12 lessons learned from 15 years in tech PR
2018 marks fifteen years that I have been in tech PR. Since the majority of those years have been spent right here at Voxus – and Voxus recently celebrated its 12 year anniversary – I wanted to take a moment to reflect on what I’ve learned about being successful in this industry. Here are 12 of those lessons.
- What’s ahead is more important than what’s happened. Getting that feature article in a business publication or 5-star review can feel phenomenal. But the equity of any news hit starts fading immediately. Always be charging toward your next goal to keep the momentum going.
- Diversity makes a great agency. The people who work in PR are so diverse in their skill sets and interests. It’s important to welcome this diversity in an agency because it always results in better ideas (and a good time!).
- Rinse and repeat is no strategy. It’s easy to follow particular formulas to get the job done, like an analyst tour. But each time doesn’t need to be the same run-of-the-mill experience. Can you get a customer to join you on the tour? You won’t know if you don’t ask.
- Celebrate your successes. Things move so fast in the PR world. It may not feel like you have time to stop and enjoy a job well done. You should always celebrate the wins. It helps keep the tank full as you drive toward your next goal.
- Take time to think. I have to remind myself of this one every day. You’ve got to unclutter your brain regularly to fully see your clients and their market space opportunities. Read some news stories, attend an event or listen to a podcast to deepen your viewpoint.
- Say please and thank you. I use these words every single day. Even to those that don’t say them back. It’s a fast and easy way to create a baseline of respect with media, clients and team members.
- Do what is uncomfortable. This can be some new ambitious effort you’ve never tried. Conversely, it can be something you haven’t done in a long while. If you haven’t sent a media pitch lately, do so. You’ll most definitely learn something or have a greater appreciation for what other team members do day in and day out.
- If something isn’t working, say so. This one can be scary. You might doubt you’re doing it right or have allowed enough time to pass to be sure something has truly failed. My best advice is to use your gut and call it like it is. Better to flag a concern now so it doesn’t spiral out of control.
- Have a Plan B and C. You’re not prepared if you haven’t thought through worse case scenarios. Have these plans detailed ahead of time. This way the team and client understand what changes may need to be made, why and when.
- Be open to suggestions. Others that don’t know your client as intimately as you do can spark some really creative solutions. Ask for help. Listen.
- Ask questions. Earlier in my career I had so much fear around “asking dumb questions.” Thank goodness I got over that. Now I ask all sorts of questions and am not afraid to have missed the obvious. It’s the best sign you can give someone that you’re paying attention.
- The PR industry is forever changing. The landscape I see today is not what it was 15 years ago. It’s a lot more vibrant with better storytelling options, like social media, vlogs and content marketing. It’s also much more DIY due to the shrinking number of writers covers the technology market.
A lot has changed since my first days in PR. I no longer spend hours filing technology magazines in our office’s library. In fact, we don’t even get a single subscription in the office today. We are also no longer just getting clients results in this medium. Voxus clients are on TV and the radio, publishing books,and being featured across news sites throughout the world in multiple languages.
Congratulations Voxus team on turning 12!