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Tech PR Strategies: Involving Business Development Teams in the PR Process

The Business Development team at a technology company helps develop new business, forge partnerships and create channels – often in industries or market spaces that don’t exist, or are evolving.

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More than just a pretty face at the deal making table, get Business Development team involved and engaged in the PR process.

A the end of the day, the idea is to monetize Biz Dev and to help bring in new sources of revenue, raise money, and hopefully be part of an exit strategy.  What if you categorized PR as a Business Development initiative and stopped looking at it as “just media coverage?”

PR – The Currency of Validation, Thought Leadership, And Yes – Sales

I see myself as a business development person for my clients.  Here’s what I do and the mindset I try to bring to the table:

1.  Tie business objectives to communications strategy.

I once had a client that was winning some very large OEM contracts.  The problem was not winning the business- the problem was getting their supply chain in Asia to take this emerging company serious enough to help them scale what was anticipated demand.   Another needed credibility when going in to sell a very unique security platform that needed validation from industry analysts.  In this case, our focus was on the Gartner’s, IDC’s, Forresters, and a few, select consultant who covered my client’s space.  

Two different clients, with two very different needs and strategies.

2.  Engage the  Business Development Team in the PR process

The Biz Dev folks are on the street selling and doing, well, business development.  Get them engaged in PR.

A.   Have them come up with story ideas you can pitch.

B.   When they sign up a key customer, ask them to engage early on in the relationship and ask them to work with the PR team to get you application stories.

3.   Pimp up your business partners.  

Sign a deal with a new reseller or channel partner?  Promote them.  If it merits a press release consider this, but there’s more you can without going through the time and expense of doing this.  Interview them on Cinch-Cast.  Feature them on your blog.  Start following them on Twitter.  Fan their Facebook page.  Shout out to them on LinkedIn.  

4.  Got coverage?  Have your Business Development team repurpose your content.

Hold the presses… before you do anything, thank the journalist / blogger who covered you.

Send links of the story to current and prospective customers, partners, investors Gain coverage in mediums your Business Development.

These are just a few simple tips.  What about you?

Do you have a Business Development team involved in your PR activities?

Photo of man in a Guyabera, shot in San Antonio where lots of men wear these, by Alan Weinkrantz (c) 2011

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