If a tree falls in an empty forest...

“If a tree falls in a forest and no-one is there, does it make a sound?” In tech PR terms, the answer to George Berkeley’s famous philosophical question is very simple: no, it doesn’t.

When browsing tech firms' websites - especially start ups - you often come across ‘news’ pages fully populated with stories, blogs or press releases that quite clearly have never gone anywhere, beyond being published on their own company website.

The unfortunate fact is that writing press releases and other marcom documentation solely to publish on your own website is wasted effort. Unsurprisingly, journalists and editors do not spend their time trawling websites looking for interesting stories - and so pr stories just published on your own website will never actually see the light of day unless someone takes the time to push them, to send them to selected writers and editors on a compelling fashion.

When I see news pages like this I always think it's a pity, because quite clearly these stories are considered company milestones of one sort or another, and the opinions expressed in blogs are considered - usually correctly, by the way - to be of real interest to industry colleagues in your area of interest. So taking the next step should also be worth considering: properly packaged and sent to the correct writers and publications, your stories can make headlines, and position you right where you want to be: in front of your prospective customers, often in influential industry publications.

And there is no doubt that these 'falling trees in an empty forest' represent a massive wasted opportunity. Because not only will these stories pitch your product and company to your market, they will also attract many of them back to your website, where you might then consider offering them further insights in return for some basic information about themselves. And in the case of blogs or opinion pieces, they will pitch your CEO or CTO - and by extension, the company itself - as an industry authority.

Furthermore, you can add significantly to your online presence, spreading your message beyond your own website onto important industry portals, and consequently enhancing your ranking with search engines.

When people visit your news pages, they are looking for evidence that you exist outside your own reality. If you consider something is noteworthy enough to go to the trouble of writing a press release or blog about it, it stands to reason that you should also consider it worthy of dissemination – to selected writers, editors, or directly to your prospective customers.

Or hire someone who will do it for you.

(Pic: Hallowe'en Cotoneaster)

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