• 10 PR and Marketing Tips for Tech Companies

    At the end of 2010, we revisited our client work and campaigns assessing what we learned from each. After spending some time reflecting on the year, we uncovered 10 tips which may be of interest to our fellow BtoB marketers.

    Case One

    With The Network, a provider of ethics and compliance solutions to nearly half of the Fortune 500, we positioned GRC as a thought leader among target media. The campaign secured 33 feature articles – exceeding the objective by 1,100 percent – including placements in Investor’s Business Daily, Forbes, Mashable and Compliance Week.

    What we learned: Mining a company’s data for newsworthy information can often result in rich thought leadership content that can feed an aggressive media relations effort.

    Case Two

    Through our media relations initiatives to promote GMT Corporation as a thought leader in workforce management and performance optimization solutions, Arketi secured 130 placements and generated more than 8 million impressions. This included features in 1to1 Magazine, Call Centre Helper, Credit Union Journal and Contact Professional.

    What we learned: The news release is not dead! News flow is important and news releases are key sources of content, especially for the trade media. Augment this with a few great bylined articles and a handful of case studies and you’re on your way to securing some great coverage.

    Case Three

    In an aggressive media relations campaign highlighting Ryla, a provider of customer contact services for Fortune 500 companies and government agencies, we developed positive economic impact and positioned its CEO as a thought leader. Through outreach and events, Arketi secured 74 stories, reaching nearly 16 million people through outlets including USA Today, MSN Money, and BusinessWeek.com.

    What we learned: If you can talk jobs and job-creation with credibility, do it and do it often. Take it a step further and also talk about what you are doing to retain employees, especially if you’re in an industry known for high employee turn-over.

    Case Four

    In a campaign to position The Network as a GRC thought leader, we generated 71 positive stories totaling more than 3 million impressions, the campaign generated 12 qualified leads resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue.

    What we learned: Don’t let media hits sit on your shelf. Inserting them into the sales cycle through your website, in sales presentations, via social media and even in reprints, can help generate and close deals.

    Case Five

    Arketi’s webinar “Is Your Online Presence Winning Customers?” for Cbeyond, a small business communications and IT services provider, was created as a thought leader through online program. The webinar attracted 583 registrants and 259 attendees. In addition to furthering Cbeyond’s positioning, the webcast drove nearly 40 add-on sales.

    What we learned: Focus webinars on topics of interest to your market, such as how they can increase their sales and grow their business. Webinars about your company, your products, or the problems your solutions solve – while often popular with the sales force – are less likely to appeal to prospects.

    Case Six

    Focusing on Technical Writing, Arketi’s business article “Holistic CIO Lessons on Enterprise Reinvention” for management consulting firm Brand Velocity developed story opportunities beyond expectation. Arketi secured both a review of the CEO’s new book and a bylined article in CIO Magazine, which reaches 140,000 CIOs, IT directors and board members. In addition, the publication has tapped Brand Velocity for an ongoing article series to run in 2011, and the byline has generated webinars and speaking opportunities.

    What we learned: Just because the byline is published does not mean its shelf-life is over. Seek every possible opportunity to repurpose and extend the use of that killer content.

    Case Seven

    Through an integrated communications program for Ryla, we aimed at promoting the company’s growth and corporate culture to prospective investors and job candidates. To supplement its aggressive media relations outreach, Arketi successfully executed an event to showcase Ryla before targeted industry analysts.

    What we learned: Partnering with analysts at their own events to reach potential customers can be a powerful marketing tactic for BtoB technology companies. But don’t feel like you’re tied to their sponsorship options: get creative, approach them with new ideas and make every effort to separate yourself from other sponsors.

    Case Eight

    Feature Writing was where Arketi won with a bylined article on behalf of Cbeyond designed to guide small businesses through the current rocky economic conditions. The byline ran in Corp!, Michigan’s largest business magazine, as well as the “Entrepreneurs” section of Corp!’s website and Corp!’s home page. Following the article’s success, Corp! offered a quarterly online column to Cbeyond.

    What we learned: Look to consumer magazines like Cosmo and Glamour for byline article inspiration. Take that “Five Tips for Landing a New Year’s Kiss” article and turn it into “Five Tips to Accelerate Business Growth in the New Year.” Inspiration is everywhere!

    Case Nine

    The Internal Video category was where Arketi won for our contribution to Cbeyond’s roll-out of new product packaging strategy to its employees. Arketi worked with Cbeyond’s communications team to script, shoot and produce a six-minute video, which has led to a notable increase in positive customer referrals.

    What we learned: Scripting always pays off. Very rarely are folks able to “wing it” in front of the camera. Scripted videos actually result in a more natural look – and make post-production faster and easier.

    Case Ten

    Winner in the category Event Lasting Seven or Fewer Days was the event Arketi created with Ryla to elevate awareness for Ryla’s work on the 2010 Census and subsequent personnel needs. Aided by media coverage in key outlets including USA Today, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, WXIA-TV, WAGA-TV, WGCL-TV and The Associated Press, Ryla successfully filled its positions from a pool of nearly 2,000 event attendees.

    What we learned: There is no such thing as too much planning for an event. And briefing the media early in the process on their access to the event and its players will only help to ensure stellar media coverage.

    That concludes our 10 tips. We love to hear what you’ve learned from your 2010 PR and digital marketing campaigns. Leave us a comment so we can learn from you!

    Mike Neumeier is the Owner and Principal of Arketi Group, an integrated marketing consultancy that helps business-to-business organizations generate revenue and accelerate growth through intelligent strategy, branding, marketing and public relations. To view all company blogs go to Arketi Group blog site.

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