The press, with its diverse forms and widespread reach, can be a powerful tool in reaching key audiences and helping them to better understand the importance and impact of new technologies. In this blog post, we will explore the value of using various media channels to explain new technologies, emphasizing their role in fostering awareness among key stakeholders, attracting talent and investment to innovators, engaging partners and ultimately, driving societal acceptance.
The Complexity Conundrum
The rapid evolution of technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and quantum computing introduces complexities that can be confusing to some. Breaking down these intricate concepts into digestible pieces is essential to ensure that the benefits and potential risks are understood.
The media, in its many forms, offers a dynamic platform to bridge the comprehension gap. From in-depth reporting in newspapers and magazines to engaging narratives in podcasts, each medium has unique capabilities that can be harnessed to simplify complex technological subjects and provide the depth necessary to contextualize why these new solutions matter. Let's explore how engaging various media can be beneficial in making the incomprehensible clear.
1. Visual Storytelling: Exploring the World of Infographics and Videos
Visual storytelling, through media such as television and online videos, has the power to distill intricate technological concepts into easily digestible formats. Complex algorithms or intricate blockchain processes can be simplified through well-designed visuals, making the information accessible to a wider audience. Many journalists who wish to transform complex topics into engaging and visually appealing content have been using these formats for years.
2. Podcasts: Conversations that Connect
Podcasts offer a unique space for in-depth discussions and interviews, allowing experts to communicate their insight directly to the audience. The conversational format can break down barriers by telling the story of the people behind the technology, providing real-world context and applications for its use. Podcasts like The Vergecast have successfully navigated the intersection of technology and storytelling, making it easier for listeners to grasp the intricacies of new technologies.
3. Innovation as News
Some innovations are so game changing, they are news on their own. The development of generative AI and ChatGPT4 in particular was covered widely in 2023. This is because the media clearly understood the potential impacts, both positive and negative, that this type of technology could have. Innovations in autonomous vehicles, cybersecurity, clean tech, AI and quantum computing all have the potential to be game changers for our environment and economy, as well as business and society more broadly. For these reasons, media are following new developments in these industries closely and keeping their readers well informed.
Building Awareness and Shaping Perception
Media not only simplifies complex technologies but also plays a pivotal role in building awareness and shaping public perceptions of innovations and the brands behind them. Well-crafted narratives have the potential to attract investors, alleviate fears, flag potential dangers and promote a positive understanding of the transformative power of technology.
Most major corporations have large teams working on media relations, public affairs, PR or communications. But by any name, you can be sure these companies understand what there is to be gained, and lost, in managing perceptions of their brands.
How then can smaller startups and scaleups compete for scarce media coverage against far larger companies with deep pockets?
Getting Expertise on Your Side
There are an array of media relations agencies which will work with your business to help secure the media coverage you need to grow. By doing this, more people will learn about your business and the innovations it is developing. However, it is crucial to ensure that you select the right agency for your company’s needs today, and in the medium-term as well. Ask yourself some of these questions:
- Does this agency specialize in working with tech companies?
Those who do are likely to have relationships with key journalists who cover your industry, and who have the expertise required to both understand your innovations and explain them to the correct audience. Without this, it could be an uphill battle.
- How will they invoice us?
Some agencies charge $10,000 or more as a monthly minimum. That might be alright for the likes of IBM and Amazon, but most technology startups and scaleups don’t have that budget for media relations every month. In fact, many of them don’t even have news to share every month, and that retainer can often go to waste. Be sure to find an agency that gives you a package that’s right for you and that none of your budget is lost in this way.
- Who else have they worked with and how to they develop a compelling story for the press?
Some agencies will give you assurances until they are blue in the face. They’ll tell you you’re special and they have a formula that works every time for getting press coverage. That’s nonsense!
If your business and the innovations it has developed are indeed special, why would they need to use a formula to develop a pitch to journalists? Each story is different, with different reporters potentially interested. No two pitches should ever be developed the same way if you expect to get any genuine interest from reporters who are bombarded each day by hundreds of these formula-based pitches.
- What do we have to do to ensure the agency we hire can deliver?
This is a crucial element in the relationship between any business and its media relations representatives. There will be a brief but vital onboarding process where the agency gets to know how your business works, learns about what’s coming on your product roadmap and begins to develop a communications plan that will align with the needs of your business moving forward. Based on this plan, and regular meetings every week or two, your consistent input will help guide your media relations team to consistent success.
What we Should Tell the Press?
Any innovation that’s a first or does something no other device can do will be newsworthy. Investments in your business, deals with new partners or corporations interested in working with your business… all of these should garner positive media attention if you’re working with a competent agency partner.
Make a list of things that you think might be suitable to communicate to the media, and ask a few agencies for feedback on the list. This will give you a good sense of who has good ideas about promoting your business and how they plan to get you results. It will also weed out those who are looking to maximise their billings above all else.
Those who’ve read this far are likely genuinely interested in hiring an agency to get their brand out there, explain their product and shorten their sales cycle. Those individuals are encouraged to contact us here to set up a free consultation with no obligation, and discuss how to give your business the benefit of being a media darling.