Last Wednesday evening, Nicole and I attended a Publicity Club of New England event on tech PR tips and best practices for executing product launches and integrating traditional and social media. Mass High Tech‘s Rodney Brown, Novell global director of AR/PR Ian Bruce, Weber Shandwick director Adam Cormier, Tech Target’s Barbara Darrow and InformationWeek‘s David Gardner served as panelists, and led an interesting discussion that touched upon effectively pitching stories, the impact of SEO on journalism and more.
Some of the key takeaways:
1. Embrace social media, and consider using blogs to post news rather than press releases. Darrow recommended that PR people also use Twitter more often to share clients’ content; she sees hashtags as a great way to search for and stay up-to-speed on conference happenings when virtually covering events.
2. Understand your influencers–be the signal, not noise. Bruce offered the launch of SUSE Studio and SUSE Gallery as a case study, and explained how Novell’s in-house team and agency support saw success through a combination of traditional and social media tactics and targeted engagement with Linux communities, partners and customers.
3. Make your press releases and emails stand out. With journalists under even more pressure to quickly file a greater number of stories each day, Gardner and Brown advised pros to make their communications catchier and put the news hook up-front. Make sure to communicate the business impact of your product launch. (The two journalists reiterated many of the pitching tips Aarti previously provided.)
4. Be prepared to adjust expectations and always move on-the-fly; for example, Cormier pointed to the recent iPad 2 announcement–tech publications’ attention went to this product launch and not to any others. Some of the other important tips he gave: remember that no two campaigns will be the same and start early.
Thanks to the Pub Club for a useful tech PR event!