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How to prepare for CES 2018?

Being part of the consumer electronics industry is fantastic but has its drawbacks – sometimes when things do not go as planned, you may find yourself frantically preparing for CES during the festive period while all of your friends and family are enjoying the holidays. The only way to avoid the sight of your children craving for your attention while you work on Christmas and Thanksgiving is to have all your ducks in a row before the festive period begins. While working weird hours is sometimes part of our marketing and sales job descriptions, having a proper plan will reduce the stress levels before the show to a minimum – time management can save you, and your employees, some precious time during the festive season.

Most likely you’ve already negotiated the best booth location at the show, you have your booth design, and logistics arranged, hotels and flights are booked, and all employees who will be manning the booth have their business visas granted. Hopefully, your submissions for CES Innovations award and speaking opportunities at the event have been successful, and you are ready to rock.

Everything is up-to-speed and now is the time to start executing the activities that make your presence at the CES noticeable, i.e., your communications plan. After all, the main reason for your presence at the show is to tell your story to the world and draw the attention of industry leaders, shareholders, investors, future business partners and potential clients. One of the most effective ways to generate buzz at CES is to execute quality PR campaigns before and during the show. We’ve prepared a list that can help you get the most out of your company presence at the biggest technology trade show in the world.

Revise your story

The trends in marketing communications change rapidly, and your PR professionals should always be on the ball making sure the way you communicate your brand message will bring you the maximum amount of results and attention. The company communications strategy that you discussed with your PR experts of choice six months ago may no longer be the optimal option for you. What sounded like a good idea half a year ago, may not be the perfect way to approach things now. Companies evolve too – your R&D team might have misguided you, and the product or service you were planning to launch at CES may not be ready for the show.  But don’t stress yourself out, with the right PR counsel on hand you may simply have to perform a few minor tweaks in your marketing communications strategy and still be a success.

Create media buzz BEFORE the show

The best way to prepare for the show is to get the eyes of millions gazing at your brand before the show takes place. You will have to pique the interest of CES attendees. Their reason for attending the show must be to visit your company’s booth. It is great that you’ve spent a huge amount of money to have your booth at the show, but with a fraction of your marketing budget, you can keep your brand in the news all the time. Attending trade shows isn’t effective if there is no communications plan in place that will make people want to visit you at the booth. Teasers, media alerts and news releases giving details about what’s about to come have to be circulating the media space on a weekly basis should you want to attract a crowd.

Consider pre-show events

Now is the time to decide if your brand will be participating in any of the CES pre-show media events such as Pepcom’s Digital Experience, Showstoppers, and CES Unveiled. Sending the correct message and cutting through the noise of CES is sometimes hard and these events are in place to help you get noticed by some of the most important technology news gatekeepers in the world. Having the majority of the most influential technology journalists, analysts and influencers in the world, under one roof, is a great opportunity to get exposure and get the world buzzing about your brand before the show has even begun. We’ve attended all three shows in the past, and every single appearance has been an absolute success for our clients. They are not cheap, but with the right PR support, you will get a fantastic ROI. Luckily, there’s still time to book your slot and attend at least one of the events.

Send a killer invitation

Pro-actively approach media representatives and influencers whose audiences will be interested in learning more about your brand, service or product. Now is the time to start working on those target media lists and prepare a killer invitation which will help you get those meetings confirmed. There are approximately 4,000 companies that exhibit at CES every year, and journalists get bombarded with hundreds of emails every day. The invitation is your opportunity to shine bright, attract their attention and elevate your company above the competition. It’s important to seek PR counsel when preparing and distributing invitation aimed at media representatives – if your pitch is too salesy or catchy, the journalist will simply ignore you. There are thin red lines that should never be crossed. No high profile reporter ever wanders the floors at CES looking for news – they go to meetings that have been scheduled well in advance.

Explore other opportunities

Should the media ignore you due to being “already booked,” take a “no” for an answer but offer a lunch or a dinner meeting during the show. Sometimes the reason you get the negative answer is that they do not have time for you. Depending on your budget and the type of crowd you want to attract, getting a popular person to make an appearance at your booth may be an effective move too. Carefully choose that person. By picking the wrong person, you may attract the wrong crowd.  Justin Bieber won’t do your semiconductor company much good so make sure you think this through before you invite somebody famous for a special appearance at CES. Explore opportunities that are worth exploring and invite industry leaders or influencers who can entertain and speak to your audience.

Have a goody bag with your media kit

There is nothing worse and more frustrating for journalists than a poorly compiled media kit. Having a proper media kit is as important as knowing what you are talking about. The way to prepare one for a trade show is to have a pen-drive that comes with a press release, spec sheets and high res images and a paper copy of your latest and most relevant for the meeting press release. Journalists love goodie bags too! While this may not sound serious, having a classy way of saying “thank you for visiting” is crucial in building a relationship. And remember: don’t leave the printing of the press release for the last moment – you will be surprised by the amount of junior marketing blokes running around like headless chicken trying to find a working printer during the show. Be prepared!

Arrange media training for both you and your employees

The media representatives are not meeting with you to do you a favor and promote your brand; they are not your friends. The only reason they are at your booth is because they’ve already heard about you, they have been invited by your PR representative, and they expect to be wowed by the service or the technology you are offering. Make them feel special but do not over-thank them – they are simply doing their job. Also train your booth staff always to be aware of journalists. If they see that for some reason the person they are having a conversation with has media credentials, get them to forward the journalist over to a qualified spokesperson. Small mistakes and slip-ups can affect the perception of your brand – it’s crucial to be in control and to pass along the right information.

Prepare Q&A and rehearse

Even if you are a seasoned consumer electronics show-goer with 25+ years of industry experience or just a newbie about to have their first appearance at the biggest technology conference in the world, you need to rehearse and stay on top of your game. Even though it has never happened on our watch, we hang out with journalists on a daily basis, and we’ve heard the horror stories from them. Spokespeople acting inappropriately, answering simple questions about their products and services incoherently. Make sure you are familiar with the briefing book and you know who you are meeting with. Even if you are absolutely sure of what you are talking about, have a quick rehearsal with your PR consultant. Accept it as a proof-reading of a press release – it is always better to have 2-3 pairs of eyes looking at it rather than just one. This may feel as one of the rules you are tempted to ignore, but please do not do so. Have a Q&A ready and rehearse before the meetings.

Study the briefing book

One of the reasons companies do not manage to get the most out of meetings taking place at shows such as CES is the fact that they haven’t studied the briefing book. The killer briefing book that your PR agency gave you days before the show has absolutely everything you need to know about the media representatives who you will be meeting. You will see their names, the way you should pronounce their names, the outlets that the journalists work for and brief profiles of both the media representatives and publications that you will be meeting with. Sometimes you may see some of their recent work too. Each publication has its different flavor of news that they cover and want to hear about. If you talk to an outlet that covers geek stuff about how luxurious your product is, you may not end up getting a favorable coverage. Staying in control, and talking about the things they want to hear the most, is crucial. Use the long flight to Las Vegas to flip through the briefing book and learn more about the people you will be meeting at the show.

Plan to follow up with the media

A successful appearance at CES is not all about the results that you will get during the show, but about the relationships that you will start building or continue maintaining after meeting with the people that speak to your customers. Make sure that your PR assistant takes notes with contact details of everyone you speak with, everyone who blags a goodie bag, and everyone who is considered a media representative. Get them to collect all the questions in one place and keep them for the future – having those questions on file will help you prepare for next year’s Q&A. During the interview you may be asked questions which answers you do not know from the top of head. Get your PR team to make a note of such and get them to follow up with the journalist as soon as possible. Delivering the information to the journalists in a timely manner means that they will not end up publishing misleading or untrue information about your business. Having control over the conversation is absolutely crucial at tradeshows such as CES.

While this is not part of your communications plan, having comfy shoes is vital if you want to survive the show. While the meetings are mostly at your booth or suite, sometimes you may have to walk to a radio/TV studio so feeling comfortable in your skin is a must. These are some of the basics of having a prosperous tradeshow attendance at CES. If all of these points sound complicated or like “too much work,” you may want to consider getting external help. If your current PR counsel is not planning these out and speaking to you about them, or for some reason, you are not happy with the results, check out our helpful tips for finding a quality technology PR agency that can execute on your behalf.

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What should your external PR partner be able to do for your business?

When high-tech B2B and consumer technology companies look for an inspiring PR agency that will generate significant results, they should look to a top tech PR firm able help them take advantage of the benefits of fully integrated marketing communication programs.

It is not a secret a high percentage of the average tech buyers conduct online research before making a purchase. Most of the times they go through various platforms, i.e., social media, blogs, print, online magazines, YouTube, etc. Reputable technology PR firms work on generating quality content on a variety of such digital and print platforms to keep the buyer engaged with your company and its products during the entirety of their buying journey – minimizing the chances of them being tempted to consider looking elsewhere.

By implementing comprehensive media campaigns that encompass thought leadership content along with product-focused activities, such as content creation and product placement programs, electronics PR firms should increase your company’s brand recognition, search engine ranking, product awareness and guide customers along the buying journey to your products or services

With close connections to the technology, dailies and electronics media from all over the world, your agency of choice will have to be uniquely positioned to build your global media presence focusing on your regions of choice. Global high-tech PR firms must have an experienced team able to execute media campaigns that will increase online visibility, boost sales performance and increase media presence amongst audiences keen to know about the latest news in your industry.

The best PR firm for your business must be able to research the themes, topics, and issues that resonate with each of your target audiences before generating content that will appeal to them.

To ensure that your company moves to the winning side you should start developing a constant media presence in your targeted regions. Depending on your needs and budget, any consumer electronics PR consultancy must be able to run marketing communications campaigns in various languages across relevant media. Please note, tech PR agencies should be able to offer a complete range of services and have the flexibility to suit your company’s evolving needs throughout the relationship.

Last but not least, the budget you allocate towards your agency of choice doesn’t have to be considered solely as an expense – your marketing communications efforts must be accountable and deliver ROI. And if they aren’t, now is the time to start looking for a better PR partner.

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Which is the best PR firm for my business?

Finding the best PR firm for your organization might not be as easy as we all want it to be. At the end of the day, these folks are going to be the people who will be connecting your brand with the industry influencers who make a difference in your industry. They need to be sharp, and you need to make sure they are the right ones. The PR consultancy you are about to hire will be telling the story of your company to the world. Here at Bacheff Communications, we understand that finding the right PR firm is not an easy task so we’ve compiled a list of top 10 things you should consider before you make a final decision.

Choose the right type of agency

One of the biggest mistakes companies make when looking for outside PR counsel is approaching PR firms that are not focusing on a particular area. A PR agency that works with everything that moves would not be able to deliver the results of a consultancy solely focused on one area alone. If you are a high-tech company, hiring Toyota’s PR firm won’t do you any good. They may sound impressive and look flashy, but you won’t get far. Do not even consider them. High-tech companies should be represented by technology oriented PR agencies. Don’t waste your time and money on firms that are not part of your industry.

Know your goals and needs

Do you want an agency for a single campaign or you are after permanent media exposure? Knowing what you want is crucial when choosing the right PR partner. You don’t have to have a full roadmap created in your mind, but you need to know what success means to you and what is your end goal. Agencies can help you craft your company story and map a successful path for your business. You need to know the destination you want to go so that they can take you there.

Decide on a budget

Knowing your budget will help you choose the best PR firm for your needs. If your budget is limited, you may be able to get a bigger bang for your buck should you decide to work with a smaller agency. Having a larger budget does not necessarily mean you have to move to a bigger PR agency either, most of the times you can get more for less when you partner up with a small or medium size PR consultancy. Knowing your budget saves you time during the negotiation and helps your potential partners tailor a proposal that works best for your organization.

Avoid agencies that overpromise or want to bind you to a lengthy contract

If they guarantee you results, feel free to hang up right away. They are not worth your time! PR professionals can surely promise you results, but do not fall into the trap of ‘guaranteed’ results. Guaranteed results do not exist in PR. This is how you can recognize good quality PR counsel from a sales person who is solely after your marketing budget. Instead, set up clear goals and offer them half the price of the retainer if they don’t meet your expectations. This is a good way to make sure everyone assigned to your account will hit the ground running.

Verify their story

Learn more about the team and ask for case studies and recommendations. They will surely overwhelm you with success stories! However, be selective and ask if such success could be achieved for you too. Get them to be confident in the fact they will be able to deliver or get them tell you why they won’t be able to exceed or at least replicate the same results. If an agency claims they are global, ask for proof. The level of PR organizations claiming they deliver results outside the US is enormous, but few of them can prove it. Do not fall for the ‘part of a global network’ story either. Those networks are in place for their mutual benefit only, not yours. We’ve come across agencies that have the word ‘global’ in their name, but they get shy when asked about their international experience and capabilities. Get them to elaborate on those statements before you make a decision.

Be realistic

We’ve had clients being featured in tier one technology publications such as Mashable, Digital Trends, Bloomberg, and CNET in the first two weeks with the agency. Others sometimes take years to get in the mainstream tech media. Be realistic about your goals, and you will not be disappointed by the results. We’ve seen tens of accounts grow big over the years. None of them made it to national news in year one, but after few years of hard work, they started regularly being in some of the most influential media outlets in the world. Getting the media to know about you sometimes take time but remember that hard work always pays off!

Learn how PR works

Ask questions about how the results are achieved. You don’t have to be a PR pro and understand everything but be open to asking a lot of questions about the methods used by the agency. Some of the techniques they use may not be in line with your organization policies. For example, if your PR agency has the practice of sponsoring journalists for content you have to stay away from them as this is wrong at all levels of journalism. If they promise you high social media presence, make sure they grow your audience organically but not through importing Facebook likes from Asia. Learn more about the methods they use to deliver you the results.

Listen to your intuition

Consider your options but don’t waste time – listen to your intuition. This is not math; there is no right or wrong. Even though the process is similar to when getting a new hire, in this case, you are entering a relationship where you hold the full power; you can always terminate your work with them at any given time without any repercussions. Make sure you are happy with the contract and listen to what your gut tells you; you won’t regret it.

Choose the right size

Smaller agencies have more flexibility on amending terms and goals according to your needs. It also is a common misconception larger PR organizations have more people involved in individual accounts. If the agency comes with 100 employees, it does not mean all these people will be involved in your account. No matter which way you go, big medium or small, there will be the same amount of individuals involved in your account. In most cases when you decide to go with a larger agency, you will end up dealing with more corporate bureaucracy and spending more time and money for the same work and results.

Be happy with the contract

Best case scenario, ditch the contract. Public Relations is an industry where relationships are built on trust. PR professionals build the bridge between you and your potential customers by connecting your brand with the media thanks to their unique relationship with journalists and influencers. There’s no need for a lengthy contract between you and your PR firm the same way as PR firms do not have contracts with the journalists. The whole industry is built on trust. However, if there is a contract make sure you agree on everything including shipping fees, warehousing, and possible surcharges before you start working together.

Once you are signed up and dusted, I would strongly suggest not to hide company secrets from your PR partners. Get an NDA over to your top pick and tell your new PR friends about your plans. The more they know, the better. Getting them familiar with your weaknesses as well as your strengths allow PR agencies to recommend you the right path toward media success. Your new PR team may want to work on a crisis management solution if they identify a possible fault. Do not become a laughing stock – your CEO and your shareholders will thank you for this decision. Letting your PR team know about potential hiccups can get you prepared for the worse. And last but not least, once you hire the agency, make sure you take advantage of the results they deliver. Share those links on social media and be proud of the awards and positive coverage PR pros deliver for you. And remember, the more you engage with the press, the friendlier they get, at the end of the day, media outlets feature your products and services not to promote your brand but because the story speaks to their audience. Help them grow their audience, and they will do the same for you.

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How to build and maintain a good relationship with PR folks?

You are an influencer; you have a few thousand subscribers on YouTube, or you have a trendy blog, or you work in the media dealing with PR folks on a daily basis, and you have a PR contact who is somehow unhappy with you because you’ve made a comparison of 2 products and you told your audience the other gadget is better. How do you maintain your relationship with this PR agency? Can you afford not to be included in the pitch next time this company releases a new product? Do you want not to be one of the first ten people in the world who review the next top-notch consumer electronics gadget? Companies, such as Apple, tend to avoid working with media representatives who don’t respect or fully understand their brand.

There’s been a lot of discussions about this topic amongst journalists and media influencers. We’ve put a top 6 tips that help reviewers maintain their good relations with PR contacts, without compromising integrity.

The Facts

After all, you’ve been given this product so you can give your honest and non-biased opinion about it. List what makes it better or worse and, if there are things that do not impress you, tell your PR person to accept the article as constructive feedback. Some reviews are excellent guides on how to improve product or service. There’s no shame in this; you are doing your job.

Let your PR person know about your issues

If you are in the middle of a review and the product malfunctions for some reason, don’t go out with a negative review right away. Approach your PR contact and explain what is wrong and give them the opportunity to resolve the issue. You may think there is a problem but most of the times the problem is an either ‘user error’ or it is fixable, or you might have a faulty product that needs replacing.

Stay in touch

Staying in touch is important. PR professionals could sometimes be a little annoying but try to answer all the questions they ask you and do your best to provide as much details as possible. Going silent is not a good strategy if you want to maintain a healthy relationship.

Ask beforehand

Always ask beforehand whether you can keep the sample or not. Experienced PR pros would tell you in advance if this is possible. However, if this is somehow unclear before the arrangement begins, feel free to check whether the sample could stay with you or not, and don’t leave this to the last minute. Most of the times products are limited!

Give an update

If you are doing a comparison test, tell your contact you are making a comparison. Don’t just ask for the sample and then do whatever you want with it, let them know what the purpose of your request is. The more details you provide, the quicker you will get the product.  If you haven’t made up your mind about it yet, let your PR contact know that this is unknown for the time being, but you will notify them as soon as you decide.

Be Honest

Being realistic plays an important role in every relationship. If you want to work with someone for the years to come, both sides will benefit if the relationship is symbiotic and enjoyable. Being honest will never get you in the wrong place.

Staying in touch with everyone and keeping all sides happy at all times can be tricky just like every other relationship, but if you follow the rules listed above, you will be okay. And if they are not happy with you being fair and candid, they are people not worth your time and efforts.

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Panda Security Announces New Multiplatform Cloud-Based Security Solutions

The new products are compatible with all major desktop and mobile OS and fully manageable directly from your account or device

Newport Beach, CA, September 7th, 2016 — Panda security, the world’s leading provider of cloud-based security solutions, today announced new range of products compatible with Windows 10 Anniversary, Android, iOs and Mac. With their latest antivirus and everyday life solutions, Panda Security makes a step forward into their quest for making the digital lives of users safer with light, flexible and reliable multiplatform products that satisfy today’s growing security hunger of the modern world.

The new range of products includes Panda Free Antivirus, Panda Antivirus Pro, Panda Internet Security, Panda Global Protection, Panda Gold Protection and Panda Mobile Security. According to PandaLabs, more than 200,000 new malware samples are discovered daily which confirms that entrusting a security solution that fights against all types of threats: viruses, hackers, online frauds, information theft, and ransomware, is a must, no matter the device or OS you use to stay connected.

Panda is able to protect at all times and on any device by taking advantage of the benefits offered by cloud security. The main characteristics and improvements of these consumer products are enriched user experience as well as updated central management systems, additional anti-theft capacities, and upgraded privacy protection for Android™ devices through application control.

Panda Mobile Security now includes the possibility to sound an alarm in case of theft or loss and enables users to take a photo remotely so the thief can be identified – immediately or when they next touch the screen.

Privacy protection is reinforced with PIN codes that control access to the apps. This will keep hackers away and protect your children from damaging important information should you decide to share your device with them.

“The new range of solutions is designed to offer our clients the best protection on any device without sacrificing user experience.” said Hervé Lambert, the Retail Product Marketing Manager at Panda Security. “We are constantly evolving our products to the newest devices, platforms and operating systems while maintaining high standards on flexibility and stability.”

Designed to offer the best protection with the least impact, the new range of products are constantly updated, guaranteeing that users always have the best solution available.

Panda Security’s products are available now online at www.pandasecurity.com.

 

About Panda Security

Founded in 1990, Panda Security is the world’s leading provider of cloud-based security solutions. With head offices in Spain, the company has direct presence in over 80 countries, products translated into more than 23 languages and millions of customers around the world. The company’s mission is to simplify complexity, creating new and improved solutions to protect users’ digital lives.