PR campaigns are a great way for brands to engage an intended audience. Goals can include impacting social or behavioral change, elevating brand reputation and awareness, or sharing the latest product or service update. It tends to be the latter for technology companies, but whatever your goal, it’s important not to skip the steps that bring cohesion and focus to your campaign.

PR professionals know that gathering the perfect assets and story elements for a campaign can be a lesson in herding cats, especially when working with tech stakeholders who might not be familiar with the mechanics of PR. Here are five tips to ensure your next PR campaign runs smoothly and exceeds expectations.

1. Think about the narrative arc of your PR campaign.
Every good story introduces a conflict, develops tension, and features a climax, a falling action, and a resolution. Your PR campaign is no different. But this takes time and requires comprehensive information. As a technology company, you’re probably more focused on the efficacy of your new product, and that’s great – but come launch, there must be a go-to-market story that communicates the problem you’re solving, why you’re well-positioned to do so, the various elements involved, and the value add or change you’re hoping this new product will have on your customers.

For your PR campaign, it’s essential to collaborate with the necessary teams and subject matter experts to get the right information that tells your story effectively. I recommend leveraging tools like message intake documents, stakeholder meetings, and creative brainstorming sessions to hone your unique product story. From here, developing a narrative that resonates with your intended audience and validates your messaging becomes a cakewalk.

2. Get specific and granular when defining your goals and target audience.
Often the parameters for PR campaigns need to be more specific – the goals might be broad, or the audience too poorly defined. Let go of unrealistic ideals that might make your business look good but don’t match the quality of the story you have to tell or engage the audience you want to impact. A goal to raise your company’s visibility in the technology sector leaves open questions like with who or to do what? For example, if you’re launching a new AI/ML tool to help developers and data scientists streamline the development of new software or programs and spend less time wading through pages of technical code, you probably wouldn’t target the New York Times based on the scale of your impact – even though it’s a great outlet that covers the topic.

Instead, try to identify who your news is for – in the scenario above, it’s developers, data scientists, and stakeholders with purchasing power at companies dedicated to creating new products or services – then aim to meet them where they get their news. Chances are, it won’t be in the New York Times but in niche online communities like Stack Overflow or Reddit, influential technology verticals like TechCrunchor ZDNet, or via news aggregators like Hacker News, Slashdot, and Product Hunt. The more precise and well-defined your goals and target audience, the more your campaign will resonate and drive meaningful results.

3. Use media trends to guide how, where, and when to show up.
Communication doesn’t happen in a vacuum, so to make the best use of your PR dollars, be aware of the latest trends surrounding the topical issues in your news and be mindful of how your story will land in that broader discourse. For example, if there is a lot of discussion around the application of AI in your sector, it might be a good time to tell your AI story. However, be cautious when joining existing conversations because it’s likely that reporters are overwhelmed by other companies seizing the opportunity to newsjack. Reconsider unless your story is unique enough to stand out or shift the conversation.

It is also a good idea to look across the industry to see if there are events or planned announcements that compete with your news. Industry calendars like Techmeme or public event listings from Big Tech companies can be helpful.

When planning for your big news, it doesn’t hurt to reach out to your existing media contacts to see what they’re working on and potentially tease something new coming down the pike. A good PR firm can help you bridge relationships with the media you need to reach.

4. Try a mix of communication approaches to maximize the reach of your PR campaign.
Limiting your announcement to traditional news media is a missed opportunity. Consider amplifying your campaign by leveraging your social media networks, including employees, business partners/affiliates, and organic followers. LinkedIn also has dedicated spaces for posting blogs, allowing you to better engage with your online community and boost organic reach.

Another option is posting in tech community forums or aggregator sites like Product Hunt, Reddit – Technology, TechSpot Forums, Tom’s Hardware, and others. This approach isn’t for everyone, as it is more involved than a simple touch-and-go social media post, but it does provide good visibility and engagement with the audience you’re hoping to impact.

Podcasts are another great platform to engage with dedicated audiences directly. While they vary in reach, they offer immense value because listeners intentionally tune into podcasts for specific information or services. All you need to do is find the right podcast.

5. Be sure to define and measure your success.
Reporting around PR campaigns tends to be hectic because there is so much information to distill into valuable insights. However, defining the parameters for success gives your PR team enough foresight to make the necessary adjustments throughout your campaign to align with the expected results. It also takes the guesswork out of pulling together a report. If a high reach or domain authority is the definition of success, it’s easy to pull metrics around the size of the audience who has seen your news or how it will rank in search results to underscore the added value in your PR approach.

As you plan your next PR campaign, take the guesswork out of the process, and return to what works. These tips will ensure you stay true to the fundamentals and help you up-level your campaign planning and execution. Not sure where to start? Let’s chat.