Racepoint Global took a big lead in O’Dwyer’s technology PR rankings this year. The agency ranked number-three, accounting for nearly $24 million in tech-related net fees in 2015, a big leap from 2014’s $20.3 million.

According to Racepoint Global President Peter Prodromou, that agency’s growth is attributable “to our successful integration of technology to understand buyer profiles and our ability to use that information to create campaign content that reflects those preferences.”

Peter ProdromouPeter Prodromou

Prodromou said Racepoint Global integrates technology into its campaigns that helps the agency better understand buyer profiles. Creating this campaign content, Prodromou said, has allowed the company to grow its core client base and win over mega brands like Huawei.

“We are seen as more nimble and tied in, by intelligence, to the customers of our customers,” said Prodromou. “We are seen as able to credibly drive their growth goals which, in turn, drives our growth goals.”

O'Dwyer's May '16 PR Firm Rankings MagazineThis article is featured in O'Dwyer's May '16 PR Firm Rankings Magazine

Integration is the order of the day for the Boston-based agency. Prodromou said Racepoint Global views the tech PR industry’s ability to evolve by continuing to align integration into the fabric of every kind of product and service imaginable.

Prodromou presents this example: “Technology will be the essence of cars, but we won’t think of it as technology, but as a car. But because it is tech-centered, those of us who understand and can effectively execute tech PR campaigns will be able to win as well as oversee work with auto companies. Same thing applies to any product line, from energy to food, technology will be the driving element.”

W2O sees growth in digital health

When it comes to tech PR’s many different specialties, San Francisco’s W2O Group found the agency grew most in the digital health arena.

W2O came out on O’Dwyer’s technology PR rankings list at number-five, bringing in $18.8 million in tech-related revenue in 2015, compared to $16.1 million in 2014.

“Serving this market requires expertise at the intersection of technology and healthcare, where our team has unparalleled experience and networks,” said Rob Cronin, Practice Leader of Technology at W2O. “We also continued to grow our work with leading enterprise technology brands, both organically and via new accounts.”

Rob CroninRob Cronin

Cronin believes that what sets the tech agency apart from others is its expertise in two key capabilities: audience-based analytics and integrated communications campaigns (be it focused on products, companies or issues). Having the ability to understand how influence works and the ability to plan, strategize and execute integrated communications campaigns based on those audience-based analytics is key.

“Audience-based analytics, in particular, is where we lead the industry,” said Cronin. “Nobody else is able to analyze the behaviors of target audiences in tech — be they CIOs, Millennials, IT analysts, press, developers, to name a few — with greater precision and insight than W2O. This provides marketers and communications clients with an unfair advantage versus their competitors,” he said.

Tech media is a growing industry, Cronin said, and he believes relationships with tech media matter more now than ever.

“That is good news for tech firms that pride themselves on media relations,” Cronin said.

ICR reflects on mercurial market

New York-based ICR ranked at number-eight on O’Dwyer’s technology PR rankings list this year, netting nearly $14.6 million in tech-related revenue in 2015.

Tech companies spent 2015 facing “volatile, unpredictable markets,” said Bo Park, Managing Director and Head of ICR’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications Corporate Communications industry groups. This means versatile campaigns must consistently accompany market uncertainty.

Although some companies ultimately didn’t go public and this triggered a slowdown in IPO activity, Park said the market environment helped tech companies realize the value in effectively and consistently communicating their business model and value proposition. Most took this approach rather than linger in the disparity between how Wall Street would value them and how they valued themselves.

Bo ParkBo Park

“Tech PR firms better understood the importance of telling their corporate story early and often, and being well-positioned to enter a new chapter of growth or transitional period,” said Park. “The growth we experienced at ICR is the result of our leadership in creating and executing programs that accomplish just that, with our firm having spent many years serving as trusted advisors and helping companies build critical reputational equity and communicate like the companies they wish to become in the future.”

Going forward, ICR believes the tech industry has begun to understand that having a buttoned-up communications program that consistently connects with all stakeholders and tells an aligned company story — regardless of growth stage or cycle —can only prove beneficial and efficient in the face of whatever the future may hold.

“Tech PR will likely need to evolve in parallel, no longer implementing one-size-fits-most programs based on where a company stands today and its near-term business objectives,” said Park. “ICR will be focusing on crafting forward-thinking, versatile strategies that communicate value to the right audiences and uniquely accommodate changing times, changing media and long-term goals.”