What to Expect from a Top Tech PR Agency
You’ve likely vetted a number of PR agencies and sat through hours of calls and presentations to find “the one”. PR requires a heavy investment of time and resources, so you want to make sure it’s worth it. A top tech PR agency should be hitting KPIs — but that’s not the only thing they should be doing. There are so many other things they should be offering your tech company. So, how do you know you have the right agency?
Here are 5 things you should expect from a top tech PR agency.
They’ll Bring An Outside Perspective to Your Company’s Story
Your PR agency should be well-versed in your industry, your competitors, and your technology. Their in-depth understanding of the entire industry and your company will guide the messaging and positioning used to differentiate you in the market and, ultimately, inform your entire technology PR strategy.
The best tech PR agencies will work with you to craft your company’s narrative and bring an outside perspective– one that will interest reporters to tell your story which, in turn, will encourage customers to be a part of it. While a company itself will help inform messaging and positioning based on business goals and internal conversations, with a PR agency part of the team, you should not be building your messaging alone. And once messaging is complete, PR should be incorporating it into all they do.
PR Goals Will Go Beyond Press Hits
You’ll likely have some sort of quantitative goal you’ll want the PR agency to hit, for example secure a certain amount of press hits each month. Your PR agency should also be working with you to set qualitative goals that align with business goals. Random press hits in any publication might not move the needle for you, but getting a specific key company talking points in if in a target industry or business publication that your prospects read, will move the needle. A PR team will help you digest your business goals into actionable PR goals, which will be more than just a specific amount of press hits.
PR should also be proactively setting ambitious goals for themselves, beyond what’s in any contract. They should also be aware that any media opportunity they bring to you, should be in support of your goals. You should not be receiving throw away technology and public relations opportunities, but rather opportunities that align with your goals and will make a difference for your business. A PR agency is the middle man, and should be filtering out any opportunities that are not right for the bottom line.
You’ll Be In The News — Even When You Don’t Have News
Especially as a tech company, you’re not always going to have news. You’ll likely have a few pieces of news a year, between new hires, product launches and updates, funding and award wins. A top tech PR agency should be able to fill the pipeline and secure press, even with only a few pieces of news a year.
For the existing news you have, even if it’s not entirely ground breaking, a PR agency should be able to turn it into something bigger. For example, a new hire release can be turned into a greater focus on a specific part of the organization or play into a bigger momentum release. Or the addition of a new feature can transform into a benefit to your industry.
An agency should be well versed in the tech industry and the specific industries to drive what conversations companies should be a part of and where company executives can insert their expertise. Be it commentary opportunities, thought leadership, case studies, company events, trade shows, awards or beyond, your PR agency should have many avenues to get you in the press.
There Will Be No Shortage of Ideas
Your PR agency should always be coming to you with ideas — there should be no shortage of them. You should never hop off a weekly PR status call having only gone through a tracker, without the agency offering some kind of idea in relation to what you’re currently working on or something for the future. Your PR agency should be telling you what to do.
This is related directly to securing press without news – just because you have no news doesn’t mean PR should not be coming to you with ideas. In fact, this means they should be doing it even more.
Tech is an industry where you will stick out immensely to the media and customers the more creative you are. Just because it’s technology and public relations does not mean it has to be boring — PR should bring you ideas that are creative, outside of the box and will bring attention to you. If you have to constantly ask for ideas, you need to ask yourself if it’s the right partnership.
Teams in a Top Tech PR Agency Will Be Staffed Accordingly and Work With Your Internal Teams
You should always have a fairly senior staff member on your PR account, someone that fully understands the business and not just how to engage reporters. A PR agency should equip your team with the right mix of senior and junior staff, to create an effective PR strategy and then act on it.
Your PR agency should also be working with all your internal teams, but most importantly your marketing team. They should know how their work ties into with what the marketing team does and how they can work together. Marketing teams will often work on something that is helpful to PR, or something that PR can be engaged with. By engaging PR early they can help to plan strategy and make it media worthy.
Look Beyond Silicon Valley: Why NYC PR Agencies Make The Best Tech PR Agencies
Just because you’re a tech company, doesn’t mean you need a PR agency in Silicon Valley. In fact, the majority of the time tech companies are not the audience you want to engage, but your peers. While tech publications provide validation to a company, they’re not speaking to your customers. Once you consider the industries you’re targeting, that will help to inform the media your PR team should be going after.
While PR teams can virtually work anywhere, the majority of the media is located in NYC, so having a NYC-based PR agency is helpful to meet with media in-person. Besides 1:1 meetings with journalists, having a PR firm in NYC makes it much easier to plan customer and journalist events in the city, as well as attend the trade shows that occur there. These are all ideas that your PR agency should be proactively sharing with you.
Making an investment in a PR agency is a big and important step. Making sure you know what to expect from a top tech PR agency will ensure you achieve the results you want to move the needle for your tech company.