Finding the right IT PR agency is a critical milestone for growing technology companies. Given the highly competitive nature of today's information technology sector, your IT PR agency selection criteria need to be aligned with the intricacies of the IT marketplace as well as your need to effectively promote your products, services and brand.
Why You Need an IT PR Agency
Many PR firms are eager to take on new technology clients. At Walker Sands, we've seen the value an IT PR agency can bring to leading technology companies. But the reality is that not all agencies are equipped to properly serve technology brands.
- Agencies with portfolios that span a broad range of industries usually lack the depth of expertise to deliver bottom line outcomes to firms that market complex and sophisticated technology products.
- By specializing in the technology sector, IT PR agencies improve their understanding of the technology marketplace and provide the most effective public relations strategies for technology companies.
Although it's meant that we have had turn down potential clients from other industries, Walker Sands' specialization as an IT PR agency has given us the focus and expertise to help our tech clients take their businesses to the next level.
How to Choose an IT PR Agency
The process of choosing an IT PR agency should be rigorous. At the end of the day, public relations will play an important role in establishing your brand as a thought leader, so you need to make sure that your IT PR agency selection criteria cover all the bases and result in a productive relationship with the best possible agency.
- Market Expertise. The last thing you need is a PR agency that asks you to educate them about the technology landscape. Although it's normal to educate your PR team about the unique characteristics of your offering, your IT PR agency should enter the relationship with a solid grasp of the industry and a strategy for raising your company profile in the marketplace.
- Proven Track Record. A PR agency that boasts a large number of placements in general media outlets may not be the best fit for your technology company. In addition to high profile placements, look for an IT PR agency with a consistent history of placements in IT publications and business outlets that are read by your clients.
- Scope of Abilities. The best IT PR agencies understand that digital PR, social and search are all critical components of effective tech PR. Agencies with a limited scope of capabilities lack the ability to distribute your messages via all available channels and usually underperform against expectations.
- Creativity. It's not unreasonable to expect good, original ideas from your IT PR agency. If months go by and you haven't received new creative input from your public relations team, it might be time to start shopping for a different agency.
- A Winning Attitude. Most PR agencies are upbeat and positive at the start of the relationship. But when you're selecting an IT PR agency, you want assurances that the agency's passion and excitement for your brand will continue over the long-term. You may want to talk with one or two of the agency's current clients to determine whether the agency tends to become complacent over time.
Changing PR firms is never easy. But by incorporating a handful of common sense IT PR agency selection criteria into your search, you can substantially improve the quality of your relationship and increase the return you receive from your public relations investments.