"Tech PR is leading because we're doing category creation," Bospar principal Curtis Sparrer tells Doug Simon. "We are saying this is a new category within technology, these are the leaders in the field, and we're spelling it out,"
But effectively spelling out a client's story to the right audiences often requires reporters, so it's essential that PR pros learn how to connect with reporters in a meaningful way.
"You've got to make sure you're playing the reporter's game," says Bospar svp of broadcast strategies Eric Chemi. "They're not salespeople, they're not tech experts." To cut through the clutter, he tells Simon, communicators need to give reporters "something that helps them for their news cycle, the stories that they're already working on, rather than asking them to do a chore on your behalf."
Sparrer adds that "you have to make sure that you are not sounding like a marketer. We have to go back and say, okay, how am I going to make this sound as media friendly as possible so that a journalist will not think delete, delete, delete?"
Chemi says that it's also key to "think about where each outlet is on their learning spectrum. You're playing a game that's trying to get people from A to Z in one step, but you got to get A to B. Then when they've learned B, then you get it from B to C."
Communicators also need to make sure that clients understand where reporters are coming from. "I think part of every PR professional is to educate your client about what the media is talking about, the vocabulary that's resonating with them so that they can be better advocates on their own behalf," Sparrer notes.
Maintaining authenticity and credibility are and also critical for forming strong connections with journalists, they say.
Chemi stresses that forming a good working relationship with journalists is all about playing the long game. "Don't expect that the first time you make an introduction to a reporter, you're getting the front-page feature-piece full story," he says. "You're giving more than you're asking so that over time, in the months and years to come, then they'll want to call you and ask for a story or an idea rather than you're always pushing and prodding reporters to do your bidding, that gets old very quickly."
Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at [email protected]