I asked Robert Geller, senior vice president with Fusion PR, a New York-based public relations firm with a specialty area in high tech, if he would offer three PR tips for high-tech entrepreneurs. He answered that question and more in this post on his blog, Flack's Revenge.
Here's an excerpt from that post with Robert Geller's PR tips:
1) Before You do Anything Else, Spend Time Honing the Message
With the proliferation of media of all types, it has become increasingly harder to be heard above the noise. That is why you need to make sure your story is interesting and resonates.
Most focus their efforts on describing the service or product they are marketing - the names, features, benefits etc. You need to also fit this within a story - a narrative that takes into account the marketplace you fit into, and explains how and where you fit, and how you will make a difference. In short, you need to describe your position in the market and vision for it.
For further reference, please see my Words that Work in Tech PR series. Also, in my post Building Better Memes , I referenced the excellent book Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, which tells how to craft stories that resonate.
2) Take your Story to the People
Back in the day (just five years ago), coverage was important for the sake of coverage and the vaunted press clipping reigned supreme. These days it is more about making connections, and knowing where and how to be seen. Many social media and social networking channels let you bypass the traditional gatekeepers - major media and market research analysts - and take your message directly to the audiences of interest.
See my post on Fusion PR Forum: The Advent of User-generated PR.
Social media such as blogs enable anyone to have their own soapbox. Social networks make it possible to directly connect with potential customers and influencers.
There are many who can help you understand and utilize these channels. Anne [Clelland] focuses on this in her work with H20 and VTK. The agency I work for, Fusion PR, offers a range of social media PR services. One thing that can't be outsourced is your own genuine voice - your thoughts, ideas and expertise.
So it is important for you, the entrepreneur to be vocal online, and get out there and be seen and heard.
3) Work the Traditional PR Channels
As important as social media is theses days, traditional media still counts, so don't forget major media, radio, TV and the trade media that cover your market in your PR efforts.
Some in the media and PR profession have said that the press release is dead. Don't believe it for a minute. Press releases are still a great way to get the word out, assuming you follow my instructions in 1, above, and don't spam people with gratuitous releases that don't say much.
New companies and new products are intrinsically newsworthy, and issuing a press release over one of the traditional wire services is a great way to get attention, boost SEO, etc.
I would be remiss if I did not mention that there is much more to PR than "sending and praying" - i.e., just issuing the press release over the wires and hoping people will take note. You need to also directly get in touch with those who are most likely to cover the news, and not leave it to chance that they will see it on the wires. Ideally, you want to do this before the news goes out, give these people a heads up that the news is coming, and offer to brief them in advance. News has a very short shelf life these days; after it crosses the wire people will quickly lose interest and move on to the next hot story.