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Why PR Is So Important for Emerging Technology Businesses
By Agnes Lamont

Emerging technology companies face a special challenge when trying to move their offering from the small Early Adopter market to the profitable mass market. Unlike the Innovators and Early Adopters of technology, those in the mass market are pragmatists. They are rarely leaders and want references before purchasing what they consider to be "proven solutions."

A well-executed, sustained PR effort helps emerging technology companies reach the broad audience necessary to find the small number of Innovators and Early Adopters. It can also deliver the editorial mentions, and even endorsements, necessary to convince the mass market that it's safe to buy.

The publicity generated by Public or Press Relations (referred to as "PR") is almost always the most valuable and cost-effective way of promoting an offering. Unlike an advertisement, editorial publicity carries the perception of an unbiased third-party endorsement. And the benefits of a positive endorsement by the media can hardly be understated.

Potential customers turn to the media to learn about solutions, and to help choose between potential offerings. Many prospective customers do not look beyond these endorsements and make purchase decisions based on the credibility of the media.

PR allows an organization to deliver its message to large audiences. Magazines and newspapers, whether on paper or online, typically measure their circulations in the tens- and hundreds-of-thousands. Broadcast media, like radio and TV, typically measure their audiences in hundreds-of-thousands and millions.

A company that is “in the news” is more visible and more interesting. Good publicity can attract capital, partners and employees as well as potential customers. It can position a business as "the expert", "thought leader" and " go-to people."

Frequently, publicity begets more publicity. This means that a sustained PR campaign can be significantly less expensive than, for instance, a typical advertising campaign in terms of both marketing ROI and total dollars spent.

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Agnes Lamont is a partner at MarketingSage. The company provides strategic marketing advice and a talented team of experts to implement marketing programs. MarketingSage also provides do-it-yourself resources that enhance marketing productivity.

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