As we enter the era of digitization, with the Business 4.0 disruptions and global, 24×7 transactions, Information Technology seems to be driving economies. The sector is further expected to grow tremendously due to fast-paced innovations across IoT, AI, ML and also VR, all of which are rapidly being adopted to become a commonplace technology for the masses. With all these accelerated developments, it is important for IT companies, be it product or solution providers, traders, SI’s or even IT-based start-ups working across ancillary sectors, to be able to communicate the significance of the innovation to the stakeholders.
Even for the B2B segment, it’s really important to talk and be heard off to showcase the value addition and the features of innovative offerings they have. PR, due to its holistic approach in brand engagement, has thus become one of the most vital communication tools for IT companies.
Here are 5 ways how PR can help IT companies:
- Educating consumers and various stakeholders: With each passing day, technology is becoming better and also more complex. So it is imperative that brands educate stakeholders on what a particular technology does, the significance of the technology they are offering and how the offering can better and improve the lives of the stakeholders. PR offers content-driven solutions that assist brands in creating awareness about the product and services, building a category and also defining key industry trends, all of which can go a long way in creating positive brand valuation in the eyes of the stakeholders.
- Category Building: When it comes to an innovative product or an innovative solution, which has not been spoken about or was never part of the whole gamut of things earlier, it becomes essential to build a category. And even if there is a category it always helps to re-define or improvise the same. PR helps companies to create a buzz around the new trends and disruptions, thus helping to start conversations around a category. Followed by consistent, relevant and timely stories, PR helps to build interest and brand affinity towards an innovation, making it acceptable and even loved. For e.g., Education tech companies have used effective PR in building their category and are now enjoying a superior perceptive advantage in the eyes of parents and students. This was possible through a long term category building exercise as earlier nobody had thought education and technology can go hand in hand. Another example is financial technology, where PR has played a major role in convincing people to ‘trust’ technology-driven virtual platforms, with their hard-earned money.
- Creating thought leadership: Every brand eventually craves recognition and leadership, apart from educating its customers and building a category. As a holistic tool for brand communication, PR helps to create a leadership position for brands, by building a positive image of the brand spokesperson and by driving thought leadership. Nowadays, it is very important for any brand to have the face of the company who can be the spokesperson and it is vital that this person is seen to be a trusted, knowledgeable and respected visionary. Amidst all the fierce completion, PR helps create a strategic positioning for the spokesperson and drives thought leadership, which is vital to help the brand stand apart and be recognized for its unique leadership and values. Most brands do not have a ready spokesperson; even if they do it becomes difficult for them to connect with the right audience. PR not only helps in correctly positioning a company thought leader in front of the right media but also helps the spokesperson to get accustomed with the media.
- Building positive brand understanding: As mentioned above, most brands rely on advertising or other communication channels to speak about products and service offerings. However, PR offers a consistent and holistic Brand Building advantage that is especially crucial for IT companies. With newer technologies and innovations, it is vital for consumers to have a trusted brand when they decide to experience the latest in technology. Effective brand building helps IT companies gain the edge above competition as they already have a positive perception among stakeholders.
- Impacts brand growth: Through consistent and well-strategized PR outreach, IT brands can leverage the positive brand image when seeking expansion. From international tie-up’s, Joint ventures, PE funding or even talent acquisition and vendor relationships, PR helps facilitate smoother expansion due to the enhanced brand value created through the above-mentioned tools. PR, through effective positioning, helps brands to reach their highest potential, while keeping their stakeholders consistently and positively engaged. Apart from brand expansion, smooth consumer experience, easy handling of potential crisis or customer dissatisfaction or internal crisis etc. can also be addressed with the help of effective PR.
In line with the above-mentioned pointers, it is reasonable to say that PR has become one of the most indispensable tools of communication and IT, as one of the most dynamic sectors, cannot afford to ignore it. Even as new innovations continue to disrupt the consumer and B2B markets, more and more companies are seeking expert communication partners who can help them create and share positive brand communications that reflects their key philosophy, corporate growth, goals and value offerings.
By Anindita Gupta, Co-Founder, Scenic Communication