Chris Harihar December 18, 2013 | 05:28:32

Tech PR Gift Guide: What Top PR Firms Want For The Holidays

The holidays are here—and that means it’s gift guide season. Of course, PR pros spend a lot of time pitching gift guides, but what about gifts for us—for those in the PR industry. What do we want?
Some might argue for a spa treatment. That’s fine, but I’m in search of something a bit more practical.

Here are some technology PR gifts I wish I could find in my stocking this winter.

Infographics, Be Popular Again

In tech PR, infographics were all the rage a few years ago. I would say that they reached their peak in 2010-2011, though they remained popular through 2012, if only because they offered editorial a “set it and forget it” solution for a slow news day. Infographics were an “easy” tool for securing earned media. But, sadly, they may be on the way out. Saturation and fatigue are setting in across media and readers alike.

Need proof? Google Trends offers a forecast function and predicts that in 2014, interest (as told by search) in infographics will peak, then drop. If the quantitative wasn’t enough, consider the anecdotal. I recently spoke with a writer at Mashable who said, simply, “I hate infographics.” The wave is over.

New Buzzwords for 2014

As we approach 2014, the tech PR industry is in an odd place. There are no unique, new buzzwords to latch on to, with many emphasizing trends from previous years. For instance, Gartner notes that “mobile apps” and “cloud computing” will be a key trends in 2014. Doesn’t that seem awfully similar to trends PR pros have leveraged in the past to generate coverage for their clients?

“Big Data,” “wearable tech,” nothing here is particularly new (the former is especially fading). For tech PR pros to be truly successful in 2014, we’ll need to be creative in identifying and messaging trends for our clients, as the industry itself has yet to decide upon a new library for us to really draw upon.

Conference Coordination Software

Seriously—why doesn’t this exist? There is an endless supply of meetups, events, conferences and awards that could make sense for a given client. We work intimately with our points of contact to pick out the most appropriate ones and calendarize them so deliverables are transparent and understood. I wonder, though, why the PR industry is still absent a software solution that can aid in this process. It would be a valuable product, streamlining time spent on conference mechanics so that hours and manpower could be spent elsewhere—on pitching, for example, or strategic communications.

Twitter to Nix its Follow Limit
Twitter is my go-to source for breaking news. It’s also a great tool for relationship-building with journalists. That’s why I find Twitter’s 2,000-person “follow limit” to be extremely frustrating (you can actually follow more than 2,000, but only after you’ve gained many more followers yourself). I ask that Twitter remove the threshold or increase it, so I can at least discuss baseball with more reporters.

Other tech PR firm pros—what do you want this holiday season?

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