Perhaps during no other time in the history of the world has such an explosion of emerging technologies occurred. The earliest technologies emerged slowly, taking root over centuries. Then, the Industrial Age quickened the pace with the introduction of society’s cornerstone technologies. Today, the rate of new technologies has increased exponentially — an entire economy depends on daily innovations from the brightest and best entrepreneurial and scientific minds.

As a result, for the first time, mainstream business reporters are actively seeking stories from the earliest stages of an emerging technology’s development. While competition for attention is fierce, real interest exists. That’s why today’s emerging tech companies should learn all they can about public relations, as early as possible. Exposure in the right places can leverage a great technology into additional awareness, funding and success in the marketplace.

Getting Started
PR works best when the program is customized for that company’s particular needs and goals. Every program should differ from all others. However, there are some general steps to take to get started. Following these steps will help companies build a strong foundation for their program, ultimately leading to the kind of momentum crucial to success.

Before any PR program is put into place, companies need to develop the strategic positioning that will help them understand how their company is positioned within its particular industry sector. Strategic positioning looks at such issues as how the company stacks up against competitors, how its technology differs, why it’s better, what market segments it is pursuing, etc. The answers to these and other questions help a company determine the key message points used to communicate to the world, including during media interviews, at investor meetings, at sales meetings, on collateral materials, and more. In short, this positioning solidifies the company’s entire outreach, including its PR program.

Another initial activity is the creation of clear, concise, cohesive collateral materials. These are tools that will be used to communicate the messages and may include the company Web site, corporate and product brochures, corporate presentations, media kits, etc. A PR program, without proper positioning and the creation of collateral tools, often fails to achieve its goals.

A single Web site can’t possibly discuss all there is to know about public relations for emerging technology companies. Nevertheless, we will discuss a few topics here in a bit more detail to help you gain a better understanding of how various PR strategies can provide tremendous benefits for your company. Investment spending on PR can be one of the most cost-effective expenditures. This section will take a closer look at: Publicity Tools & Strategies, What PR Is (& What It Isn’t), and Using the Internet for PR.

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