How Public Relations Can Enhance AdTech Marketing

As adtech PR specialists, we know that the sector is increasingly crowded, with companies tackling similar issues across the digital advertising and marketing landscape. It’s a challenge to stand out as an adtech company, especially as a “vendor.” Just take a look at the LUMAscape above to get an idea of the adtech display category. And that’s just one of many; the folks at LUMA have similar graphics for CTV advertising, martech, ecommerce, mobile, and much more. The category is only getting more crowded, and the environment more fragmented.

For customers, this intense competition and the alphabet soup of acronyms and confusing claims can be overwhelming. The clutter makes it tough to determine which solutions will best suit their needs. Adtech brands must find creative ways to cut through the noise and highlight the value their particular technology brings to customers and the industry.

Despite best efforts, marketing alone isn’t enough for adtech companies to differentiate themselves from the competition and convert customers. So how can they stand out on a crowded playing field?

Enhancing adtech marketing efforts through PR

As adtech marketing becomes more difficult, public relations (PR) presents an opportunity to kick those efforts into hyperdrive.

Unlike marketing or advertising, PR is rooted in amplifying a company narrative and key differentiators through trusted, independent third-party sources. It allows companies to highlight their unique expertise, their capabilities, and even successful customer outcomes through compelling storytelling that shapes customer opinion and perception at scale.

Strategic PR delivers many benefits for adtech brands.

Earned media exposure drives credibility

Being featured in leading trade publications or recognized by industry awards gives adtech vendors third-party validation that goes a long way in demonstrating the value of their product to potential customers. This credibility elevates the brand beyond competitors who may only highlight their offerings through narrow, paid advertising and marketing channels.

Thought leadership elevates reputation

Amplifying commentary and insights from executives within your organization underscores brand expertise and drives a positioning of authority. Similarly, speaking engagements, contributed articles, and other thought leadership platforms are crucial to showcasing an adtech brand’s perspective on industry issues and trends.

The right narrative can differentiate an adtech “vendor”

With effective storytelling that spotlights a company’s culture, values, innovations, or customer outcomes, PR can set it apart from competitors—even those with similar services. It focuses less on products and more on their values as a business and a workplace.

PR helps build brand affinity

By shaping public opinion and perception, PR builds brand affinity and consideration to influence purchase decisions. It gives adtech brands a distinct edge in an overly commoditized marketplace.

Adtech companies striving to distinguish themselves from competitors should consider how PR can work within the marketing mix. With the right PR strategy or partner, adtech companies can propel their brand to the forefront, reaching the right audiences and setting themselves apart. In the face of evolving challenges in adtech marketing, PR has become a valuable tool for driving visibility and trust, and ultimately for securing a competitive advantage.

Riding The Mobile Wave: What’s In It For PR?

In the public relations world, keeping up with trends is the name of the game. One game-changer is the surging use of mobile phones, thanks to conveniences like mobile streaming and online shopping right in the palm of our hand. The mobile craze, including a rise in mobile commerce (m-commerce), has advertisers and publishers trying to capitalize on consumerism. But what does this mean for public relations professionals?

The Mobile Surge Means New PR Opportunities

We’re in the age of mobile dominance, and it’s affecting the way consumers absorb content. And as technology advances, readers are gravitating toward websites and platforms that offer a seamless mobile user experience.

For PR teams, this means a whole new playground for getting the word out. It also means we should try to influence our companies and clients to get ahead of the mobile trend with innovations like a website that’s optimized for voice search, or – importantly – a mobile site that is accessible to those with disabilities. More directly, the rising popularity of podcasts and other mobile-centric media channels indicate new storytelling opportunities and platforms for PR.

How Mobile Technology Can Shape PR Strategies and Tactics

PR media placements

Platforms that offer a strong mobile experience are catching everyone’s attention. When strategizing PR placements, it’s essential to prioritize platforms with robust mobile interfaces. At minimum, press releases, blog posts and other PR material need to be optimized for mobile viewing to ensure the message gets through.

Mobile usage also has implications for other content we produce. Short, pithy, and digestible articles and videos, as well as images that pop on a smaller device are now table stakes.

Social commerce

Social commerce is mobile’s latest opportunity. According to a study of 6000 consumers by Global-e online, a majority of both Millennial (54%) and Gen-Z (55%) shoppers say social media is their number one channel for discovering international brands, with Instagram leading as the preferred platform for purchase (62%), followed closely by TikTok. While not all social shopping is done on mobile devices, the addition of one-click pay and the ubiquity of digital wallets have propelled m-commerce. The trend is particularly striking among Millennials and Gen-Zers, who are now reaching adulthood and coming into their spending power. PR teams have a big opportunity to leverage social influencers for not only brand content, but click-to-buy opportunities.

Podcasts and mobile-first media

Podcasts are riding the mobile wave big time. They’re terrific tools for PR teams because they offer a fresh way to spread a PR message, and they tend to be highly targeted. We look at podcasts as a powerful tool for communicating thought leadership by client executives, especially on key topics like building a business culture, management, marketing differentiation, and the like.

Engagement metrics

The mobile era has redefined engagement metrics. Usage and frequency are more important than downloads and installs, for example, and for most campaigns, interaction is the key measure of success. Understanding engagement metrics helps PR and communications professionals recognize the impact of their media placements and campaigns.

Riding The Mobile Advertising Wave

Mobile shopping and streaming are at the forefront of mobile-centric advertising strategies. That’s one reason why AI and ML are emerging as key ways to enhance ad effectiveness and personalization.  While adtech is innovating, there’s a prime opportunity for public relations teams as well. Rather than working in a silo, PR people should lean into adtech advances to create compelling narratives. By integrating PR efforts with modern ad personalization tools, they can not only ride the wave but also shape the future of brand messaging.

Adjusting to the mobile-centric world by analyzing and tweaking PR strategies, making content mobile-friendly, dialing up social influencer campaigns and diving into mobile-first media channels is the way forward. Along the way, it’s time for us to get the hang of the evolving mobile advertising scene and its impact on PR in driving strong brand narratives as we march into the future.

Cannes Lions 2023: AdTech Dominates At The World’s Biggest Creative Meet

As summer blooms along the French Riviera, the world’s leading creative talents are gathering once again for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Amid the celebrations, one phrase echoes along the beaches and luxury yachts — “Adtech is taking over Cannes Lions.”

Okay, so maybe people aren’t shouting about tools and software for advertisers. Yet as a PR agency with deep roots in adtech, we’ve been tracking Cannes Lions for years. What have we seen? A striking surge in adtech’s prominence at this global event. It’s clear: the adtech sector is wielding increasing influence during Cannes Lions.

Have your eyes on Cannes this week? Here are four ad industry and adtech trends to watch during Cannes Lions 2023.

Tech giants show resilience

With layoffs and economic pressures in recent times, big tech platforms like Google, Meta, Amazon, and Microsoft are showing a “toned down” approach to their Cannes Lions presence this year. Despite the economic downturn, these giants remain key players at Cannes. They might be limiting the glitz for customer events, but their presence reaffirms the prominence of technology brands in today’s advertising landscape.

Creators and influencers shine

This year, Cannes Lions is becoming a hotspot for creators and influencers. The creator economy, valued at over $104 billion by some estimates, is projected to reach $200 billion by 2026. It’s not surprising that marketers and brands are eager to connect with celebrity creators and those who are rising stars.

However, according to reporting from Forrester, #ads are “just the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to creator marketing in 2023. As advertisers look to embrace this creator-led world with new techniques, like embedding brands into communities, and old ones, like affiliate creator marketing, we expect to see more adtech brands moving to make those campaigns easier to buy, manage and analyze.

While many expect to see creators like Jameela Jamil, Alexandra Cooper, and others making waves on the main stage, we’ll also be looking for how adtech brands are moving to support a shift towards more personalized, influencer-driven campaigns.

AI technology is everywhere

Many expect AI technology to dominate conversations at Cannes Lions this year (Yahoo! Fiance’s Brian Sozzi has already called the “AI hype bubble” at Cannes “out of control.”) But the prominence of AI talk at Cannes is with good reason: This year’s rapid adoption of tools like ChatGPT has sparked a discussion about the potentials — and risks — of AI in the advertising business, even before the festival kicked off.

The discussions around AI’s creative possibilities and its role in driving business growth may provide insights into the future trajectory of adtech. As Oli Marlow-Thomas, Chief Innovation Officer for hinted in a piece for The Drum, though what can be created with AI is impressive, we are still uncovering how it could be used to better manage ads. “While it’s now easy to generate beautiful content at the snap of a finger … the challenge is how to apply it across the consumer journey and actually breakthrough to customers with it? The key will be using AI technology, such as generative AI, to know when to serve creative, and how to scale and optimize for the best results.”

Corporate activism drives brand positioning

Increasingly, companies are realizing that standing for something can have significant implications for their brand. Cannes Lions 2023 will witness a discussion about corporate activism and how it influences brand perception. This includes how businesses navigate viral backlash, privacy laws, AI, and the metaverse to connect with audiences in meaningful ways.

From tech giants showing their resilience in the face of economic pressures to the rising significance of creators and influencers, expect this year’s Cannes Lions to showcase not only the biggest creative trends in advertising but also the adtech powering the industry.

3 Streaming Trends PR Pros Should Watch

Streaming is booming. From the powerhouse Netflix, to more niche apps like horror channel Shudder, Connected TV (CTV), and Over the Top (OTT) usage has become a part of everyday life. There are now well over 200 streaming services available today with 85% of U.S. households having at least one video streaming service subscription. That makes things more interesting, and possibly more complicated, for those who work in PR for ad tech and entertainment brands. 

With advertisers taking notice of the growth, there’s been an uptick in brands adding streaming to their media ad spend strategy, resulting in more streaming-specific PR goals for adtech providers. In fact, it was reported that CTV ad spending is expected to increase to 40% by the end of this year, totaling over $14.4B, with it being forecasted to reach $29.5B by 2024. 

Even with the increase in spending, the advertising environment for streaming is still working out issues related to measurement and fragmentation of platforms. Effective navigation of the space is critical for the key players who want to establish a leadership position in the category and get ahead of the competition.

Here are three key trends PR professionals in media and ad tech need to be aware of while developing strategy.

AVOD channels increasing their reach

Subscriber fatigue is real and has been seen firsthand with Netflix losing a whopping 1 million users in Q2 2022. Deloitte Global even predicted that at least 150 million paid subscriptions for subscription-based video-on-demand (SVOD) channels will be canceled by the year’s end. We are seeing an increase of advertising-based video-on-demand (AVOD) channels, such as HappyKids, and Fawesome, popularity leading to adjustments ad strategies. A channel that had a small audience number last year, may have had an explosion in growth this year. By staying aware of where the viewers are, brands are able to adjust campaign strategies to meet the market. 

With many turning to AVOD channels to meet their entertainment needs, brands are fighting it out to capture these highly competitive ad spots. Large SVOD channels have since begun to pivot their strategy, turning to a hybrid business model. This, in turn, is leading to an even greater pool of streaming ad inventory.

The rise of subscription tiers 

Early this year, we saw Netflix and Disney+ announce plans to offer subscription tiers. By dipping their toes into the AVOD market, these previously SVOD-only services are hoping these new pricing options attract subscribers while adding advertising to their revenue stream. While the new ad options provide a lower price tag for viewers whose wallets are tightening, some view it as a step back into the dark days of cable. 

Another risk of rising inventory is ad saturation. Ad-supported CTV/OTT need to stay vigilant to prevent the streaming ad space from bursting, sending viewers in the opposite direction. Equally important, PR people who position executives for speaking and content opportunities must ensure they approach the space with up-to-the-minute knowledge.

Growth of CTV/OTT ad tech

CTV/OTT ad budgets have been rising to keep up with the increase in media consumption. We see this in the current political season in which CTV spend is predicted to reach $1.4B. The increase has in turn sparked new innovations in the technology. We’ve also seen an increase in solution and agency partners as well. Buying CTV is quite different from linear as it’s much more granular and requires deep audience knowledge. This is why having the right partner will ensure ad dollars are being effectively spent.

These three top trends are shaping the streaming landscape and, thus, its communications. But it’s a fast-moving space, so stay tuned for future developments! 

A Cheat Sheet For Ad Tech PR

For anyone new to ad tech PR, it can be overwhelming to learn and understand. The acronyms alone are daunting. Of course, ad tech PR teams don’t need to be experts in every new platform or tech tool, but we need to understand industry trends, issues, and key players.

At Crenshaw, we have worked with many ad tech companies across different verticals, so we appreciate how fast the category has changed, and how it touches so many different industries, from marketing to data security. For those wanting to dive in, here are some relevant posts that might serve as an ad tech PR primer.  

Cutting The Jargon In Ad Tech PR  

Even ad tech veterans can be stymied by the industry’s jargon. And acronyms like DMP, CDP,  FLoC, and GDPR are impossible to avoid. Understanding key terms can help ease the transition for those new to the category. And don’t miss Digiday’s “WTF” archives to keep up with hot topics. 

Ad Tech Pubs Every PR Pro Should Be Reading 

The only way to stay current is to keep up with the trades. Add Adweek, AdAge, AdExchanger and Digiday into your daily rotation for a better understanding of the industry to start.

25 Ad Tech Journalists To Follow On Twitter

Obviously it’s important to know who is writing about ad tech and identify the different beats – from social media marketing to streaming to data privacy or brand safety. Twitter is an excellent way to build a list of go-to journalists. Often they will tweet looking for sources for a story and social media is the best way to track any changes in publication or beat. 

Top Ad Tech Conferences For PR Exposure

Many of our ad tech programs revolve around executive thought leadership content and speaking opportunities. Bylined content, white papers, awards and conferences are essential tools and platforms for positioning executives as leaders. Conferences and speaking engagements on panels get executives in front of a room of peers and positions them as a credible resource for both media and analysts. Events like Advertising Week, AdExchanger Programmatic I/O, to Cannes are all great opportunities for PR to gain extra exposure for executives.   

Imposter Syndrome – An Ad Tech PR Love Story (Ending With A Breakup) 

Need moral support? Check out this post from our own Hannah Kasoff, who moved over from the ad tech client side.   

Top Ad Tech Conferences For PR Exposure

One of the more fascinating aspects of a great PR program is the visibility it generates beyond earned media. People usually think of media pitching and press releases when they think about public relations. But sharing thoughts and insights from company executives in a public setting is a great complement to media exposure – and one often leads to the other. 

Our team accomplishes this targeted exposure through executive content and the all-important conference speaking opportunities. Having a company leader or subject-matter expert speak on a stage is a strong way to drive visibility; there’s really nothing like it, and once started, the speaking gigs generate their own momentum. Keynote and panel opportunities nearly always set speakers up for more opportunities in the future. 

In narrow tech verticals like ad tech, conference exposure is particularly important for business leaders. Here are some of the top conferences in the adtech space that can bring exposure to senior executives and help drive their brand visibility.

AdExchanger Industry Preview

With so many thought leadership pieces written about what’s in store for any given industry at the start of the year, it makes sense that there’s a conference dedicated to what’s coming in ad tech. It’s where top execs and journalists come together to preview what the year may hold for the category. Between cookies going away; the sector’s identity crisis; new privacy regulations; the rise of connected TV (CTV) and more, there’s plenty to discuss and lots of predictions to be made. Previous speakers have included executives from Integral Ad Science and DoubleVerify, so it’s tailor-made for people in the ad tech space. Put this one on your calendar for 2023!

AdExchanger Programmatic I/O

AdExchanger runs multiple conferences throughout the year that are geared directly at ad tech executive, and this one is focused solely on the programmatic side of ad tech. As with its Industry Preview, Programmatic I/O brings together people across the industry for updates on pressing issues such as the upcoming “cookiepocalypse,” privacy, CTV trends, and more. This year’s agenda includes speakers from Procter & Gamble, Paramount, Disney, TikTok, and many more power brands that are major players in the space and command our attention. 

Digiday Programmatic Marketing Summit

In a similar vein, Digiday hosts a conference focusing on programmatic advertising. This year it will home in on – what else? –  the demise of the third-party cookie and the intriguing proposals that have been floated to replace its function. Companies like Bayer, HP, J.P. Morgan and more will be on hand to share valuable insights as to what’s coming next in the space, and what brands should focus on to keep their edge. 

IAB NewFronts/PlayFronts

The Interactive Advertising Bureau’s NewFronts is the “world’s largest digital content marketplace that gives media buyers a first look at the latest digital content from the biggest names in media and entertainment.” Just wrapping up last Thursday, the conference is a must-see. This year’s theme was “Stream On,” all about how consumers use the many different streaming services available, how companies can take advantage, and what they have in store for the future. Representatives from Google, NBCUniversal, Meta, MGM, Comcast and more were on hand to tackle pressing issues facing the industry right now. It can be up-to-the-minute, with discussions of Netflix’s introduction of ads in its content, Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, brand safety, the state of CTV, and more.

Similarly, IAB also hosted its first-ever PlayFronts, which is dedicated to the rising trend of in-game advertising. As in-game marketing becomes more mainstream, it’s important for brands to know the ins and outs and how to have an optimal strategy. 

Advertising Week

As everyone in ad tech or any kind of advertising knows, Advertising Week hosts multiple major events across the globe, in New York, Europe, Asia, APAC, and Latin America. Each event features six stages, 300+ speakers and 100+ sessions, guaranteeing that any attendee will soak up plenty of information about news, trends and best practices. Almost all the major tech companies (Google, Facebook and Amazon) have attended, and previous speakers have included Al Gore, Ariana Huffington, Sheryl Sandberg, Venus Williams, Emma Stone. There will no doubt be plenty of big names there, both in and out of the advertising world. 

ANA Brand Masters

Presented by Twitter, the Association of National Advertisers’ annual conference focuses on topics such as brand management, purpose, brand activation and more. Speakers have included executives from Integral Ad Science, Walmart, Target, Intel, Aneheuser-Busch, and Ford.


Almost anyone who operates in the broader technology industry will flock to the many different TECHSPO events hosted around the world each year. It brings together developers, brands, marketers, technology providers, designers, innovators and more, looking to set the pace in the advanced world of technology, which of course includes ad tech. Plus, TECHSPO conveniently provides a list of the top 10 reasons to attend one of their events. Check it out!


While not specifically an ad tech conference, the famed Cannes Lions Festival is still the biggest gathering of the creative community in the world, and probably the most influential. Its cachet is such that most major ad tech brands want to be represented, if only to rub shoulders with top-level creatives, tech entrepreneurs, innovators, and celebrities. The famed Festival highlights outstanding content across all platforms and especially after two years of lockdown, it’s a place to see and be seen. Despite some belt-tightening in Silicon Valley, there will be plenty of Instagram posts of ad tech leaders sipping rosé on party yachts – clearly working hard.


As one of the largest tech events in the world, CES has long been a must-attend for anyone in consumer or business technology. In recent years, that has included ad tech. Hundreds of companies attend and present their new products, most of which aren’t yet available except in preview form. It’s definitely a longshot for ad tech companies, but if one wants to know about the newest developments in tech and what will drive fourth-quarter trends, look no further.


On the other side of the pond, DMEXCO is Europe’s premier digital marketing and tech event. Even as the pandemic forced it to go virtual the past two years, last year’s event had over 20,000 attendees and 240 partners. There are plenty of ways to speak at the conference now that it will presumably be in-person this year. From main stages for the keynote speakers, smaller “topic stages” for industry experts, or corporate masterclass learning sessions, DMEXCO offers a multitude of thought leadership opportunities.

These are just some of many different industry conferences that PR agencies can recommend for internal or external clients. Many conferences are hybrid or completely virtual, so it’s easier than in the past to participate without having to travel. And participants can learn valuable lessons and information that can transform their business and possibly the industry.

Cutting The Jargon In Ad Tech PR

I recall sitting in the weekly meeting at my first marketing internship. Surrounded by subject-matter experts in the space known as ad tech, I tried to hide my computer screen as I subtly googled almost every other word spoken. It was as if I were in a room of people conversing in a different language. And in a way, I was. I felt embarrassed for not knowing the terms – pressured to unscramble strung-together letters and find their meaning.

That day, as I frantically attempted to keep up, I began to question the complexity of the industry I worked in. Now, as someone who does PR for a range of ad tech companies, I still think about it. If our goal is to create a collaborative environment whereby brands, agencies, publishers, and data partners can ultimately reach consumers with positive ad experiences, why have we made it so complicated? 

Ad tech is known for its long list of acronyms, jargon, and synonymous words. They’re ubiquitous in ad tech PR as well. This not only makes it hard for new talent to get up to speed, but it turns ordinary things like reporter conversations and strategic discussions into cryptic and complicated exchanges.

For ad tech PR professionals who understand these terms, it’s easy to get wrapped up in their extravagance. But keep in mind that the brains coining these terms are ordinary people – most likely sitting at their desks or kitchen tables in athleisure outfits and baseball hats (myself included). So, let’s strip away the facade and break some of them down:


Or Google Topics. The ad tech people who get it, get it. If you don’t, here’s the scoop: in 2019, Google announced FLoC – the Federated Learning of Cohorts, a system standard to solve for the demise of third-party cookies, those bits of code that carry data about our web browsing activities and interests. To safeguard consumer privacy, Google Chrome proposed the use of algorithms to create “cohorts” – groups of consumers with similar interests. This would allow for targeting based on interests, rather than a user’s personal identifying data. Although it seems as though FLoC is flying with a broken wing, it will surely remain in the conversation, with the recent announcement of Google Topics just last week.


PII stands for personally identifiable information and can mean name, email, phone number, or more. It’s valuable currency for advertisers when it comes to targeting. However, due to privacy regulations, PII has become increasingly hard to obtain unless a consumer gives permission.


This stands for the General Data Protection Regulation, rolled out in 2018 to monitor and govern the way in which consumer data is collected, processed, and stored. Over the years, GDPR has incentivized additional regulations, like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the newly emerged Surveillance Advertising Act. As the industry navigates continued consumer demand for transparency and privacy, these regulations are what makes data like PII so much trickier to secure and leverage (to provide impactful advertising experiences).


Is Connected TV (CTV) ATV? Yes. Is ATV CTV? No. Get the picture? Basically, Advanced TV (ATV) is one of those umbrella terms that tend to cause confusion. A helpful analogy is that a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle isn’t a square. ATV encapsulates all things non-traditional TV: CTV, OTT, VOD/SVOD, and addressable TV –  don’t get me started on those. Okay fine, here: 

  • CTV: a TV streaming content via the internet

  • OTT: the streaming service that consumers use to watch CTV

  • VOD/SVOD: This one is pretty easy. Users can watch things they missed on demand; they can also watch on demand through a subscription service

  • Addressable TV: any TV that connects to the internet to provide VOD

The above is just a sample of the many flashcards we in ad tech must hold in our minds. While these terms have a powerful and useful meaning in our industry, our job as PR professionals is to break complex ideas into digestible and compelling stories – and in ad tech PR, specifically, our role is to explain how technology can benefit the advertising experience. To do so, we must be able to communicate, market, sell, and teach it in simple terms. If we can’t do that, do any of us really know what we’re talking about?

Crenshaw Adtech Clients Win Big at Annual Adweek Readers’ Choice: Best of Tech Partner Awards

We are excited to announce two of our clients have been recognized by Adweek at the annual Readers’ Choice: Best of Tech Partner Awards, which recognizes the top advertising and marketing technology providers and leaders across 35 categories.

Kerel Cooper, CMO of LiveIntent, and his Minority Report podcast co-host Erik A. Requidan, were named Diversity Advocates of the Year. The Minority Report Podcast offers insights that are often overlooked in the adtech space. Lotame was named Best Data Management Platform (DMP). Congrats to both!

PR Tips For Announcing A SPAC Transaction

Anyone who has been watching the tech PR space has noticed a huge rise in companies going public through Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs). For those who aren’t familiar, these are “blank check” investment firms that acquire a company with the goal of bringing them to the public market. It’s not a traditional IPO, but the end goal is the same. Companies like Taboola, Group Nine Media, and Buzzfeed have all either gone, or declared their intention to go, public via SPAC. And, just recently, we here at Crenshaw Communications helped our client Innovid make the announcement of its intention to merge with ION to go public in this way. 

It’s huge news for any company that makes this decision, and the coverage needs to match the excitement! While many elements are the same as a traditional IPO, there are some key differences to consider for SPAC announcements. Here are some tips for PR professionals to plan and successfully execute an announcement around the intent to go public via SPAC. 

There is no quiet period with a SPAC

One of the benefits of choosing the SPAC route is that companies don’t have to follow the dreaded PR quiet period once they file. This means PR can make a big splash on the day the intention is announced and continue to push out news in subsequent months to maintain the momentum in the market. It’s a good idea to plan several announcements after the big SPAC splash to keep media excited about the company- anything from partnerships and new hires to data or product news works well here. This is the time to pour it on.

Start pitching early

Big news is breaking every day, which means reporters are always swamped. To make sure they have enough time to cover the announcement, PR should start pitching at least 72 hours before the release goes out. The goal should be to line up several interviews ahead of the release so the official announcement day starts with top-tier stories that have the executive team feeling good and lay the foundation for more stories.

But be careful with embargo pitching

If you’re pitching your SPAC announcement globally, it’s important to understand that no one can break the embargo. If they do, coverage could be compromised, especially in the U.S. where press are sensitive about embargo times. If that means not pitching certain markets until the day of the announcement, it may be necessary to get the most mileage out of the news. Like many media strategy calculations, it’s something of a tradeoff.

You won’t get every outlet to cover

Some media will only cover a SPAC if they get the exclusive on the announcement– and that’s okay. If one of those publications is high-priority, an exclusive strategy can work to ensure they cover the news. Expectations should be set ahead of time to make sure there are no disappointed stakeholders on the day of the announcement. 

Media training is a must

Even for a CEO who is extremely comfortable with the media, we recommend a refresher session to go over the approved messaging and prepare for any tricky questions. Anything said can now impact stock price, so every spokesperson must be buttoned up, able to articulate the value proposition of the company, and navigate hard lines of questioning to ensure the best outcome. The good news is that, after a series of investor conversations, media prep might actually be easier. Obviously, if you’re going to media outlets outside the business/financial sector, you will want you avoid jargon, acronyms, and other financial-speak to make the story relevant to a broader audience.

Leave time for lawyers to review

It’s wise to have communications material drafted and circulating as soon as possible to avoid delays on media outreach due to legal review. This is a new process for many people, and they don’t realize how much time it can take. (HINT: It takes a long time) Build in extra time for the back-and-forth. 

You need to explain what SPAC is and how it works to media

It’s not as straightforward as you think. Many reporters still don’t understand how SPAC works, and what the advantages are for a company to go public that way. Executive spokespeople should be prepared to walk through the explanation in layman’s terms, pausing often to make sure the audience understands the company’s strategy, the advantages of the SPAC, and the quality of the partners and the backstory.  

If your company is considering going public through a SPAC, we’d be happy to discuss the process and the role of PR and media relations. We’ve also supported the traditional IPO route and can offer objective advice on the pros and cons of each.

AdTech Pubs Every PR Pro Should Be Reading

As many PR agency teams know, our work can be highly specialized, particularly in B2B public relations. Specific sectors like ad tech, for example, offer a relatively small number of relevant trade publications compared to consumer categories. That’s why it’s especially important for PR people not only to understand the tech, but to follow the key media in the industry very closely. From programmatic advertising to first- and third-party data, there are many hot topics and only so many gatekeepers for the stories we want to tell. 

Thankfully, almost all outlets that cover the business of advertising cover the ad tech sector, and many have dedicated sections for it. Here are some of the websites and publications that ad tech PR people should be scanning every day.


As one of the leading sources of news in the industry, AdWeek is the perfect target for breaking news. From major deals and mergers to revenue reports, there’s no shortage of ad tech coverage on the site. And yes, there’s even a video series titled “How S#it Works.” 


AdAge, the other ad industry publication of long standing, also covers ad tech news, but it also has opinion pieces. So, if you want a more personal approach to your ad tech news, this is the way to go. Or, if you want to keep tabs on the latest campaigns and creative, check out the Hot Spots column. 


AdExchanger calls itself “the leading voice in ad tech,” and it’s easy to see why. There’s plenty of content on the site directly from ad executives and representatives of major companies, whether it’s interviews or guest columns. One highlight is AdExchanger Talks, a podcast that features key figures in the ad tech world. 


In what other publication will you find a section called “WTF Ad Tech?” or “WTF Programmatic?” It’s an interesting way to explain topics, and it’s certainly unique. But if you want your ad tech news in a more straightforward way, then they have you covered for that, too, with “The Programmatic Marketer”.

The Drum

The Drum covers plenty of different facets of ad tech, from data and privacy to the future of television, even eSports. It has long since expanded beyond its UK roots but retains a certain scrappiness in its editorial tone.  The Drum also features subcategories on different brands so it’s easier to track the news on major companies, from Apple to Amazon. There’s also the Drum Awards that recognize the top performers in the advertising world, including in the ad tech space. What better way to see which companies in the industry are the most recognized?


MediaPost actually has several sub-publications so it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. There’s MediaDailyNews, Digital News Daily, MAD (not the satire magazine!), and much more. There are also plenty of newsletters to sign up for and events year-round. That means it’s possible to get ad tech news delivered directly into your inbox, and have a chance to interact with the biggest names in the industry at conferences.


The first thing to check out on ClickZ is Tech Talks, where executives from different companies go in-depth about what they do and the services they offer. It’s quite different from how reporters talk about companies, so it’s a fresh angle. Articles are categorized under interesting topics, such as “Actionable Analysis,” “Analyzing Customer Data,” and “Digital Leaders,” to name a few.


eMarketer not only has ad tech news, but it also offers plenty of data and reports that dive deeply into the industry weeds – in a good way. Note that it’s part of “Insider Intelligence” that requires a fee, but what doesn’t are the podcasts, especially “Behind the Numbers” and “The Ad Platform.” The latter in particular focuses heavily on ad tech, statistics, and where the industry is going in the future.


Campaign is an international brand with multiple specialized sites for countries and regions, so it’s a great tool for keeping tabs on news taking place outside the US. There are opinion pieces where readers can take in many different viewpoints. Campaign takes pride in delving into industry trends and strategies. In its own words: “We help you navigate what’s happening now while preparing you for what’s next.”

Marketing Land

As the name suggests, Marketing Land has a heavier focus on marketing tech (martech), but it’s still a valuable resource for news. In fact, it supplies plenty of resources for those new to the industry, with helpful guides that explain key terms for those who are unfamiliar.