Despite reports that the economy is just fine, the reality is that tech companies – and especially tech marketing teams – are grappling with shrinking budgets and more pressure than ever to show ROI. PR has long been known as one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to address a wide range of business objectives (especially in the B2B tech), and I am seeing a rapid increase in marketers asking: can PR help with X? Since these are not unique challenges, I wanted to share them in a blog. If you find yourself mumbling any of the below statements, it might be time to lean into PR for help.

1. “I’m struggling to ‘pull the story’ out of the product team.”
The reality is most engineers and product developers struggle with storytelling. And honestly, it’s not their job, so don’t hate. But PR pros are really good (or should be) at reading, listening, and asking questions that expose the chewy center of the story (the part that makes you say “ahh, that’s good”). I know many internal marketers don’t have the time or energy to butt heads with their product teams. Let PR do it! We can pull out the story (if there is one), create compelling content, and help you apply it to other marketing campaigns.

2. “We’re not seen as thought leaders.”
Thought leadership instills confidence with buyers, validates product innovation, drives hype cycles, creates media attention, and much more. If you have something unique to share, becoming a thought leader is a no brainer. But getting there is like climbing a mountain – you need to properly prepare, be committed, allocate time for the journey, have a strategy, etc. Think of PR as your mountaineering guide. We take in all the details and plot the course for success. Don’t just hope for thought leadership through random marketing and PR campaigns. Create a plan that maps out the steps toward success.

3. “We need to be seen as THE go-to for our channel and reseller network.”
If you rely on the channel for sales, you know how important it is to win favor. It’s not difficult to sign up channel partners, but it is hard to become that partners’ preferred vendor and get sales. They have a ton of marketing information thrown at them from other vendors, so you need to stand out with third-party validation. This includes media coverage of your products and channel program, awards, thought leadership activities (like speaking, contributed articles, analyst reports) and more. PR helps drive all these things and can engage with channel press to amplify your credibility.

4. “Analysts keep leaving us out of key reports.”
It’s no secret that getting analyst attention can be challenging (especially if you’re not willing to buy into the discussion). That’s why you need a PR team with a solid analyst relations program. Analyst relations is not rocket science (in fact, it’s more like a strategic game). It takes a good dose of project management, regular outreach, and clearly defined goals around messaging. A good PR team understands the requirements needed to play the game and win.

5. “I need more content for our social media program.”
Social media managers are always looking for more content, especially content that educates followers. That’s why media coverage is a goldmine for social media programs. It offers third-party validation in an educational format. PR is designed to drive media coverage, which can and should be leveraged by your social media team.

6. “I can’t get a Wikipedia page approved.”
If this keeps you up at night, you’re not alone. Most brands covet their Wikipedia page, if only for the SEO impact. But the Wikipedia editors are hardcore. They take their role as gatekeepers seriously. And over the last decade the standard for what classifies as third-party sourcing materials has increased dramatically. Not all coverage counts as third-party validation (according to editors). If you want a Wikipedia page, you need media coverage that is objective (including two great profile piece). That requires a strategy. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. PR should be able to map it out for you and find storylines that can fulfill the requirements.

7. “We’re struggling to get noticed at key tradeshows.”
Tradeshows are all about leads and raising awareness, which is where PR comes in. First, PR teams can be very creative. You should tap into that creativity when planning out your booth activities, giveaways, etc. Second, lots of publications cover tradeshows leading up to, during, and after the show. Having a PR team that can tap into that cycle is crucial (so you can get on “ones to watch” lists, roundups, etc.). And finally, having your PR team at a big event can pay huge dividends by bringing media and analysts to your booth.

8. “Our marketing content is flat and uninspiring.”
PR teams spend a tremendous amount of time creating and consuming content. We’re experts. Tap into that expertise. Ask your PR team to brainstorm ideas for you (or include them in larger marketing or sales brainstorms). At the very least, run your ideas by them. You might find that they have great suggestions that take your content to the next level.

If you talk to any PR pro, they will often joke that “PR gets asked to fix everything” – and there’s a good reason for it. In many cases, PR can help. If you want to talk through ways PR can help your program, reach out to us here.

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