10 Ways to Succeed in Software Public Relations
Software public relations is becoming increasingly important as more and more providers enter the already crowded technology marketplace. Without a strong PR presence, it’s impossible for software providers to gain traction and establish themselves as thought leaders in their fields.
But the push for enhanced market presence requires more than a last minute campaign to blanket all available media outlets with the same, boilerplate press release. More than ever, success in software public relations demands finesse, expertise and a keen understanding of the most effective tactics for raising the profile of solutions and software providers among targeted audiences.
The Value of First-rate Software Public Relations
The simple truth is that not every PR firm is capable of handling software public relations. At Walker Sands, we understand the importance of specialization in marketing software, especially when it comes to delivering B2B software PR.
When it’s done right, software public relations has the ability to provide several key advantages to technology providers, including:
- Increased visibility among key media outlets
- A solid platform for a product launch
- Improved customer engagement and new customer acquisition
- Enhanced thought leadership in the industry
- A strong foundation for future growth
Although effective software public relations strategies alone can’t guarantee a solution’s success, it’s becoming apparent that providers can’t achieve market and growth objectives without it.
10 Software Public Relations Tips
The best software public relations campaigns and strategies leverage learnings and insights captured from previous successes and a solid understanding of the technology marketplace. They also lean heavily on new methods and best practices in public relations.
For example, a University of Technology Sydney study recently found that leading PR providers utilize ethical, dialogic models and best practices in social media, enhancing their clients’ reputations by creating opportunities for interactive, two-way communications with customers.
By understanding and implementing several tips and best practices for software public relations, marketers and brands can significantly improve both the impact of their promotional investments and the business outcomes associated with product releases.
- Promote completed products. The promotion of vaporware (software that is not yet ready for market) is a cardinal sin in software PR. Resist the urge to promote planned product releases and focus on solutions that are ready for release.
- Highlight product benefits. Software industry insiders have a tendency to emphasize features. But since customers and reporters are more interested in what the product accomplishes, good software public relations focuses on stories built around product benefits.
- Target the right media contacts. Some media contacts cover product reviews; others specialize in reporting on product or industry trends. Know the difference and target pitches to media contacts accordingly.
- Leverage customer testimonials and case studies. Like it or not, audiences are more interested in hearing from people who have used your product than they are in listening to company executives pitch the solution to them. As a result, successful software PR often leverages case studies or client testimonials to communicate key messages.
- Make press releases newsworthy. Press releases that only describe software products go unnoticed in the media marketplace. A better strategy is to connect your software public relations campaigns with other trends, demonstrating relevancy and newsworthiness to reporters.
- Leverage SEO in press releases. Although it’s important to primarily create your press releases for people, optimization for search engines should also be a consideration when a crafting releases for software public relations campaigns.
- Target multiple channels. It’s critically important to spread the content and messages from software public relations campaigns across multiple channels. For example, content from a single case study can be re-purposed as sales collateral, on social media sites, on the company website and for other purposes.
- Re-version releases for social media. Press releases typically aren’t crafted in a form that is digestible by bloggers and other social media stakeholders. Consider rewriting press releases to make them more appealing to contacts and placements in the social arena.
- Create landing pages. Landing pages are effective in enabling users to quickly locate the information they want to see. By creating SEO landing pages for press releases, visitors gain immediate access (usually on the provider’s website) to relevant content.
- Inspire audiences to learn more. The goal of software public relations isn’t instant conversions. It’s to inspire target audiences to learn more about the provider and the products, so campaigns and strategies need to focus on enticing readers to dig deeper.
At the end of the day, effective software public relations is both an art and a science. By analyzing the needs of key audiences and crafting newsworthy campaigns that communicate benefits across multiple channels, you can substantially improve the impact of your software PR efforts.