Tech PRose

February 10, 2011

You are Who You Say You Are – Especially if Someone Else Important Agrees

Filed under: B2B,Bob Dirkes,Success Stories — techimage @ 11:15 am

PR is all about projecting a presence into a target market – whether physical (like a region or city) or virtual (such as horizontal ones like Small to Mid-Size Businesses or vertical ones like Data Management Software) – in order to sell products and/or services.  Of course, that was just a boring, esoteric way of saying, as my colleague Ken Krause might put it: “You wanna sell something? Put it out there as often as possible.”

Easier to say than it is to do, especially when the clients you aim to help sell complex technology.  Nevertheless, simplicity always should rule.  Take, for example, what Ken and I helped former client Initiate do.  The overall objective of the Initiate PR program was to showcase the company’s leadership in the realm of Master Data Management.  We did it in many ways – pitched continuing Initiate business success stories, helped write & place thought leadership articles, reached out to editors & analysts on a regular basis for briefings – and one of the most fruitful efforts was pitching Initiate for industry awards.  A few notable pieces of recognition we helped Initiate land were Product of the Year designations multiple times from SearchDataManagement and CEO of the Year honors from the Illinois Technology Association for its chief executive, Bill Conroy.  But the one we enjoyed most was perhaps helping Initiate thinkers Scott Schumacher and Scott Ellard win TechAmerica’s Innovator of Year distinction in 2009.  The Scotts, as we called them, are truly brilliant technologists who achieved something that helps save lives, catch bad guys and improve services for consumers of all kinds.  The Scotts figured out how make information processing infrastructure and mathematical algorithms work together to elevate data searching & matching from a scale of thousands of records per minute to millions per minute.

I oversimplified the issue just now for this blog.  And that’s the challenge with all tech PR – oversimplifying in an understandable way.  The art of tech PR is oversimplifying it in a relatable way, too.  What Ken and I did when we pitched the Scotts was compare their work to the popular film “Pirates of the Caribbean” in an nomination entitled “Pirates of Probabilistic Search.”  Read more about it here – http://www.techamerica.org/innovatorawards-innovators . Search for “Pirates” on the page.

While clever analogies are fun to execute, we never lost sight of the strategy.  Initiate needed to put examples of its technology leadership “out there” as often as possible>  Now, through typical channels, such as sales calls and Web pages, the folks at Initiate spent plenty of time telling prospects in the healthcare, government and large enterprise markets about the grand work of the Scotts and their innovation. But they also understood their message would fly farther with the winds of someone else’s credibility under its wings.

–by Bob Dirkes

PR is all about projecting a presence into a target market – whether physical (like a region or city) or virtual (such as horizontal ones like Small to Mid-Size Businesses or vertical ones like Data Management Software) – in order to sell products and/or services.  Of course, that was just a boring, esoteric way of saying, as my colleague Ken Krause might put it: “You wanna sell something? Put it out there as often as possible.”

Easier to say than it is to do, especially when the clients you aim to help sell complex technology.  Nevertheless, simplicity always should rule.  Take, for example, what Ken and I helped former client Initiate do.  The overall objective of the Initiate PR program was to showcase the company’s leadership in the realm of Master Data Management.  We did it in many ways – pitched continuing Initiate business success stories, helped write & place thought leadership articles, reached out to editors & analysts on a regular basis for briefings – and one of the most fruitful efforts was pitching Initiate for industry awards.  A few notable pieces of recognition we helped Initiate land were Product of the Year designations multiple times from SearchDataManagement and CEO of the Year honors from the Illinois Technology Association for its chief executive, Bill Conroy.  But the one we enjoyed most was perhaps helping Initiate thinkers Scott Schumacher and Scott Ellard win TechAmerica’s Innovator of Year distinction in 2009.  The Scotts, as we called them, are truly brilliant technologists who achieved something that helps save lives, catch bad guys and improve services for consumers of all kinds.  The Scotts figured out how make information processing infrastructure and mathematical algorithms work together to elevate data searching & matching from a scale of thousands of records per minute to millions per minute.

I oversimplified the issue just now for this blog.  And that’s the challenge with all tech PR – oversimplifying in an understandable way.  The art of tech PR is oversimplifying it in a relatable way, too.  What Ken and I did when we pitched the Scotts was compare their work to the popular film “Pirates of the Caribbean” in an nomination entitled “Pirates of Probabilistic Search.”  Read more about it here – http://www.techamerica.org/innovatorawards-innovators . Search for “Pirates” on the page.

While clever analogies are fun to execute, we never lost sight of the strategy.  Initiate needed to put examples of its technology leadership “out there” as often as possible>  Now, through typical channels, such as sales calls and Web pages, the folks at Initiate spent plenty of time telling prospects in the healthcare, government and large enterprise markets about the grand work of the Scotts and their innovation. But they also understood their message would fly farther with the winds of someone else’s credibility under its wings.

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