A sound journalistic skillset and seasoned expertise are – and will remain – the basic prerequisites for being able to interact with the contacts in editorial offices on equal footing. Journalists must be convinced of the relevance of the topic for their readership, otherwise companies will not be able to reach their target audience through the media. This game plan is crucial for the successful placement of professional articles, commentaries, blog articles and all other forms of written communication. That’s why it’s important to not only be highly conversant with what you’re writing about, but also with your readership.
Is this important or superfluous?
Just like in a wind tunnel, everything superfluous must be removed and everything that is important must be cast into a streamlined form. Because even highly specialized journalists will not be able to immediately understand and correctly classify all complex products and services. Consequently, BSK recommends building messages around a clearly comprehensible customer or reader benefit – tailored to the publication being targeted in each case. If you are dealing with cloud computing, for example, the focus for technical trade magazines can be placed on the superior scalability and availability of the IT infrastructure, while business media will be more interested in aspects such as lower costs or remote forms of working.
As concrete as possible, as complex as necessary
The issue is not only about asserting the benefits of products or services, but also proving these benefits, for example by verified market figures, concrete practical examples or user and expert testimonials. Clearly formulated technical arguments with fair comparisons to the advantages and disadvantages of known or alternative technologies will strengthen the trust of journalists and readers. Ideally, the degree of complexity is again adapted to specific target groups, but even in the case of widely distributed press releases, information can be structured in such a way that experts can find the details they need, while normal readers will not be overwhelmed.
Moreover, the targeted use of certain current buzzwords can be expedient in generating attention – but be sure to do it the right way, and don’t go overboard. Buzzwords, like technologies, go through hype cycles and rapidly become obsolete, so don’t miss the right in time to part ways.
Localizing and translating are two different things
The adaptation of international (mostly North American) communication for the German market is a frequently occurring challenge. A mere translation will not achieve the desired goal here, because the American way differs significantly from the way Germans tend to do things. Superlatives and overly euphoric adjectives – perfectly normal for US media and readers – are more likely to generate mistrust in this country – or a formal warning letter from a competitor. In some instances, not only the style but also the content will have to be adapted to German culture. For example, if a software solution enables monitoring of employee activities, this will be seen in the USA as an opportunity to increase productivity. In Germany, on the other hand, this will give rise to completely different and rather undesirable associations. This problem can almost always be circumvented by skillfully adapting the perspective. The prerequisite, however, is that the communications agency has the necessary self-confidence to enter into a candid and frank exchange with the client here – and has the necessary experience to be able to offer something better.
Do you want to prepare and disseminate your tech PR topics in the DACH region for the right target group? Then we should talk.