Written by Ben Cossor • Published 28th July 2015 • 3 minute read
A common misconception is that software as a service (SaaS) brands are particularly difficult to get in the press and grab a journalist’s attention with, due to their “dry” nature. But here at The PHA Group we know that every brand has its own unique story to tell and through our work with a number of SaaS brands, we have created stories to raise profiles, position experts and demystify these services. Here we give our top five tips for more effective SaaS PR.
- Know the product’s USP
The tech industry is unbelievably crowded, no less in the SaaS (and other ‘aaS’ services, such as Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service) sector. With that in mind, it is particularly important to ensure you identify your company’s USP and adapt your approach accordingly, to be able to distinguish why it is different from all the other competitors out there. This is a vital step for promoting SaaS services which are particularly complex and difficult for general customers to understand and differentiate between.
- Proof of Customer Adoption and Success Stories
It is one thing to be able to explain your product in theory, but it’s far more compelling to be able to tell stories which demonstrate significant and effective customer adoption. Finding proof that your service has impacted a customer’s bottom line is invaluable PR collateral. As an SaaS brand, you want to prove you have overseen a smooth transition from a customer’s dated approach to their adoption of cloud technology, to dispel the rumours that companies have to be early adopters in order to see the benefits. Case studies make for credible and engaging content – your spokesperson being able to describe real examples of your brand’s impact enlivens and brings integrity to otherwise somewhat intangible claims. Think about how you can use real-life success stories to appeal to those who aren’t especially educated about cloud technology.
- Hijack the News Agenda
As in other areas of technology PR, it’s vital to have a system in place to monitor and jump on the ever-changing news agenda. For SaaS brands, think about how you can connect cloud technology to events that are gaining press attention elsewhere. Would the recent Ashley Madison hacking scandal have provided your brand with an opportunity to comment? Think more widely about all aspects of your business and where you have expertise that can be strategically used to insert your brand into new stories as they play out in the media.
For our client BCSG, a cloud services provider for clients including Vodafone and Santander, we positioned MD John Davis as a leading authority for the UK tech sector, securing commentary opportunities on breaking technology stories, including a live TV interview on CNBC.
- Creating the News Agenda by Harnessing Data and Insights
Harnessing your own data and unique insights can help position your brand at the forefront of the news agenda. Use trends and results from commissioned surveys to create headlines yourself. Your data will have a multitude of stories for the trade, technology and consumer press – think about what interesting trends you can reveal and what headlines you could uncover with survey statistics.
Part of our work with Rivo, a cloud-based risk management software provider, involved tapping into their internal research into safety and sustainability to secure coverage in a wealth of industry and tech titles, positing Rivo as a leader in their sector.
- Explore Different Verticals
SaaS brands often operate across a number of different industries, which from a PR perspective affords the opportunity to explore different verticals for different activities and open up conversations with a diverse range of press. Increasing your reach will maximise the opportunity for coverage, just as we experienced with Rivo, who look after clients across a range of industries, from manufacturing to government and public sector. For example, we positioned Rivo’s Vice President as an expert in the construction sector in a leading construction publication, to discuss his hopes after the General Election. Circulating different stories of relevance to press within these various sectors meant we achieved a great range of coverage for the client.
Look beyond the obvious press targets and think about the various types of customers you are helping every day.
What to Take Away
Even brands which are complex or traditionally seen as dry can find compelling stories to tell. For your SaaS brand, remember to reflect on the USP you want to highlight, find proof of real-life success stories and think about the verticals in which your expertise lies. Think more widely about how your service impacts on customers and the reach of your expertise, to hijack and create the news agenda with your brand front and centre.