Here at The Ranch, we’ve recently conducted a survey of Israeli high-tech companies to determine what challenges they are facing in their marketplaces and in developing and deploying effective communications strategies. Responses to the survey indicated that, while technology and market boundaries have dissolved over the past years, the challenges of crafting and deploying timely and noteworthy international communications strategies have become more complex. As companies and products have proliferated, the rivalry for the eyes and minds of industry analysts, media editors, investors, and customers has become fierce. The nature of the challenges these companies face is consistent.
Most are short on staff and resources for PR and marketing communications and are further extended by the pressures of conducting business across multiple time zones and on multiple continents. While the companies take advantage of technological assistance from wire services that streamline message transmission, the competition for attention is so enormous they feel they often get lost in the deluge of information. While newswires are targeted, many companies in niche markets are hard-pressed to identify the exactly right analyst or editor for their segment, and follow-up can be difficult.
Meeting those challenges requires not only an understanding of the marketplace and the players in the industry media, but also the experience and discipline to develop a communications strategy that results in a clearly articulated, relevant message and the skills and resources to deploy a media and analyst relations program.
Internally, it’s difficult to ensure that all the company’s public contacts are being consistent in their messages. Keeping the message updated and fresh is another challenge. When companies are preparing for trade shows or major announcements, everyone in the company is stressed and the pressure to deliver is on. Often, refining the message, ground-truthing the story, and arranging and preparing for those all-important analyst and media meetings get pushed to the bottom of the check list.
Automated services such as PR Newswire and Business Wire have made it simpler and more cost-effective for companies to disseminate their corporate and product news to a targeted audience. There remains a challenge, however, to differentiate oneself from the rest of the marketplace and to deliver a compelling message that will spark interest, receive notice, and “get ink.”
Developing, endorsing, and implementing a strategic approach to messaging, communications, and public relations ensures that these functions receive appropriate attention and prioritization within the company’s programs. It requires a planned approach to track and measure results and ensure that the efforts expended produce the optimum results among all the company’s publics: media, analysts, customers, suppliers, employees, and investors.