Tuesday, 17 March 2020 13:08

COVID-19 - the single word that tells IT vendors why they need cost-effective PR

David Frost CEO PR Deadlines David Frost CEO PR Deadlines

GUEST CONTRIBUTION* By David Frost, CEO, PR Deadlines: In recent years our Sydney-based PR agency has lost long term technology clients’ business even though we were achieving excellent results. Why? Simply because someone at head office, 12,000km distant, chose to run with a multinational agency.

Their decisions overruled the preferences of clients’ Australian executives and their regional teams. Subsequently our former contacts (still friends) told us their media and social media exposure had plummeted - by more than 50 percent in two cases.

With the World Health Organisation announcing a coronavirus pandemic, economies are teetering on the brink of recession. So why pay more for less in the public relations sector?

Clearly an uncertain future is prompting IT organisations to assess their marcomms results and possibly seek better value from PR. They are learning that less is more.

We hear rumours that some of the multi-national agencies may be at risk. Our experience of interacting with the big PR agencies used by some of our IT clients is mixed. Some are highly professional: others less so.

We wrote case studies for one high profile vendor about their customers’ experiences in Europe, Mid-East and elsewhere, while a high profile global agency looked after their Australian account. We were copied in on certain local emails, one of which announced that the Sydney Morning Herald had not published case study X.

Two glaring errors there: first the newspaper does not publish IT case studies; secondly, it was a Brisbane case study. At 450 miles (725km) distant, a Sydney daily newspaper would never have published.

Recently we were contacted out of the blue by Australia’s leading marketing publication, seeking a quote from a client that quit PR Deadlines two years ago, preferring a ‘major’ agency. We find it interesting that their new ‘bigger, marketing-focused’ agency has not managed to get on the radar of the industry’s primary Australian publication.

These experiences support our belief that certain agencies tend to send in the A-team when pitching for new business, then have less experienced people running the account. Certainly many of the multinationals we know have high staff turnovers.

A PR friend who runs a mid-sized agency from Silicon Valley describes certain larger agencies as ‘bureaucratic’.

We discovered what he means on seeing a client’s US agency’s plan for issuing a news release. This comprised a complex document outlining in great detail each individual media person targeted. It would have taken hours to compile, all billable time equating to zero productivity.

Instead, we focus on achieving results.

Surprisingly often, we see news releases and byline articles from agencies that bear no resemblance to the writing style of their media targets. Few journalists have time to read a 200-plus word intro, with twin deck headlines almost half as long.

From time to time we suggest tactfully to a client’s communications chief that he/she should advise their home country agency to study the way their target media write, and emulate that style.

We work on knowing journalists personally, write news releases that conform with their style, and simply send clients the results rather than inundating them with expensive and unnecessary bureaucracy.

For IT companies looking for the right PR agency, we offer this advice:

1. Make sure an agency understands your company and its technology. Recently a client explained why we won their account. After Marketing narrowed the vetting process down to two agencies, their final request was ‘describe our technology to me’. Our rival agency couldn’t.

2. Don’t pay for your agency's posh address. It is no guarantee of better results or increased media coverage.

3. Agencies like to drop names of their media contacts, but these may not be appropriate reporters, editors or analysts for a specific company. Experienced professionals develop new relationships as required.

4. Check an agency’s clips book, but beware of results for high profile clients which are relatively easy to achieve. See what they score for clients your own size and budget.

5. A client’s needs and budget may vary from month to month, so an agency must be prepared to work with a flexible budget.

6. At an initial meeting, does the agency listen, or are they in ‘sell’ mode? If they don't listen, can they really understand and meet your needs?

* This promotional news and content was provided by PR Deadlines: For vendors seeking a street-smart Aussie-based agency that can coordinate campaigns anywhere, or work seamlessly with a vendor’s agencies worldwide, we can help. PR Deadlines forms part of the GlobalCom network of PR and marketing communications agencies which has 80-plus offices serving over 100 countries worldwide. We can work closely with them all.

Read 2575 times


As part of our Lead Machine Methodology we will help you get more leads, more customers and more business. Let us help you develop your digital marketing campaign

Digital Marketing is ideal in these tough times and it can replace face to face marketing with person to person marketing via the phone conference calls and webinars

Significant opportunity pipelines can be developed and continually topped up with the help of Digital Marketing so that deals can be made and deals can be closed

- Newsletter adverts in dynamic GIF slideshow formats

- News site adverts from small to large sizes also as dynamic GIF slideshow formats

- Guest Editorial - get your message out there and put your CEO in the spotlight

- Promotional News and Content - displayed on the homepage and all pages

- Leverage our proven event promotion methodology - The Lead Machine gets you leads

Contact Andrew our digital campaign designer on 0412 390 000 or via email andrew.matler@itwire.com



Security requirements such as confidentiality, integrity and authentication have become mandatory in most industries.

Data encryption methods previously used only by military and intelligence services have become common practice in all data transfer networks across all platforms, in all industries where information is sensitive and vital (financial and government institutions, critical infrastructure, data centres, and service providers).

Get the full details on Layer-1 encryption solutions straight from PacketLight’s optical networks experts.

This white paper titled, “When 1% of the Light Equals 100% of the Information” is a must read for anyone within the fiber optics, cybersecurity or related industry sectors.

To access click Download here.




Recent Comments