Public relations is a wide and dynamically expanding space. Most technology vendors, especially here in Israel, know or at least assume they need public relations, although very few know where to start and what is really involved in reaching out to the market.
Many years ago when publications were available only in print, public relations activities mainly focused on distributing press releases to magazines and contacting journalists directly to get company executives quoted in feature articles.
Today, these two activities are still very much relevant to any public relations effort, although public relations strategies now encompass much more and often overlap with other market outreach programs, such as social networking and content marketing. In fact, we have met technology vendors that contend that they have a strong public relations outreach without ever distributing a press release or interacting with journalists.
While social networking is an important element for growing a brand among certain circles and content marketing has value for SEO promotion, more is needed from public relations and marketing activities to support business development activities and drive revenues through sales channel and go-to-market partners.
This is where our concept of Press and Analyst Coverage offers value to technology vendors and their sales channel partners. Press and analyst coverage is an important subset of overall public relations and market outreach. Broadly speaking, it involves interacting with journalists and analysts to broadcast company news and messages with objective of obtaining various forms of coverage.
Press & Analyst Coverage Segments
In our view, press and analyst coverage can be divided into the following segments:
- Press releases – official company announcements about new customers, partnerships, products, awards and related company milestones
- News coverage – articles, interviews and similar coverage of press release announcements
- Press coverage – coverage that is not directly related to a press release announcement, such as a Q&A interview article, executive quote in a feature article, customer success story and much more
- Analyst coverage – coverage from analyst firms generally involves the publication of vendor assessment profiles and inclusion in market studies
- Guest articles – also known as thought leadership articles, these are articles written and published in the name of a company executive
- Awards – award programs and similar recognition from online publications and similar industry-specific organizations
Value to Business Development Activities
Press and analyst coverage is a respected framework to broadcast the growth and progress of a technology vendor that is strongly valued by sales channel and go-to-market partners, such as distributors, resellers and system integration firms in local markets.
Press and analyst coverage provides independent validation from third party sources and gives business development staff tools to interact with existing sales channel partners and attract new ones. In turn, sales channel partners have influential content in the form of press releases, interview articles, analyst reports and more to share with customers and push forward sales opportunities.
In parallel, press and analyst coverage provides companies topics for their social networking outreach and supports SEO promotion. We have many clients that base a majority of their social media posts around promoting the press and analyst coverage we have obtained for them. We also have clients that regularly tell us that the publication of this press and analyst coverage across the Internet is sufficient for their SEO purposes.
In addition, individual coverage items can be turned into full marketing campaigns. Let’s take the easy example of press releases. In parallel to distributing a press release over a news distribution service, such as PR Newswire, and sending the announcement directly to relevant journalists and analysts, a press release can be shared with not only sales channel partners, but also leads, customers, technology partners, investors and so on. A press release can also be shared over social media channels and include a call-to-action to attract web site traffic and generate leads.
Similar marketing campaigns can be performed for nearly any obtained coverage. We will elaborate more on this topic in a future update.
In future updates, we are planning to share our insight on the different aspects of press and analyst coverage and the connection to supporting business development and revenue generation through sales channel partners.
We are already working on our next update, which will provide recommendations on how to find the correct balance between press and analyst coverage with other market outreach activities based on the priorities and go-to-market strategy of a technology vendor.
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