Approaching my first year working in technology public relations, I’ve started to reflect on how much technology PR differs from my former life in corporate PR. In my past, I spent time working with nonprofits and now I pitch tech trade outlets (some of which I didn’t know existed). I used to put tech media into one big category, but who knew there are outlets dedicated to covering contact centers? Or semiconductors? Needless to say, simply calling it “tech” doesn’t justify the complexity of this space.
Clearly tech PR is a different ballgame, and I’ve learned a lot about it while working at SHIFT. In case you don’t work in tech PR, here are just a few ways that it’s different from doing PR in other types of industries.
Technology PR lingo takes time to wrap your head around
I joined the business-to-business (B2B) tech team at SHIFT Communications without knowing much about tech, not to mention the lingo and terminology. It was tricky to grasp each of my new clients’ solutions and what terms were relevant, and it took quite a bit of research and hands-on experience for everything to click.
Let me preface by saying that my clients pre-SHIFT included foundations and nonprofits – none of which talked about “VM-aware” storage, cloud computing, big data analytics, or demand-side platform (DSP). While these terms are no-brainers if you work in tech PR or live anywhere near Silicon Valley, to your average consumer, they are meaningless
Clients have a (very) wide range of technologies
SHIFT’s tech clients do a lot of different things – ranging from marketing technology to cybersecurity to cloud contact center software. Some teams work with clients that all fall into one category, and other teams (like mine) have clients that offer a rather wide range of technologies. It can sometimes be hard to track all the different sectors but ultimately, it is exciting to switch gears within all things tech.
Tech reporters run in a tight circle
As PR professionals, it’s our job to know who’s who in the media. Tech PR people seem to be even more in tune with tech reporters because they run in a tight circle. There’s often one or two token tech reporters at any given major publication so we have a narrow pool of people to pitch. On the flip side, there are a whole set of reporters who strictly cover storage, or security, or marketing technology so we get the opportunity to pitch a range of outlets. Nonetheless, tech PR people need to work hard to develop relationships with tech reporters and even harder to make the story easy for people to understand.
Reflecting on my own time in tech PR, I’ve worked on clients that provide services in the cloud, predictive marketing technology, and artificial intelligence to name a few. It still blows my mind that there are so many technologies that our clients develop. But the coolest part about tech PR? We work with companies that create solutions that transform the way we work and live, especially in a world where people are always pushing to move the needle.