In a world of nonstop media, how can a public relations professional cut through the noise to make a company’s brand stand out? It often comes down to the right media strategy. In our case, we focus on the best approach to attract the attention of key technology journalists who want to cover the company and its story. But the right strategy will work for any type of company.
A successful media strategy should inform a range of tactics to attract attention from the right journalists and influencers. When built and executed well, a good media strategy can enable better visibility, enhanced credibility, stronger relationships with customers and more.
With that in mind, here are five tips for a successful media strategy for technology companies:
Don’t overcomplicate it
The strategy doesn’t need to tackle every possible business angle from the get-go. Instead, start with a broad roadmap for packaging the company message and backstory. Then think about how its announcements, plans and executive leadership can offer proof points and articulate ways to tell the story. Everything should map back to the overall brand narrative. For example, a client of ours, Fractal, which is a global leader in artificial intelligence and analytics, powering decision-making in Fortune 500 companies, helps customers allocate capital, generate new business opportunities, manage risk and develop new products. Each supporting tactic and piece of content should work to tell that larger story. If it doesn’t, it isn’t included in our plan.
Find newsworthy stories in your business plan
Review the plan through the eyes of a journalist. Keep in mind that journalists are looking for “news” – anything that is fresh, different, or evidence of a trend. In March, Amazon shared that it would be ramping up hiring and opening 100,000 new roles to support people relying on the company’s services during COVID-19-induced lockdowns. This announcement was published in various media outlets, including NPR, CNBC and many others. This was a great example of how using part of a company’s business strategy can help to gain traction in the media.
It’s also worth mentioning that in addition to receiving coverage, the Amazon story supported its mission to be the “Earth’s most customer-centric company.”
Make your pitch schedule timely
Identify and map out potential media opportunities that could occur during the year, such as product launches, new service offerings, company-hosted events, and the like. Then, fold them into the strategy with press announcements that are well-timed, such as before a specific season, holiday, or other relevant occasion.
There was an excellent example of this last year, when event success technology platform Bizzabo launched EMPOWER NYC, an invite-only event celebrating women in business, marketing and leadership, on International Women’s Day. The well-timed launch of the event helped to secure placement in relevant media outlets, including Adweek.
Build your strategy with measurement and reporting in mind
Think of how you’ll be expected to measure and report success while creating your plan. Leaders of tech companies in particular are very data and metric-minded, and expect their PR representative to present success in a similar manner to how they track other aspects of their business.
PR professionals should work within their organization to define their expectations for measurement and success at the start of any program. Examples of such measurable markers could include website traffic; social shares for branded content; message pull-through in earned media stories; or share-of-voice relative to competitors over a period of time.
Use backward goal-setting when creating your strategy
Most technology companies are interested in driving traffic to their website, as well as downloads for content, and ultimately conversions of prospects to customers. Many may want to get in front of potential investors. Some may also use media to answer customer support questions or to get feedback which they can then use to improve product development. The point is, each business will have distinct goals, and they should inform the overall PR and media strategy.
Working backward from there will inform a strategic plan and create a structure for prioritization. This way you can better map out the specific milestones that must be reached to identify where creative tactics are needed to achieve desired results.
A strong media strategy can improve brand reputation, enhance company image, build stronger relationships, and even increase sales and profits. For those able to build and execute a robust media strategy successfully, the benefits – and the payback – will be immense.