I’ve been to some tech PR events for the past few months and I realise that not everyone in the public relations and marketing know how to handle the tech bloggers and geeks very well. So, not in any particular order, here are some of my thoughts that some events I attended actually made me happy.
1. Let each person have the actual gadget/device/software/product to play with.
I think this is important when introducing or launching a new technology or product. We’re geeks and if you don’t even have your product for us to try out and play with, it really defeats the purpose of us attending your PR event. We came to see something that we’re interested to write about, not some marketing BS.
2. Less Marketing, More Tech.
Traditional media usually write because they (hopefully) have the passion to write (full stop). Whereas for bloggers and social (or new) media, we tend to write because we have the passion in the things we write about. We do not report, but we write about our opinions, why we like certain products and why not, without any of that marketing BS you give us. So we’re pretty much unaffected by fancy words and flashy strategies. We just want to get into the nitty gritty details as soon as possible. We do want to understand certain rationale behind certain decisions too.
3. Be honest.
I think this tends to be the same for all around. We’re a forgiving group of people, different from the traditional media where the “scoop sensation” is what they are after. If you’re honest, be it about a mistake or not reading our blog, we’ll understand perfectly well. If you don’t know, just say you don’t know. But if you’re dishonest and we find out, we do not forgive all that easily for that.
4. Listen to our feedback and what we have to say.
The serious hardcore geeks always have feedback about any product that they are passionate with. We’re probably the one group of people you’ll find that cares for the product enough to want to improve it. So listen to us and take notes. We do not expect every feedback to be fulfilled, but at least we like to know we’ve been heard.
5. Give us the freedom to do anything with the product (except destroying it of course).
We try everything we can to find what we love and what we hate. Most PR events tell us what we should love, but none tell us what we should hate (and of course you can’t). So we love to figure out everything from scratch and ask for help later on. Do not try to lead us along unless we ask for it.
6. Do not ask us to post press releases and tell us what we can or should post.
Ultimate do not do. We do not look kindly to people who tell us to do these things.
7. Provide a conducive environment to talk and discuss.
I realise some PR events have lots of fancy flashy lights and loud music to impress. But frankly speaking, the best PR event I like the most is a place where we can discuss and talk about the product. Have that one-on-one personal time with the product. Tell us the product, and we ask you some questions. But please, make it conducive. You don’t have to spend a lot in order to get us engaged. Brightly lit places are great for looking at products and playing with it.
8. Be casual and have fun.
It really painful to meet a PR person that’s uptight, stressed out and not enjoying the event that he/she hosts. If you enjoy the event and have fun, we’ll also enjoy the event and have fun.
9. Provide us with the media kit that contains every detail we need, including photos.
Yes, some of us do not have cameras. Better still, send these through email so we can access the media kit from anywhere.
10. Learn and know your product.
If not, get someone who knows your product well enough to answer a majority of the questions thrown. We love technologies, and we have lots of questions about that technology. Remember, honesty is always good. Admit if you don’t know the answer and get back to us with the answers.