Choosing a PR tech agency isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. There are tons of firms out there that advertise PR tech credentials, yet relatively few have the ability and experience to deliver the kinds of outcomes that growth-minded technology firms expect to receive from their public relations investments.
For most technology firms, public relations presents a “buyer beware” scenario in which a single misstep can mean wasted time and resources—or worse yet, serious damage to the firm’s reputation in the industry and the marketplace. So with a lot riding on your decision, how do you select a true PR tech agency that is the right fit for your company’s goals and market objectives?
Characteristics of Leading PR Tech Agencies
As one of the nation’s fastest growing PR tech agencies, Walker Sands knows what it takes to deliver effective PR for technology companies. Over the years, we’ve seen technology clients select generalist agencies for their public relations needs, and then quickly transition to a PR tech agency when they failed to realize the outcomes they needed to achieve through tech PR.
The bottom line is that our expertise in tech PR has given us important insights about the characteristics technology companies need to look for when selecting a PR tech firm. Although each agency has its own personality and capabilities, there are several non-negotiable traits that differentiate top-tier PR tech agencies from the rest of the field.
- Technology Expertise. Right away, it’s important to make sure that your public relations provider is knowledgeable about the technology sector and is current of the trends or events that are shaping your industry. Although it’s normal to have to educate your PR tech firm about your products or processes, you shouldn’t have to give them a primer about your industry or the technology marketplace.
- Key Media Relationships. Likewise, you’ll need to ensure that your PR tech firm has established relationships with the media contacts that will be essential to your company’s success. In some cases, this may mean existing contacts in highly visible media outlets. But often, it’s more important for the firm to have solid relationships with journalists in targeted trade outlets, especially if your company specializes in the B2B tech sector. By developing a track record of relevant and newsworthy pitches, PR tech agencies like Walker Sands will have already forged meaningful connections with the outlets that are critical to your success.
- Digital Integration. These days, the best PR tech agencies offer capabilities that extend beyond traditional PR into the digital sphere. Since more and more audiences are looking for and consuming content digitally, you need to make sure that the PR tech firm you select can provide SEO, search and digital content capabilities in addition to typical public relations (e.g. press releases, case studies, etc.).
- Measurable Impact. If candidate PR tech agencies don’t provide quantifiable outcomes for their efforts, it could be a red flag and a sign that you need to look for another public relations provider. Is ROI tough to measure in PR? Sure. But truly capable PR tech firms typically provide placement data, search rankings, volume of social shares and other measurements to their clients.
- Long-term Enthusiasm. Every PR tech agency will be passionate and enthusiastic about your company and products when they are courting your business. But the cream of the crop maintain their initial enthusiasm over the long-term, consistently coming up with new and creative campaigns to expand your company’s profile among target audiences.
PR tech campaigns aren’t easy to pull off. But by taking the time to select a true PR tech agency and ensuring that the agency can deliver on their promises, you can dramatically increase the odds of success and extend the impact of your public relations investments.