Five Things PR Pros Can Learn From Technology Communicators

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Behold PR pros in the technology sector.

While communicators in every field are asked to craft clear, concise and interesting messages, tech PR pros often have the additional task of translating complex concepts into easy-to-digest stories. Adding to the difficulty of doing this, of course, is the amount of jargon technologists use and the rapidity at which new technologies come to the market. While it is essential that PR pros in all fields do their homework, those in the tech field sometimes find the learning curve steep.

Take the government tech space, for example. There seems to be a new framework or certification every quarter. From a PR perspective, not only do communicators need to get their brand included in timely conversations, but they must also do it using the updated language of each new framework and certification.

Eating an Elephant Sandwich One Bite at a Time

How do technology communicators tackle this mountain of concepts and jargon and what can PR pros in other sectors learn from their tech brethren? Below are a few technology examples that can be modified to be useful to PR pros in any field.

Start off small – You had to learn to walk before you could run, so diving in head-first in an attempt to master technical concepts is not advised. Use the tools and people around you to gain a baseline of knowledge. Once you're feeling more secure approach senior team members. They likely have years of experience working with technology and many have seen major technological changes. As in all fields of PR, a good mentor can provide invaluable insight.

My BFF is Google – It seems obvious, but doing primary research is critical to gaining the knowledge necessary to succeed in tech PR. Ask your mentor to provide a list of trusted research sources and then mine them to bolster your understanding about a piece of technology or concept as it relates to the marketplace.

Read…and then read more – Are you working in a specific segment of tech PR? Does your brand specialize in a certain vertical or technology? Chances are there are publications dedicated to the niche you're working in. Read them diligently. Leveraging the content of trusted journalists in the tech space can help your understanding of the field. A bonus: by reading constantly you'll become familiar with the types of stories journalists are writing. This should inform your media pitching.

Use Technology's Diversity To Your Advantage

In addition to the complexity of technology, the sheer amount of new tech products arriving in the market can be daunting. From tech solutions for nonprofits to medical, energy and transportation solutions, there is no shortage of technologies vying for editorial coverage.

This surfeit makes it essential for tech PR pros to keep up with the latest trends. Whether you’re helping to launch a product or submitting your company’s executives for an industry panel, there's almost always is something new to learn. This can make preparing executives for media interviews and marketing pitches vexing. On the other hand, providing executives with an up-to-date briefing before they meet with media is essential. Doing this well can help increase your value.

By the same token, the seemingly endless list of technology products and solutions can be a tech PR pro's ultimate tool. This bevy of products provides the tech communicator with a variety of potential messages to deliver and story ideas to pitch. Instead of dreading the complexity of concepts and variety of tech products, tech communicators use them to their advantage by:

Providing a unique perspective – While there are numerous companies and experts fighting to have their voice heard in the tech space, there also is a variety of approaches and viewpoints that work in different ways to solve issues and improve peoples' lives. Drill down to find the unique bit of information that you can use to position your company, products and experts as thought leaders and innovators.

Using innovations to further the story – Does your company have a device to launch? Is there an updated version of your security product ready for the market? With technology solutions growing daily, the possibilities for new and follow-up stories expand as well. Leverage new research, product releases and updates as media pitches. Keeping tech reporters abreast of the changing technology world helps build relationships and further establishes your brand as an innovator and your executives as thought leaders.

In conclusion, what is the truth about tech PR? It’s interestingly complex. Each day start-ups are born and older giants put new stamps on the industry. True, it can be a challenge to monitor every moving part of the technology industry, but ultimately it is a field that provides PR pros with a level of fascinating diversity.

Tommy Morgan is an account executive at Sage Communications. Contact him at: tmorgan@aboutsage.com