Creative Strategizing in Tech PR, As Told by the Pros

by Shana Azani

Krista Sparks Kiner and Eddie Garcia provided words of Tech PR wisdom at the “PR on the Grid” panel during the PRSSA Cal State Fullerton Regional Conference (NextGenPR).

After the young and hungry students filed into a nondescript auditorium with fluorescent lighting in the Student Union, Krista Sparks Kiner and Eddie Garcia were introduced to the crowd. Throughout the hour they both gave personal accounts of what working at an agency, more specifically on tech accounts, is really like.

Kiner, an Account Director at Finn Partners, has multiple tech accounts and explained that every client has very different needs. To accommodate specific needs, Finn Partners tailor a team that best suits each need addressed by the client.

Creative strategies are planned and implemented in advance to maximize the client’s results. “The pace of tech PR changes so fast, what happens within different campaign strategies has to change constantly,” said Kriner.

In tech PR finding the right methods of communication and the right words to say are also keys to the success of any campaign strategy. Tech specifications and jargon can be difficult for regular consumers to understand, but as the key communicator, you must be up to the task. The panel posed the question, “How do you explain something to someone that doesn’t exist?”

As Senior Media Manager for Nintendo of America at Golin, Garcia shared that even though he dedicates his time to one account he has to take many things into consideration when developing a new campaign. As a professional communicator, you must not only be a creative translator, but also a detective who finds the perfect media match and a great writer.

It takes a lot of practice to wear all hats simultaneously, but Garcia recommends the best way to do so is through internship experience and to “Get your foot in the door.” He continued with, “Don’t take no for an answer. You are going to get a lot of no’s before you get a yes.” Garcia added that every great approach is backed by research, so have it ready.

Both Kiner and Garcia covered the importance of having strong connections with key journalists and providing exclusive stories and previews. They said these relationships are helpful when a client decides to abruptly pivot a product in an unforeseen direction or has a scoop that needs to be released quietly. Sending members of the media new tech or inviting them to an exclusive launch event where they are the first to experience a client’s product have also been success pitch strategies for Kiner and Garcia.

You never fully know how a client’s product will be received, but by taking the right steps and tailoring the elements of a campaign to suit your client’s needs based on strong research will set you up for success.