Each and every working day (and sometimes even at weekends!) the inboxes of journalists all over the Nordic regions are inundated with dozens of press releases, and most will simply go unread or ignored. The reality is that editors are time poor, but with the correct approach and expertise, it is possible to ensure that your news stands out and gets the coverage it deserves. And here at digitalPR, that’s what we do best! But how? Unfortunately, the recipe to our tangy tech PR sauce is a closely guarded secret, but to give you a taste, here are six top tips for effective tech PR.
1. Understand your target media
The readership demographics of technology publications can differ widely, and understanding these differences is crucial to ensuring that you are pitching the right product or service to a relevant publication, and also in the best possible way (also see 4. Tailor your pitch). One publication may have a hardcore, enthusiast overclocker audience, while another may have a readership that is more interested in consumer technology and gadgets. And, even for publications that have broadly similar audiences, how they cover technology and what interests them the most will be different, especially considering the publications may also be spread across the four Nordic countries. Understanding the publication and its audience is a fundamental first step towards knowing how best to pitch a story in a way that’s likely to get it noticed. And the only way to do this is to read each publication on a regular basis. Or hire editors that used to work there, as we do at digitalPR!
2. Know your product and market
Just as knowing your publication is crucial, so is knowing your product and market, and this is especially important for technical products and enthusiast or hobbyist markets. A deep understanding and genuine enthusiasm for the product or service ensures that you can communicate its true benefits to an editor, because you’re both speaking the same language. There is no point in claiming that Product X or Y is the best, without being able to back this up with why, and engage in a discussion with an editor at their level. This is why digitalPR employs former technology journalists and editors, who share the same passion for technology as the publications they work with.
3. Tailor your pitch
Once you understand your target media and product, it’s imperative that you use this knowledge to tailor your pitch to each publication; otherwise you’re simply making life more difficult for the editor, who is already super-busy. But, if you tailor the pitch correctly, succinctly explaining the benefits of the product or service to the publication’s audience, the chances of success greatly increase.
4. Build relationships
The old-fashioned image of a PR professional meeting a journalist for coffee may seem like a cliché (because it is!), but face-to-face meetings are important, even in the fast-paced world of Digital PR. It’s not about trying to butter an editor up over beers or a fancy lunch (even if you can convince the editor to spend time out of the office), but about understanding how they work and what matters most to them. Then you not only become someone who the journalist is familiar with, but also someone who knows what they need and can make their life easier.
5. Don’t just take, take, take
The job of a PR agency is to secure positive coverage for their clients, but if all you ever do is expect coverage on demand, and give nothing in return, then the relationship becomes very one-sided. Supporting publications and editors is therefore extremely important and this can be as simple as ensuring that you’re available, even during non-working hours. Or, perhaps you can do them a favor, or help them with contacts or advice, even if not directly related to one of your clients. All good relationships require a bit of give and take and PR is no different, so be available and be useful.
6. Be dependable
You’ve done the hard work, researched the media, understood the editor’s needs and pitched correctly, so don’t fall at the final hurdle and fail to deliver. Make sure you provide all the assets the journalist needs, whether it’s pricing, website links, reviewer’s guides, images and so on. Respond as quickly as possible to questions – even if you don’t immediately have the answer, make sure the editor knows that you’re working on it, find out what their deadline is, and make sure you get back to them in time, even if it’s to tell them you can’t provide the answer they need. The more you establish yourself as a reliable contact who gets the job done, the more likely it is that a journalist will respond to your future pitches and communications.