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Demystifying Tech: How to Achieve Cut-through with your PR

Posted 21st February 2019
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How to Achieve Cut-through with your PR…

Have you had an idea shower today? Or perhaps you’ve tried to solutionise by taking a helicopter view of the situation?

Or maybe you’re wondering what on Earth any of that actually means?

Jargon, buzzwords, slang – whatever you want to call it – it’s everywhere! And, it makes readers sigh with despair at having to work out exactly what an article is trying to say.

In tech PR, the problem grows as every new product, service or development is given a snazzy name or acronym. But, it sometimes feels like the gap between the language used in the tech world and the language used in the real world is growing every day.

While it may be natural for us to use acronyms and shorthand for issues we deal with on a daily basis, using lots of specialised jargon isn’t the best way to get your point across. In fact, it’s likely to turn a lot of readers off.

Here’s what we can do about it.

Taking the Simple Route

In a previous blog, I wrote about how the web has changed reading behaviour, and in many ways, the same rules apply to PR, namely:

  • Like the majority of web users, journalists will scan content first rather than read everything.
  • Reading from a screen takes longer than reading from paper.
  • Every article or press release has to compete with many others for the reader’s attention.
  • People don’t have the time to work hard just to understand an article.

The good news is that the solution is a simple one – literally! Use the simplest possible words to say what you mean and your audience will be more likely to engage with your content.

You should also consider your audience carefully and use words that are appropriate to them. It may help to imagine you are having a conversation with the reader (who is not necessarily an expert in your field) as we often pick simple words when we are speaking versus writing.

Here’s nine steps to writing press releases that work

Benefits vs. Features

Jargon is defined as “special words or expressions used by a profession or group that are difficult for others to understand”.

But it often goes deeper than just the choice of words.

Using simple words to convey a point is important. However, it’s also crucial to ensure the point resonates best with the audience.

This often comes down to a battle between features and benefits. A choice between factual statements about what a product or service comprises of versus explaining why your product or service is valuable, or newsworthy.

Benefits are results. They often answer the question that all readers have when they begin to read about a new product or service: “What’s in it for me?”

What’s more, they also provide solutions to the pain points your target audience – or a journalist’s target audience – may have experienced or identified.

If you can answer this question using the techniques mentioned above, then you’re already taking steps towards creating content that is easier to digest. When readers take more notice of your content they’re more likely to engage with it and remember your key messages.

Knowing Your Audience

In some cases, you may deem it appropriate to use terms that are well-known in tech circles. But you should still include some context or, in the case of acronyms, write out the words in full the first time you use them, for example:

  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Near Field Communication (NFC)
  • Software as a Service (SaaS).

Consider both the journalist and their audience when preparing a press release, opinion piece, or offering comments on a news story.

If a reporter is having a tough time understanding you, then there’s little chance they will be able to explain why you’re important to their own readers. That often means your work will end up in the trash folder! And, future releases and comments may not be given consideration.

Using simple language and being clear and concise may not sound like the most exciting way to build content. But if you use these techniques alongside explaining the benefits of your product or service, you will often find interesting avenues to explore that can relate to the latest issues and trends.

And that’s what gets results.

If you can capitalise on a hot topic then a simple comment can open a goldmine! This establishes your business or spokesperson as a leading voice on key issues in your sector.

We’ve seen plenty of examples of where a comment on the bigger picture opens up further opportunities to gain coverage. Simplicity shouldn’t be underestimated! So, save the jargon for a conversation with your colleague rather than the media, or your target audience.

Are you struggling to create clear and concise messages? Or, maybe the mere mention of synergising makes your eyes roll, give us a call and find out how we can help with your PR outreach and content creation.

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