Let Us Do Your Homework for You, Part 2

Stan O'Neill
June 1, 2023

Part 2: Thought Leadership and Thoughtful Execution

Amid the forces of rapid change in the tech industry and media landscape, companies can understand how and why customers are buying products by understanding market drivers and media trends. To stand out, companies can implement numerous communications and PR tactics to leverage this understanding. However, a seasoned PR agency that has strong experience in your market, such as Engage PR, can function as an agile extension of your team if you don’t have the bandwidth or expertise to pursue these strategic initiatives alone.  

An effective PR agency does its homework, implementing tactics informed by a deep understanding of the industry landscape. Developing this understanding takes time, but a seasoned agency’s expertise can enable thought leadership initiatives that enhance visibility, drive sales and help you achieve thoughtful execution of the right story to reach the right audience. With this in mind, Engage PR took some time to outline effective thought leadership and media relations strategies we’ve implemented for our clients.

Media and Analyst Relations – To start, strive for targeted media and analyst outreach – stray from the “spray and pray” method at all costs. This can require extensive research, but it ensures you’re establishing relationships with reporters and analysts that are conduits to your ideal buyer. Reporters and analysts are unbiased sources of information in your market, so this strategy is essential in bolstering credibility and reaching customers. Furthermore, media training provided by a seasoned PR agency is particularly beneficial for acing that reporter interview or analyst briefing. These opportunities can be scarce, even for established companies, so you must maximize them.

Messaging – Messaging underlies every aspect of your communications strategy. But agility is important here, as many companies tend to spin their wheels in their messaging process, depleting valuable time and resources. An established PR agency can drive the messaging process and keep your teams accountable with a 4-6 week timeline for completion and integration of your messaging framework, helping you put your messaging framework into action. This framework should be informed by how your offering fits into industry trends and solves your target audience’s problems, helping you enhance brand recognition and differentiation to emphasize your company’s unique value proposition.

Content Creation – Thought leadership is a big wheel with many spokes, and content may be one of the strongest spokes in helping you stand out in a crowded market. There are standard methods like contributed articles, company blogs and article quotes. When pursuing these conventional opportunities, it’s important to integrate newsworthy media trends into your Point-of-View campaigns, pitches and abstracts, imbuing your company’s insights with timeliness. But an experienced PR agency can help you think outside the box and develop a multi-channel content strategy.  

For example, has your company audited industry influencers for company thought leaders to interact with on social media? This is a low-cost way to establish relationships with top industry minds that your buyers rely on for unbiased information. Even better, are you pitching your company’s thought leaders for casual opportunities where they can showcase their personality and relatability, like podcasts or guest webinar spots?  

A PR team with deep domain expertise and an understanding of market drivers, media trends and industry influencers can help you integrate creative thought leadership efforts and secure earned media opportunities that don’t break the bank. This multi-channel content approach helps you reach the right audience with a well-crafted story that provides value to industry leaders and customers – even outside of your company’s news cycle.

Speaking and Awards Submissions – Let's face it. If your company is pursuing exponential growth with a limited marketing budget, you probably don’t have the bandwidth for time-consuming, 2,000-word speaking and awards entries. Keep in mind, a shotgun approach is the main mistake many lean companies make with speaking and awards submissions. To streamline your speaking and awards approach, an expert PR team can implement a quality-over-quantity mindset and research the value of an opportunity versus its time investment and the likelihood of winning.  

If nothing else, remember the importance of research. We recently secured a high-profile speaking opportunity at RSA 2023 for a client. We were up against some tough odds, as RSA usually prioritizes incumbent security companies or event sponsors. The client was not an RSA sponsor, nor is the company widely known for its security experience, as this particular solution set is relatively new to the client.  So, what was our secret? The conference published the previous year’s winning submissions, so we reviewed relevant entries from 2022 and tailored our submission accordingly. These are seemingly simple things that time-constrained companies can miss – a strategic PR agency can do this homework for you.

Dog Ate Your Homework? No Worries!

The fast-paced technology industry can be unforgiving for a company of any size, and these tactics are only the tip of the iceberg. As a result, it’s difficult for companies that have a lean marketing team to cover the many facets of thought leadership and media relations while navigating the shifting nuances of a vast, crowded market. If you want to take some work off your plate, let us do your homework for you. Our trained PR and content professionals can leverage their deep domain expertise to craft a well-executed story aligned with media trends, industry conversations and your target audience, helping you stand out from the crowd and capture your customers’ attention.


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