By Brianne Miller, LCI
Back in the day (say, the early 2000s), tech public relations was pretty much one giant category. If your client/business created or sold an online tool or offline hardware, you were doing “tech PR.”
Much has changed.
Like any other nascent industry, tech spawned sub-categories of specialties, including B2B tech, consumer, OEM, app development, advertising tech, healthcare tech and on and on. So how do you define tech PR today in 2021?
Everyone is touched by technology in one shape or form on an almost daily basis (all props to those who live off the grid, but I bet even they have satellite phones). As technology moved from a big new thing to a force that integrates into everyday activities, the PR surrounding what was traditionally known as “tech” became “life.” We no longer think of Amazon as tech but as a marketplace. Our cell phones are not pieces of technology but a necessary appendage. Because of this evolution, the definition of tech PR has changed too.
As we have adopted and adapted tech into our existence, the definition of tech PR has moved to a more granular meaning. Consumer-facing “tech” such as online marketplaces and commoditized sales are more often referred to by the industry they represent. For example, years ago, Rue La La’s online store would be “online tech for fashion.” Now it is just a place to find right-priced clothes. Therefore, tech PR has become more associated with B2B products and services exclusively available in a technological form. Think Salesforce, SAP or (LCI client) iTradeNetwork.
Watching the growth and change in the tech industry for the past 30 years has enabled PR practitioners to change with it. Our success is tied intimately to the use of tech platforms (social media, online databases, podcasts and blogs), but the bottom line is the same. Can you tell a compelling story? Rather than classifying a product/service into a nifty category (crypto, security, supply chain), can you communicate its advantages to a target audience?
How do you define tech PR?
Let me know in the comments below.
How to Win at Gaming PR – Forget Tech, It’s About Humans – The Drum
5 Ways to Raise Your Startup’s PR Game – Tech Crunch
How Brands Can Take A Stand Without Getting Clobbered: A PR Guide – Forbes
3 thoughts on “What is Tech PR?”
It is crazy to think how quickly technology has evolved, even over the past couple of years. Technology has dramatically changed how we operate in both business and personal life. It will be interesting to see where tech PR will be in another 10 years. Thanks for the blog, Brianne!
Brianne, I couldn’t agree more. We used to call it “PR for dot coms.” Now, it’s just PR. But I wonder where tech will take us in the next 10 years? Cheers, David
This is actually an interesting question that applies across sectors. Tech has become so ubiquitous in virtually every aspect of our lives, that you could make the argument that it’s almost not a sector unto itself anymore. We’re so overrun by gadgets that just being one isn’t necessarily that interesting unto itself. As you say, Brianne, the real question for PR in tech, as in any sector, is: what are the stories you have to tell, and who are they for?
Not to get too technical, but whether it is tech PR or otherwise, PR is about telling a good story well.
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