The thing about tech PR is that it looks easier than it is.
Many of the tasks associated with getting good exposure for tech firms are, on the face of it, pretty simple and straightforward – a couple of well written paragraphs of text here, a well-placed email there, maybe a blog or two, a call to a journalist. But the real trick to PR is identifying these jobs in advance, planning for them, getting them done properly, and following them through to their conclusion.
This is why PR is a function that is taken so seriously by savvy tech CEOs. Every tech company has regularly occurring milestones that are great raw material for any PR campaign. Funding, products, new hires. And in the hands of a talented and engaged PR person, they will inevitably get the exposure appropriate to their importance, and often well well beyond it.
Sometimes though, in the hands of a less enthusiastic individual or PR firm, the key tasks are only partially completed – the press list isn’t researched well enough, the press release isn’t crafted well, no previews, no follow through, blogs left sitting on your website, not enough effort is put into maintaining contact with the small numbers of key writers who have made your business their area of expertise and influence. Then, the full opportunity isn’t realised, the occasion passes, and you are back where you started.
And sometimes as well, a company might begin to feel confident, that it is their brilliant product on its own, and not the hardworking PR person who is achieving all this media success. "We would probably have got all that coverage anyway". "The press would have inevitably found their way to our door". Then, when they have disengaged from their PR effort, or changed providers, they wonder where all that great momentum they once had with the media went.
If you are embarking on a PR programme, make sure to do it properly. I admit my chosen profession is not rocket science. But it is pretty hard work, certainly harder than others - engineers, for example! - think it is. And if you decide to chose a PR firm to work with, make sure they are engaged and curious. And not just going through the motions, and letting you plot your own PR course unaided.
Make sure it’s done properly.