Cross-posted on Flack’s Revenge
Dorothy Crenshaw wrote a nice post about the decline of the tech PR launch on the Impressions blog. She writes Some former colleagues in tech PR and I were talking recently about the “good old days” when nearly every tech launch included a splashy press conference. Today, not so much. In my book, that’s a good thing. Lavish press conferences… have always struck me as a lazy strategy. But launches have changed…
She goes on to list the reasons, such as a changing media landscape, and increassing emphasis on software, consumer tech, startups, and closer oversight of the spend by VCs.
I agree that the tech PR launch is not what it used to be, but at Fusion PR we have stopped thinking about launches as one-shot, Big Bang events long ago. It is for the reasons she lists, but also due to an increasingly noisy media/social media environment in which a burst of coverage is just not as impactful (also, most of our clients are startups – very rarely have they relied on press conferences, even going back to the start of the agency, during the dot-com era when VC dollars and PR fees flowed more freely).
For many of our clients, a launch is not just a debut, it’s a process that occurs over a period of time, and involves a number of related steps. Sure, it may start with a major announcement or unveiling, but rarely is that enough to really launch a company or product.
Also, while her point “software [which is less tangible and visible] trumps hardware” may have been true at one point, this is changing. What about the all of the excitement and buzz about maker culture (typified by the creativity behind Arduino, Raspberry Pi) Google Nest, wearable tech, 3D printers, connected cars, etc.?
Anyway, Crenshaw’s larger point is well taken, I enjoyed reading it and appreciate the chance to chime in on the changing nature of tech PR launches.