Gitex – its a word that conjures up excitement, dread and sometimes sheer panic. This year it comes just after public Eid holidays – not the best timing. For those in TechPR (and in Tech publication for that matter), this can be (and often is) the busiest time of the year. For tech clients, without PR agencies or a dedicate PR person, its a juggling act to get your voice heard while balancing your marketing budgets – a large chunk of which gets spent on and around the stand.
Here are some PR tips and ideas that you can use (if you don’t have an agency or dedicated PR person).
- Prepare your Gitex message early: A lot of the media (especially non-technical media) are probably not ready but you could have a generic profile of your position, key message etc, ready at least two months before the show. This means that when the organisers send you a reminder of the free inclusion in their Gitex preview emailed to their entire database of visitors to previous shows, you are present in this edition. The team that puts together this edition shares an overall questionnaire so that its easier for the exhibitor and they can create the right story based on input.
- Information access: Make it easy for editors and reporters to use and access your information. Keep a media pack ready at your stand. Make sure its digital – on a USB or (if you’re old fashioned) a CD. Print is not interesting for them anymore. Make sure there is information about your company, the key spokesperson, any news items and photographs that they can use in print as well as in digital format.
- Update your media database: There are only a handful of publishing houses covering technology. A few new portals have sprung up recently and are worthy of attention. Don’t dust off last year’s database. Update it or go to CisionPoint and check out the database there. You can use their services too for distributing your press releases, news stories, getting the most up-to-date media list, etc.
- Using the technology media: This is a key time for them and, trust me, most of their content is sorted way ahead. You should try and become part of their features – contribute towards them; send them news stories in advance (under embargo – most editors respect that) to be included in either the Gitex dailies or in their October issues. Get interviews in advance to get into the pre-Gitex issues (you’re a bit late for the print publications) or the Gitex issues (that’s closing soon too).
- Manage your expectations: During Gitex, the editors are swamped. The Gitex dailies are more interested in getting real news stuff to cover so your little product launch will get lost in the noise that is Gitex unless you are a huge name in the business or your technology is earth-shattering. Get real with your expectations. Do something gimmicky to get their attention.
Of course (sorry, cannot resist the plug) and we could help you.