Written by Milly Edgerley • Published 3rd November 2016 • 3 minute read

How to stand out in 2017

It is an exciting time for the tech media industry; increased investment in the sector is presenting fresh opportunities for new and established companies and to reflect this, more journalists are specialising in the field than ever before.

But naturally the industry has become more competitive and congested, making it difficult for brands to stand out. It’s a pivotal time for the sector and those operating within it.

Later this month, our Tech & Innovation team will be hosting a free event for female business owners and entrepreneurs operating in the technology sector, discussing the changing face of tech media, exploring how to effectively communicate your key messages to your target audiences through these mediums, and offering top PR and communications tips.

So to whet your appetite, here is a sneak peek at our top tips to help you stand out in the crowded tech media landscape

Image courtesy of: Luis Llerena, Stocksnap.io

Image courtesy of: Luis Llerena, Stocksnap.io

In short, what are journalists looking for?

Some of the most popular tech journalists have reported receiving over 1,000 emails before lunch. This gives you an idea of the amount of competition out there. Even if you have a business that deserves to be written about, you still need to make it stand out.

A journalist’s job is to write a story, so expecting them to dedicate a full page to your business just because the business exists is unfortunately misguided. You need to identify your story early on; have you received significant investment? Are you launching a truly disruptive product or service? Is there a strong human interest story at the heart of your business? These are some key questions to consider.

And to grab a journalist’s attention:

  • Keep pitches short and simple
  • Research the journalist and their remit beforehand
  • Know when and how to get in touch
  • Introduce the business’ USP early on

Humanise your tech brand by telling your story

A great way to stand out is to make your business relatable to your target audience. Tech brands can often have complex operations at their heart and therefore securing profile interview pieces, which allow the business spokesperson to give greater insight into their own road to success, are often effective in really speaking to your audience and getting them on side.

Interesting personal stories often include challenges the founder has overcome, a lightbulb moment which developed into a business with a unique USP, or an impressive growth story in a short space of time.

Never underestimate the assets you already have at your disposal; you just need to use them in the right way.

Jacqueline O’Donovan, MD of O’Donovan Waste Disposal, told her inspirational story to Virgin.com

Jacqueline O’Donovan, MD of O’Donovan Waste Disposal, told her inspirational story to Virgin.com

 

Industry experts; news agenda hi-jacking

To really stand out from other businesses operating in your field, it’s important to be seen as an expert by openly commenting on key issues in the news agenda.

What carries more credibility than your CEO live on Sky News, speaking about a national story in front of millions of viewers?

But of course in order to get yourself on this type of stage, you need to convince the producer that you are the expert they should be talking to. By knowing your key messages and being clear on the unique insight you can add to the story, you stand a good chance.

The early bird catches the worm; while there will be many other CEOs fighting for the same space, if you can identify the story as soon as it breaks and can get on the producer’s radar early, that’s half the battle.

 We used the ongoing Southern Rail Strikes to secure a Letter in the Evening Standard from Jason Downes, MD of Powwownow


We used the ongoing Southern Rail Strikes to secure a Letter in the Evening Standard from Jason Downes, MD of Powwownow

Share of voice; thought leadership

A strand of news agenda commentary in itself, thought leadership is about creating informed content on topics that interest you and are relevant in your industry. The format of this content can be whatever you think will be well-received by your target audience; from ‘top tips’ pieces to blogs and by-line articles.

Through this informed content, you can secure coverage in relevant media (print and online) to demonstrate your proficiency and educate potential customers, often with a link back to your website.

A great example of this is the work we have done for dyslexic entrepreneur, Debra Charles, for whom we recently wrote and placed a blog on The Independent Online to tie in with Dyslexia Awareness Week.