Technology PR is back… just a little slower

Welcome back to everyone who was celebrating Thanksgiving yesterday – amazing how fast the Internet was yesterday 🙂

Some good news to kick off the run to Christmas. It looks like Technology PR is back in recovery mode after three very tough years.

A recent story in PR Week took a look at the Technology Sector and in particular Technology agencies.  The findings were interesting.  While no one wants to proclaim a turnaround, the recent strong US economic figures and the ad hoc PR Week survey (see below) both point to healthier times ahead.

Of course the landscape has changed since the heady days of the late nineties.  Clients want more value, it’s still a buyer’s market and business development tends to take a lot longer these days.  But given the bloodshed in the sector over the past couple of years that’s a small price to pay.

My one criticism of the PR Week piece is that they continue to ignore the smaller tech agencies and the in-house crew.  I’d be interested in the views of both of these vital constituents.

The PR Week Tech PR survey polled a host of US technology PR firms including: A&R Partners, Access Communications, Antenna Group, Citigate Cunningham, Connect PR, ContentOne, Edelman, Greenough Communications, The Hoffman Agency, Horn Group, Lewis PR, McGrath/Power, O’Keeffe & Company, OutCast Communications, Ruder Finn, Sterling Communications, Sparkpr, Text 100, Topaz Partners, and Waggener Edstrom.

The findings were interesting:

 Tech Billings over the past year have grown for sixteen of the agencies (status quo for three and down for one)

 From November 2002 to April 2003 these agencies averaged five new clients, from April 2003 to November 2003 that figure has jumped to an average of ten new clients.

“Tech is coming back,” declares Luca Penati, EVP and GM of Edelman’s Silicon Valley office. “There’s no doubt in my mind. I remember when [Sun Microsystems CEO] Scott McNealy said [the downturn] was like someone turned off the lights. I think someone has turned the lights back on, but they’re using a dimmer.”