Technology PR requires technical knowledge. Because technology cannot usually be grasped with the senses, it is often hidden as a driving force behind large processes. In order to grasp it, a good portion of technical prior knowledge is generally required. In B2B communication, the task is particularly challenging: Here, very complex applications have to be brought to the point and, unlike in the B2C environment, usually no fancy gadgets or everyday applications bridge the gap to the tangible. That’s why IT and technology competence are among the basic principles of the agency vibrio. In our newsroom, mainly in German, you can read and see which providers of products and services that require explanation we support.
Technology PR is a Virtuoso Combination of Expertise and Storytelling
That’s why effective communication tells the story behind the technology. Good technology PR vividly presents the benefits of technological development and picks up the recipient in his or her living environment. Technology PR does not simply enumerate product features, but clarifies how the product or technology supports the user.
This principle applies to PR in general, but it is particularly essential in technology PR, because the addressees often cannot easily grasp the added value of a product for their application – technical topics are often simply too abstract or too complex to be communicated in a short and crisp manner.
“Bread can rot, what can you do?” Every PR consultant asks this question in order to be able to convey their concrete use in images and text. Here you can see the application of NFC stickers by Schreiner PrinTrust, which makes mobile payment possible. Here you can see the application of NFC stickers by Schreiner PrinTrust , which makes mobile payment easy.
How do OAP-1700B and OAP-1702B from LANCOM Systems enrich a soccer game? If media relations are to have an impact beyond the trade press and into the daily and public titles, the practical benefit arguments are paramount.
Good Storytelling does not end in the here and now, but also considers the wider meaning, the future. This principle of storytelling is particularly important in technology PR, because hardly any other subject area has such an all-embracing influence on how we will live and work in the future.
This is why good technology PR is not limited to the preparation of facts and features. It tells of the potential that lies in technologies to improve our lives.
Good technology PR stimulates curious people to learn more: How does the technology work? What is special about it? Once interest in how it works is aroused, readers with little or no specialist knowledge should be provided with what is so incredibly difficult: comprehensible explanations by simplifying complex facts. The art here is to remain factually correct despite all the technical simplification.
Any Technology can Become a Popular Topic
To place technology providers in any industry in high-reach media or in social media, corporate PR offers many approaches.
The more transparent a company presents itself, i.e. offers a look behind the scenes, the more interesting it is. This is why background information is also the most important non-personal source of information for journalists.
In the text area, so-called white papers have been established for decades and are an integral part of the canon of press and public relations work. For some years now, videos and podcasts have also been included, and demand is increasing, especially due to the growing importance of social media.
This applies not only to B2C communication, but also to B2B communication in the technology sector. Agencies have the task of finding, sounding out and exploiting PR opportunities for their clients. In this context, it is helpful for annual planning to take up recurring social events such as the “Girls and Boys Day”, formerly just the “Girls Day”, which offers technology providers a creative stage.
Traditions can also be used with great regularity for corporate PR, for image cultivation and to increase awareness, which ultimately arouses curiosity: What does the company actually do? In the pre-Internet era, events like this were exclusively assigned to location PR. Today, they, or rather their documentation in text, image and sound, have a boundless effect through promotion on social media.
Of course, this unbounded reach can only be realized if technology PR responds to current reception behavior. When it comes to abstract topics such as software, process optimization or consulting, image PR is one of the most difficult instruments in the PR orchestra – but visualization is a must.
In the print and online trade press, software and solution providers can still score points with screenshots, diagrams and illustrations. The premium variant for explaining complex services and products, however, is professional videos.
Videos work very well in reference reports, for example at IGEL Technology, which is sponsoring the IT infrastructure at the “Kieler Wochen” or at LANCOM Systems, which has implemented an SDN and cloud-based network infrastructure at Air Zermatt.
Social events offer the opportunity to reach a wide audience and to inform about one’s own company in a general context. Every year Schreiner Group uses the “Girls & Boys Day” to draw attention to itself and its apprenticeships.
Every year Schreiner Group celebrates an old custom, the so-called Gautschfeier. During this celebration, the trainees of the printing trade are cleansed of the “sins” of their apprenticeship.
There is no way around topic management. How effectively it leads to results is often determined by professional online monitoring.
Technology needs appropriate context
Because technology today permeates almost all areas of life, numerous different points of contact can be found. However, this requires communication experts to recognize the connections. Technology is often linked to political, legal or social developments. Correspondingly specialized communications service providers benefit here from years of experience and constant presence in the technology environment.
A much-discussed example of this is the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO) in May 2018 and its effects, which has created and continues to create immense PR opportunities for all IT companies involved in the collection, processing and storage of personal data. The media were happy to receive comments and assessments on this issue; the sources ranged from database and IT security providers, data protection officers, e-mail service providers to e-commerce specialists
Everyone was able to contribute their perspectives and experiences with the topic, if they were correspondingly generally understandable, but nevertheless trenchant and technically correct.
Technology PR is Based on Knowledge – for Communication at Eye Level
Technology is penetrating more and more areas of life and work, so that communication has long since ceased to be aimed solely at skilled personnel with an engineering or IT background, but rather at people with very different levels of knowledge in the field.
The technical depth of the content must always be adapted to the recipient and the channel. In technology PR, communication experts must therefore be able to assess how much prior knowledge is available in the target group, but also how text, images, audio and video can best be conveyed.
For content with technical depth, appropriate briefings from experts must be obtained and the input prepared. This requires journalistic skill and experience in the technological environment, because a briefing is only as good as the questions on which it is based.
Technology PR, which is aimed at experts such as engineers, is demanding. PR consultants have to deal intensively with the subject matter so that they can create competent content. A guided tour, such as this one through Kontron‘s production facilities in Augsburg, for example, provides long-term support for PR work.
There are products in need of explanation in every industry. Every economic segment produces innovations and digitalisation does not even stop at the washroom. But before products come onto the market, they have to be invented and tested. The hygiene specialist CWS maintains this research laboratory for this purpose.
Technology is More than Computer
At vibrio, technology PR started many years ago with typical IT and Internet companies such as Compaq and Microsoft, Netscape and AltaVista.
Later on, technology sectors such as logistics, consumer electronics and healthcare were added. In recent years, however, the Internet and digitalization have affected all industries
That’s why it’s no longer just about computers, but about IoT, cloud and edge computing, miniaturization, industry 4.0, artificial intelligence, new materials, digital commerce and much more.
Today, we conduct technology PR in the breadth in which the digital transformation covers all industries – including for companies in sectors such as textiles and hygiene, management consulting and finance.
Conclusion: Technology PR Combines Competence, Creativity and Contacts
PR for products in need of explanation is the greatest challenge, the most demanding discipline in public relations. Catchy slogans are not enough. Successful technology PR is only possible if the technology is understood: functions, central performance features, areas of application, target groups and benefit arguments.
Technology is conveyed by means of complex content consisting of text, images and, increasingly, content marketing based on strategic storytelling, which is tailored to the target groups. It is an umbrella for product and corporate PR and includes press relations, social media and inbound marketing in equal parts.
These three pillars of modern public relations work ensure the supplier’s brand communication, the demand of the target group and support the product understanding of market experts and interested sub-public.
Technology can be presented in such a creative and fascinating way as here at the Trivadis TechEvent. Photo ©Alexandra Csuport