The most basic role of any PR firm is to convey far-reaching and engaging narratives of its clients to the communications sphere through earned media in pursuance of spreading the word to the masses. Or, in other words, A PR firm’s role is to deliver its client’s messages through the media to the public.
As demonstrated above, there are different ways to describe the same thing. One is overflowing with buzz words, empty adjectives, and jargon, and the other is short, simple, and comprehensive. This is one of the many challenges technology PR firms face when trying to describe what their clients do. A visit to many tech companies’ websites reveals how widespread this problem is. And while it’s often discussed on PR messaging boards and media, it’s especially important now when journalists are occupied with pandemic-related news and need to be spoon-fed information.
The best tech PR firms must be bilingual. Communications experts hired to convey a message should know how to speak their client’s technical language and how to translate it in a crystal-clear way. Understanding the technology yourself is one thing, but only someone with a deeper understanding can explain the technology, product, or message to others in a coherent way. In fact, being coherent isn’t enough. We’re hired to be appealing. Sometimes the overcomplicated and obscured descriptions are an indication of the PR firm not fully understanding what their clients do.
How to simplify the message
Technology PR firms should assume that the receiver of the message is not an expert in the field of the technology which they are describing. A great method for this is to ask yourself: How will I explain this issue to my grandmother? Don’t be afraid to be straightforward about why this technology is groundbreaking or why it is important. As always, it’s not recommended to be overly market-y or make your pitch sound like an ad. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find creative ways to make it pop to journalists. The idea is to catch their attention, and hold their attention, and the key to doing so is making sure they understand it as soon as they see it in their inbox. The average journalists’ attention span in 2020 is strikingly short.
Keep it short and simple. Try breaking your long sentence into two, use bullet points and minimize the use of buzz words or abbreviations.
Another way PR for tech startups can get the message across is by illustrating the technology with a parable. For example, just like we think of our grandmother when we describe the technology.
Lastly, some things are better understood with photos and videos, not words. Technology PR firms can utilize visual means to empower and support the written description. You can use charts, illustrations, photos, and even interactive demos that will help the audience attach an image to the text.
Surprisingly, journalists are not your grandma
With that said, most journalists are capable of understanding complicated concepts and will have extensive knowledge of the field they cover. PR firms need to know how well the journalist knows the technology, and how well the audience does.