Legendary management guru, Peter F. Drucker, said, “the purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.” That’s why savvy tech companies invest in public relations (PR). A great idea or product alone will not have customers beating a path to your door – especially if the technology or message is complex or, no one has ever heard of the company! This is where technology public relations can help.
Customers buy into an idea when they know the company and, understand how the product or service can benefit them. Perceptions matter! Technology PR is a powerful complement to marketing when used to catalyze brand or product recognition, reputation and, relationships.
Here are 3 ways a carefully planned and active PR program helps catalyze your marketing and sales program and drive results.
The last thing you need at each new business meeting or sales call is to waste time answering general questions about the company rather than talking about the products. Regular, planned, positive media coverage in the form of interviews, comments in relevant publications, placed articles, speaking slots, even award programs, increase brand awareness and credibility. By using PR to tell the back-story to your business, call out the specific features and benefits of your solution and, reach the right audience you can enhance business development and sales activities. Tech PR builds brand awareness and helps drive results by working to keep your name frequently in front of your target audience.
Frequency is a measure used by advertisers. It refers to the number of times a consumer must see or hear an ad before they purchase. It’s a measure that can be applied to all marketing activities, including PR, because, to increase sales you need to ensure that potential customers are thinking of you when they are ready to buy. If your product or service is technically complex then a regular flow of targeted content in the form of placed articles, blog posts, White Papers, videos, etc, helps get your message across. If your marketing and sales team are struggling to convert leads, spending more time explaining who you are and what you do, rather than discussing how your product or solution solves a customer problem or need, then consider investing in PR to increase brand recognition.
Reputation, like trust, is earned. It is a priceless asset that adds strategic value to any company. Tech PR done well helps build and maintain a positive reputation for your brand by increasing your visibility and share of voice in the marketplace. Interestingly, the UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations definition of PR, says: “Public relations is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you. …It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.” From this definition it is obvious that being passive about PR is not an option if you want to build and maintain your reputation. There are other reasons too. In today’s always-on digital world negative comment lives on forever: bad reviews, negative coverage, misinformed comments; all these can show up in searches long after they were originally posted or published – remember that most print publications now appear online too, and potential clients “google” a company or product before they buy! For these reasons, tech companies should plan to increase the visibility of their brand, take ownership of their own story, develop targeted content and monitor, respond, and engage with the opinions and comments shared about them and their products in print and online. At the very least, technology companies should plan to drive the communication of their own brand narrative through targeted content and contributions in publications and platforms that will amplify the reach of marketing activities and generate business conversations.
Successful companies have lots of paying customers. But before the revenue streams start to flow, these companies complete two important steps: they build a great product or service and, they identify and develop valuable relationships with key publics, including customers, investors, media and analysts. As a technology company you will want to ensure that it is your company, rather than the competition, that resonates in the mind of the customer when they are ready to buy. This is a good reason why you should use PR to support your sales strategy. PR targets the experts or influencers that shape customer opinion in your sector. In almost every sector a small group of people influence the market. These “experts” or influencers can be journalists, bloggers, key customers, industry analysts, investors or others. Their opinions shape want others think and do. Tech PR helps develop persuasive content to maintain the attention of, engage with and, foster the relationships that matter: with media (online and off); financial backers (Investors, shareholders, VCs); and, markets (customers, suppliers and other stakeholders). In short, PR is not just about the media. It’s called public relations for a reason! PR helps marketers do a better job. Relationships do matter. Are you managing yours?
A Modular Approach to Tech PR
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