Executives and subject matter experts in IT companies can expect to be called upon occasionally to give press interviews. Prepare yourself beforehand and all should go well.
I’ve arranged hundreds of media interviews for clients and have often provided guidance. Here are 9 ‘top tips’ to improve the outcomes of your press interviews:-
These are just a few of the many interview tips and techniques that I offer clients of my PR services. I also offer media training where required. A day with me and the services of a respected journalist and we’ll soon have you on top form!
Clients for my PR services are often US-owned software firms seeking press coverage in the UK and across Europe. If they already work with a PR agency in the US, they’ll probably seek that same agency’s support or advice to extend them into Europe. Often, those US PR agencies have a European partner network and I’m pleased to support US agencies in this way.
Over the last decade, I’ve partnered with several US agencies, working as an extension of their teams to deliver media coverage in the UK and across Europe for their clients. These agencies include PAN Communications, FAMA, Emerge and others. Each partnership has been successful for the US agency as well as for me and most especially for the client.
So far, the partnerships have operated according to one of three models, but I’m open to being approached with other suggestions:-
Of course it’s a two-way business street for the agencies. Sometimes I have European clients seeking PR services in the United States. On those occasions I’ll tap into my partner network for support.
If you work for a PR agency or software firm in the US, I’d be interested to know what sort of arrangements with UK agencies you’ve experienced. What worked? What didn’t?
When I pitch for new business, presenting myself as a freelance IT PR, sometimes I’ll find myself up against a mid-sized, maybe large tech PR agency. The client has likely done their homework, gained recommendations for each of us and now seeks to judge for themselves.
Once, the marketing chief of a tech company would automatically invite only agencies to pitch. Indeed ten years ago, skilled freelance PRs were few. But times have changed. Many skilled PR people have chosen to launch themselves as freelance PR consultants. Some do it for the freedom, others perhaps to escape arduous city commutes into work.
Me? Back in 2002 as IT PR practice director of a 36 person agency, I just knew I’d be happier getting back to working with clients and journalists again – planning a PR campaign, writing content, pitching to the press and scooping coverage! It’s what I’ve always been good at.
I’m not alone in choosing freelance life over an agency career. According to the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS), the number of self-employed marketing professionals in the UK has more than doubled since 2011 and the number of public relations professionals now sits at around 9,000 (having previously been too low a figure to report on). That’s around 18 per cent of the PR workforce; a skilled resource that organisations can call upon instead of automatically engaging an agency.
I’m not saying you should always hire a freelancer over an agency. But most smaller and medium-sized IT firms could do well to include an experienced freelance IT PR consultant in their short list. Here are six reasons why:-
If you’re looking for more press coverage, hiring a PR agency isn't your only way ahead. Do consider hiring the services of a skilled consultant. The best PR folk are often freelance!