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Squeezing Fresh Tech Media Opportunities
The Dovetail Tech Publicity Checklist
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by Mark Coker
Dovetail Public Relations

     (Publicity Checklist - Continued)


Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor are an excellent option to gain additional publicity, because the section is one of the best read in every publication.  These letters give you an opportunity to clarify errors and omissions of past articles.  They also give you a chance to repeat and reinforce key marketing messages about your products or company.  You can even comment on articles that omitted reference to your company.  A well-written letter will reinforce the image of your company and your executives as leaders and experts in your field.


Lists

Increase awareness by getting your company included in the lists of the top companies in your field. American City Business Journals publishes the Book of Lists for dozens of categories in dozens of cities around the United States.  If you're a software vendor, check out Software Magazine's annual Software 500 list of the top 500 largest software publishers, or the SoftLetter 100 list.  If your company is fast growing and privately held, try to get considered for Inc Magazine's Inc 500 list.  And once your company earns a place on a list, consider issuing a media release.  The media likely won't cover the release, but your customers will be impressed to see your accomplishment when they view the news on your web site.


Press Releases - 16 Ideas

There are many reasons to issue a press release.  Whether the news is covered or not depends on the strength of your story and your PR team's ability to promote it to the media. 

Press releases have become more than just a tool for communicating with press and analysts.  They're also an important tool for communicating with your customers and prospective customers. 

Before you issue a press release, ask yourself who your intended audience is and what desires, perceptions or actions you want to incite with that audience. Once you've determined the audience and your press release objectives, you can determine how to promote the release.  For example, you'll promote some press releases with nationwide press tours or phone pitches and some you'll just promote on your web site.  Work closely with your PR team and PR agency to decide which stories will be promoted to the media and which will be promoted only on your web site.

Potential press release subjects and perception-making benefits include:

  1. Acquisitions: Your company is a leader because it's a consolidator in your industry

  2. Alliances: Your company is judged by the company it keeps; can attract additional partners

  3. Awards: Your company's products stand head and shoulders above the rest

  4. Benchmark performance results: Your products perform better/faster/cheaper than competitors'

  5. Channel programs: Your company knows how to work with the channel; you make a good channel partner

  6. Customer deployments/wins: By promoting your customers, it creates the perception for potential customers that you are a low-risk vendor

  7. Government programs: Says you understand the unique requirements of the government IT market, makes you appear to be a better vendor partner for government customers

  8. International initiatives: Your company is expanding internationally, you're growing, you provide worldwide support and product/service availability to your customers

  9. Earnings releases: Important financial disclosure medium for public companies, though private companies can issue them too to communicate strong performance, financial strength and growing momentum in market place

  10. Milestones: Celebrate your company's accomplishments, such as the number of customer wins, the 1,000th customer, the number of patents

  11. New personnel: Demonstrates your company is expanding the depth and breadth of your management team to better serve your customers and better address market opportunities

  12. New products: Tells the world you have a solution to their pain

  13. Patent awards and filings: Demonstrates that you have unique, defensible technology that sets you apart from competitors

  14. Press conferences: Just by announcing a press conference, you help establish the perception that your news is important. Make sure it is!

  15. Strategy/roadmap unveiling: Demonstrates vision, sets stage for delivering on your promises and demonstrating your ability to execute

  16. Technology licensing/OEM deals: Says that your technology is so good that others are licensing it

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