to guarantee results and success in tech PR is an inevitable one.
What are the skills and abilities that tech PR departments should have?
Primarily, tech PR verticals help in forging and maintaining long-term relationships with tech journalists.
The function of tech PR execs is to flip the narrative by transforming a dry and highly technical topic into a captivating and engaging editorial piece. Also, the PR agents need to support the various brands in leveraging the media opportunities across digital and online platforms. The staff needs to be curious and passionate about technology. More so, they should be hungry for knowledge and think out of the box and on their feet.
What services can one expect from a tech firm?
At the outset, a tech company should hold a comprehensive toolkit for managing the brand reputation. This helps deliver stellar editorial content in the forms of press releases, thought leadership articles and case studies. Case studies are a must, and the PR team needs to be proficient in this space.
In addition to editorial content, the strategies should also offer strategic counselling, crisis management, media training for senior management and stakeholder research.
Doing the due diligence in case of outsourcing
Now that you know the skills and services that tech firms render, next up is due diligence. Although mostagencies offer these services, you cannot go for all of them. You need to find the correct match. Different PR companies have different strengths. The gamut of tech PR is extensive. Assess which tool or platform is best suited for your business and brand, and then move on to finding a matching PR agency.
A crucial consideration is the fee structure. Thanks to the internet, you can type in a few keywords and get access to leading PR firms. So, contact them and get to know them. Starting with the basics is the best policy. Ask about the charges, whether they charge clients a retainer and function by the hours and timesheets.
Another approach that you can use is penning down three to five parameters. Different PR companies also have a unique set of staff, methodology and work culture. So, ask yourself whether you are in the market for a young and energetic team or an accustomed and experienced team of senior delivery people? Secondly, do you prefer working around a proven methodology and strategic plan of action? Thirdly, do you need a large PR firm?
Lastly, use your business networks of referrals and recommendations.
Leading the way with case studies and timelines
If you want to witness success with guaranteed results, you should probe the PR execs with the following questions, ‘Who is the audience?’, ‘What were the outcomes and the timeline?’ and ‘How do you cope with uncertainties’? Once the tech PR agents open up about their past experiences and timelines, you are paving the way for an honest dialogue. Doing so enables you to gauge whether the tech PR plan is the right one for your brand and business.
Also, case studies and timelines allow you to create a structured strategy. It helps bridge the expectation-reality gap. Do not forget that the tech PR campaign is for your brand and business. You must enquire and get clarity about your contribution towards the endeavour for productive engagement and eventual success.
The metrics of measuring success
A tech PR company helps build strategically aligned campaigns. They do this with a stringent directive that lays down the performance targets, which link with the tactical plan. A tech PR and media relations campaign, for example, will have coverage volume and message penetration as the metrics of measure. And for social media, the tangible engagement metrics make for an excellent starting point and includes a host of factors such as likes, comments, shares and views, among others.
A flexible and adaptive approach
Necessity is the mother of invention, and tech has become the building block for most modernizations that we witness. Tech itself is fluid and adaptive, and ever-changing. With that said, tech PR should also adopt a flexible approach.
Achieving success in tech PR is often challenging and complex as the objectives are continuously changing. It is like aiming and shooting at a moving target. Consequentially, flexibility and collaboration between the departments is the need of the hour. If one plans and the other executes, the result will be suboptimal enthusiasm and rigidity. Hence, an inclusive and collaborative approach helps to keep the messaging consistent. Lastly, all functions should be more open and communicative while taking detours along the campaign’s journey.
Along with technology innovations and developments, PR as a concept, too, is undergoing a paradigm shift. There is more to PR than what meets the eye. Today, PR also caters to enhancing search rankings and social proof. The brand and the agency must devise an articulate game plan to achieve these results.