20 things you need to know about data storage PR

A3 Communications was born 20 years ago this week. That’s a long time in the PR industry and something that fills me with a great deal of pride. Anyone who knows me will know that I absolutely love data storage and PR. Many of my team have been with me for a large portion of the A3 Communications journey so we put our heads together to come up with 20 things that we’ve learnt about data storage PR over the last two decades – 20 things that will help you too!

1. Data storage is everywhere – turn this into a PR opportunity 

Banking, Spotify, online shopping, Google maps, prescriptions… Data storage enables an incredible part of our daily lives. It is quite simply essential for everyday modern life. No wonder that the data storage industry attracts so much investment and innovates at such a rapid pace. Use this to broaden the scope of your PR campaigns – bring data storage to life!

2. Translations matter – don’t skimp on them

A poor translation could have a serious impact on the credibility of your brand in the eyes of local media. A good translation, however, will engage your targets and show commitment to the region. Google translate is not the answer; work with a translation agency, your regional PR team, and even your local salespeople to ensure that the translation reads well and uses your company’s language. A little effort will go a long way. You can find a few more tips here

3. They may all speak German, but they are not all German

The importance of print media, a desire for precision and clarity, and impatience for marketing language unite the DACH regions. But there remain some very clear distinctions between Germany, Austria, and Switzerland despite being so close geographically. Read our blog post here for more insights. 

4. Don’t treat the UK like another US state in your PR strategy

Americans think 200 years is a long history; the British think 200 miles is a long trip. This is an old joke but highlights how despite speaking the same language, we operate very differently on each side of the Atlantic. And the same is true for PR. Over the last 20 years, as the world has become increasingly connected, those differences remain. In this blog we look at what this means when it comes to your PR strategy.

5. A great story is only one part of securing coverage

It is also about building your reputation with influencers and understanding how they work, knowing their focus, and tailoring content to them. Check out this blog post for more insight into how PR works.

6. Don’t let great coverage gather dust

All too often, fantastic articles about a company’s new product or customer, for example, are not maximized. They might be tweeted once, linger in mailboxes or in a spreadsheet, and then forgotten about. This is a huge waste of time, effort, and money! Make sure to maximize your PR coverage everywhere you can – on your website, on social media, at industry shows… you can find more ideas here.

7. Not all coverage is the same

Compare a long, detailed article about your latest product news, to a mention in an industry roundup. The value of the former is much greater. Or compare a detailed Q&A on your latest senior hire to a pickup of the press release. Consider all these aspects when evaluating your PR success and planning your strategy for the coming months or year. Quality and quantity of coverage both play an important role in your PR campaign. 

8. If you are not meeting your targets in person, your competitors are

Strong relationships with your target media, bloggers, podcasters, and analysts result in more on-message, higher-profile coverage over the long term. We always encourage our clients to build those in-person relationships over lunches, coffees, and at press events like Technology Live! The value of in-person meetings applies across Europe, but is especially important in France. Check out more tips for successful PR in France here.

9. Don’t settle for a good press release

Many things have changed since A3 Communications came on the scene, but the press release is not one. We might not send them out via post or fax anymore, but the press release remains a critical tool in the PR toolbox. Just make sure yours isn’t just good – aim for a great press release every time. A killer headline and a hardworking first paragraph, must be accompanied by careful thought and preparation to see the results you want. Have a read of our press release dos and don’ts here.

10. You may be falling short when it comes to your analyst relations program

Industry analysts are a critical part of building your brand. However, too many companies are missing a trick when it comes to their analyst relations. For example, analysts do not want to hear the same pitch you give to customers, and they certainly don’t want you to read a long presentation. Instead, they want a comprehensive and in-depth insight into your company’s essence, differentiation, business plan, and vision. They want a conversation and they welcome questions. Mark Peters at ESG shares his thoughts on how to work with analysts here.

11. DNA data storage is not science fiction

We’ve seen many storage innovations come and go over the years, but DNA may be the most sci-fi yet. And it has very long PR legs! We polled various experts to learn more about how this technology is progressing: have a read here.

12. The number one source of data storage information for IT decision makers?

Data Storage Buyers SurveyNews. But they also turn to other sources before they buy. If you neglect your announcement pipeline, you could be missing out on a large audience of potential customers. We regularly poll IT buyers to find out where they go for information on the data storage industry. Check out this whitepaper for our latest survey findings.

13. To test or not to test

We always highlight the value of third-party validation with our clients. Product reviews are one of the most effective ways to achieve this. Not only can they be independent, but they offer more technical detail than a typical press release or briefing. Most of us would check reviews before we buy a fridge or a new phone; why should it be any different with enterprise IT? In Europe you don’t even need to pay for them (as you do in the USA). Read more about how and why to add them to your PR toolkit here.

14. Open source is big business (in business and in PR)

While originally the rebel of the IT industry, today large, global companies are embracing the open source approach. We interviewed a number of industry experts and asked them about how open source technologies paved the way for innovation in the industry, how end users are implementing it, and the associated cybersecurity risks. You can find their answers here

15. Embargoes really are worth it 

Embargoes are an invaluable tool in your PR arsenal. We use them regularly and have done so for over two decades. Getting the news ahead of time allows journalists to produce high-quality copy to publish on the day the announcement hits the wire. That said, they must be handled with care. Here are our top tips on how to avoid any pitfalls.

16. Does being a specialist make a difference to your sales team?

It is likely that being a specialist in your technology makes a difference to your sales team and, as a result, to your customers. The same goes for communications. Specializing in data storage means we have a deeper understanding of the industry and those who follow it. This makes a huge difference when writing copy, pitching the media, or drafting case studies. See what difference it has made in this blog.

17. Boost creativity and efficiency to boost your results

An effective communications program is about powerful teamwork. Pull together co-workers who may not work together daily; cross-feed from different groups; take a step back and try to look at your resources – and results – with fresh eyes. Then give your team (and your PR agency) the opportunity to come up with unusual ideas to achieve your objectives. They may not all work, but this is a sure-fire way to inject more creativity into your PR campaigns, as well as increase your team’s efficiency.

18. Journalists are busy. Very busy 

Today, the volume of press releases and pitches the media receives has reached record levels. At the same time, the number of articles writers must produce on a daily basis has increased exponentially. News articles are published online as soon as possible, while the print media (in B2B tech at least) has all but disappeared (but not quite in Germany). Do your homework; don’t bombard journalists with irrelevant emails. And make sure you have hard news if you want to invite a journalist to an event or a briefing. Chris Mellor talks about this in the A3 Communications’ podcast, Who do you think you are?

19. Data privacy has reshaped the industry

Technology today is an all-encompassing, unavoidable element of everyday life, from entertainment to grocery shopping, and even car parking. It’s not surprising that data privacy and data protection today look completely different to 20 years ago. The introduction of GDPR in 2018 sent shockwaves through the business world. With hefty fines and strict regulations, it’s been a major focus for the industry over the past few years, and many PR machines have made it a key element of their messages. We recently talked to a panel of experts about the impact of GDPR, whether it can be considered a success, and what we can expect next in the world of compliance. Have a read here.

20. Your logo is not your brand

It’s just one part of a whole package that makes up your brand identity – which includes everything from your purpose as an organization to your values, and the way you carry out your business. This means that when you are rebranding, you are not just creating a new look. You are overhauling the very essence of your business. That’s why your PR strategy for communicating your new brand successfully, explaining what makes you different from before (and just as crucially what stays the same), is so important. Read our top tips on this topic on this blog.

Which of these resonates most with you? What other changes have you noticed in the last two decades? We’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you are looking to kickstart your PR and AR in 2024, contact us for a chat about how we can boost your brand awareness across Europe and the U.S. 

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