One of the challenges we face as PR professionals is finding stories that demonstrate how our clients’ executive teams think, and how that thinking drives the business forward. Too often, we get pushed to try and secure CEOs as experts on topics that aren’t credible. The company is too small, the market too niche or the CEO is too new to the big chair for consideration on some of the broader topics percolating in the industry.
We need to help our clients understand just what it takes to be considered an expert. In reality, there is probably an angle that could be leveraged, but it needs to be a specific point of view, and not something generic or too broad. It’s important to remember that for the mega trends in the market, reporters will default to bigger, more established companies with better-known CEOs.
If you’re in an emerging market and your company has had success helping a specific vertical leverage your technology to do something new, that creates opportunity. There are many technologies, which have been hyped, that are just now starting to see real market activity. Some examples include IoT, M2M, Block Chain Computing and LTE. The opportunity here is to show how your company, and its executives, is helping specific verticals leverage the technology to move their businesses forward. For instance, if you can show traction in how IoT is helping farmers monitor moisture levels, or how LTE is helping a school district provide WiFi to students at night, you’re not only showing market expertise, but you’re humanizing the story to make it personally relevant.
Additionally, there are technologies that were hyped five to ten years ago that media haven’t really considered again since the initial hype cycle has ended. Some of these technologies are just now finding their way into the mass market. These include Unified Communications, WebRTC, Software Defined Networking, Network Function Virtualization and high-performance computing. Making a case as to why any of these technologies are finally moving to mainstream, and what’s stopped them up until now, can present an interesting, insightful opinion for an executive to share.
There are also new and emerging technologies that are just coming to market such as Third Network Services, Fronthaul and Crosshaul, WAN Orchestration, Threat Identity Management, Digital Performance Management. While these might seem niche, if you can articulate how a company is leveraging any of these technologies or applications in a unique or unconsidered way, there might be an opportunity to provide expert insight.
Finally, there are technologies that are always topical and the challenge here is gaining and maintaining a share of voice when larger, more established companies have the megaphone. These include anything to do with the Gig Economy, cyber security, social networks, renewable energy and the smart grid. The key here is to find a way to create a narrative that shows how your company’s technology is aligning with how customers are leveraging and using it to improve their businesses.
Regardless of what avenue you take to showcase your executive team’s thought leadership, remember that it’s often a long process to establish the type of credibility that results in a story. It’s important that you set the proper expectations –an interview doesn’t always result in a story, that if it does, great, but the goal is to establish credibility and the relationship so that the reporter knows your executive is a resource they can count on and trust.
Want to engage with us to discuss how we can create new narratives for you? Let’s connect! Contact Witz Communications.
Rich co-founded Witz Communications, a firm focused on deep market understanding and a business-value view to public relations, in 2017. Prior to, he was the president and founder of Connect2 Communications, Inc., a firm dedicated to addressing a fundamental flaw in the agency model - the lack of the understanding and appreciation of a company's business and corporate objectives as they relate to communications and public relations strategies.