Prowly #PRChat with Katerina Antonova, Founder and CEO at Aeris PR Agency

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The best way to start the day is to hear good news, and luckily we have some for you! #PRChats are back, meaning you can take five whenever you are — at work, on the bus, or at home, and take a moment to read a short exchange between Prowly’s team and our new guest — Katerina Antonova

As a CEO at Aeris PR with over 10 years of expertise in tech communications, Katerina specializes in developing brand awareness for startups around the world. Through her work, she supports female entrepreneurship through her international ‘Womenpreneur club,’ a community for successful businesswomen.

In this chat we asked her about the peculiarities of doing PR for tech companies, the differences in PR strategies for startups and mature companies, emerging industry trends, and more, so keep on reading!

1. What is exceptional about doing PR for tech companies?

There is a big difference between PR for a tech startup and, for example, a beauty brand. PR in different industries has its own features. To work PR in tech, you have to understand the tech industry, know the journalists and editors covering this topic, and be aware of trends and topics that are discussed by its community. Tech startups need to create trust and credibility because reputation in this industry is crucial. 

The tech industry is all about innovative services and new technologies, which have to be explained to the public. What it is about and how it works and why it is relevant right now. You need to know how to explain complicated and sometimes boring technical things in a clear and simple manner.

Also, what sets tech apart from other market niches is its very high development pace, and we have to adapt to that in order to stay current.

2. Why did you choose to focus your PR activities on technology brands?

I have a Master’s degree in Public Relations, and when I was in my second year at university, I got hired by a tech startup as a PR manager. And I immediately fell in love with the IT world! It is very inspiring to work with people who are doing innovative things. I love tech, robotics, AI, fantastic movies, and everything about the future, so I couldn’t have imagined something more fascinating for me.

3. How does creating a PR strategy for startups differ from doing it for mature companies?

In a startup, you have a great deal of freedom and can do almost anything you want because you don’t need to get multiple approvals for each step you want to take. This means that you can be more creative and bolder, and what is really important, all processes are usually much faster. This includes communication, approvals, edits, etc.

4. What trends do you see in PR that you’re excited about?

I love seeing the trend toward sincere communication. For example, stories of failure or struggle are more and more popular now. Sharing experiences and getting away from inauthentic representations is as important as ever in the post-pandemic, politically, and socially challenging times that we’re living through today. In order to have true and effective contact with our audience, we need to be honest and foster human connections.

Another trend that I see is the use of technology in PR work. I believe the best way to go about it is to complement human efforts with the latest software that helps us focus on the creative part of our job, not on the boring parts.

For example, AI technologies are booming and allow us to collect relevant emails or monitor the news and analyze public sentiments. I am very skeptical about technology replacing people in communications; as of now, I am sure that the human element is essential in providing high-quality PR services.

By the way, if you’re planning to start using AI in your company, make sure to do it ethically – and you can learn it from this guide.

5. How do you stay in the know about your media contacts and their beat?

By using Twitter and LinkedIn, I have all the news in my feed daily. And I absolutely have a habit of checking where a journalist works and whether they have changed their beat before sending them a new pitch each time.

6. Speaking of technology — do you use any software tools in your day-to-day work?

My favorite go-to tools are:

  • Zoom — I have a lot of calls and work remotely;
  • Notion — is an absolutely wonderful tool to store information and present it to people in all kinds of formats;
  • Miro — is my favorite collaborative whiteboard platform;
  • Dilims — this app helps me to plan my communication with partners and clients around the world by providing visibility of our time differences;
  • Be Focused — this tool helps me stay more productive.