Marijane Funess March 18, 2014 | 10:20:44

Spring-Clean Your Tech PR Tool Kit

Though much of the nation’s weather belies it, spring starts March 20th. With it comes a good excuse to examine how your PR firm is doing “digital” and do some sprucing for the rest of the year. Start with these five tips.

Define and declare. Everyone wants to jump on the tech PR bandwagon. If your firm genuinely knows the space inside and out, including the leaders in enterprise tech and other segments, shout it to the rooftops. Can you do a byline demonstrating your expertise, appear on a key industry trade show panel, or create a separate agency blog on the topic? At the very least, make sure your PR client win releases in the sector are out there.

Win at storytelling. While you’re waiting for Wired or TechCrunch to tell your client’s story – tell parts of it yourself. Today’s companies shape their own narratives via social and other owned channels, especially when they’re savvy enough to know the difference between what the tech reporters will jump on and what will make theme say “meh.” Don’t wait for validation from traditional and digital media to vet the smaller stories, run with them.

Don’t forget about the personal side. Are you sticking to your client’s new products and services for most of your media outreach? Don’t forget the human faces behind the devices or apps. There are many outlets focusing on scintillating personality stories, philanthropy angles, or up-from-nothing entrepreneurs. Delve into the people on the team and see what stories rise to the top.

Know your social media. Don’t roll your eyes! If you’ve let your client’s social media efforts become complacent – settling for likes and retweets instead of more actionable lead-generators, take a page from Marc Ostrofsky in his new book, Word of Mouse: 101+ Trends in How We Buy, Sell, Live, Learn, Work, and Play.  Ostrofsky counsels treating different social networks as different languages, with each network also offering its own demographic.

As an example, he says “I don’t want to market my book via Twitter as much as I want to market it via Linkedln.. Why? Because Twitter is much more a young person’s medium, whereas Linkedln is much more beneficial for promoting a book that’s business-related. More than ever, knowing who your customers are and what their needs are is tremendously important-without a deep understanding of their customers, brands will lag behind competitors.”

Keep on top of the sales cycle. Tech companies are bought and sold at the speed of light. Are you aware of where your digital client is in the cycle? Are they positioned for sale to the right company? Does your team know enough about the buy side to provide the most current counsel? Bring salient research and recommendations to the client ahead of being asked and position yourselves as in-the-know experts.

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