There has never been as much buzz around technology as there is today. Technology is not a standalone entity; it is interwoven into every facet of society. It has an impact on every single thing we do as there and as a result, brands are increasingly including their technological expertise as a key selling point of their business, regardless of their sector. Nick Braund, head of technology and innovation at PHA Media, shares his tips for standing out...
Tech investment reached £6.8 billion in the UK last year, which is 50 per cent higher than any other European country, according to Tech Nation. It’s no wonder why when VCs and angels are seeing huge growth opportunities and with them, massive returns. Turnover of digital tech businesses reached £170bn in 2016, an increase of £30bn in just five short years.
In the face of all of this competition, it has never been harder to get your technology business to stand out. Although tech-focused journalists alone have grown exponentially, so too have the businesses vying for the same column inches. Therefore, it is now more essential than ever to get the right approach when pitching a story, and by following a few rules, you can increase the chances that you and your product will get noticed.
It may sound obvious but the better packaged the story the more appealing it is likely to be. A well-researched article, complimented with case studies and examples will stand out above any pitch of bullet point ideas. Do the hard work for them.
Target the right journalists
A quality over quantity approach should also be taken when pitching to journalists. A send to all method can have negative effects on your reputation if a story isn’t appropriate for the reporter’s target audience. Pitch smartly to the few journalists that your story is relevant to, without forgetting the outlet they are working for. They will thank you for it.
Make it interesting
The cardinal sin when submitting a press release is to be too self-promotional. Self-serving articles rarely get published and caution should be taken during the process to consider this. It’s easy for brands to contract ‘baby isn’t beautiful’ syndrome, where being told that news from your company isn’t of interest is almost a personal affront. When launching your brand or bringing a new product to the market, structure your approach by asking yourself: will anyone else care?!
React to the news agenda
Fitting stories around the news agenda is a fantastic way to keep things relevant. Large stories dominate the news agenda for the full day, if not longer. To ensure the story remains relevant, media outlets utilise expert commentary with strong opinions.
Making sure your voice is the one that’s heard requires quick reflexes and snappy key messages. Remember to not shoehorn your company name into the news with no real purpose – ask what you can add to the story.
Use your expertise
Remember that your people are your greatest assets. Your company is made up of individuals with invaluable insights from success thus far and natural areas of expertise and opinions.
Positioning your personnel as ‘experts’ can not only bring authority to your company name but also give the illusion that you’re bigger than you are.
Creative campaigns are a fantastic way to get your brand noticed in a fun way, generating a different type of coverage and reaching new audiences.
We’re not talking about stunts here – the campaign must be relevant to your brand and help position it in a constructive way, and the right one can have a significant impact in both the short and long-term.
Another key area of PR activity is based not on reacting to the news agenda, but on creating it. Brands can shape stories and headlines from data. All tech companies have data, but some don’t realise its PR value.
Behaviour patterns and trends are often of interest to the press, helping to confirm theories or, alternatively, shock with unusual findings.
Finally, a great way of humanising your tech is to use personal case studies. Who has used your product, software of service for good? How has it helped them, personally or financially?
These success stories have the potential to validate everything you are trying to say in your messaging so dig deep for those customers who can become your brand ambassadors.