The technology recovery isn't in place just yet…

Talking with a variety of people with a vested interest in the health of the technology business, you get the feeling that there is a little bit of guarded optimisim in the air.  Things seem to be lightening somewhat, but we aren’t out of the woods yet.

Customers are still nervous and the technology business still hasn’t recovered its credibility from the excesses of the Internet doom. In the meantime, other indicators such as IT advertising continue to lag.

By way of illustration, Mike Manuel points to a CNET story on how there are plans afoot to make further in the technology coverage in many of the largest newspapers.

“A survey of newspaper reading habits from the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) published last year (but drawing on data from early 2003) found that science and technology sections drew in just 22 percent of adult newspaper readers. That put the category just ahead of the last place finisher–fashion–and well behind general news, the leader with 70 percent.”

So while things are improving, the technology business isn’t driving interest like it did back when everyone was scared of missing the Internet gold rush. This inertia affects everyone in the technology business, from industry behemoths such as Microsoft and IBM to mid-size vendors, start-ups and all the tertiary industries that count on the technology business for significant revenue… PR being one.

On this very point, Tim Dyson ponders whether the larger technology firms should be marketing the industry as well as their organization:

“Of course the other way of looking at it is to say the tech industry, which is the most competitive industry on the planet, needs to do better PR not for each company but for the industry itself. The tech industry is huge and will get a heck of a lot bigger in the next decade. Growth rates may not be in the 100% range but it will outgrow the GDP of every developed nation of that I�m sure. With such a healthy long term outlook the market ought to be backing the industry. In the coming months the larger tech companies should, in my view, start to consider doing PR not just for themselves but the industry at large. Perhaps then Wall Street will start to pay some positive attention.”

Interesting idea.  What’s for sure is that any plans for that start-up launch where you rent central park for the day, hire U2 to entertain 250,000 guests and paint every New York cab purple for the day, should probably be put on ice till next year. Oh and don’t forget to send me an invitation….