More often than not, tech startups have two problems with tech PR: it’s overcomplicated or it’s oversimplified.
Some see PR as an abstract maze that they don’t care to navigate, others think that the sole objective of PR is to be featured in TechCrunch.
These both miss the mark and stem from a lack of understanding of PR. Not just at a traditional level but at the more specialized – and more useful – tech PR level.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide to tech PR. This will help you define your media and business goals and plan and execute a tech PR strategy that will rival top tech PR companies.
This guide covers:
It’s likely that you already have a grasp of what PR is.
But, just for those at the back, PR refers to the art of molding and maintaining the image of a company, organization or an individual within the eyes of their target audience.
Technology’s increasing influence on both our personal and professional lives has seen a new PR discipline emerge – tech PR.
The biggest difference between traditional PR and tech PR is the audience. In traditional PR, your audience, while targeted, is likely to be quite broad. Whereas tech PR is likely to target a more niche and technologically savvy audience.
The public relations industry is becoming more specialized and diverse. And Tech PR is just another example of this.
Specialist tech PR firms not only need a firm grasp of how to grow and manage the reputation of your brand, but they also require an in-depth understanding of current technology trends.
This is a question we get asked a lot.
And yeah, we get it.
If you’re a fresh-faced startup, PR is probably going to be quite far down on your list of priorities. However, when used correctly, startup tech PR can have a big impact on your business.
Although, before we jump into the benefits of tech PR, we’re going to look at the common challenges facing most tech startups and how PR can help you overcome them.
Now, I don’t want to paint all startups with the same brush, but I think it’s fair to say that tech startups face similar challenges across the board. Whether you’re in SaaS, blockchain, AI or fintech – every tech startup will face at least a few of these problems :
Do these sound familiar?
I bet they do.
This is where tech PR comes in. It can help you overcome all of these hurdles. The below infographic unpacks how it can achieve this.
The above infographic can make the outputs of tech PR seem a little abstract, right? Well, here’s a list of some of the more tangible benefits of tech PR:
Let’s address the elephant in the room. As a tech PR firm, we’re biased. Of course, we believe you should invest in PR as soon as possible. But let us explain why.
As a tech startup, you can no longer just rely on the quality of your product to break through the noise. You have to build an audience and you have to be seen as credible in the eyes of that audience. If you’re not seen as credible, investors won’t take the risk and customers won’t part with their cash. And it’s tech PR that helps to build that trust.
But don’t just take our word for it:
“If I was down to the last dollar of my marketing budget I’d spend it on PR!” –Bill Gates
We know that it’s tempting to leave PR until the product launch. However, this can result in a serious trust deficit, as you’ll be launching as an unknown with no media footprint.
For example, say you’re a biotech company. The product testing and refinement period most biotech businesses encounter can be expensive and lengthy. It’s not uncommon for your product to spend a number of years in R&D. With this in mind, you want to start building those vital foundations of legitimacy, trust, and awareness before your launch.
As a tech PR firm, we’re well placed to answer this question, so here are some of the main outputs:
Integrates your PR strategy with your SEO strategy – The overlaps between SEO and PR are significant. A good tech PR firm should have in-house SEO experts to enable them to integrate both of these activities to provide the biggest return.
This list is by no means exhaustive. What you look for in your tech PR firm will ultimately come down to what you hope to achieve. However, it’s imperative that your tech PR firm knows your industry and is passionate about your business.
Whether you use a tech PR firm or decide to develop a tech PR strategy alone – you’ll need to consider:
The business objectives of your startup will largely determine the foundation of your tech PR strategy.
With that in mind, here are three typical business objectives that a tech startup may have, along with the types of media goals that would support each of these.
REMEMBER: Whatever it is you’re looking to achieve, a solid tech PR strategy and the right type of earned media crosses into other areas and brings further benefits.
How you achieve your media goals comes down to your targeting approach.
With that in mind, here are some examples of how your business and media goals determine which media outlets your tech PR strategy targets:
Media goal 1: build social proof to help secure funding.
Target media outlets: trade journals, industry magazines, and conferences.
Media goal 2: build credibility to help increase your user base.
Target media outlets: tech blogs, professional review sites, and consumer tech shows.
Media goal 3: increase organic traffic via backlink growth, help increase sales.
Target media outlets: blogs, news and industry sites with good domain authority scores and relevant content.
Goal setting is a big part of achieving success in any industry or walk of life. This is where SMART goal setting comes in.
What does S-M-A-R-T stand for and how does this apply to tech PR?
–Specific – Make sure your goals are well-defined and focused.
–Attainable – If you’re a small startup that’s yet to launch your product, it’s unlikely you’re going to win earned media in Forbes or TechCrunch. So make sure your goals are realistic.
–Relevant – If you have limited PR resources, every media win needs to count. Therefore, it needs to be relevant to your industry, potential investors and customer base.
–Time-based – If you don’t set an end-date, your objectives just won’t get done. There will always be tomorrow. In the words of the late, great Robin Williams, “seize the day!”
We find that startups often sit in one of two camps when it comes to approaching PR:
Well, we hope this tech PR guide goes some way to rectifying the first one. And there’s WAY more to it than simply getting your name in TechCrunch.
So here are some tech PR tactics we use to win media coverage for our clients:
Blockchain-powered digital investment platform Bloomio approached us as they wanted a tech PR firm to help them grow their user base, by building their legitimacy and awareness.
We developed a tech PR strategy that targeted industry-relevant publications consumed by their target audiences in the blockchain, fintech and crowdfunding communities.
This included building Bloomio’s credibility as a secure investment platform in the crowdfunding press, such as by highlighting many of its innovative features via press releases and other announcements.
We also demonstrated to the fintech and blockchain community the ways in which Bloomio is shaking up the traditional investment industry. This included thought-pieces on what was holding back crowdfunding and how startups could secure funding on more equitable terms.
When it comes to tech PR, putting it all together can seem daunting at first.
Don’t worry; we got you!
Here are model examples of three different stages of a tech startup along with how to create a tech PR strategy for each:
We hope that this guide has provided you with a clearer understanding of not only what tech PR is, but how to write and execute an effective strategy aligned with your business objectives.
And if you’re shopping around for a tech PR firm to win you media coverage and help you achieve your business goals, use this guide as a basis on what to ask them.
Or if you want to delve deeper into the sea of tech PR with Publicize, check out our different PR resources or get in touch today for a free PR assessment.