From strategic planning to expert storytelling and communicating meaningful messages (50+ questions answered)
If you’ve ever wondered how Tech PR firms manage to generate constant media coverage for their tech company clients, target niche audiences, grow reputations and communicate brand messages effectively, this article answers that question and many more.
Whether you’re a startup, a large online marketplace, a global tech brand or a venture capital fund, this article answers every question about PR for tech companies.
From strategic PR campaign planning to execution and management, you’ll discover how it’s possible to gain significant media coverage for your organisation, and control conversations and influence in a meaningful and significant way.
In this article you’ll find questions and answers about:
- PR for tech startups and scale-ups, launches and IPOs
- PR for large organisations
- PR for company valuation or selling
- Crisis management PR
- Working with the media
- PR storytelling
- Generating media coverage
- PR for attracting new customers
- PR for recruitment
- PR for events
- Tech PR case studies
- Working with a Tech PR firm
Let’s get into it.
PR for tech startups and scale-ups, launches and IPOs
How do Tech PR advisors help tech startups and scale-ups establish a presence in the media and with industry publications to successfully launch or go public?
In the following Q&A, you’ll discover how it’s done and what’s involved to get in the media and build a positive reputation for continued media coverage.
How can a Tech PR agency for startups and scale-ups help us get noticed by our target audience fast?
The top Tech PR agencies for startups and scale-ups can help you be identified quickly by your target audience by focusing on media coverage in outlets that aim squarely at your chosen demographic.
These may include VentureBeat, The Next Web, TechCrunch, The Verge, Wired, Gizmodo, ReadWrite, t3n, golem or others specific to your niche.
If the people your customers have faith in are talking about, quoting you or recommending your company or product then you’re absolutely heading towards getting noticed by the right people at the right time.
Technology PR firms have excellent relationships with journalists and influencers as well as contacts within the wider tech sector, like event planners and bloggers.
Tech startup and scale-up PR is about using your knowledge to provide interesting comments with an innovative angle to give you more chances to stay top of mind for those you are trying to reach.
The best PR firms for tech start-ups and scale-ups, in particular, will have contacts within the VC world as many of their clients will be heading to IPO and an understanding of the dynamics and process of taking a start-up from concept to launch and onwards, which will also be hugely beneficial to you.
What do PR experts recommend for tech startups and scale-ups to build a good reputation with the media?
Top public relations specialists advise tech startups to boost their reputation with the media by saving press releases for their most exciting and genuinely newsworthy announcements and instead, focusing on creating an authentically good reputation with the media.
What do we mean by an authentically good relationship?
Be genuinely helpful, try and avoid pestering the journalist and don’t try and control the story.
The job of a PR agency for tech startups is to help you be perceived as a useful source of credible information which will make increased coverage further down the line much more likely.
In B2B technology PR for example, experts recommend that the early stages of building a good reputation with the media is more about proving yourself reliable and having access to solid information, research and comment, than anything else.
Building a good reputation in the media goes beyond foundational tech start-up PR of simply writing press releases.
Yes, working with a network of journalists to establish a presence in the media for a successful startup launch or IPO is the basic and tactical part of the work of technology PR companies, but it’s only a very small part.
Your good reputation has far-reaching effects on all aspects of your business.
From achieving continued media coverage to getting on shortlists, hiring the best people in a competitive market and being able to sell products and services at a premium.
This can allow you goodwill through a crisis and in gaining increased media coverage over time.
B2B technology public relations is essentially reputation management, to highlight success during the good times and vital in the bad times.
Reputation building doesn’t happen overnight but takes time and needs to be treated like a relationship.
Just like a relationship, it can collapse quickly and a good name can be damaged.
How can we leverage PR to attract investors for our startup?
A global Tech PR firm (or even a local one) will leverage PR to draw in investors for your startup by making sure your product is relevant to as many people as possible.
A specialist PR agency for tech companies would first help you to focus on your product’s/service’s appeal to businesses or consumers, and the problem that you’re solving for them as this is what investors will want to know.
The agency’s PR formula incorporates such an analysis along with other elements to help position you in relevant publications.
They’ll also aim to secure speaking engagements at events that can have direct relevance to attract appropriate investors.
Another way is by creating by-lined features. This means articles crafted with the help of your agency and attributed to one of your C-suite executives with a “by xx, CEO of xx” line under the article.
Your agent will also likely suggest providing sector information to other publications can highlight both the problem and also how your startup solves that problem and therefore is an attractive investment opportunity.
Making relevance a priority in your positioning allows you to leverage PR achieved and attract investors.
How do PR consultants ensure our unique message is consistent across media outlets and digital channels, especially as we grow?
Experienced Tech PR specialists and consultants keep your story and brand messaging consistent by getting to know your back story and establishing and modelling your key messages.
Every good story has a beginning, middle and end, and the story of your product is no different.
If you’re in B2B for example, B2B technology PR agencies tend to focus on questions like:
- How was the product conceived?
- Who are the people behind it?
- What problem will it solve?
- Who needs it and what’s its future?
- What are the business objectives of the company?
Too many start-ups, understandably as they have sweated blood over the product for years, think its existence alone is the story, but in fact, it’s nearly always the human element of the story that appeals to the media outlets.
A specialist Tech PR agency will work with you in building a narrative to hone those messages to ensure consistency.
They will develop a messaging grid with the top 3 or 4 key messages and proof points to prove your story is reliable, relevant and resonate.
As you grow and evolve, your key message will be tweaked to reflect your situation and appeal to a wide variety of channels.
How can PR help with the success of our tech IPO?
PR can help with the success of your tech IPO through the creation of a media campaign that will engage and enlighten stakeholders.
A pre-IPO campaign can generate media buzz around your company before your IPO.
PR firms for tech companies ensure that campaigns reach their peak before the quiet period, after filing and before public trading.
During this period your PR team can help consolidate the success of your IPO after public trading begins by fine-tuning your positioning statements and ensuring that your stakeholders are informed and definite about your company narrative.
Tech analyst involvement, the drafting and publication of white papers featuring significant research, and tech press release distribution before and after the quiet period should formulate a drumbeat of interest that will allow you to capitalise on interest.
What’s involved in a PR launch campaign for a product or service?
Whether you have a product or service there will be similarities in your campaign to launch.
A Tech PR launch expert will guide you through a sequence of events to ensure your product or service achieves maximum visibility among your target audiences.
Pre-launch, the press will be warmed up with a PR launch campaign which will take the form of:
- Descriptions of your product or service
- Company backgrounders
- Offers of media interviews with key members of your team and profiles of anyone significantly involved in your organisation.
This is particularly important if they are already known to the media or have an interesting track record or history.
A press pack will be created, containing PR collateral around your product or service, giving all available relevant information.
It will also contain information on product or personnel photography.
A target list will also be compiled featuring sector-specific media outlets, national technology channels, tech correspondents, bloggers and anyone else that your publicist thinks may be interested and which could result in coverage for the launch of your product or service.
You can either release information about your product or service as a soft or hard launch.
A more low-key, staggered way (soft launch) to certain key journalists may be suitable if you’re still finalising details or are planning on adjusting the product or service once you have seen initial feedback.
A hard launch is an uber-confident move for a product or service which is entirely ready to hit the market that day.
PR for large Tech organisations
Conversations, messaging and positioning for corporate technology organisations need to be strategically planned, delivered and managed.
Whether it’s to prevent a PR crisis or position your brand in the best light for consumers, investors, staff and the wider public, public relations planning is crucial to success.
Here are some important questions and answers for large tech organisations to enable them to work successfully with their PR agencies and maximise publicity.
How can we as a big tech brand manage our reputation better using PR?
As a big brand, you can use PR to manage your reputation by using it to anticipate potential trouble spots and act quickly to put your side of the story across as fast as possible.
Being embedded in a large organisation, it can be easy to lose a sense of perspective on the reputation of the brand in the outside world, and large tech organisations are no exception.
PR can work with tech brands to manage their reputations by identifying potential reputational risks and mitigating them.
Creating responses and messaging for every eventuality, good or bad, along with creating collateral that moves the debate away from potential negatives all help to manage the reputation of tech brands using PR.
Should we request a PR audit from a tech media relations agency before initiating any campaigns?
A PR audit from a tech media relations company is a good strategy before initiating any campaigns.
Big tech brands are aware only of their big-picture reputation but a good tech communications agency can also act as Tech PR auditors and can delve into the minutiae of how they are viewed across a myriad of sectors.
An audit will also reveal how your organisation rates against competitors and which messages land with audiences and which miss, allowing them to hone and target campaigns that provide a far greater chance of success.
What are some tips for large tech online marketplaces to manage their online reputation in the face of negative online reviews?
Negative online reviews can have a detrimental effect on reputation and sales figures for tech online marketplaces.
Managing their online reputations in the face of negative online reviews is both essential and deeply sensitive.
It’s very easy to feel defensive and lash out, and there is also a temptation to ignore criticism especially when it’s unjust.
Your Tech PR partners will guide you through the best approach.
Use empathy to identify with how the customer claims to have felt when they had the negative experience and offer to discuss the matter further in a private forum and if appropriate, provide some sort of compensation or apology gesture.
How can enterprise technology PR be handled to help us stand out in a crowded marketplace?
Enterprise Tech PR puts you in a stronger position in terms of PR as a result of the strength of your story.
The fact that you are offering enterprise-specific tech not only makes your systems and security more robust but implies a level of innovation and investment that is attractive to journalists.
If you can craft a narrative around the creation of your software and the unique advantages it affords you, then you already have an interesting story for a tech sector publication.
To stand out in a crowded marketplace, an agent will work with you to craft stories from multiple angles about the key things that make you, your company and your offering unique.
What are 5 keys to effective media communications for large organisations?
Communicating effectively to the media means your message is disseminated to your customer base and stakeholders in the way that you want – here’s how large organisations can manage it
According to Colette Ballou of Ballou PR, a top-ranked Tech PR firm, the five keys to effective media communications for large organisations begins with developing your ability to control the narrative through your agency.
If you partner with a PR team and brief them well so they have a thorough understanding of your business and enjoy a good relationship with you will be able to identify potential unwanted or negative publicity and exploit opportunities that could be beneficial and in this way you can control the external messaging about your organisation.
Secondly, work with your Tech PR group to choose key messages around your company which are clear, understandable, interesting and jargon-free.
These should be messages that are considered every day by your senior managers and should encapsulate the DNA of your company.
All media communications should incorporate these messages in some way to make sure they are reinforced across your sector and used to strengthen your brand.
Select and develop a strong media spokesperson for your company or brand.
This should be someone who enjoys public speaking and is confident and well versed in delivering key messages, as this means they can be briefed rapidly if you find yourself in a crisis situation.
Have a bespoke comms plan in place for every eventuality, within reason.
A crisis comms plan should not be something you are creating on spot in the middle of the crisis – it should be a working document, easily accessible, that provides a series of steps to be taken should anything significantly detrimental occur.
Identify where your threats are and formulate a custom plan around each one.
And lastly, build and maintain strong relationships with the media in your sector.
You cannot expect good coverage if you have ignored previous requests from a publication.
Your agency will handle the bulk of the person-to-person media contact but the personal touch always helps and being an amenable and appreciative contact will create goodwill that may help exactly when you need it.
How should our PR be managed in conjunction with our overall communications plan?
PR should be an essential component of your overall communications plan.
It’s not a bolt-on, delivered by an external tech media relations team, it should be baked into your customised press strategy as it’s the main channel through which your customers learn about your product or company.
PR for company valuation or selling
If you’re seeking to increase your company valuation to attract further investment or in order to sell, PR delivered by your tech media relations partners can be an effective way to boost your company reputation, perception and market value.
Implementing deliberate strategies and creating enticing story angles is crucial for positioning your company with the media.
The following questions and answers reveal how tech media relations specialists go about doing just this.
How can we leverage PR to increase our company valuation?
PR can be leveraged to increase company valuation by making it appear to be a ‘hot property’ that has significant clout and is being sought after by other investors.
Your PR partner will help you to identify all your USPs and form a coherent and engaging narrative to tell across your business, from corporate to internal communications through to consumer communication.
This will showcase your company at its most appealing and successful, and position it in the best possible light.
Placing your spokespeople on events, radio, TV, and media will help to humanise it and show that you care about your different stakeholders.
PR optimisation increases its scarcity, which in turn raises its perceived value.
How can PR be used to help us raise awareness of our company in order to sell it?
PR helps raise awareness of companies pre-sale by showing potential investors that you are knowledgeable in your field, that you have the respect of the media in your sector and that you are seen as credible by your peers.
To cultivate an authentic and rewarding relationship with the media, create a pipeline of significant news updates to keep them in the picture of how your company is performing.
These could include significant new client wins or C-suite personnel changes.
Work with your PR company to create some by-lined thought leadership pieces from your CEO that take a broader view of the industry and its challenges and future.
This will help you avoid being seen as a company simply interested in self-promotion but one that takes a more mature approach.
Take advantage of trade events to set up briefing meetings or lunches with individual journalists from key publications to forge or strengthen relationships and position your CEO as a reliable source of interesting comments and information.
Don’t expect to be published every time, the most important thing in the early stages is the trust relationship.
If you have an interesting/high-profile client or particularly photogenic workplace then consider suggesting a case study which will profile the work you have done from both sides. Most companies will be happy to consider being involved as obviously it is additional PR for their organisation too.
Your agency will have a plethora of ideas to start building up your media profile – take their advice and be as open and creative as possible in your ideas to them.
Communication is essential for a successful PR relationship.
A growing portfolio of cuttings including interviews, profiles and comments positions your company as a valuable proposition to investors.
How will our press releases need to be positioned to entice tech journalists and writers to cover our story?
Your agency will help you craft a release that covers the who, where, when, what and why of your news story.
These will establish the facts correctly and they will then add in quotes from those concerned, that you will sign off to ensure your comments are represented correctly.
The end of the news release will feature something called a ‘boilerplate’, or a ‘Notes to Editors’ section.
This will give the journalist clear information about your company.
Releases should only be used for significant announcements that you could imagine appearing in the publication.
Your agency will send the release out to a curated media list to ensure that only relevant publications are receiving your news.
They will follow up the release with phone calls to ensure that any journalist’s questions are answered.
In terms of making your release attractive and engaging, it comes down to stories.
Fundamentally, people buy stories about people.
The length of time it took for the software to be developed or the absolutely fascinating and unique widget necessary to make it work will be of mild interest to deep tech journalists.
But how your product or organisation will help the end-user is the element that will attract most tech journalists and writers to cover your story, so your PR agency will work with you to develop the human angle.
PR crisis management
Preventing a PR crisis is as important as fixing a PR crisis, and crisis management experts can provide counsel, planning, strategies and campaign ideas in either situation.
Alternatively, if you’re recovering from a PR crisis, communicating the right message to the media and the public can help position you for future survival and growth.
Here are some important questions and answers to handling such difficult situations.
How can PR be used to prevent or deal with negative online news stories about our company or our industry?
PR can be used to prevent or deal with negative online news stories by ensuring that an accurate and positive representation of your story can be disseminated rapidly to your target audience with either a rebuttal, an apology or an explanation.
If your company experiences an issue that could affect your company adversely, maybe a data breach or a poor customer service experience, your first port of call should be your agency.
Let them know the full story, the reasons behind its occurrence, and the actions you are taking to remedy the situation and express empathy with those who have been negatively affected.
Staying silent will not make the story go away, it will just make you appear uncaring.
Your agency should be on the case immediately, contacting publications to kill the story, by making the situation appear thoroughly under control.
Your PR lead can also dispel rumours and ensure that only the plain facts are used in any recounting of the situation.
What steps would a Tech PR firm take if we have a public relations crisis that needs to be addressed immediately?
In the face of a public relations crisis, a Tech PR business would have a crisis comms plan in place that would immediately be implemented.
This would cover spokespeople, key messaging, calls to action and legal guidance.
Your publicist should be involved as soon as the issue is raised.
They will create a brief but comprehensive release covering the facts of the situation and will immediately use that as the basis for conversations with key journalists who may be interested in covering the story.
Their response will be around establishing the timeline of the incident, your organisation’s current response and the intended actions being taken to fix the issue.
It is then the agency’s job to keep the journalists updated throughout the life of the story partly to quell rumours, as a lack of real information only encourages fake news.
They should be monitoring the situation and tracking which terms are being used to search up your company which will help them establish where any remaining PR news fires need to be extinguished.
What do Tech PR companies recommend doing to recover from negative PR about our company?
Getting back on your feet after a negative PR episode isn’t easy but your public relations agency can help you rebound as quickly as possible.
One of the most important elements is to learn every lesson you can from the experience and put in safeguards to ensure that whatever caused it does not happen again, whether that is changing practices, increasing security or reviewing customer relations policies.
Own the issue – trying to pass the buck or using mealy-mouthed half-apologies will not help you recover, you’ll just look defensive or uncaring.
Keep the media and stakeholders informed of your awareness of the negative PR, the issues behind it and what you are doing to fix the issue.
Companies can become so focused on defence they forget to communicate what has been put in place to resolve the issue.
This is a very important part of the communications strategy.
Always update your messaging after a crisis to make sure your new messaging is accurate and aligned with the lessons learned.
Going dark just looks like guilt.
Lastly, and it may sound strange, look after yourself by eating and sleeping so that you can recover.
Negative PR bought on by a crisis can be extremely draining and unnerving and strength will be required to handle the aftermath.
What’s the best way to handle a tech product recall using PR?
Social media and trade journal websites are your best routes to a successful tech product recall, from issuing immediate instructions with clear guidance via social media to explaining the situation on sector-specific websites that will precisely target your users.
Inform your agency immediately and get them into a meeting with your legal team so that everyone is in alignment about what has happened, how you are dealing with it and any legal ramifications.
They will begin drafting comms around the recall immediately, ensuring that there are clear instructions for returning the item.
They will also ensure that the language used is comprehensive and does not presume a level of knowledge that consumers may not have.
Make sure you utilise your agency to its full potential in this scenario as they are trained in the use of calm, concise language which will not inflame or confuse the public.
Once the comms around the recall have been disseminated your agency will then turn their attention to the media, informing them of what occurred, how it happened and what steps are being taken to rectify the situation and compensate those affected.
The agency’s aim will be to make the issue a non-story by handling it so effectively that there will be little drama to write about.
Working with the media
Knowing how to navigate tricky or read-between-the-lines questions from experienced journalists can make or break your reputation in the media.
Ensuring you’re armed and ready to face questions of all kinds is a good starting point, as is knowing what angles your Tech PR team will use to attract media interest in the first place.
Here are the top questions to know about media relations.
What do Tech PR organisations recommend doing to prepare for media interviews?
Tech PR organisations, regardless of sector, always highlight the importance of key messaging in media interviews.
Learn them as a way of ensuring you are never off message and as a means of bridging between an unwelcome question and one that gives your company the opportunity to appear in a favourable light.
Never forget that a good message should always have concrete proof points, so illustrate your message with something you have put in place in your organisation, and if you can also link it to market trends or figures so much the better.
Practise endlessly, and consult your agency to organise one or more media training sessions. It will help your spokespeople become fully accustomed to interviews especially when it’s TV or radio.
The best speakers always practise on a regular basis.
Repetition is the key to any form of learning and preparing for the media is no exception.
Research examples of Tech PR coverage involving your competitors in all forms such as video, print and audio interviews to discover practical hints and tips to appear at your best.
Always put your spokespeople, who should ideally be from the C-suite in your organisation, in the best situation possible.
Your PR partner should work on briefing documents which should be short and straightforward to make sure your chosen spokesperson will have time to read it.
Make sure your spokespeople have 10/15 minutes available before the interview for a last-minute briefing.
On TV and radio you will be given around an hour to prepare, so find a quiet place and practise.
If the interview is done by phone, ensure you have a good connection and are somewhere quiet and either way, make sure you have water, paper and pencil ready to allow for full concentration.
How can we leverage new tech trends and appear in the media to provide expert commentary?
An awareness of tech trends and an educated opinion on them give you an excellent opportunity to provide expert commentary to the media.
Keeping ahead of trends gives you an edge as it allows you to approach journalists directly with a ‘just in case you’re covering x, our take on it is y’ which not only gives them a heads-up about the tech they may not be aware of but also a ready-made comment.
Establish yourself as a trusted source of informed comment and experience within your sector and then create a narrative about your contact with that particular tech trend, how you encountered it and the impact it has had on your organisation.
How do Tech PR agents approach journalists and writers continually without ‘burning’ our company name out?
Fear of boring the media or being over-exposed is valid, but a good Tech PR rep will know how to maintain the right balance.
There’s a fine line for PR agents between ensuring that their clients’ names are front and centre of a journalist’s mind and not spamming or pestering them.
The key is to provide the information about your company in a variety of different formats, from by-lined articles to case studies featuring your company’s clients and their use of your product or service, to profiles of one of your senior leaders.
The information can also be offered exclusively for one media, or previews for a handful of journalists.
It allows you to vary the rhythm, the format and the results.
Pitches by phone or email are also a fine way to place a story in a broader context and have the right journalists covering it.
An endless series of press releases will not endear you to a technology journalist; instead, consider suggesting content that will make their life easier.
A PR plan will help spread the information over several months and ensure that topics and format are not too repetitive.
Of course, the timing should also be taken into account to surf on relevant news items and integrate your story into them in a timely manner.
Fundamentally, the best tip is to make sure you know your journalists, what they are covering and the way in which they like to work.
Can we request which media outlets and tech publications we want to appear in?
An agency offering expert Tech PR solutions will know exactly where is best for you to be placed based on your company’s objectives, offerings and PR readiness.
They’ll work to create a target list of media outlets and publications along with you and map out a plan to ensure you appear in all of your desired publications at the appropriate time.
Your suggestions about where you think your story would bring the most value as well as journalists with whom you already have a strong relationship are always useful.
Start subscribing to your industry publications and anywhere else you could envisage your organisation appearing, and keep a close eye on which companies are featured and in what manner – are they profile pieces, bylined articles, news updates or comments within features around technology trends?
Once you have noticed a pattern then speak to your agency and make some suggestions – do you think they would be interested in our CEO talking about x? Could we do a case study on y?
If you notice that a particular blog or industry publication takes a hostile attitude toward a particular issue don’t bother fighting it, just avoid the publication.
You may also notice a particular presenter that seems to be called upon often to interview on a certain subject.
That is a definite go-ahead to contact the producer of the show, mention your observation and introduce a topic you think might make a good package.
How do Tech PR specialists continually come up with new story angles to keep us in the media?
Tech PR executives are trained to be creative in story optimisation, from creating multiple story angles to riding trends to reporting on recent studies or research data.
These are just some of the ways your media rep will keep you in the press.
Then there’s story extraction, which means wringing maximum media exposure from one original story.
An expert specialising in technology and public relations will get the maximum bang for your buck from every story.
So a new contract sign-up release will be used as an introduction for a case study further down the line, the pain point identified in the case study will then form the basis of a byline article about that particular issue, etc.
What are tech journalists and influential writers looking for when they’re creating stories about the tech industry?
All journalists like extremes; the biggest, the fastest, the most expensive and the first.
Tech journalists and influential writers in technology are no exception and any story that contains an extreme will be of interest, as will anything that promotes a debate about the use of tech (AI and robotics, legal guidelines around data, for example).
Something that contains the human element is also attractive; how does it help, who does it help and why should we care” is always a good starting point.
What type of ongoing media announcements can our tech company make without over-dramatising news or stories within our company?
To create a pipeline of media announcements that will ensure consistent coverage, new contract wins and comments on current affairs are useful.
Many tech sector journals have a sidebar devoted to people moves and contract wins that don’t get more than a bullet point but they still mean you’re making an appearance.
Social media is valuable for this also as most tech websites have a social feed that they update with nuggets of daily industry news.
What can we do with our own company, website and social media profiles to attract media interest?
To attract media interest yourself, think about the valuable and interesting work that your people are doing every day that may be of interest to the wider world.
A quick video of a project from beginning to end or a day in the life of a particular member of staff humanises your company and may give a journalist a starting point for a story.
How can we make our company more interesting from a media perspective?
You can make your company more interesting to the media by putting the human aspects of your story front and centre, and linking your product and service to any wider news stories happening at the time.
Good photography is always a bonus particularly if your product or service is used in a photogenic environment.
How involved will our company and our executives be in the PR process?
Your company’s senior leadership team and marketing executives should be involved in your PR activity as it is key messages generated by these individuals that will form the central pillars on which your PR activities rest.
PR is integral to the success of your business and it makes no sense to silo it.
If you team up with a good agency they will often suggest ways of disseminating information or even converting PR for use as a form of internal comms so keeping your agency at arm’s length means you fail to benefit from their know-how.
Do we need to be extroverts to appear in the media?
There’s no doubt that those that enjoy appearing in the media will often be extroverts but that’s by no means a prerequisite.
In fact, having a “character » in your company can often distract from the key message you are trying to get across.
It’s far more important that your spokespeople are calm, knowledgeable and likeable.
Is it worth doing media training before we launch a PR campaign or engage with the media?
PR experts would claim it is essential that your team is media trained before you launch a PR campaign or engage with the media.
After crafting your key messages and establishing exactly what you want to say, putting someone unprepared and media-shy in front of the camera can utterly derail all your hard work.
A media trainer provided by your PR company will give your spokesperson the opportunity to practise, remove stumbling blocks and provide hints and tips to maximise the value of the PR opportunity.
Storytelling, story structuring and pitching stories in the right way to the right media outlets, editors, journalists and writers is what tech publicist agencies do best.
Aside from strong relationships with the media, effective storytelling is the next most important element of a solid PR campaign.
Here are some important questions and answers about building stories and getting them into the right hands.
How do Tech PR professionals make us sound ‘edgy’ if we offer ‘boring’ tech products or services?
Searching for high-level PR services for tech companies can be half the battle, but the right experts will have multiple angles to leverage to keep your products/services or company interesting to the media.
Managing the communications around a ‘boring’ tech product or service is the reason to seek out true experts.
Firstly you need to decide if ‘edgy’ is how you actually want to sound – PR agencies would suggest that being referred to as useful, innovative, reliable and competitive are all much better outcomes than having the reputation for being edgy.
Just because the hardware/software might be ostensibly dull, the task it does and how it improves lives, experiences or work, is not.
It’s down to the customisation and emphasis of the human angles as they relate to your product or services which will keep you edgy, interesting and competitive as a media source.
How do Tech PR consultancies go about pitching us to the media?
Tech PR professionals pitch to the media all day, every day and every approach to every journalist needs customising in order to be effective.
To gain tech media coverage, every agent will have their own methods, ideas and contacts they can call upon when pitching your company.
Depending on the remit of the publication, a pitch may vary depending on whether the publication is looking for details of the software, a focus on sector-wide tech innovations or the end-user.
How do Tech PR experts employ effective storytelling to promote our brand to our target audience through the media?
Tech PR gurus use effective public relations storytelling to bring out the human narrative in your brand to promote the key elements of your product or service to your target audience.
A case study which describes how you solved a problem for a client is one proven method of effective storytelling as it’s highly relatable to your potential customer.
A profile of one of your senior leadership team demonstrating how their experience and attitude are helping shape the company is another fantastic way of formulating an appealing and engaging story to explain the benefits of what you do.
Having your tech company covered by the media is the dream of any founder or executive team.
However there are a few things to know, prepare for and strategise in order to get your story and messaging right to both attract and maintain media interest in you and/or your company.
Here are some important Q&As to consider.
Should we expect one-off PR coverage or ongoing coverage from one campaign?
The aim of your tech public relations agency will be to set up a pipeline of opportunities for your product, service or company after the initial contact.
If it’s a product, service or company launch you may get a flurry of coverage off the back of a press release which will then slow down and be followed by more in-depth pieces like profiles, thought-leadership articles and industry comment.
What does a tech public relations campaign involve from start to finish?
A thorough tech public relations consultancy will create a customised campaign plan detailing story angles and duration for each client.
They will continue to refine the scope of work and your key messages to ensure that you are comfortable with how your company is going to be presented in the media.
This phase can take a while because if a company has not performed this exercise before it can throw up a few challenges around perception.
It is however an absolutely essential exercise as it will form the cornerstone of future representation in the media.
An initial press release or intro will usually be followed by a follow-up face-to-face meeting for a briefing between your company spokesperson and the journalist.
If your company is launching something then you’ll get coverage off the back of a press release.
If you want to gain publicity for a start-up then thought leadership pieces and industry comment are a more useful way to go; when customers are few and far between for start-ups in the early stages then there is little to shout about initially.
The ideal is to create a conveyor belt of coverage with each piece building on the last.
The ‘finish’ of the custom-built campaign will be when you have hit the communication deliverables set by you and your agency (a realistic number of pieces of coverage across target media) and your message has been given out accurately and positively.
What level of brand awareness can we expect from a PR campaign?
The level of brand awareness you can expect differs hugely depending on the type of audience you are targeting and the type of product or service you are offering.
If you start with a brand awareness survey (your PR agency will be able to point you in the direction of someone who may be able to perform this, or if they are a multi-level agency may be able to do it themselves) then you can ascertain who knows you, how they found you and where they are…and most importantly who’s never heard of you and should have done.
Talk to your PR specialists, who will pinpoint the publications most likely to want to feature you and will target them in order of circulation so that your PR will get maximum brand awareness results.
A B2B trade or industry campaign in a niche publication will produce strong brand recognition by a small but important group.
Local campaigns will be slightly more diffused as you will be hitting a regional area but not necessarily a strictly relevant audience and international campaigns are obviously going to be seen by a much larger audience but not necessarily stick in the minds of your audience.
Is it better to be featured on TV, radio, print publications or digital publications?
Every media channel, (TV, radio, print or digital) has its own benefits, depending on the message you are trying to get across.
Top technology PR agencies will be able to establish who your target audience is and match up the medium with the message.
A massive audience is immaterial if it is made up of the wrong people.
What’s required to attract media interviews from top tech publications?
Media outlets and tech publications are desperate for experts to talk to about topical tech news, trends, new products/ services and commentary about how technology is shaping our lives.
All the best-known tech publications, media platforms and journalists work closely with top Tech PR companies they can count on for the best industry contacts.
Once tech journalists and writers find a credible and reliable source, they’re more likely to keep in touch for future stories.
You could be a source for tens or hundreds of journalists and publications, both general and tech-specific.
With as little as one PR campaign, you and your company can expand your influence and stamp your position as an authority in your niche or industry.
To attract media interviews here are some key tips:
- Have an informed, interesting and genuinely ‘’different’ take on an issue
- Position yourself as unique – ‘the only company to have….”
- Work at creating a good relationship with journalists
- Do your research on the publications in which you’d like to appear
- Be ready and willing to do interviews at short notice – if you’re going to be unavailable, don’t put yourself forward
- Have useful and relevant statistics and facts at your fingertips that will help the journalist and add value to an interview
- Have media training so you appear confident and ensure a second booking
PR for attracting new customers
With countless benefits of tech brand PR, by far the best would have to be for attracting new customers/clients.
Whether you offer tech B2B or B2C, attracting new clients, users or subscribers and increasing revenue, ARR or MRR, public relations is a powerful way to grow a brand fast.
Here are some ways in which tech media relations experts do just that.
How is Tech PR shown to attract new customers for tech companies like ours?
A piece in a tech or business publication that makes explicit the benefits of using your company, ideally within a case study that features a well-known or established client, can be used by your sales team to reach out to those within the same marketplace.
If you are covered positively in a trade journal then that gives you kudos and credibility and as for your end users, 70% of consumers would rather get to know a company via articles than ads according to the Content Marketing Institute.
The tech sector has a great many niche areas – a certain technology, an unusual approach, that tends to attract fierce devotees and if you can find and tap into that audience through your Tech PR then your sales conversion is half done for you.
Someone who reads a particular publication and sees you recommended in it will already be kindly disposed toward your product or brand.
What steps could our Tech PR agent take to help us grow our user base?
Your public relations agency will try to identify and approach an as yet untapped sector of potential users and access that through PR as well as conducting research or even a survey on your brand awareness and where the gaps are, filling them by judiciously placed pieces in target publications.
Case studies showing your product or service being used by a diverse range of companies across widely differing sectors, produced by tech public relations firms, allows you to access a greater swathe of potential users.
How can we use PR to underpin and boost our existing marketing?
Integrating your PR into your existing marketing enables PR to work within it rather than alongside it.
Public relations and media coverage provides an excellent opportunity to reinforce messaging and should be considered one of the essential pillars of your marketing philosophy.
It boosts and forms a foundation for your existing marketing by helping you to reach your target audience, accelerates awareness of your brand, amplifies your key messages and attracts investors.
How can SaaS PR be executed and managed to gain new subscribers on a consistent basis?
SaaS used to be a relatively easy sell into the media but now the marketplace has become ultra-competitive and tech public relations firms have realised that the integration of case studies into pitches is the way to stand out, as they provide an opportunity to showcase your benefits and highlight the calibre of the organisations you number among your clients.
Can technology PR be targeted to small geographical areas as well as national or international audiences?
Tech public relations can be targeted by narrow geographical areas as many areas have their own tech news sections of larger technology-focused publications.
These tend to be slightly wider in remit in order to create content but narrow in terms of location focus.
We have a very niche audience, can PR still help us reach our audience?
There is not a niche that doesn’t have its own corner of the internet and you’d be amazed at how narrow the focus is for some tech blogs and news websites.
If your audience is very niche then obviously your target market will be very small but you’ll know that when you get a result it is being noticed by the very people you have in your sights.
PR for recruitment
Public relations has so many little-known benefits and one of these is recruitment.
Ongoing media coverage of your tech brand positions you as an authority in your niche and industry, and the top experts working in your field will notice.
Being associated with a popular or growing tech brand delivers a status for employees that few companies can match.
It just might be the edge you need to hire key employees from your competitors and have them working for you instead.
How can PR be used to attract the top talent in the tech industry into working for our company?
If you are hoping to position yourself as a top employer and cream of the crop in your industry, PR is an excellent option for attracting ambitious and astute potential employees.
Good publicity for your company or organisation means you will appear in the media demonstrating the good qualities of your business and therefore positioning yourself as an enviable employer.
If a potential candidate for your senior role in your tech company googles your company, seeing a raft of positive pieces in the media will immediately create a great first impression and make you appear to be a destination employer.
Can PR help with retaining talent within our company?
Everybody wants to feel proud of where they work and positive PR that the company and its talent can show off helps not only to recruit top talent but also immeasurably with job satisfaction, which in turn helps with retention.
Good PR also shows that your company is willing to invest in its own longevity and success which is reassuring and inspiring for both potential and long-term talent.
What story angles could be used to position us as one of the top tech companies to work for?
Profiles of senior leaders and day-in-the-life pieces both highlight the benefits and advantages of working at a top tech company like yours.
Seeing the work at a granular level enables people to identify personally and envisage working with you.
News articles on any new technology or ways of working emphasise your dynamism and innovativeness.
Case studies also highlight the high-profile customers and stakeholders with whom you work, all of which add up to make you an attractive employer.
PR for events
Tech event PR can help broadcast your upcoming event, conference, or product/service launch announcement to your target audience to ensure your event is a success.
Here are some common questions about PR for tech events so that you build buzz and increase sales.
How can a Tech PR company help us to promote our tech events or conferences?
A Tech PR advisory can help across many angles to promote events or conferences.
Get your agency involved at the outset if you are planning a conference or event, and they will craft press releases revealing what will be on your event stand or discussed at your event as well as highlighting what you are showcasing and the issues involved or the media opportunities available.
How would a tech publicist agency help us invite tech journalists, writers, bloggers or influencers to our event or conference?
Your technology PR agency will create a target list of useful attendees that will engender coverage and invite them along with the promise of exposure to the most useful member of your team for an interview or briefing.
Even if it does not result in immediate coverage, the journalist will have gained an understanding of your products and have built a rudimentary relationship with your spokesperson.
Tech PR case studies
Reading Tech PR success stories can be inspiring and motivating when you begin to imagine all the possibilities a well-delivered PR custom-made campaign can do for your company.
Whether you’re in FinTech, AdTech, EdTech or a SAAS company, there are some impressive campaigns that can give you ‘proof of concept’ and inspire you to move forward with your own campaign.
Here are some great case studies to begin with.
Ballou was asked to position neobank Monese as one of the key players in the banking ecosystem and launch its brand on the French market by developing a highly targeted influencer campaign.
After the initial launch in a market where Monese had zero media awareness, thanks to Ballou Monese is now identified as one of the key players of the neobank market, particularly in France, its priority market, along with Revolut and N26.
We secured 270 articles during the campaign in Tier 1 business and generalists such as AFP, Les Echos, Le Figaro, France TV, La Tribune, 17 Interviews in the most influential generalist, business, tech, consumer and banking media outlets such as the French Press Agency (AFP), Le Monde, L’Usine Digitale, Capital, Presse-Citron and a speaking opportunity secured organically at the Mobile One event in Paris.
Ballou was asked to position the hidden champion as a frontrunner against global digital surveillance by raising the CEO’s profile as an open source thought leader in tech and business trade titles, as well as national media.
The goal of the ongoing campaign was also to raise overall awareness of the benefits of open source software and of Open-Xchange’s products, especially within the ISP community.
Ballou crafted a multi-channel PR campaign with a focus on thought leadership, news hijacking, cross-platform content creation and targeted briefings to bolster Open-Xchange’s and Rafael Laguna’s reputation in the sector.
The Ballou team reached a point of receiving inbound requests for comment from high-profile media, such as Business Insider and Süddeutsche Zeitung.
Within a year, Ballou had secured 99 cuttings in national, tech and business publications in Germany including top-tier titles such as FAZ, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Focus Online, t3n, and many others. In the UK, the Ballou team secured 19.8 million views.
US edtech company Udacity and Ballou have had a long-term relationship over a number of years, and most recently Ballou was approached to increase the nanodegree provider’s brand awareness in the UK.
Nothing explains better than direct experience so Ballou provided access to the nanodegrees to Tier One journalists to try out themselves, organised in-person and written interviews to discuss the industry and the need for tech education and positioned Udacity as the number one expert in the field of technology education, covering topics such as self-driving cars, flying cars, data science and much more.
In Germany, Ballou secured 98 cuttings in national media, tech and business publications including top-tier titles such as FAZ, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Focus Online and t3n. Our latest profile-raising exercise saw Udacity being featured on the BBC and in The Observer among other national media.
Working with a Tech PR agency
Finding the right technology public relations company to work with is an important decision.
Choosing the wrong agency can set your PR back months while choosing the right agency can accelerate the growth of your company significantly.
The best Tech PR firms not only need to be good at what they do, but they also need to understand you and your company.
Here are some important questions about Tech PR services …
Do most Tech PR providers offer fully integrated media relations or is it just about PR coverage?
Some agencies offer PR solely and others offer a full service from communications to reputation management – it depends on the size of the agency and the skill-set of the team.
Tech PR and additional services can be delivered by boutique agencies all the way up to an international agency and each will include or exclude services based on their expertise.
How can we get our tech company featured in publications like Wired, TechCrunch, Venture Beat and others?
A good high Tech PR company will have contacts with journalists in all the high-profile publications and websites and will sell-in a crafted story to match up with their publication criteria.
This depends on the quality of the story, obviously, but with persistence and creativity and a good Tech PR representative behind you, there is no reason why you should not get coverage if you have a credible and engaging story to tell.
How can a Tech PR agency position our founder or CEO as a thought leader in our industry?
Journalists become weary of industry leaders who are unwilling to admit to strong opinions or who are not prepared to be unpopular.
Anodyne responses to industry issues do not engage anybody, but genuine, heartfelt, reasoned arguments inspire debate and also make the proponent look authentic.
If your founder or CEO has something to say (as long as it is kept within the bounds of acceptability) then work with your high Tech PR agency to craft the message and seek coverage in think pieces.
How does B2B Tech PR differ from B2C?
B2B Tech PR firms (business to business) usually use a more technical approach and writing as their role is to explain how two organisations can help each other solve a pain point or fulfil a need.
The end user is not necessarily involved.
A consumer Tech PR agency will perform B2C (business to consumer PR), which is more direct, engaging with the end user and explaining exactly how the product or service will improve their lives, save them money or increase efficiency.
A B2B campaign would be targeted at tech sector publications, whereas a B2C campaign may be initiated by a consumer technology PR agency targeting national or regional consumer media.
How would our internal marketing team work with an agency to generate PR for our brand?
Ideally, a representative from your agency should work closely with your internal marketing team, including attending regular meetings, to get an idea of where the priorities lie for the internal marketing and comms team and to keep abreast of any client wins and potential new stories.
Communication between the internal marketing team and the external tech public relations team should be regular and open.
How does a Tech PR consultancy help us communicate our unique message to the media?
High-tech public relations is about having your tech brand’s messages communicated correctly to entice media interest as well as interest from potential customers.
An agency will work with you to craft your key messages and communicate them to your target publications through engaging copywriting, emotional storytelling and media relationships.
Just like your products or services need to be ‘sold’ to customers, your company needs to be ‘sold’ to media outlets, journalists and editors in order to appear in the best publications.
What strategic planning is involved with a PR campaign?
By employing an effective PR strategy for tech companies within your overall campaign you will ensure that the two run in tandem and support each other.
The key messages will be compiled along with the media list.
As part of an overall tech digital strategy, it’s wise to plan in terms of broader industry news and timings.
This will ensure that the launch campaign maximises opportunities (ie making sure that different lead times are met for different publications’ deadlines).
If your campaign is running internationally, a global PR strategy should be intrinsically linked to your wider company strategy to ensure absolute congruence.
How should we compare top Tech PR firms to decide which one is the best for our unique tech company?
Deciding which of the many high Tech PR firms would work best with your tech company is tricky.
Public relations for technology companies is all about communication and relationships.
It doesn’t matter what fantastic results they achieve for their clients or how prestigious their other clients are, if you don’t get on with your technology public relations agency you’re not going to work happily together.
Rather than hunting through websites, read your sector media and find articles or profiles that you like, and in which you could imagine your own company featuring.
Once you’ve found a selection of PR ideas for tech companies that you like, then find the agencies that set up these opportunities and contact them.
Every agency will tell you that they are responsive, creative and have great contacts, so you need to get deeper into your research before signing on the dotted line.
Even the best technology PR firms may use a way of working that simply does not suit you.
What niches within the technology industry do PR companies service?
Some agencies focus on data-driven PR and will specialise in tailored campaigns for very niche areas but most will cover a broad range of technology companies offering a full service, and their tech public relations strategy will include the following:
- Cyber security PR
- VR/AR PR
- SAAS PR
- Ecommerce PR
- Online retail PR
- Online recruitment / Tech-enabled recruitment
- Real estate tech PR / Proptech PR
- Healthtech PR
- Mobility & IoT PR
- Fintech PR
- Envirotech PR
- Travel tech PR
- Automotive tech PR
- Biotech PR
- Crypto / Blockchain /NFT / Web3 PR
- Adtech PR
- Edtech PR
- Cloud technology PR
- Software development PR
- App development PR
- AI & robotics PR
- B2C tech PR
- B2B tech PR
- Insurtech PR
- Science tech PR
- Enterprise tech PR
- Marketing tech PR
- Consumer tech PR
- Entertainment tech PR
- Defence tech PR
What are some examples of ongoing news announcements we can broadcast and gain media coverage for?
In terms of PR and technology, exciting news should be reserved for full press releases, but a mix of new contract wins, talent shifts and awards may get coverage on sector-specific websites.
What are some popular PR services for tech companies?
Working with you may involve one or more of the following services or strategies to ensure your message is structured and delivered in the right way.
- Media relations, briefings and alerts – Keeping journalists updated with news about your company and products
- Media planning & press kits – Creating collateral giving the media all the background details on your company
- Press releases/news distribution – Drafting news bulletins in the form of press release writing that are distributed to a target media list
- Multi-channel PR campaigns – Editing information to suit publications, websites, podcasts and social media
- Broadcast interviews – Preparing, briefing and setting up interviews for broadcast channels
- Podcast interviews – Preparing, briefing and setting up appearances on podcasts
- Product reviews/product testing – Briefing journalists and sending out products for journalists to test and review
- News hijacking – Identifying news events that link to your product or service and piggybacking on them
- Cross-platform content creation – Editing information to suit publications, websites, podcasts and social media
- Press trips – Organising visits by journalists to briefings at your headquarters or manufacturing base
- B2B or B2C surveys and reports – Commissioning surveys, reports and research that will generate coverage
- Media training/media preparation – Professional training to ensure that your spokespeople are maximising every media opportunity
- Campaign photography – Shots of leadership for corporate Tech PR and product shots compiled in various formats for different publications and channels
- Op-ed pieces – Byline writing of opinion pieces attributed to a senior staff member, usually the CEO
- Reactionary statements – Preparing statements for crisis situations and reacting to company issues
Find Tech PR experts near you
Finding and working with the best technology public relations firm is crucial to your success.
If you’re serious about creating, broadcasting and managing your PR campaigns effectively, consider European Tech PR agency Ballou PR in the UK, France or Germany for promoting your company locally or Europe-wide. Let’s see if we can work together!
Tech PR agency UK
As one of the top Tech PR agencies in London and the UK, Ballou can help you gain top-tier media coverage for your tech brand.
Working with award-winning Tech PR agency, Ballou and our expert consultants in our London office means you’ll have access to the top media outlets and tech publications in the UK, Europe and beyond.
Tech PR firms Europe
Throughout Europe including France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, Austria and beyond, Ballou has specialist PR advisors on the ground in all major centres.
For a Tech PR agency in Paris, our local team can help you reach French consumers or businesses through our extensive network of PR contacts.
Your tech brand could feature in national media publications like Le Monde, Le Figaro, and Libération as well as in specialist tech publications like The French Tech Journal, La French Tech and FrenchWeb.
For the top Tech PR agency in Germany, our Berlin team can work with you to build purpose-driven PR campaigns
Your company could be featured in large German publications like Bild, Suddeutsche Zeitung, Handelsblatt or business and tech-specific publications such as Die Zeit, Gruenderszene.de, capital.de and deutsche-startups.de.
You can arrange a free PR consultation with one of the local tech media associates to discuss potential strategies for your company.
PR can help tech companies achieve their objectives in many ways.
Positive coverage in trade and national press can raise awareness of your brand, which in turn will entice new customers.
For existing customers, by-lined articles give your company or organisation more authority and can increase subscriptions, sales and revenues.
Working with one of the top-ranking Tech PR firms can ensure your company is showcased as an authoritative industry leader, which can attract investors and give you a powerful advantage over competitors.
Schedule a consultation today by submitting the form below.