Journalism and tech have changed a lot since I started reporting on networking, hardware and software more than three decades ago. The evolutions in both fields have led to an even greater need for speed as well as a requirement for expertise in specific technologies and an understanding of what key developments and outcomes mean from a big-picture perspective.
Tech companies clearly understand the need for speed. They are constantly working to make their products and services easier to use, more secure and better able to integrate with other popular solutions. Yet when it comes to bringing the message of their value propositions and their thought leadership to media – and, thus, their target markets and the world at large – they often hit the brakes, or they simply cruise along at what seems to be a comfortable pace.
But tech companies should be aware that speed matters in their PR efforts as well. Here’s why.
Beat Reporters Are the Exception – and Most Journalists Are Exceptionally Busy
The New York Times in 2019 published How Times Journalists Become Experts on a Subject. The article explains that beat reporting and reading extensively about a specific topic enable Times reporters to quickly write articles that present news and examine what the news means.
That’s a great idea and one to which I fully subscribe, although I’m now a PR press release and article ghostwriter rather than a tech journalist. To keep up to date on the latest business and tech developments, I watch CNBC’s Squawk Box in the morning while working out and drinking coffee, and I listen to the PIVOT, Protocol Source Code and The Virtual CISO podcasts during my time on the treadmill and my weekend and occasional late afternoon hikes in the mountains. That, paired with my 30 years covering tech, provides me with significant news and perspective.
However, not everyone wants to spend their free time reading and listening to tech commentary and reports. And even those who do can’t possibly keep up with every development and angle in the areas they follow.
Also, unlike The Times, most media outlets don’t have the luxury of assigning specific beats. This means that fewer reporters are now covering more things. According to a recent report from Pew Research Center, newsroom employment in the U.S. dropped by 23% between 2008 and 2019. And NiemanLab reports that COVID-19 has ravaged American newsrooms.
Businesses That Move Fast to Provide Quality Input Are Best Positioned to Get Coverage
As a result, most reporters need to keep up with new developments in an extremely broad range of areas while hitting multiple deadlines. These reporters appreciate speedy proactive input and responses to their questions so they get the information they need fast to create compelling stories, hit their deadlines, and move on to the next thing.
Businesses that can meet journalists’ needs are often rewarded with coverage – and, thus, higher profiles, increased sales, and better prospects for future funding – that they seek.
This Requires Upfront Work, a Clear Plan and the Ability to Act on Opportunities Quickly
It’s important to take the time to get your message right. That’s why Bospar works with clients upfront to understand their unique value propositions and messaging. This enables us to build a set of drawer quotes on which we can build when breaking news hits. And it gives us the firepower to create impactful articles that highlight our clients’ thought leadership.
This prevents Bospar clients from getting stuck noodling for hours on how to comment on breaking news – while reporters are turning in their stories and moving on to other assignments – or spending weeks or months writing articles and blogs that never see the light of day.
Businesses that want media attention need to move fast and deliver meaningful commentary and content to make the most of media opportunities. Such rapid and expert response, however, requires some preparation, prioritization and choosing the right PR partner.