Recent hype surrounding the power of generative AI has unleashed a wave of optimism in the tech sector. Although artificial intelligence is a familiar topic in the tech news cycle, OpenAI and other generative AI tools have captured national attention in a way we haven’t seen before, and every major tech player is angling for a way in.
As a result, reporters’ and editors’ inboxes are filled with AI-related pitches, making it extremely difficult for emerging AI companies — and really, any company that wants to use AI in their business — to gain earned media coverage for their solutions. To break through the noise, AI companies can no longer rely on novelty for storytelling. They need unique and compelling PR strategies that more closely align with the needs of today’s tech reporters and the increasingly noisy AI landscape.
1. Offer Reporters Distinct Thought Leadership
AI is transforming retail, finance, healthcare, and countless other industries. However, pitches that try to encompass all these industries at once can appear unfocused and generic. Instead, pitches that detail how AI solves a problem in a specific industry play much better with reporters. For example, a pitch focused on the impact of AI in a particular area of the healthcare sector will gain more traction than a pitch that describes the use of AI in healthcare, manufacturing, and banking.
The ability to craft attention-grabbing pitches also involves knowing which trends to jump on and which to avoid. Realistically, your company can’t have a unique perspective on every new AI development, so don’t try to. Instead, focus on the quality and timeliness of your pitches — and be strategic about the topics and editors you choose to engage with. It’s important to note that for this approach to work, you’ll need a clear understanding of your organization’s point of view and current market positioning.
At Walker Sands, we used this strategy to help our client, Sophos, secure a byline opportunity with TechTarget about how ChatGPT could lead to an increase in phishing scams. Like other tech outlets, TechTarget had been flooded with ChatGPT articles in recent months, but taking a deep dive into a specific consequence of ChatGPT in the security space provided a compelling angle for the reporter.
2. Create Compelling News Packages
The quality and strategy behind your news packages — i.e., the complete story packages you present to the media — will be a huge indicator of success when it comes to capturing media attention. When planning to make an AI-related announcement or launch a new product, it’s important to think about how to make your solution stand out, and supplement the story with proof points and perspectives that tie your technology to the industry at large.
This can mean supplementing product launches with industry data that demonstrates the need for your solution. It could also include timing the announcement with a major AI industry event to capitalize on the attention that reporters will have on that space at that time. Keep major AI and tech conferences like MIT Technology Review’s EmTech, and the AI Summit New York, top of mind during this process. These conferences are an incredible opportunity to generate buzz for your product, but only if you prepare the right way beforehand. Time announcements, data reports, customer campaigns, and thought leadership efforts to coincide with the lead-up to these conferences. This gives you enough time to prepare press materials, schedule on-site interviews with reporters and conduct real-time outreach during the event. Ultimately, news packages that account for these conferences are in a much better position to stand out and break through the noise.
3. Develop a Comprehensive Newsjacking Strategy
Your PR firm should also have a comprehensive newsjacking strategy in place to help you act on new AI developments before they’re old news. In some cases, your window of opportunity to get into the conversation is only a few hours. In this time, your PR firm must be able to identify the breaking news, help you hone your unique perspective on the news, conduct outreach, and arrange an interview or request for comment. Any inefficiencies in these steps results in a missed opportunity.
These inefficiencies can manifest in several different ways. Your PR firm may not have strong enough relationships with reporters and editors to facilitate a fast-moving opportunity. They may not know which publications to prioritize in their outreach efforts. Or they may struggle to make quick judgment calls when newsjacking more controversial developments in AI. At Walker Sands, we work with clients to create a newsjacking “machine” to ensure that the moment these stories break, we’re ready to act in lock-step with our clients.
To break through the noise of the crowded AI market and media landscape, you need an experienced AI PR firm on your side. The right PR firm is one that understands the technical nuances of your brand and product, but also knows how to make them digestible for reporters and key audiences.
Interested in learning more PR best practices? Contact us today to hear how Walker Sands can help your AI company stand out in a crowded AI industry landscape.