Things happen fast at Voxus. In March, I published my first blog post about my experience as a Voxus intern. In the weeks that followed, my PR journey with Voxus included a brief stint as Program Coordinator, then an opportunity to join the team full time that I couldn’t pass up! Next thing I know, I’m cracking open a fresh box of bright red business cards branded on one side with that iconic Voxus ‘V’ mark and Robyn Posey, Program *Associate* on the other.
Things happen so fast at Voxus, in fact, that it’s already September, meaning everyone in the agency paid tribute in August in the form of quality, original content for the Voxus PR blog. Time sure flies when you wait until the last minute to start writing, but I digress…
For the first blog post under my fancy new title, I’m taking a page from the book of Jaci Hendricks, kindred TV/movie-loving spirit and Voxus senior program executive. (Note her hard-earned, much fancier title. She’s the expert.) In December, Jaci wrote a piece for the Voxus blog citing Gilmore Girls as a vessel for a few (copiously-caffeinated) doses of essential PR wisdom. Personally, the tastiest bit of information I gleaned from her post was by far the realization that I could justify HOURS of online TV streaming if I channeled that time into a blog post. I call it *Productive Procrastination.”
My current binge-watch of choice, HBO’s Silicon Valley, chronicles a promising tech startup called Pied Piper. Attracting breakout attention for breakthrough ideas is our specialty at Voxus, and since we’re experts on creating awareness & engagement for tech companies (startups and small to medium size businesses, in particular), here are a few key PR takeaways featuring the Pied Piper gang.
The tech will not speak for itself.
…to an extent. Yes, great tech is easily recognizable by its users, but discovery and awareness are the prerequisites of recognition and in order to achieve either, tech companies must first clearly articulate the unique value of their offering(s) and then communicate that value through the appropriate channels. A startup may know it has the best, latest, most revolutionary technology but without a PR professional to position and pitch its product/solution in a way that captures the attention of its target media, how will the rest of the world ever find out?
Double check your facts.
Voxus is big on stomping out #FakeNews. Voxus program director Lindsay Stril does an excellent job of articulating the tech PR professional’s duty to ensure reporting accuracy in an era of fake news, but internal fact checking among your team is an equally important part of the process. Make sure your team is on the same page by keeping an open line of communication. CC your associates on every email correspondence with the client, collaborate on documents in Google Drive to ensure there aren’t multiple and varying copies floating around, actively participate in your team’s Slack channel, and if you’re unsure don’t be afraid to ASK QUESTIONS. A mentor once told me that it’s better to ask twice than get something wrong once (but always make a conscious effort to commit an answer to memory the first time, obviously). Once you and your PR associates have synced on all the specifics and confirmed their legitimacy by double or even TRIPLE-checking your facts, then you’re ready to relay that information to the media.
Fish where the fish are.
Once you’ve crafted your story and identified which channels to target, it’s crucial to dig even deeper into your targeted outlets for the specific reporters that will be the most responsive to your pitch. In order to reel in coverage for your client, make sure you’re casting the appropriate line to catch their attention. This often requires some digging, especially for clients in a highly niche market, but due diligence combined with the right bait is paramount to securing a story. Artificial intelligence for patent processing may not hook a New York Times tech reporter but with a little research, you’d be surprised how many outlets and writers report specifically on legal technology. However, if you are trying to reach a broader audience with a media hit in a bigger publication with a broader audience reach, the writers who have recently covered similar subject matters are more likely to bite.
Image via wikipedia.