IT channel partner companies are uniquely positioned in the industry. Because they lie somewhere between a service business and a product business that they represent and even sell for, this presents an interesting challenge when it comes to PR and securing media coverage for the brand.
On the one hand, your company is connected to major players in the IT space like Microsoft, Dell, and Salesforce, which should ideally give you leverage. But on the other hand, because your company operates as a reseller and doesn’t usually have a proprietary product to promote, you may feel that media opportunities are limited.
Fear not — there are several ways for IT channel partners to position themselves as credible players in the IT industry and earn their share in the market. Here are Swyft’s top PR tips for IT channel partners.
Arguably one of the best PR opportunities for IT channel partners is their connection to major partners, so leveraging these partnerships is the first step in improving your PR strategy and potentially securing media coverage. Look for ways to get your IT channel partner brands to endorse or publicly approve your company. This can be done by mentioning your company in their promotional materials or relevant press releases, or even making a joint announcement regarding a product or solutions launch.
Your IT channel company can also seek to gain premium status within a channel. For example, by becoming the Premier Consulting Partner for AWS or a Gold partner with Microsoft. Though there are several factors that go into achieving this sort of status, it’s key to keep PR in mind when working toward these goals as partnering with major brands can help your company increase its brand awareness in the market.
Share major milestones
Regardless of industry, newsworthy company milestones are often valuable opportunities for media coverage. For IT channel partners, this type of milestone may be hitting a major sales goal or reaching a significant growth level. Or even bigger news such as creating a channel specific product that’s built around an IT solution or acquiring another IT consulting company. On the local media front, another newsworthy opportunity for IT channel partners would be if your company is expanding into a new geographic market.
Whether you share the news through a press release that’s sent out over a wire or you work with a tech PR agency who will lead media outreach, it’s a good idea to keep media opportunities top of mind whenever you’re working toward reaching these milestone moments.
One challenge that IT channel partner companies may run into when seeking to improve their brand awareness in the market is on the customer side. Customers don’t always want to be included in promotional material, whether that’s due to contract limitations or because they’d rather keep vendor relations behind the scenes. But for IT channel partners, sharing customer wins and testimonials can be a valuable way to beef up your media pitches, so it’s important to try to find a way around this.
When acquiring a new customer, negotiate their involvement in any potential PR opportunities into your contract. This can include using their company name in your promotional materials, displaying their logo on your website, or even getting quotes from a key stakeholder for use in a press release.
Find and share data
Tech media loves data. So what better way to garner their attention than by sharing insightful data with them? Your IT channel partner company may have intriguing numbers behind your solutions or customer wins, in which case they could be used in a media pitch. But if you don’t, one way to retrieve media-worthy data is to survey industry professionals you serve.
If your company creates solutions for Salesforce DevOps, for example, you could conduct a survey of DevOps professionals on where they see the industry going, future spending opportunities, or any other insight into the industry such as DevSecOps. You can then package up the survey results into a press release or other content marketing pieces (like a blog post and an infographic), and share the findings with tech journalists.
Not only will this data position your company as a credible industry expert, but it can increase the likelihood of securing media coverage as the data is proprietary. This means you can offer an exclusive opportunity to publications who want to share it.
Make it visual
IT may not be the most visually interesting business, but there are ways around that. To create more engaging visual elements for your brand, it’s key to leverage existing data to create shareable infographics. These infographics can then be shared with tech media outlets as well as through your company’s channels like LinkedIn, the company blog, and social media.
It’s also a good idea to include visuals in your media assets like press releases and pitches. Even if you don’t have a product to promote, you can include images of company founders, executives, or the team in order to humanize the brand and make it a bit more personal.