One of the greatest opportunities for public relations professionals is in providing content and advice to a seemingly endless range of technology companies. However, new research shows that 62 percent of B2B tech companies are struggling to find writers and communicators who can deliver thought leadership content.
Report from Sonus Public Relations, Deep Thinking: B2B tech marketers share insights into what works – and what doesn’t – for thought leadership, highlights data from the new one Technology Marketing Council. The council is a group of B2B tech marketers who share insights into challenges and issues. More than 60 marketers worldwide were surveyed for this report.
While 92 percent of B2B tech marketers believe thought leadership content is a priority, two-thirds admit that their biggest challenge is finding writers who understand and communicate technology well.
“There is no question that B2B tech marketers face unique challenges … creating thought leadership, largely because there is often a gap between subject matter experts who really understand the technology and the writers who try to produce the content” said Denise Culver research director and author of the report.
“This becomes even more of a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts when you consider that respondents say that ideas for thought leadership most often come from product marketing teams and the C-suite.”
The two key content styles that drive lead generation for B2B tech marketers are case studies (61 percent) and technical thought leadership (41 percent), according to the study.
A major challenge for communicators is to translate technical terminology into universally understandable language.
“I think the biggest challenge and opportunity for tech PR is to do what we call ‘geek-to-human’, translation, which means you take some dense and technical content and translate it into a language, that the audience understands, ”said Martin Smith, Sonus CEO.
And Smith believes this doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Communicators, he said, have the tools to generate this content.
“It’s actually a lot of fun because you have to use storytelling techniques and metaphors to communicate a concept,” he said. “It’s easy to be dazzled by the technology and take it at face value that the target audience actually understands. As tech PR and marketing practitioners, we need to have the confidence to impart the virtues of simplicity to engineering-minded people in tech companies so that the messages can move forward and reach more people. “
In addition, 51 percent said it was a challenge to find company stakeholders who could communicate well with non-technical writers. And 44 percent find it difficult to move content quickly through the development and approval process.
Smith said that while there is a limited pool of people who understand technology and can write about technology fluently, it is an opportunity for public relations professionals to take on a new challenge.
“The PR industry is brimming with good authors. And as an industry, we are perfectly positioned to support more content creation, ”he said. “Content is content, regardless of whether it is 350 words or 5,000 words. We have adopted a lot of extensive content such as eBooks and the results have been excellent. Some retraining needs to be done, and there is certainly a reason to have dedicated writers on the team who have the focus and scope to take on larger projects, but it’s absolutely doable because we’ve been there and done that . “
Nicole Schuman is Senior Editor at PRNEWS. Follow her @buffalogal