As an account person at a New York PR agency focused on tech accounts, I spend most of my day trying to reach some of the world’s most savvy tech bloggers and influencers. Bloggers are important in nearly every sector, but those who cover technology are particularly crucial to launching a new product or service, or to building a personal brand for a company executive. Some have deep technical subject knowledge, and all offer strong opinions about their category or product area.
These bloggers can also be some of the toughest cookies in our business. Here are a few tech PR tips I’ve picked up along the way that may help you crack the tech media code.
Do think in context
When pitching tech, it’s easy to be overly focused on your client’s announcement. News is always important, but instead of relying on it as your sole pitch, consider offering context. Provide links to pertinent headlines about similar topics and trends, or offer someone from your client’s end to discuss the trend beyond their news. Media are busy, so regardless of whether you are doing a hard B2B PR push, or just trying for some digital brand PR maintenance, keep your pitches to the point, but set the scene for offering insights, trend data, or forecasts.
Don’t get bloated by buzzwords
Nowhere are buzzwords more prevalent than in tech, and often PR people think loading up their pitch with jargon will give it a “hip” edge. It doesn’t; if you don’t believe me, check out this witheringly critical post of a buzzword-filled PR pitch by David Pogue. Instead, craft your pitch in a way that’s catchy and relevant, and get to the point in the first sentence of your verbal or email approach.
Do offer exclusives
Don’t be afraid to offer an “exclusive” – a first crack at a newsworthy story— to get the conversation started in advance of a company announcement. By responsibly teasing exclusives and off-the-record conversations prior to your news, you establish your client as a go-to source for future coverage. In addition, it gives you ample to time to get all the details ironed out prior to the story’s publication date. Skillful use of the media exclusive is also a great way to build relationships among influential bloggers and journalists.
Do keep it honest
Mistakes happen. And while it is frowned upon to continuously reach out in order to micro-manage a reporter’s coverage, following up with corrections is a must. No one likes to learn they got it wrong. Reach out in a friendly way with correct information (e.g. company background, titles, company claims, product information, etc.). Journalists are generally quite receptive and will appreciate the follow-up as they don’t want to spread misinformation. Consider pairing these requests with a “thank you for the great coverage…” in order to leave no question about the friendly nature of your request.
Think about the long term
Be considerate of tech bloggers or any journalists. Send them what they need, when they need it, and if you don’t have the answer they seek, do your best to get back to them with it. The right coverage is about more than just a pitch, and acting in collaboration with your contact is a great way to not only build bridges but also spawn more positive attention.