To be bylined to James Crawford, Managing Director of PR Agency One
WHETHER YOU’RE a startup needing support to grow your new tech venture or an established tech brand looking to unlock the full potential of your company, PR is not to be overlooked. But with so many agencies claiming to be tech PR specialists, how do you choose the right one?
1. Find a trusted partner
Working with a PR agency is no longer just about securing print space in national newspapers. A good PR agency will work with you as a trusted partner to understand your business and commercial objectives and will develop PR strategies that feed into all elements of your marketing and SEO strategy, to ultimately impact your bottom-line. Digital PR and a thorough understanding of SEO are essential skills for increasing your business’ branded search visibility and raising commercial awareness. When sourcing consultancies, look for award-winners and those accredited by key organisations such as the PRCA, CIPR and AMEC.
2. Create a detailed brief
Never underestimate the importance of a good brief. When it comes to finding the perfect PR agency for your business, you need to give consultancies a clear and informed overview of how you’re looking to be supported so they can build a pitch tailored to your exact needs. To do this, first make sure your team is agreed on objectives and incorporate commercial targets as well as organisational milestones into your brief, to give your prospective agencies the big picture to work around when developing strategy and creative ideas. Check out our PR brief template if you need a little guidance.
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3. Seek out the true specialists
Use the pitch process to separate out the seasoned tech PR specialists from the wannabes and blaggers. You need a tech PR agency that knows the industry and has all the right contacts. Many agencies will claim to be tech PR specialists having only worked with one or two tech companies but an agency that has spent years building relationships with the right contacts will be key to getting your messages published in all the right places to reach all the right audiences.
4. Tell your story properly
Look for an agency that can offer a multi-pronged approach to telling your story. Don’t settle for an agency that will only churn out billy basic copy about your latest products. Seek out the creative storytellers who can implement innovative campaigns as well as nail the basics, and who can create engaging corporate profiles to demonstrate your experience to your customers and elevate your brand reputation.
5. Benchmark and evaluate
Get an agency that can benchmark your results against competitors and thoroughly evaluate the measurable returns of your campaigns to provide up to date strategy consultation and keep you one step ahead of the curve. Most PR agencies are lacking in the measurement department and will struggle to accurately track commercial attribution due to multi-channel marketing strategies, but with the right know-how it is possible to identify not just correlation but causation, too. Always go for a tech PR agency that knows their way around advanced measurement tools. If you’re still unsure, look for agencies that are affiliated with the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) and you can’t go far wrong.