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Squeezing Fresh Tech Media Opportunities
The Dovetail Tech Publicity Checklist
 More of this Feature
 Tech Publicity Checklist
 Editorial Calendaring
 16 Media Release Ideas

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 Dovetail Public Relations

by Mark Coker
Dovetail Public Relations

     (Publicity Checklist - Continued)

Press Tours

Press tours are one of the best ways to communicate complex messages and build face-to-face relationships, but they are not always necessary for a successful announcement.  The PR team can help you determine the best strategy for your communications efforts. We typically recommend that clients hit the road at least once or twice a year with a nationwide press tour.

Product Reviews

Product reviews can be an essential part of a product's introduction strategy.  Products reviews can make or break a product, so it's important that the PR team do everything possible to influence the outcome of the review.  Before anything can happen, the PR team must first secure review slots with each of the key publications. This process can take anywhere from five minutes to five months.  To increase chances for a review, the PR team should approach review and labs personnel as far in advance of product introduction as possible. 

Work with your PR Team and PR agency to create a reviewer's guide that will help the reviewer easily recognize your product's attributes.  Our experience demonstrates that most negative review comments are generally the result of simple reviewer misunderstandings.  A good reviewer's guide helps the reviewer quickly understand your product. 

Once the review slot is obtained, the PR team should ensure that the reviewer and editors fully understand product positioning and key differentiating features. Often, the PR team will arrange phone briefings in advance of the review between the publication writers and your product marketing managers.

While the review is in progress, the PR team should maintain close contact with the reviewer to monitor progress and respond to inevitable glitches.  

Remember, the best review management process can't compensate for a bad product.  Don't send products out for review until you're confident it's a solid product that will work as advertised.

Speaking Engagements at Industry Conferences

Speaker and moderator slots at industry conferences help establish your executives and your company as leaders in your field.  The PR team will work with company executives and conference managers to place your executives as speakers.  Speaker placement requires special planning and advance preparation, since speaker proposals are often due 12 months prior to a conference.

Trade Shows and Booth Meetings

Trade shows are typically a great place to meet editors face-to-face, build relationships and show off your products. But due to the circus atmosphere and noise created by hundreds of other announcements, trade shows are not always the best forum to make new product announcements to the press.  One alternative that works well is to brief the press several weeks in advance of your announcement so that the coverage appears the week before or the week of the trade show.  Whether or not you announce products at a show, trade shows provide a great opportunity to set up one-on-one meetings with attending press. The PR team should work weeks in advance to arrange the meetings.  It's not necessary to be an exhibitor to meet with attending press. If you can't meet at your own booth, offer to meet at the press office or at a restaurant.


Companies should periodically review their ongoing PR programs to assure they're taking full advantage of all publicity opportunities.  The author of this article, Mark Coker, encourages companies to use this checklist as a brainstorming tool in PR planning meetings, and welcomes suggestions for additional checklist items.

  First page > Tech Publicity Checklist > Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Mark Coker is founder and president of Dovetail Public Relations, a Silicon Valley media and analyst relations firm.  Dovetail works with clients to create long term, ongoing PR programs that increase awareness and create positive perceptions in the marketplace. 

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