How to Manage Public Relations for New Tech Gadgets
Introducing new tech gadgets can be a massive undertaking. The best planning and market research cannot prepare a business for what will happen. Public relations will help to mitigate some of this uncertainty by providing a way to guide the views of consumers, industry experts and other personalities. Anyone who is planning the launch of any new tech gadgets should keep a few key public relations points in mind even after the release.
The first step in getting attention for new tech gadgets is to get the device into the hands of the people who matter the most for the brand. These are people who regularly interact with the public through articles, blogs or appearances in the media. A technology reviewer is one example. The device should be sent to the parties with a polite letter describing what the item is, what it does and how it is different from anything similar on the market. The hope is that these people will use the device and then talk about it later with the public or other people within the industry. These efforts often result in mentions online or on television during targeted segments.
Another way to provide a high level of visibility for a new tech product is to get the gadget into the hands of the people who should be using it. This very successful strategy has worked in the past. A new device is given to a class of active college students, working professionals, mothers or sports stars. The people are encouraged to use the device and then tell friends about it. Social media postings and feedback can then be tracked and propagated throughout online and print media. The result is that regular consumers will start to listen because the positive comments are coming from other consumers outside of the brand.
How & When to Handle Negative PR
All negative press and feedback needs to be dealt with quickly. Consumers who are looking at a new product have no preconceived notion of the device. If the first thing that is heard is a criticism or story about how the device did not work correctly, then that will be the first impression everyone gains. Addressing negative perceptions is not always easy. It has to involve press releases and communications with consumers through social media channels. The person who provided the negative information should be contacted in order to resolve the problem. This has lead to retractions and corrections in the past. Unanswered negative press or postings will just be accepted as fact by consumers.
The message that is being sent through public relations efforts must be consistent with what is being broadcast through marketing and advertising channels. Nothing is worse than creating a confusing campaign by flooding media outlets and the public with contradictory information or information about the new tech gadgets that does not seem to make sense. Any interactions with the press should be framed in the marketing context of the item. A person who is interested in the gadget will want to see a reviewer, blog posting or television host support the claims that are made in broader advertising and marketing campaigns. This creates trust and makes future marketing more effective.
The initial public reception of a new device is normally accompanied by some surprising opinions and trends. New features that might have been considered beneficial are sometimes labeled as being useless or detrimental. Similarly, small things that might have resulted from manufacturing decisions could be hailed as great innovations. These trends and perceptions need to be constantly incorporated into public relations efforts.
Features that the public and the industry enjoy should be highlighted during interviews or releases. The features that are not being well received should be changed or downplayed. Remaining dynamic will improve the evolving perceptions of the gadget before and after release.
A New age of Public Relations Thanks to Technology, the Internet and Social Media
Technology through the Internet, mobile marketing and social media has changed part of how public relations are managed. Introducing any new tech gadgets to the market means creating a social media presence for the device. Public interaction through social media channels should be greatly encouraged. This will help to connect average consumers with the larger brand. It can also be used to create excitement before a release and to keep loyal customers updated on changes after release.
Driving consumers to a controlled social media venue gives public relations professionals some idea about the effectiveness of a campaign. It also provides a forum where incorrect or clearly derogatory information can be removed. Consumers who interact with the brand in this way will have a heightened sense of trust, involvement and loyalty that will be passed on to others.
Note from the Editor: Anyone can see that with the new high tech society we all live in that it has not only affected us personally, it has also affected the way businesses are now operating on a daily business. Just this past Cyber Monday and Black Friday of 2012 the reports showed that social media was used more than ever to push sales and that it certainly worked out for those businesses that used it. What about you though? If you have your own business or are starting one, how has technology, including social media and the internet, affected your business? Which of these things are you finding as being most advantageous to your business, if any?
Thank You to Our Guest Blogger:
Arnold Bergstein is an expert on startup PR campaigns and new technology. When not involved with these passions, he enjoys unwinding while drinking a cold import and watching college basketball games.
Edited & Posted by Kimberly Carver