Timing is everything, even in B2B tech PR. Anyone who has represented a business product or service knows that delivering the right message at the right time – or failing to – can make or break the success of a PR campaign. You want to make sure you’re allowing enough time to pitch in advance of a news event, whether it’s something you control or an independent event that offers some borrowed interest to your own story. When in doubt, overestimate the time needed. Unexpected things happen, and it’s our job to be prepared.
Understanding lead times is essential. It lets PR people plan, strategize and execute campaigns with precision. Editors at most publications make their editorial calendars public months in advance. By knowing and following these timelines (and deadlines), PR folks can pick the perfect time to pitch stories. Good timing greatly increases the likelihood of securing high-quality, earned coverage. If you send the wrong type of pitch – or even the right pitch, but too late – you might be ignored for that simple reason.
The B2B tech sector offers unique opportunities to make the most out of holidays, events and occasions in PR strategies. It’s important, however, to ensure that you’re choosing events that align with your brand’s identity and the interests of its audience. If the event or holiday is too big a stretch or unrelated to your client, your pitch might be ignored, and you can even damage your credibility with the reporter for the future.
Seasonal opportunities aren’t just a B2C thing; the calendar is a gold mine. There are scores of potential dates that B2B tech brands can use to generate high-impact coverage. Here’s a subset:
CES (Early January): The Consumer Electronics Show is an ideal platform to announce new tech products or share thought leadership pieces predicting tech-related trends for the new year. And despite its name, it is definitely not limited to consumer products.
Data Privacy Day (January 28): This occasion offers a perfect chance to emphasize a company’s commitment to data privacy, or to share thought leadership on the importance of privacy in the digital age.
International Women’s Day (March 8): Leverage this day to highlight the contributions of women in tech within your organization, or unveil initiatives that promote gender diversity in tech.
World Backup Day (March 31): If your company is involved in data management, storage or security, this day can be a great opportunity to share expert advice or product launches related to data backup.
Artificial Intelligence Appreciation Day (July 16): AI is everywhere. But this particular day offers an opportunity to highlight specific AI innovations, share your vision for the future of AI or tackle pressing ethical concerns.There are many ways to have a smart take on AI, even if you’re not an AI business (yet).
Back to School (August-September): Retail-focused brands can also take advantage of this period to build long-term customer loyalty with bundled offers, personalized shopping experiences, useful tips for parents and students and more.
Cybersecurity Awareness Month (October): With cybersecurity being a critical concern in tech, October is an ideal time to share insights on secure technologies, launch cybersecurity products or address how your company is enhancing its security measures.
Black Friday (November): The biggest shopping day of the year is an unbeatable opportunity for retail brands to tout special deals, unveil new products and provide commentary on any shopping trends they’re seeing.
End-of-Year Predictions (December): As the year winds down, reporters are always working articles looking ahead to the following year. Regardless of industry, it’s a good idea to get some thoughts from execs and pitch to relevant publications as a way to build credibility in a given space.
News happens, especially around holiday times when media outlets may be short-staffed. That’s why a strong rapid-response process (also known as “newsjacking”) can make a big difference when it comes to holiday-related media coverage. Be ready with your best material because when news breaks, you may have a four-hour window to be a part of the segment or story.
Preparation means not only having a relevant pitch and backstory ready, but prepared content, opinion commentary, or interview messaging that’s pertinent to the occasion. Most PR people don’t want to give everything away with the first approach, because a strong follow-up offer or colorful quote can close the deal or make the difference in how your company or clients is positioned in the final story. It’s also critical to prepare your spokesperson for the interaction, even if it’s not a formal interview. A five-minute prep call makes a world of difference.