The member agencies of First PR Alliance have expertise helping B2B tech companies get media coverage across the globe. From supporting bootstrapped startups to large tech enterprises, our breadth of experience has allowed us to figure out what kinds of PR campaigns get the kinds of media placements our clients seek.
To help you do more with your PR investment in 2020, we have given you our list of the most effective tech PR campaigns you can run.
Raising capital raises from investors and venture capital firms allows many tech startup and even some established ones to develop their technology and aim for exponential growth.
A round of funding offers amazing potential for publicity, not only at the local city level, but at the national and even international level. A particularly large funding round reaching 8-figures greatly increases the chance for news coverage. As an example, Sisense raised a $100 million round netted, which netted the NYC-based business analytics startup an impressive round of media placements that included this article in TechCrunch.
Even if your tech business won’t be doing as massive a capital raise as Sisense, you can still get plenty of media placements in your local and industry-vertical publications. Trade publications are one of the best ways to get your message in front of your target audience. Don’t discount your local news media just because they don’t happen to be TechCrunch or the Economist; local news helps raise your brand awareness in your community, making it easier to recruit top talent(more on that later).
Are you an established privately-held tech company with plans to go public? There are plenty of news opportunities during this phase of your company’s growth. Just be careful as the rules governing media relations during an IPO are more complex and subject to government scrutiny. For more insight into PR opportunities for pre-IPO tech companies, check out a post we wrote on the Swyft tech PR blog.
There will always be interest in new product launches among vertical news publications dedicated to covering a given industry. That’s why they should be a mainstay of every B2B tech PR strategy, whether its a startup or an established company.
Your product launches, and let’s include incremental product advances if they are substantial enough, will almost certainly get the interest of trade publications. To best capitalize on that interest, make sure that you reach out to your company’s product marketing team to capture the details of future product launches and product refreshes. Have multiple product lines? Then account for all of them and decide which ones should take priority given your available PR budget.
Many B2B tech companies announce their most important product innovations at annual trade shows. Because the industry media outlets attend trade shows in force, it’s a great way in to maximize buzz and drive booth traffic. If, however, you are not the largest player in your industry and you worry that your news announcement may get lost in the shuffle of the trade show, then you may want to consider making an announcement a week before the trade show. You have the potential of getting more attention and develop a little pre-show excitement about your product.
Product refreshes can and should be announced as they happen throughout the year. This approach helps keep your company front-and-center in the important industry media outlets. Incremental product gains rarely merit the same amount of planning and media pitching, but they are highly productive ways to keep building your brand’s reputation.
When you win a new client, especially a large one, it can generate interest among trade publications bent on covering the latest happenings in your industry. For instance, a B2B tech company providing advanced facial recognition software to the security and surveillance industry would stand a good chance of getting covered for winning the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport account in SecurityInfoWatch.com or in Security Today.
To successfully pitch the trade media, research which ones covered past customer acquisition stories and follow the same approach: reach out to the same journalist or editor, provide facts related to the account, include a client quote, etc.
You can sometimes get covered in the local news media but it tends to be a hard sell. Say for example you are a smaller tech company and win a major contract to in-flight wi-fi service to a major airline like United or KLM, then your local news outlet may actually be willing to cover that announcement. Even if the local media does not cover your latest client acquisition, it never hurts to start building relationships with them.
A company that hires someone to the C-suite stands a good chance of getting into the local news. Some local business journals will even dedicate an entire article about a C-suite hire, usually in an online news version. Just be sure to provide a media outlet with more than just a resume (e.g., details about the new role, future opportunities for your company, a quote from the new hire and another executive).
Word of caution: share any new hire announcement as soon as it happens or it will be too late and the media outlets will pass on your pitch.
Any B2B tech companies offering physical products, software or cloud-based services should share product milestones. Media outlets see the milestones as a way to measure a company’s performance in the market, and against the competition. These days, metrics like time on site (or in the app), the volume of transactions in a given amount of time, the dollar value transactions, the number of units sold, the size and types of customers — all can be a trigger for news coverage in a trade publication.
The trick is figuring out the metrics that matter to the media outlets you target. Don’t worry if some of your key metrics pale in comparison to the competition, as long as you present milestones and metrics that excel in other ways that matter then you stand a chance of getting valuable media coverage.
Story pitches that show how fast your B2B tech company is growing tend to work well with local media. Many local media are concerned about what is happening in their community. News pitches that emphasize your company’s local economic impact in dollars, jobs and real estate will do the best. For instance, say your company plans to open up a new factory in town, then the local news media will want to know the details of the real estate transaction as well as what is driving your rapid growth. This tends to happen more often with funded startups; each fundraise often comes with increased hiring and sometimes a move to a larger office space.
Growth stories will help grow your company’s reputation as a leader in your market and community. A steady flow of these media pickups will even help boost your recruiting efforts as top talent tends to flock to successful companies. Even better, growth stories also add social validation to your brand in the eyes of potential customers who may be reviewing your offering against the competition. One example is how Apple announced that it planned to build a second campus in the red-hot Austin, Texas technology market. It generated a host of favorable media coverage for the iconic tech brand. Even better, the stories allowed Apple to share its plans to hire thousands of employees for the new campus, which undoubtedly led to a spike in resumes sent by interested tech industry employees. It also confirmed its reputation as one of the biggest and fastest-growing tech brands in Austin, challenging home-town favorite Dell as the region’s top employer of tech talent.
Interested in learning more? Reach out to Swyft about getting B2B tech PR support in the U.S. or anywhere in the world. Looking to grow your business in the U.S., check out the American PR strategy playbook Swyft wrote for First PR Alliance and its member agencies.