Debunking Misconceptions about Tech PR
By Alison Lee, Intern
Technology. What does the word entail? Its definition? How broad of an umbrella term is it? I could probably write ten blog posts trying to answer such questions and still not cover half of it. So if technology can’t be defined, how can anybody explain tech public relations? Coming into this internship, I could maybe describe the industry as well as the wall can; but since I started in May, I’ve learned so much about PR and the tech industry, both independent from each other as well as how they work together.
I conducted a survey and collected some of the biggest misconceptions of tech PR. Ironically, I held almost of all of them true before joining Fusion and am here to debunk the biggest myths of the industry and convince the world that it’s not much different from other types of PR.
1. “Tech PR is the hub for information overload.”
The majority of responses from the survey included something along the lines of tech PR being incredibly overwhelming in terms of the amount of knowledge a PR pro in the field must garner and maintain. Honestly, it’s a lot to learn–especially if you go into it knowing nothing like myself. But it’s easy to pick up the jargon and transition into the “techy” mindset. Just like in fashion or consumer PR, keeping up with the latest news, re-reading client goals and attending industry events with co-workers make it easy to get into the swing of things.
2. “Too fast…can’t handle…industry speed.”
In addition to information overload, tech PR is considered to be incredibly fast-paced. Almost too fast for a career in it for some. On the contrary, the day-to-day at Fusion runs at a pretty average speed. Of course there are days when everybody is running around with insanely hectic schedules, but I can’t think of an office that doesn’t experience that once in awhile. It’s true that the tech industry is innovative and always changing, but for PR pros who are well adept in the industry (as mentioned in #1), client work isn’t hindered by it. If anything, it keeps it exciting!
3. “With isolated big companies like Apple, tech PR is useless.”
This one’s easy: everyone uses PR! And more importantly, everyone needs PR. Macho companies like Apple may not look like they utilize PR, but did you know that on average, they send out a press release once a week? Event planning, announcement timing and product promotion are all strategized and finalized by PR pros.
4. “Tech PR people just spin and hype up the next new product.”
This notion is probably one of the biggest misconceptions of the public relations industry in general. The purpose of PR for any brand is to highlight the positive aspects that make it competitive with others like it in an industry. “Spinning” a tech product or service insinuates a cheap and get-rich-quick scheme behind it all, but building a brand’s image takes a lot of preparation and thought.
5. “People who work in tech are geeks.”
I may have been guilty and considered this myth a tiny bit true before starting work here, but I’ve been proven wrong–for the most part. People in the office wear trendy galaxy pants and maxi skirts, and we talk about the latest entertainment and national news. But despite Fusionites’ cool, hipster appearances and standard New Yorker antics, there’s an inner dork in all of us. And most importantly, Fusionites take pride in it! So what if we’re always browsing Mashable and consider The Big Bang Theory season finale to be more important than the NBA finals?
Tech PR is different from other types of PR in some of the biggest ways, yet they hold many similarities. Out of all the different PR industries I’ve gotten my feet wet in, tech has been the most fun–but the only way to find out is to get hands-on experience. To those of you who are bold enough to delve into it, good luck and may the force be with you.