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Technology PR

A Strategic Approach To Public Relations

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PR is nothing more than putting out the word when something happens, right? Well, that may be the stereotype, but the proper use and implementation of strategic public relations is much more.   Strategic PR begins early in the product planning stage, continues in product development, introduction, and evaluation, and helps mold the next generation.

Establishing Development Objectives

Before a product is ever announced and even before it hits the drawing board, strategic PR is establishing the parameters for its development objectives. Through the process of discovery much like market research, but with a stronger technological component, the practitioner measures the status of the industry, identifies niches both filled and void, and defines trends and interests in both marketing and technological arenas. It is also important to determine the needs and thoughts of potential customers and end-users. Trends are also discovered in interviews, by examining trade association programs, and even by reading annual reports.

Often, all these various elements are veiled and unclear, but the strategic PR process weighs all relevant information and discovers the jewels.

Benchmarking – Gathering Baseline Data 

The next step is benchmarking – discovering exactly what has been done regarding the new development effort and identifying competitive and complimentary activities. Awareness of competitive efforts can lead a project to the dump heap or can fuel the flames and increase the budgets.

When complimentary efforts are discovered, it is often wise to investigate possible linkages that can further the objectives of all groups involved. Successful cooperative ventures can streamline the development process, uncover funding sources, and provide exposure and access. Less fortuitous collaborations can mire the project in unforeseen problems. One part of the discovery process is to […]

How @PitchEngine Helps You Pitch Your Startup. My Interview with @JasonKintzler during #SmallTown2012

During SmallTown2012, I connected with Jason Kintzler, CEO and Founder of PitchEngine,  a content creation platform that is helping more 45,000 brands connect provide news and information directly to customers and fans.  Jason was speaking at the conference, not to pitch his service, but to share his story of the fact that he’s build an online business with 40,000 + customers from his world headquarters in a town of 7,000 people – Lander, Wyoming.

How To Pitch

I am still a big believer in traditional press releases and yes, and when appropriate, I still recommend using traditional wire services like BusinessWire.   I am not here to advocate replacing PitchEngine with what might be working for you, but expanding your reach and trying PitchEngine’s story telling platform.

The New American Startup

During #SmallTown2012, Jason shared his story turning down $9,000,000 for a buy-out offer and his new book,  “The New American Startup.”  He did not want to move, did not want to either make employees leave where they live, or be laid off when the company was going to have to relocate.

The Need for Sustained Story Telling

Be it PitchEngine, your startup’s blog, the use of a wire service, or other platforms from Facebook to Twitter to YouTube or Instagram, the big thing to keep in mind is that if you are going to go down the path of story telling, make sure you define your voice, and have a method in place where you can not only engage, but sustain this process.

As you start to consider communications strategies for 2013, make PitchEngine part […]

Hacking Your Startup’s PR and Communications Initiatives To Get You Above The Code™- Today’s Presentation @MexicanVC

Today is my third, and final day holding office hours at MexicanVC in Mexico City, ending with my presentation, Above The Code, which I hope you’l find useful for your own startup.  It’s a combination of my 12 basic belief sets, followed by a 90 day plan aimed at helping the startups getting ready for their demo day on February 5 in Mexico City and February 7 in Mountain View.


It’s been quite an experience working with some very smart, and passionate entrepreneurs.    I was particularly taken with the startups’ grasp for the importance of great UX and design.   Take a look at Boletia, Rubberit, Nuperty, eTraining and Yaxi.  These are the companies I actually worked with during my stay here.  You may view the entire list of Mexican.vc’s portfolio companies here.

Today’s event, Sales & Marketing for B2B Tech Startups included myself and other great speakers including Jorge Soto, Elizabeth Quinanilla, Victor Ricco, and Hector Cardenas.

To the team at MexicanVC, thank you for hosting me, and most of all, making me feel so welcomed during my stay here.

 

 

 

Insights From Compass Intelligence’s @JamesBrehm on The Role of Industry Analysts

Industry Analysts like Compass Intelligence’s James Brehm play a vital role in the Public Relations process.  

James help journalists and bloggers with insights and deep research, providing an independent view when people like me are making pitches for clients.

In this interview, James provides some great background into what an analyst does, the volume of pitches he gets, and how best to work with people like him.


 

Insights From Compass Intelligence’s @JamesBrehm on The Role of Industry Analysts

Industry Analysts like Compass Intelligence’s James Brehm play a vital role in the Public Relations process.  

James help journalists and bloggers with insights and deep research, providing an independent view when people like me are making pitches for clients.

In this interview, James provides some great background into what an analyst does, the volume of pitches he gets, and how best to work with people like him.


 

Technology PR Strategies: The Importance of Great (and Current) Content on Your Startup’s Blog

A startup’s blog is a great vehicle for story telling, and being found by media.

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Your startup’s blog is a seat at the table for journalists, bloggers and industry analysts to discover and share your insights, expertise and knowledge on the market you are creating.  Photo shot at Geekdom, San Antonio.

It’s also a great clue to a journalist, blogger or industry analyst that you have deep and original thinking and could be a great source for them on not just covering your company, but an industry trend that you are either creating or part of.

Here’s some tips:

1.  If you are going to blog, do something more that overstate the obvious with links to articles from Mashable,  Read Write Web or TechCruch (unless it’s about you).   Journalists can find that on their own.

2.  Build a story around what you are doing, not just what you are doing.  Share feedback from customers, what you are finding and how you are helping.

3.  Post content from conferences and trade shows you might go to.  Report on what you are seeing, who you are connecting with, and how your solution or platform fits into the world at large.

4.  Don’t overstate the obvious.  If a journalist finds you, and discovers your blog, this is your first point of entry in raising the potential of possibly gaining media coverage.  Make a good impression with deep thinking and good writing.

5.  Post once a week.  At a minimum.  If you go dark for a month or two, it shows you’re out to […]

Technology Public Relations Strategies: Aim to Serve The Journalist, Analyst and Blogger

I work for journalists, analysts, and bloggers.  

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Think of journailsts, analysts, and bloggers as customers and serve them well.

Photo by me shot somewhere in West Virginia (c) 2011

My goal is to bring them really great stories, that come from companies with great technology, platforms and products.  

Behind those companies are great people who are passionate and really give a shit about delivering something disruptive, significantly better, possibly (but not not always) less expensive, that in all cases delievery a superb experience.

Yes, I work for journalists, analysts and bloggers.

My clients pay me (and the team I build) to do this.  

I think like a journalist, and provide content, information, data, case studies, end user profiles, access to the client and more.  

I work to help to increase the journalist, analyst, and bloggers of coverage because I’ve done my homework and prepared them for the best story they can cover.

When you work to serve the journalist, analyst, and blogger you get an inverse rate of success.  

It goes way up.

Time for A Re-Set

Re-set your thinking to not being about you or your company, but how you can help make the journalist, analyst or blogger more successful in their work, not yours.

Technology Public Relations Strategies: How to Do Application Stories

Application stories are a powerful medium to tell your story.  It’s one thing to tout your product, platform, technology, solution, and it’s a whole other when your customers or partners can share its real world applications and benefits.

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Application stories open new avenues to share and tell your story.

Photo shot somewhere in Iceland by me (c) 2007

 It’s Not About You 

Make your customer / partner the hero of your story, not you.  There’s tons and tons of great and way cool technology out in the world.  In fact, there’s way too much of it.  The way to best approach an application story strategy is to focus on how the customer applied and benefited from the application.   

Find Your Internal Champion

This is generally your direct customer – the person who is in charge of a team who is deploying your technology.  Best way to start is to ask.  Explain that you are trying to share their story in hopes that others can benefit from your solution as they have.  

Some customers won’t want to do this, as they may see your technology as a competitive weapon or having a leg up on their competition.  If this is the case, find a champion customer who this won’t be an issue with.

Get Permission

Getting your champion to approve this initiative is gets you half the way there.  

Publicly traded or heavily regulated companies will more than likely […]

Israeli & U.S. Start-Ups: Maybe You Don’t Need a PR Firm (Yet.) Here’s Some Things You Can Do On Your Own

In the process of meeting with various start-ups in Israel this week I’m really gaining some great insights into their needs for PR services.

Tomorrow, I will speaking at the Israel Startup Network event and sharing the stage with other PR / Communications Pros, Josh ClineSharon Levy-Matzkin and Enon Landenberg.  

What’s clear to me is that either because of budget, or where they are in the life cycle of their company, be it in Israel or the U.S., they may not need a PR firm- yet.

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Here’s a few things you can do on your own, or just go through the following steps in order to prepare yourself for when you are ready to start looking for the agency that is right for you.

1.  What media do you think should pay attention to your company?  Why?

Make a list of the print and online media (journals, news outlets, blogs, etc) and dream big.  Imagine you could get in any five outlets on the planet (be realistic.)  What would they be?   Try writing a draft of a press release yourself.  Need help?  Use my template,

Public Relations Strategy: It’s (still) a New Year; Time To Elevate and Refresh Your Messages. Here’s How….

Even though it’s still a “New Year,” we’re approaching the beginning of February.  If you have not examined your messaging for 2011, it’s time to do so – now.  It’s a critical element of your public relations and social media communications strategy.

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It’s Almost February 1.  Time To Elevate and Refresh your message for 2011 if you have not done this yet.

Here’s a few tips that help you help your team get this done.

1. Start with your message. 

 The first part in this process is to clearly articulate a relevant message based on facts and endorsed throughout the organization. Then you must develop a messaging strategy and deploy a targeted blogger, media and industry analysts outreach relations program.

Your goal, at this phase, is to build or strengthen effective relationships with bloggers, analysts and journalists who can not only help you hone your message, but also help you position your company, you technology, your products and your marketplace.

  • Is your message easy to remember, and is it current? 
  • When was the last time your company updated its message?
  • Is it current? Does it use current industry standard terms? 
  • Ask key stakeholders in your company if your message resonates. If not, make a commitment to get your message right before 2009 arrives 

2. Make sure you’re properly positioned.

 Positioning is the act of defining your place among your peers and identifying the unique value you offer within that competitive landscape. It is both a goal and a process. It is […]

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