Now that we’ve emphasized the importance of including PR in your telecommunications marketing strategy (and budget), it’s time to go back to the basics. When it comes to communicating a highly technical subject matter to the public, what is the most effective way to do so?
Creating a successful telecom PR plan is similar to sorting through a 5000+ piece puzzle. So before you get started, be sure you can answer the following important, flashback-to-college questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? And (this PR professional’s addition): so what? Knowing the brand, product roadmap, culture and critical performance indicators of the telecom company you’re representing is essential, but so is being able to translate the “so what?” As a marketer, it’s not until you fully understand the “so what?” of the news, you’re releasing or story you’re pitching that you can cultivate a compelling message.
When creating a telecom PR plan, here are eight tips to keep in mind:
1) Think in campaigns. Sending out a press release is not a one-and-done deal. It’s quite the opposite. That is why it’s important to keep marketing, sales and overall company initiatives in mind when creating your telecom PR plan. As a PR professional not only are you drafting a press release and distributing it but you’re setting the landscape before the news is announced, assembling a plan based on company objectives, targeting the key audience, uniquely pitching the media…the list goes on and on. So instead of thinking that a PR plan merely is drafting and distributing an announcement, think of it as the company’s marketing campaign for the week, month or quarter. This mindset keeps the news relevant, aligns with important performance indicators company-wide, and ensures a steady momentum of buzz for your client.
2) When it comes to B2B PR, not everything is newsworthy. Therefore, always weigh the value of the announcement with the expected ROI. For example, while a product launch or new company initiative might be riveting, announcing your third award win of the week may not be. Be strategic with the news you are releasing. The worst thing a PR professional can do is release news for the sake of making noise but end up just spinning wheels while annoying the media.
3) Data is your friend. Successful telecom PR plans aren’t created out of thin air, but constantly massaged and tweaked based on third-party data. With today’s tools, it’s nearly impossible to make the same mistake twice. If last quarter’s press release didn’t do as well as you thought it would, it’s your job to understand why and adjust your strategy accordingly.
4) Know your audience. Setting objectives for the job levels, regions, verticals, etc. you wish to reach is key. Targeted messaging might mean a smaller audience, but that does not necessarily mean less impact. As telecom PR professionals, it’s imperative to know the right influencers, understand the vertical(s) your client hopes to reach, and ensure the messaging speaks directly to the right audience – which will ideally result in not only media mentions, but more importantly, quality leads for your clients.
5) Get creative. As noted above, not all telecom news is PR-worthy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t announce key accomplishments in other ways. Media alerts, social media messaging, email campaigns, blogs, video and infographics are other excellent, eye-catching ways to get your news across (without a wire fee).
6) Tie news to industry events. When you’re representing clients in a niche industry, it’s imperative to stay on top of potential events where news could organically garner added exposure. If possible, release news during an event a client is attending and use attending media, event newsletters and social media hashtags to amplify that messaging.
7) Cadence is key. Your B2B telecom business might be coming out with product after product, all within a short window of time, but as PR professionals it’s our job to set the pace of announcements. The last thing any company wants is a dip in media attention because there is too much news for one journalist to cover at once — or nothing newsworthy hitting the wire for months at a time.
8) Telecom is one of the most relevant industries in the world. Use that to your advantage! Okay, “data center,” “subsea cable,” and “optical networking” might not be considered the coolest concepts on the block, but as PR professionals it’s our job to make them riveting. And quite frankly, that puts us in a pretty great position. Never forget that we are living in the internet age and telecom drives a good portion of our day-to-day life. Always keep your news relevant and approachable, and never forget the impact that it holds.
Interested in stepping up your telecom PR game? Reach out to us today!