5 Things You Should Know Before Stepping Into Tech PR
If you are thinking about a career in tech PR – good choice. This is the coolest sector in the industry. It combines PR’s creative and sociable characteristics with the innovative and ever-evolving nature of the technology field. Many people are hesitant (as I was two months ago) about going into tech PR, as science and computing may not have been most would-be PR experts’ favorite subjects back in school. Here are a few things I learned from my experience so far to give a brief idea about what to expect for those just starting out.
- It’s challenging, but in a fun way.
You don’t need to already be an expert in tech before you decide to join tech PR. While working in tech PR, you’re going to be exploring concepts and ideas that, in some cases, the general public won’t be familiar with for another five years. By just diving in, you’re ahead of the learning curve. The industry is always moving forward, and you are working for the future.
- It’s rewarding.
Working with the newest gadgets keeps you on top of trends. Smart is the new sexy and tech executives are rising celebrities nowadays. Just take a look at Mark Zuckerberg on the cover of any number of magazines that don’t strictly speak to the tech realm. Tech PR serves as a middleman here, translating the jargon into terms mortals can understand. Don’t you feel smarter already?
- It’s good to be young.
Working in a fast-paced industry requires you to be able to stay on top of the latest trends. A lot of the executives, especially in startups, tend to be pretty young. If you’re an avid learner and early adopter of the latest gadgets, you’ll fit right in.
- You need to read A LOT.
You need to make extra effort to ensure you stay toe-to-toe with the tech pros. You can’t spend all of your time in a day pitching, and you can’t use your ‘consumer voice’ as an excuse for not knowing enough about the industry – you have to learn. Reading the tweets about SXSW and CES is not enough. Read rather than skim TechCrunch and MIT Tech Review, as well as the Economist, or even a book that’s not necessarily tech-relevant. You need to be a person – someone who can chat with the tech journalists in a fun way – rather than being a pitching machine. This is how you earn respect within the industry.
- The geeky style will become a part of your life.
While you’re having your 10-piece chicken nuggets, you might find yourself thinking how even McDonald’s is trying to turn the Happy Meal box into a pair of VR glasses. One of the clients I worked with is a robotics company. Even though I thought BB-8 was the most adorable existence in the world (who doesn’t?!) when The Force Awakens came out, I became more obsessed with robots after I started working with this robotics company. Naturally, the mini-NAO robot in our office joined me on my spring break trip and had a great time watching the northern lights in Alaska.
For students, it’s worth it to try working in different fields to decide which best fits your skillset. It’s also worth it to take risks. I have experienced consumer products, lifestyle, fashion, entertainment and healthcare PR, and I am happy to say that at this point, I am exactly where I want to be.
Sunny is a master’s candidate in public relations at Boston University. As a global citizen living in Boston, Sunny has a passion for storytelling and a knack for visual communications. Geeking out with others about the newest digital trends makes her day go ‘round – but so do new tech gadgets, smart yet elegant designs and local restaurants.