Many of us remember the annoying but successful, “You-might-be-a-redneck” jokes by comedian Jeff Foxworthy that were popular in the early to mid-1990s. While grating, they were indeed helpful in determining if one was, in fact, a member of this social group. (I’m not even going to link to a YouTube video of this bit. It’s terrible.)
Most of these one-liners, however amusing, are great at pointing out the idiosyncrasies of people, and the same sort of group identification can be used for people in all walks of life, including those in B-to-B tech PR. We’re a special group, and while there aren’t many things that can be said about our industry in one line, here are a few signs that you are in B-to-B tech PR:
1. You speak acronym: It’s pretty safe to say that B-to-B tech PR people are fluent in acronyms. We know the benefits of SMNRs, can describe a SMT, speak with CIOs, CMOs and CEOs, understand the DMAs of the major regions of the country and may slip SWOTs, SOWs, SOV, ROI and any other countless number of acronyms into a single conversation. And these don’t even include the client- and industry-specific terms we’re expected to use day-in and day-out. Acronyms aren’t just there…they’re our LANGUAGE.
2. You love flexing your industry intelligence muscles: We’re all expected to be very familiar with not only our clients, but also their respective industries. B-to-B tech PR pros can usually talk intelligently about at least four completely unrelated industries at a party or networking event. Furthermore, we often slip client key messages into those conversations to talk about industry-specific current affairs with the people we meet. And be honest, how many of us can claim that we haven’t used this knowledge to impress our friends? I sure have…
3. You know that a major product launch always gets pushed out at least once: Consumers who don’t happen to be B-to-B PR pros don’t know that a product’s announcement could be moved back at least once (often multiple times) due to product changes and adjustments to the messaging. It’s just another walk in the park for B-to-B PR people. Fortunately we know the best way to handle a delay: take down the new date, consider the deliverables and, simply, adjust. Deep down, however, we mostly handle it like this.
4. You talk about tech reporters and editors like you’re old buddies (even when you’re not): When you’ve got a mental rolodex of all the editors, contributors, bloggers and columnists at the main tech publications, like eWeek, InformationWeek and Computerworld, then you’re a PR person. But if you can recall within seconds personal details about some of their editors and use them in a pitch, or if you regularly drop their names in conversations with your coworkers and act like you attend each other’s cookouts, then you’re in B-to-B tech PR!
5. Your proofreading skills bleed into your personal life: We all know the difference between using “their,” “there” and “they’re,” so how come no one else does? More often than not, TV shows, commercials, signs and other forms of communication include grammar that make us crazy (Oh really? The department store sale includes over 100 items? You’re telling me that the “sale” is physically above 100 items? It’s “more than”! I really don’t know how my wife puts up with me…). While you may not have such a strong reaction to incorrect grammar in public, if you at least notice it, you’re in B-to-B tech PR.
So there’s probably a bunch of other signs that you’re in B-to-B tech PR. If you can think of any, leave them in the comments below.
But if you’re looking through this list and find yourself checking off characteristics about yourself, get in touch. We’re looking for strong PR pros with B-to-B tech experience. Visit the Careers page of our website and send in your resume. We’d love to speak with you.