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Public Relations Tips: Targeting Your Technology-Related PR

Countless business-oriented magazines have failed in the past few years, and the column space now available for technology companies looking to garner some publicity has become golden turf. Newspapers have slashed technology coverage; many long ago cut their weekly technology or business technology sections. So where can public relations professionals turn for a technology-friendly face these days?

There are still the CNET’s of the world out there, so don’t fear. Niche online publications have honed their coverage to look at emerging technologies and innovative companies. And neither will be scared off by a small size company. Remember that niche online publications guys pander to techies and business people in the tech arena.

On the magazine front, with the demise of Business 2.0, Wired is probably your best bet. Remember that lead times for magazines are long and you’ll have to make a strong case for someone to put pen to glossy paper. Wired is the last true bastion of heavy technology coverage, so the competition to get into the magazine is stronger than ever. Newsweek and Time run big picture tech stories, but also do sidebars and short consumer-focused pieces.

There are the trade publications, too numerous to name but always worthwhile to consider. Regardless of your client’s industry, it’s always nice to show up the competition by getting some publicity. Do not discount the value of trade publications. They’re not as splashy and fun as consumer publications, but the payoff can comes in the form of new clients, customers, partners, or even investors.

When looking at daily newspapers, keep in mind what’s in the news these days. If you see a “coverage theme,” tailor your pitch to the story. The San Jose Mercury News, New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post are the national forces in technology coverage. Your local paper, even though it’s probably cut back on technology coverage, is always looking for an intriguing story. Wire services Reuters and the Associated Press tend to run lengthy tech stories on weekends as well.

Once you get some publicity, the most important thing you can do with it is to “piggyback” it. You want the widest exposure possible for your company or client and various email newsletters, message boards, blogs, and web sites pick up interesting stories.

Speaking of offbeat, if your company gets some ink, try to get it linked on Fark.com. The article will get plenty of traffic, which will make everyone happy. One of the standards for traffic related to technology coverage is still Slashdot.org. A story linked on the site can send upwards of 250,000 readers in a few hours. There are thousands of technology-related blogs out there can help raise you company or client’s profile, but remember that these guys link to existing stories and rarely write their own pieces. Still, their power is inescapable.

Technology coverage gets harder to come by when there’s less press to go around, so you have to be at the top of your game.

This article, written by Ben Silverman, originally appeared in PR Fuel (http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel), a free weekly newsletter from eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit: http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/subscribe/.

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