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What is Tech PR? And is it Really Needed?

By Jon Brown

Tech PR is a service used by technology companies to communicate with specific audiences relevant to their business, with the aim of increasing brand recognition, build trust in their brand, and, ultimately, increase enquiries, prospects and sales.

There are several ways you can communicate with each target audience using PR, but the most successful is by engaging with a tech PR agency that can position you as the go-to brand in your industry and the minds of your target audience(s).

This can be through the use of Earned media tactics such as press releases, thought leadership articles, and other news-based stories. By gaining coverage in highly respected media publications, you can increase the public awareness of the brand while increasing its credibility. The more coverage you receive, the more likely you are to become a trusted household name.

It’s important to remember that organic coverage gained through Earned media coverage is much more powerful than any other channel or method. For example, through adopting paid media activity (advertorials, sponsored contributions, speaker slots or events), Shared media (social media) channels, or Owned tactics (the website) . You can shout about how great you are to your heart’s content, but it’s only by gaining exposure in third-party media outlets will you gain the trust of the public.


What does a tech PR agency do?

A tech PR agency helps to manage the brand image of a company, helping to productively push and maintain the reputation of the brand. But PR agencies can help tech companies create communication strategies that align with their business goals to also aid the way their audience sees them. 

Tech PR enables companies to redefine and improve their communication strategies and tactics as well as providing valuable insight into audience metrics - such as audience size/readership, referral traffic from earned media placements, and correlations between PR activity and spikes in web traffic. There are even benefits of producing a highly targeted SEO and backlinking programme

PR is especially important for tech startups to evaluate their brand recognition to see how well they are performing and what they can do to improve - not just in their PR strategy, but how it affects internal communications as well as  marketing and sales strategies. 

By identifying key media outlets and journalists, PR can reach super targeted audiences as well as broader ones depending on the aim of the campaign. The first step is knowing what journalists cover, and what their topics of interest are, as this will significantly increase the opportunity your business will gain coverage. Knowing the key media titles in your industry is also vital, as it enables the company to maximise their investments with specific and targeted campaigns that are guaranteed to be read. 


Why do tech companies need PR?

The reason and need for engaging with PR is that, as a tech company, you will have a huge number of competitors that, although might not have the better products or services as yours, are actively reaching out to press to make sure that the public sees them as a leader over you.

Tech companies need PR as PR can help the company increase its brand awareness and name through placing thought leadership articles, opinions, media commentary, press releases, and any other high-profile news story to top publications. Over a certain period of time, you will start to see the clear benefits of heightened awareness and trust of your brand.

What isn’t clear is how PR is measured, and there is currently no set standard of measuring and presenting the success of a campaign. and although you can point towards certain aspects and best practices, PR measurement can vary depending on the agency, campaign, and what the client views as a success. 

For example, one PR agency might choose to focus on measuring the impact of campaigns through the number of coverage achieved every month. While this is certainly a good sign of momentum being built, it does nothing to show how many readers interacted with the business. What you really want to know is  how many people searched for the brand in Google or downloaded a resource from the website after reading a company press release.


What are the top tech publications?

There is a vast and growing array of tech publications that you could target, however we know that some are better than others. Independent, quality journalism makes for more readers, yet it also decreases the chances of securing coverage unless you have a genuinely unique and interesting story.

Some of the top tech publications that we recommend targeting in your tech PR campaign are:

  1. TechCrunch: One of the biggest and best resources for general tech news and events, TechCrunch is well-known for staying on top of breaking news in the tech sector. However, this also makes them one of the hardest publications to secure coverage in as every tech company and their dog is wanting to get their brand published on the website.

    Audience/reach: 11,000,000
    Domain Authority: 93

  2. ZDNet: One of the longest-serving publications on the list, ZDNet is another one that focuses on breaking news in the tech industry as well as opinions and reviews on the latest developments. The website covers software, hardware, and everything in between as well as different vertical markets such as education, finance, and government.

    Audience/reach: 7,600,00
    Domain Authority: 92
  3. Wired: Another tech publication that prides itself in top quality journalism and exclusive stories, Wired focuses on new and upcoming technologies and how it affects businesses, so is a useful target when trying to get your brand in front of tech decision makers, entrepreneurs and even consumers.

    Audience/reach: 2,900,000
    Domain Authority: 87

  4. VentureBeat: Has a big focus on high-tech and startup companies as well as some of the most innovative tech being developed today. Can be a useful publication for more niche tech companies as well that focus on everything from AI, machine learning, digital twins, and even the metaverse.

    Audience/reach: 1,900,000
    Domain Authority: 92

  5. The Next Web (TNW): The website focuses on tech news across the UK and Europe, as well as dedicating coverage to some of the most exciting tech startup companies. The Next Web’s audience consists of leading experts, innovative disruptors, and entrepreneurs from some of the biggest brands in tech.

    Audience/reach: 1,800,000
    Domain Authority: 91

When building out your target media list, try and revert back to any buyer personas you’ve worked on as this will give you a good indication of who your target audience is and what their interests and challenges are. If you don’t have these to hand, you can always ask your sales team what kind of people and job roles they tend to have conversations with.

It’s also important to separate the good publications from the great ones as not all media outlets carry the same gravitas as others. Some might be more respectable - think broadsheets versus red-top newspapers - or simply have a greater audience size. Break the publications into different tiers and focus most of your time pitching stories to the ones that matter.

Another consideration is whether or not the publication provides the opportunity to earn a backlink to the website. Having a backlink from a media website with a high Domain Authority improves your website SEO power, helping increase your ranking in search term pages and be found by even more people. Plus, you can even use tools that can show you referral traffic or searches for your brand within search engines to link the PR activity and coverage to meaningful impact.

Tags: PR, tech pr