Charles Hartley
Charles Hartley

The coronavirus pandemic will change the high-tech business world in unprecedented and unfathomable ways.

So what are the best strategies and tactics high-tech media relations pros can implement to be effective over the next year? I recommend six actions:

  • Develop stories that focus on specific major changes, shifting investments and financial reallocations.

Reporters and editors will want to write stories about specific changes your company has or will make because of the crisis. If the pandemic has caused your company to shift its strategic direction and/or target different buyers in new market segments, that could be a compelling story that generates press coverage.

Communicate those changes in a news release, pitch, byline article, brief video, or podcast. Explain why your company has made these changes and what factors weighed most heavily in making these adjustments.

Articulate how you believe the changes will better serve customers and help your company achieve its financial targets. Highlight smart and novel ways your employees are using high-tech when working from home.

Identify new problems and show the innovative ways in which ways your company is solving them.

The pandemic will cause all kinds of unusual upheaval in the investment plans of high-tech businesses. If your company plans to invest more in technologies for employees who are working remotely, communicate how much more and specify the types of technologies and why you are embracing them.

Share numbers because reporters crave them and use them to add value to their stories. Bring the story to life by sharing dollar figures, especially if those figures are dramatically higher or lower than before the crisis.

If the coronavirus has prompted your company to stop pursuing blockchain business and instead focus more on artificial intelligence, communicate that. Explain why you made this decision.

If your business changes its strategy because of the pandemic, craft a story about that. The more dramatic the changes the more intrigued the press will be.

Make fresh and bold predictions about your company—and the overall high-tech market.

Perhaps before the crisis your company focused on helping professionals land blockchain jobs. You helped these people solve their job-hunting problems.

Then the crisis hit. As a result, your company has reconsidered its priorities. It now believes the more lucrative recruiting market is going to be cyber security.

This switch could be of keen interest because it would show a change in corporate thinking and potentially a growing demand for cyber security services and products as blockchain services and products demand slows. That’s a substantive market shift tech reporters could write stories about.

Make predictions about how your company will be different a year from now.

As businesses start to re-open, media relations professionals can develop compelling story ideas focused on predictions for the high-tech industry.

Especially during this pandemic, reporters are craving stories about what the business world is going to look like a year from now. Seize this opportunity. Tell the press how your company believes this will play out.

Media relations professionals will generate favorable and potentially widespread press coverage if they prepare prediction pitches that tie to the coronavirus and how the high-tech companies will be fundamentally transformed over the next year.

Highlight new employee high-tech skills your company believes are in higher demand.

With more high-tech workers likely working remotely, companies will need employees with technical savvy and versatility.

This could mean a high-tech company’s workforce will need to change. Some workers’ skills may no longer be as relevant in remote working environments.

A pitch to the press focused on three new skills your company needs because of the pandemic would be a compelling story. The pitch should show where the job market is headed and how high-tech needs and skill sets have been altered because of the crisis.

Reveal adjustments to leadership styles and enlightened ways of treating employees.

Perhaps your high-tech company’s leadership team has done some soul-searching during the pandemic. In that process, the leaders have come to realize that their leadership styles are not motivating employees. That’s the reason so many have been leaving the company in recent years.

Changes in leadership style could be packaged into a story about how the coronavirus has resulted in a more positive treatment of employees and more supportive work environments.

Final thoughts

Because of the pandemic, media relations professionals in high-tech businesses will need to adjust like everyone else to this reconfigured business world. But the key will be to create helpful, educational, and easy-to-consume stories.

Pitch problems—the press is always interested in problems. Pitch future investments, strategic changes and share financial details whenever possible. Make predictions about the future of the industry, technology, people, and overall trends.

Connect with reporters by conveying stories about real human emotions, interpersonal relationships, struggles and aspirations, highs and lows, challenges, and triumphs.

Remember that in the end—before, during and after the pandemic—reporters and editors care about people and their lives, how they feel, what gives them hope, what frustrates them, what problems they need solved, and how much money they make or companies make or don’t make and why.

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Charles Hartley is the president of Carolina Content & Media Relations Corporation based in Davidson, North Carolina. The company improves the quality of writing, content marketing, and media relations for high-tech businesses. He writes a tech humor blog titled "Tech Tales From the Hart" that can be accessed here: www.carolina-content.com. He can be reached at charles.hartley@carolina-content.com.