Improving lead generation is often a priority for tech companies, and many will turn to PR to help highlight new products or solutions, reach new audiences and build credibility in order to achieve this goal.
It's true that PR services can deliver all the above, and more. But there isn't a one-size-fits-all strategy for success. Great media relations requires careful planning and confident execution. It depends on great content, great delivery and - occasionally - great patience.
But in order to meet immediate business goals, PR strategy is often rushed or approached in a haphazard way. While creative energy is a good thing, it must be harnessed and well placed. If targets aren't met, the spark can quickly fizzle out and less effort goes into fuelling the PR machine for the next day.
At Essential we know what it takes to build and maintain a successful PR programme that generates leads. We also know the reasons why it often fails, and what to avoid when it comes to designing a press relations plan to attract new leads.
With that in mind, here are seven examples of tech PR not meeting expectations:
1. Quality v quantity
It's an old one, but that doesn't make it any less true.
With the growth in online media outlets and other digital destinations for tech news, the temptation can be to pump out content in order to get coverage in as many places as possible.
But in fact, a well placed comment on a news story in an influential title for your audience could be worth ten times as much. A unique, thought-provoking comment is also more likely to help build relationships with key journalists compared to a bulk copy-and-paste response.
Read more in our blog on quality v quantity
2. It's not us, it's you
If you're working with a public relations agency, you have to be able to trust them. But they have to trust in you as well. That means meeting deadlines, accepting media responsibilities, learning key messages and knowing when to use them.
Leaving reporters hanging will damage your chances of getting coverage in the future, and carefully planned messages will never reach their target.
3. Thought leaders rise to the top
You can discuss breaking news, give interviews and write opinion pieces, but if you're not saying anything new or - even worse - only talking about yourself, you will find yourself at the bottom of the pile in the tech media.
Industry experts that are featured in the top tech titles understand emerging trends and educate. Building respect and reputation in this manner is effective in reaching a new audience and boosting your brand.
4. Making the most of coverage
You've got a hit with a key tech media outlet - great! But the work doesn't end there.
To really squeeze the lead-generating potential from your coverage you can post news on your website, share the coverage on your social media channels and reuse it in your marketing collateral.
5. Building credibility
News stories offer more credibility than advertising, but it takes more effort - that's why it's often referred to as 'earned media'.
It doesn't happen overnight, but when you have a string of great coverage (and you've made the most of it, as above) new prospects and existing customers alike can't help but be impressed and encouraged.
6. Plain English
While it may be natural for us to use acronyms and shorthand for issues we deal with on a daily basis, using lots of specialised jargon isn’t the best way to get your point across. In fact, it’s likely to turn a lot of journalists and their readers off.
Successful PR understands that the web has changed reading behaviour and uses appropriate language to make your audience more likely to engage with your content.
7. Be consistent
The first few months of a PR plan can fly by, but if you don't get the results you aimed for then the temptation is to take your foot off the gas. But treating PR as a part-time effort is a mistake and you can easily miss crucial opportunities that require a quick response.
Being well-prepared and able to respond to breaking news and other media opportunities is vital to keep coverage flowing and growing over time, as well as keeping your business regularly in the spotlight.