“I want to be in the FT”. Words a tech PR dreads to hear. It’s never an easy task to get national coverage and the FT takes a very specific PR strategy.
Certainly there is huge kudos in appearing in the FT. It’s one of Britain’s most respected business titles and has an international following so there’s no doubt that any coverage would be high quality.
However, it’s unlikely that it will do much to help you sell your IoT widgets in the long-run. That's because the people reading the FT are CEO, brokers and investors. They are highly unlikely to be making the operational decisions about which is the best IoT device to buy. Sure they might have signed off the IoT strategy but that is probably where their involvement ends until the PO needs to be signed.
It's so important to know who it is you want to sell to and what it is they want to know before they make a decision.
In this example, it's far better to consider the CTO and therefore the titles they will be reading. Information Age, IDG, Computer Weekly are all staples for IT execs. That's where the real value is for tech PR.
They will want to read about the issues of the day - the pros and cons of IoT widgets, the implications for the network applications, the cloud and security.
Matching your business' key messages to these topics is a far better strategy for getting quality coverage that will actually make a difference to your company's profile with decision makers, and thus improve your chances of consideration.
It's this approach which also heads off the cry for coverage in every outlet you can name. While it might be brilliant to have dozens of pieces of coverage for your story, you have to consider how much time and effort it will take to achieve it, and what the net gain will be.
It brings us back to the question of who will read it and what will they do as a result? Are they likely to make a purchasing decision? Invariably the answer will be no for 80% of the cases.
That's why it is often far better to focus on the top 20%. The titles that are read by people who are hungry for knowledge and information that helps them to do their jobs more successfully. They look for people they can trust and who demonstrate they are a leader in what they do. They want the reassurance that the decision they will make to work with you is the right one and will look to the press for impartial endorsement.
It's very easy for PR to become a numbers game. But when time is money it's far better to be single minded about which titles you want to be in, ones you know are read by your targets and are more likely to generate leads, than go for coverage for coverage sake. And a time when proving an ROI is so important, it's this approach that will pay dividends.