2024 SaaS PR Predictions: Navigating Data and Brand Trust

From guiding communication around the war in Ukraine and the Silicon Valley Bank collapse to navigating the launch of Threads, 2023 was a big year for the PR industry. Throughout it all, our leadership team was involved in countless conversations to help guide our clients and team as we watched the industry — and world — evolve.

Here’s what several of our leaders predict for the industry in 2024 based on what they saw this year, from changes in how PR pros approach media relations to our tools taking new form.

PR will focus on the message over everything.

In 2024, PR professionals will shift their focus from the medium to the message. While securing media coverage for our clients remains a core responsibility, we must expand our horizons beyond traditional editorial publications. By crafting compelling narratives and aligning them with both owned and earned mediums — company blogs, LinkedIn posts, contributor profiles, and so on — we can orchestrate more impactful campaigns. This strategic approach will not only enhance the reach and resonance of our messaging but also establish our clients as industry thought leaders with the audiences that matter. Kim Jefferson, EVP

Data pitching will need to evolve.

In the current data-saturated landscape, data alone no longer holds the power to captivate attention or establish industry authority. Data is now table stakes, and we must act like it when pitching it to the media. To ensure your data report escapes the cacophony of information overload and truly resonates with journalists, you must now look to data released in partnership with other brands, vendor-neutral reports and larger sample sizes to set your data apart. Kelsey Sowder, VP of PR

Communications will move beyond awareness generation.

The role of communications has evolved beyond mere awareness generation. While securing prominent media placements remains valuable, the true power of communications lies in fostering brand trust. In a world brimming with skepticism, buyers are increasingly discerning, preferring to conduct their own research and rely on trusted sources for recommendations. Their decisions are guided by data, gut instincts, and the opinions of those they respect.

Amidst this shift, communications can serve as a bridge, enabling brands to establish themselves as credible sources of reliable information, insights and best practices. By consistently delivering valuable content, brands can cultivate affinity and loyalty among their target audience, ultimately translating into increased customer acquisition. Communications will take its rightful place as a strategic instrument for building trust and driving business growth in the year ahead. Grace Williams, SVP of PR

X looks at an untimely demise.

The mass exodus of media and brands from X, once known as Twitter, is a troubling sign for the platform’s future. Companies are hesitant to invest in advertising on X because of concerns about reputational damage. The risk of impersonators tarnishing their brand image is simply too high. Moreover, a HubSpot report recently indicated that Twitter offers one of the lowest ROIs among social media platforms. Taken together, these factors suggest that X’s time may be drawing to a close as brands seek more secure and effective avenues for reaching their target audience. Jake Doll, VP of PR

BLASTmedia Honored Within PRNEWS’ Agency Elite Top 100 for Second Consecutive Year

B2B SaaS PR agency spotlighted as one of the most innovative PR and communication firms in the world

INDIANAPOLIS — November 28, 2023 — BLASTmedia, the only PR agency dedicated to B2B SaaS, has been named to the Agency Elite Top 100 list by PRNEWS for the second consecutive year. The Agency Elite Top 100 is the most comprehensive guide of the top 100 most innovative PR, marketing and communications firms in the business.

“We not only want BLASTmedia to set the standard for SaaS PR, but for the PR and communications industry as a whole,” said BLASTmedia President Lindsey Groepper. “Being named to the Agency Elite Top 100 for the second consecutive year validates our team’s innovative thinking and tenacity to tackle the evolving communications landscape. We aren’t afraid to experiment or evolve a best practice — we embrace growing through change.”

According to PRNEWS, the list is designed to demonstrate the wide range of industry specializations and core capabilities that PR, marketing, and communications encompass, recognizing the top agencies across multiple segments and channels.

On top of the PRNEWS Agency Elite 100, BLASTmedia has been acknowledged as a leader in the industry through multiple recognitions over the last year, including being named a Leader on the first G2 grid for PR firms and receiving PR Daily’s Top Agencies award. The agency has also received recognition for its exceptional culture and employee experience, including being named one of Inc. Magazine’s Fastest Growing Private Companies for the second consecutive year, Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces for 2023, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Best Places to Work list for the 8th consecutive year and nominated for the Mira Awards Exceptional Employer Award by TechPoint.

For more information about BLASTmedia and its services, please visit www.blastmedia.com/our-services.

About BLASTmedia

Established in 2005, BLASTmedia is the only PR agency in the US dedicated to B2B SaaS, representing companies from growth-stage to publicly traded. BLASTmedia understands the unique challenges associated with scaling a SaaS business and uses media coverage and thought leadership campaigns to impact four primary pillars: investors, employees, partners, and customers.

A Retrospective on Four Years of SaaS Predictions

Predictions season has been a large part of our SaaS clients’ Q4 and Q1 plans for five years. Having tracked the numbers over those years, I thought it’d be prudent to review our results ahead of 2024’s predictions season.

The first thing I learned? It’s getting harder to secure predictions coverage. We peaked in 2020 at about five pieces of coverage per client, after which our results started to decline. While this could look discouraging, our clients still receive about three pieces of coverage each season. 

As we gear up for the 2024 predictions season — no, I’m not crazy for thinking ahead, considering we ramp up for predictions as early as August — here are the learnings we’ll use to inform our approach.

Learning #1: Ratio of PRs to journalists has increased. So…

(*Muckrack estimates there are 6.2 PR people for every journalist)

A. your predictions have to be punchier than ever to stand out

Bland, vanilla, mild…no, I’m not talking about food. I’m talking about uninteresting quotes that never garner coverage. It’s common for subject matter experts (SMEs) to be wary of taking a strong stance for fear of being wrong. But that’s the beauty of predictions: they’re just that — an informed guess about the future! I’m not saying SMEs should make wild statements just for coverage’s sake. But, I am saying SMEs should get more comfortable taking a stance that may be unheard of or unpopular. 

Here’s an example I love from Authenticx CEO Amy Brown. It’s bold, punchy, and calls out a prevalent issue in the healthcare industry. 

“We don’t have a lack of data in healthcare. We have a value-realization problem with the data we already have. I foresee a greater investment in solutions that digest unstructured data in ways that give you much better eyes and ears into the state of your business and the state of your patient experience.”

B. there are fewer opportunities in general

This is an unfortunate truth, but it’s par for the course as more companies wise up to the importance of thought leadership. Media outlets have also fallen victim to our current economic situation, with outlets like Adweek, Insider and NBC letting go of significant portions of their newsrooms. Meanwhile, other outlets like Protocol and Buzzfeed News have folded completely. 

Long story short, there are fewer opportunities and more competition.

Learning #2: Get buy-in for participation from a wide bench of spokespeople

As media continues to prioritize commentary from first-hand practitioners, C-suite executives and other director-level spokespeople become prime resources to tap for media opportunities. These SMEs have boots on the ground and can accurately assess what’s next in their respective fields.

Check out this hot take from someone outside the C-suite, Scott Register, vice president of security solutions at Keysight Technologies.

“Deepfake technology to date has resulted in political confusion, internet chatter, and some amusing mashup videos, but expect this to change in the near term. Security experts have warned for years about the possibility of social engineering attacks with deepfakes, and the technology has matured enough for 2023 to see hackers successfully leverage it. We will see an increase in image generation, generated audio, and conversations that appear realistic, designed to trick recipients into sharing personal data or other sensitive information. The deepfake threat isn’t relegated solely to consumers; we’ll likely see threat actors spoof a Fortune 100 CEO in an attempt to defraud or otherwise damage the organization.

Learning #3: Content continues to be a great way to secure predictions coverage

More than half –– 60 percent –– of our SaaS PR predictions coverage was contributed content. Another observation: most of our content coverage ran during the latter half of the predictions season, with quotes and interviews predominantly running in Q4 2022.

Although a balance of predictions coverage is ideal (from quotes to features and beyond), content is a fantastic way to control messaging and tell a story. Plus, it extends the life of a predictions campaign. The more content created and placed, the greater the extension of the campaign. One final thought: the greater incidence of content could be related to Learning #1 –– smaller newsrooms and more PRs for every journalist, which translates to quicker wins from contributed content.

Our plan forward

To optimize our efforts during prediction season, it’d be beneficial to use the same approach for pitching quotes and features when pitching contributed content: secure a request before building out the prediction. Additionally, in 2024, we’ll aim to secure at least one contributed content prediction piece per client. By taking these steps, we can optimize our time and effort dedicated to predictions campaigns.

If you’re a journalist, join the conversation. What do you think about prediction pieces? And if you’re a client, ask us how we can maximize this campaign for you.

The Power of Storytelling in SaaS Leadership

When we think about the art of storytelling, we might remember a favorite novel and how its author wove a tale of wonder, skillfully drawing us in and creating characters we loved (or hated). And on rare occasions, we may find ourselves enchanted by a lush tale that leaves us wanting more when we close the cover.

Storytelling isn’t reserved for a good book or movie, though. SaaS marketers use storytelling regularly to drive home key messages, capture and keep customer loyalty and differentiate their brand from the competition. 

But have you thought about storytelling’s impact on SaaS leadership? It plays a massive role in driving employee buy-in and engagement. Storytelling also connects to branding, change management, strategy development, values, vision work and more.

Adding storytelling to your SaaS leadership toolbox

Some SaaS leaders may think of themselves as devoid of storytelling abilities, but I believe it’s a skill they can learn. It’s a skill every leader should hone because when they tell a good story, they become more effective at:

  • Introducing new ideas.
  • Communicating their vision.
  • Shifting employee mindsets.
  • Winning over clients, teams and other stakeholders.
  • Inspiring audiences — and so much more.

Tap into emotions

Sharing narratives evoking emotions like empathy, excitement and humor allows you to establish personal connections and build trust with your audience. People who feel emotionally connected to their leaders are more likely to feel motivated, loyal and willing to follow their vision.

Explain and clarify

Want your people to remember your message? Tell a story. It’s much more memorable than statistics, facts or abstract concepts. A story offers the perfect vehicle to explain and clarify abstract concepts! Presenting information in a narrative format provides a context for people to understand and retain your message’s key points. You enhance your communication’s effectiveness and ensure your message resonates with listeners over time.

Champion your vision

Sharing personal anecdotes or illustrating real-life examples empowers you to paint a vivid picture of the core values and beliefs guiding your decision-making. Helping your employees understand and align with your vision fosters a sense of shared purpose and enhances collaboration and commitment to common goals.

Inspire and drive transformation

Leaders often face the challenge of driving transformation or overcoming resistance to change. By sharing stories highlighting the benefits of change — or positive, achievable outcomes — we can create a sense of urgency and motivate our teams or employees to embrace new ideas and approaches. Stories inspire during challenging times, reminding people of past successes or illustrating the resilience and determination required to overcome obstacles.

Define culture and identity

Storytelling also plays a vital role in shaping an organization’s culture and identity. You can use stories to establish a shared narrative defining the organization’s traditions, history and values. 

Sharing stories celebrating past achievements, lessons learned and defining moments reinforces a sense of identity and fosters a culture that values innovation, collaboration — or other traits you deem essential. With these stories, you will communicate your organization’s mission and brand — internally and externally — to create a sense of shared purpose and attract like-minded people.

Characteristics of effective storytelling

  1. Know your audience

You might share the same story across your organization, but delivering an identical message to your managers, teams and individual contributors, new hires and veteran employees won’t land as well as tailoring one to each audience. 

Start by talking to people informally because it’s much easier to learn what worries or motivates them or what piques their curiosity. When you know your audience, you can more easily infuse your story with examples and specific language, speaking directly to their concerns and questions. 

  1. Ground your story in context

Imagine rolling out a new initiative but not explaining the reasoning behind it. Your employees might see it as a random initiative from the top — but if you show how it fits into your company’s broader vision, you’ll likely get more buy-in. Why? Because people will see the genesis of the changes, their necessity and how they contribute to future strategy. 

  1. Humanize your story

We’re all drawn to stories — especially personal anecdotes, which humanize abstract notions, help you reframe objective claims or drive home a point. And you don’t have to be your story’s hero, either. Sometimes showing your fallibility is more effective. After all, being great is… great, but it’s not always relatable. As Tyra Banks wrote, “Perfect is boring.” 

  1. Make your story action-oriented

If you want people to understand your story — and empower them to take action from it — focus on what you want your audience to do after they hear it. Offer practical advice and clear direction because specifics reduce anxiety. When you help people understand a change in company direction, for example, and how those changes relate to them, it’s much easier for them to set and work toward their goals.

  1. Stay authentic and humble

Anchor your story with personal experiences, emotions and values. Embracing authenticity connects you to your audience and helps them relate to and trust your message. Speaking with humility demonstrates your capacity for learning and growth, showing you don’t claim to have all the answers, have made mistakes and have corrected course as necessary. 

When you admit you’re not perfect and own your mistakes, your audience relates to you more easily. After all, some of the best stories involve failures, disasters and mistakes. They give your story tension, add emotion and become the pivot points that makes your story memorable.

  1. Have a clear outcome

Your story should leave your audience with some takeaway — a lesson or thought-provoking message. What should people have learned, or what should they do after they hear your story? Perhaps you’ve provided actionable points that propel action. Or you’ve shown your audience where you’ve come from — and where you’re going. A clear outcome generates trust and confidence in your values, mission and purpose. 

We remember those storytellers who have great presence and tell great stories. From actors and teachers to mentors and leaders, we associate these people with the stories they’ve told. Why? Because stories empower us to create connections, foster engagement and share meaning. And as leaders, they matter to our identity and roles, our priorities and our aspirations.

Leveraging SaaS PR to Recruit & Retain Talent

Attracting and retaining the right talent in today’s job market can be challenging. According to a recent Gallup poll, employee engagement in the U.S. was down for the second consecutive year — only 32% of full- and part-time employees say they’re engaged at work. 

Widespread layoffs across industries haven’t helped. Many employees feel disillusioned with the promise of job security. A Harvard Business Review study shared that more than 45% of employees who have experienced layoffs in the last year are concerned with job security. These factors, among others, have employers seeking better ways to engage the workforce.

When speaking with clients, we hear current and prospective employees cited as target audiences for SaaS PR efforts. Many companies want to use PR to share compelling brand messages or demonstrate what makes their culture unique. But most don’t know where to start.  

Here are a few tips for effectively leveraging SaaS PR in talent recruitment and retention.

Leveraging award wins

Winning awards helps SaaS companies differentiate themselves from others in the market — by building credibility and engaging new talent and current employees. For example, earning an award for DEIB initiatives or corporate social responsibility practices, such as TechRadius’ Tech Cares Award, tells job candidates you’re committed to building a supportive culture. 

You can showcase these culture-focused awards by issuing a press release highlighting the award category and criteria, activating a robust social media campaign or leveraging the award in future display or email advertising. But don’t forget to share the story behind the win. Depending on the award, the application process may allow employees to share takeaways about their time with your company — use those insights to continue enhancing the employee experience.

Maintaining a strong and consistent brand voice

Employees demand more than just a paycheck; they want to work somewhere that aligns with their values. As a result, companies have to demonstrate a clear set of values to stand out from the competition. In fact, according to a recent LinkedIn survey, 87% of Gen Z professionals — who comprise a significant portion of our workforce – would quit their jobs to work at a new company that more closely reflected their values.

Whether highlighting a DEIB statement or the brand’s culture or benefits, companies should ensure their brand voice is consistent across all channels. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bylined article, job description or social media post: The message should be authentic, meaningful and reflective of a company’s core values.

Elevate your thought leadership in the media

You may already use your executive team for industry-specific thought leadership — whether it’s unique commentary on trending topics, like generative AI, or actionable insights through contributed content. These strategies help establish brand authority and showcase a thought leader’s expertise. 

But when elevating your thought leadership to appeal to current and prospective employees, companies should consider stepping out of their comfort zone. For example, if your CEO or founder deeply understands the burnout associated with scaling a SaaS business, leverage their insights to secure an interview on the importance of mental health benefits in the workplace. 

Moreover, companies can further demonstrate their commitment to employee well-being by facilitating access to practical resources such as first aid courses. Encouraging employees to learn first aid in Newcastle, for instance, not only equips them with invaluable skills to respond to emergencies but also reinforces a culture of care and preparedness within the organization. By integrating initiatives like first aid training into the fabric of the workplace, companies signal their dedication to fostering a safe and supportive environment where employees feel empowered to take proactive steps towards their own well-being and that of their colleagues. This proactive approach not only enhances employee morale and satisfaction but also strengthens the company’s reputation as a conscientious and compassionate employer in the eyes of current and prospective talent.

Do you have an employee with a remarkable career journey or personal accomplishment? Use employees’ personal stories to secure podcast interviews or Q&A opportunities. These stories help establish trust and enable companies to showcase their unique cultural differentiators and draw stronger connections with their target audience: employees.

SaaS PR: Telling a Great Story Through Data

Data crunching isn’t enough: What’s the data’s story?

“Maybe stories are just data with a soul!” ~ Brene Brown

Every good story starts with a hook — finding the cure for a brain-eating fungus in a post-apocalyptic world. Stopping the Empire from overtaking the galaxy. Playing a series of kids’ games where to lose is to die, but winning it all means making bank.

And some stories rely on data to hook their audiences. Numbers alone don’t necessarily make an impact — but when B2B SaaS marketers, PR pros (and honestly, anyone else reliant on numbers) weave a narrative around the data, presenting it in context and framing its broader implications? That’s when the magic happens.

What is data storytelling?

Data storytelling allows SaaS PR professionals to help their clients leverage complex data and analytics to build a compelling narrative that tells a specific story via graphs, charts and other visuals while informing and influencing a particular audience. When executed well, data storytelling:

  • Adds a human touch to data.
  • Elevates the value of data and insights by interpreting and highlighting the key points of complex information.
  • Helps explain data patterns and trends to non-technical audiences.
  • Builds credibility as an industry thought leader.
  • Improves data literacy by guiding people and teaching them how to read — and understand — data visualizations. 

You’ve got the data. Now what?

Interesting data stories include three main elements: the data, visuals and a narrative. These steps will help you transform your raw data into an interesting story. 

  1. Understand the question. Have you determined what question you want to answer first? If sales fell sharply last year among a certain demographic, do you know why? Knowing what you’re looking for will lead you to the best resources for the answer — whether it’s data about a product mix, marketing targets or customer preferences.
  2. Know the audience. Customize your presentation to suit them — are you sharing this story with the marketing team? Executive leadership? Board members? What’s their familiarity with the topic, problem or situation? How does it affect them? Are different presentation styles more effective than others? Can they process high levels of detail? These insights will shape your narrative approach.
  3. Analyze your data. You can’t create an interesting story without understanding the underlying data’s structure. Evaluate both the structure and quality, and highlight critical characteristics — patterns, format and completeness. You can even use a data management tool to confirm accuracy and validity.
  4. Organize and present your data consistently. Sometimes you might need to standardize formats (75% vs. .75). You may find other anomalies addressed via deduplicating, enriching or parsing. Look to other sources if your data set is incomplete.
  5. Craft your data story. Effectively using charts, graphs and other data visuals requires knowing how people perceive them. Some people want the big picture at a glance to understand the message’s value. Others want to drill down into the granular, nitty-gritty details.

In what order will you present the information to generate a maximum effect? Anticipate questions people might ask about a specific visual. The first chart might show decreased sales and the second might explain why. Think about the trends your research uncovered and organize your presentation into a logical path.

Embrace a “less is more” approach by building a story in layers. Use multiple visuals (instead of cramming everything onto one slide) so your audience won’t feel overwhelmed. Presenting everything on one crowded chart drowns out important messages. Divide the information among multiple consecutive charts, and use animations to reflect changes or add emphasis and help the story flow.

Give some love to the text accompanying the charts, which often catch the eye first. Go beyond mere labels and include a brief explanation of what it shows. Incorporate text annotations to highlight important details.

Champion simplicity. A line chart or bar graph often works well to present information — use color, arrows, circles or other simple graphics to add visual interest.

Take a look.

Don’t just take it from us SaaS PR pros, though. We pulled some of our favorite articles that do an exemplary job of weaving data storytelling into the overall narrative to educate, entertain and provoke thought.

We don’t make business decisions based on logic alone. Sure, analysis drives business thinking, but a barrage of numbers doesn’t inspire and motivate as effectively as a good story. Well-told stories create a shared human experience.

And let’s face it. Unless you’re a statistician, you’re unlikely to remember the numbers. Data in a vacuum? Pretty bland and unremarkable. But storytelling allows us to mold abstract, dry numbers into a captivating and interesting story.  And we’re far more likely to remember a story than cold, hard numbers. Want to make sure your data makes a lasting impression? Go ahead and stretch your narrative muscles.

Elevate Day 2023

I planned Our First Half-Day Training Event and Here’s What I Learned

BLASTmedia recently hosted our very first Elevate Day — a half-day training event that gave our employees the opportunity to learn about new strategies in the world of PR and content development, tap into their creative side, and learn about the SaaS investing landscape from VCs themselves.

Think somewhere between Dreamforce and a The Office-style whiteboard presentation.

We used Elevate Day to hone in on topics that we identified a need for extended training around due to market changes and evolving best practices, as well as trends we saw in a recent training benchmark survey that asked employees to self-report on their confidence level around certain skills. Each employee could choose their Elevate Day track from a number of session options in each training category to personalize the day to their individual interests.

Here are the top three things I learned (outside of making plans for unexpected weather!) at our very first Elevate Day training event:

The media landscape is changing more rapidly than we could have imagined even five years ago.

Who and how I pitched last quarter could completely differ from who and how someone else at the agency is pitching this quarter. That’s why it’s so important to knowledge share across your agency — and Elevate Day made that glaringly clear. As I listened to various sessions, I saw so many people sharing tips and tricks about new approaches they’re taking due to shifts in how reporters like to be pitched or shrinking newsroom staff. Let’s just say…Elevate Day motivated me to keep this knowledge-sharing alive and well in our agency.

The need for SaaS PR ain’t goin’ anywhere

It could be easy to think that the turbulent SaaS market means the demise of SaaS PR. But we think quite the opposite…and so do some of our favorite VC friends. In our fireside chat with Allos Ventures Managing Director David Kerr and Elevate Ventures Principal Sara Omohundro, CFA, we talked about the value of SaaS PR when it comes to a founder’s brand, building trust when times get tough, and more. Long live SaaS PR!

This conversation also reinforced the importance of tapping outside experts for their perspectives and advice. Outside of the investment landscape, we also talked about why PR sometimes gets a bad rap and ideas on how to position what we do to potentially skeptical execs or VCs (from VCs themselves!) — a conversation we face head-on regularly.

It pays to make time to learn

It’s easy to say that you want to make time to learn, but hard to actually set that time aside. Elevate Day showed me firsthand how important it is to not only create an environment of continual learning, but also to design opportunities for individuals to step outside of their norm to learn. That’s why we strategically planned the day during our regularly scheduled “No Meetings Week.”

Clearing our schedules and walking through the doors with our minds focused on soaking in everything the day had to offer made it so much easier to absorb new information and ask probing questions. I also noticed that stepping outside of our norm for a half day of learning helped boost the energy at the office and encouraged more creative thinking across the board!

Have a favorite learning event you’ve participated in that you’d like to share ideas from or want to speak at BLAST? Shoot me an email at lydia@blastmedia.com!

Why Getting Personal Matters in a SaaS PR Program

Would you rather buy from a brand pushing only product messaging or from a purpose-driven brand with a story to tell? According to AdWeek, 78% of consumers said they make purchase decisions based on their values and 55% purchase from brands that share their values. 

Currently, the economy is uncertain in the SaaS space, and many think that driving home product messaging or upping paid advertising will increase demand. But, with consumers so focused on doing good and finding alignment with their values, a key part of creating demand is leveraging personal stories through your SaaS PR program. 

While sharing personal or vulnerable anecdotes can be uncomfortable, remember that these types of stories are often the most relatable and can help build trust with your audience.

Here’s a closer look at how personal stories open the door to many brand benefits:

Humanizes the brand

Personal stories humanize your brand. We have all seen the banner changes on social media during significant events like Black History or Pride month, but do you have an individual who can share their own experience related to these events? If a company leader is willing to get vulnerable, these messages are more impactful and authentic than just going with the status quo. 

Providing a direct tie back to critical DEI conversations or worldly trends improves reputation with customers and is also positive for recruiting. If candidates can relate to company leadership personally, they’re more likely to consider your company when narrowing their options.

Example: Jeni Mayorskaya Creates Stork Club To Help People Control Their Reproductive Lives

Builds the subject matter expert’s personal brand

Personal stories not only improve brand perception but also help to build the brand of an individual subject matter expert. More than ever, people want to buy from people, and investors want to invest in leaders. 

But don’t fall victim to the myth that personal stories don’t provide valuable lead-generation opportunities. Since tier-one media are often more interested in features with a person at the core, they can improve your ability to rank in search as a thought leader and company. Not to mention, those “about the author” sections often include the prized backlink!

Example: How I’ve leveraged my bipolar 2 for success as a CEO

Creates differentiation to pique reporter interest

Securing opportunities with tier-one media is often a goal many organizations want from their SaaS PR program. A key item to achieve this goal is to build rapport and foster a relationship with editors who may reach out for commentary opportunities in the future. 

Well, rapport doesn’t happen overnight — and definitely doesn’t happen by constantly shoving product messages at a reporter. Leveraging personal stories is typically a great place to start. They let a reporter get to know you as an individual, company leader and then get to know your brand. 

They may not result in a story right away, but they often create opportunities in the long run. 

Example: My Coach Taught Me How To Sit In An Office Chair – And It Made A Difference! The Evolving Story Of Sam Isaacson’s Coaching Career

In today’s world, surface-level commentary will not cut it. Reporters and buyers want more, and we need personal, meaningful connections to capture media and audience attention. To learn more about how personal stories can improve your SaaS PR program, contact Lindsey Groepper

ChatGPT’s Impact on SaaS Marketing: First Take

Like many, I’ve spent the last few months reading, watching and listening to various opinions regarding generative AI and ChatGPT, a large language model trained by OpenAI. This technology takes immense amounts of data, looks for patterns, and becomes more proficient at mainly generating accurate and probable outputs. The buzz surrounding the tech today is primarily around the humanlike language and thoughts it can generate with only a few inputs from you or me. 

More specifically, I’ve naturally leaned into how AI bots like ChatGPT affect the marketing industry and our future as a SaaS PR agency. Through this journey, I’ve realized that many of us are asking the wrong question. It’s not about whether or not ChatGPT will replace marketing jobs. The reality I’ve come to accept, and excitedly so, is that marketers who embrace ChatGPT will replace those who do not. And I believe this holds for every company across every sector. 

The businesses that are quickest to adopt and refine this technology will win. 

If you’re still on the fence about generative AI, I get it. It’s a lot to digest. To help potentially reframe your thinking, I’ll tackle a few overarching takeaways from the hours of material I reviewed, including insight from academics, technologists, marketers and analysts.

The technology reflects us

There will be ChatGPT champs and chumps, as ChatGPT starts with a human entering a prompt for a specific outcome. Suppose a particular human is apathetic about their job, takes shortcuts, and is generally lazy before using ChatGPT. In that case, there is a good chance ChatGPT will be used in a way that reflects poorly on the technology and its output. The output quality will depend on how much attention and time is spent on the input and refining the results. The lazy human will take the first draft received from the bot and run with it as the final. 

On the flip side, if one approaches the technology from the viewpoint of being a beginning point, an idea-starter, and a tool to be more efficient, the strength, value and perception of the technology will be positive. The intuitive and intentional use of ChatGPT can result in helpful and valuable outputs if you approach it the right way. 

Bots can’t be “forwardists”

AI bots like ChatGPT are limited to replicating what they’ve learned from what already exists online. And the training set currently only includes data through 2021. For example, ChatGPT won’t be able to create language around a new SaaS category, introduce a future concept or promote a new product because there is likely nothing accurate online about it yet from which to pull data.

Creating new points of view and introducing fresh concepts or unique predictions will still require human insight and creativity.

If you’ve played around with ChatGPT, as I have, you’ll see both the impressive value and the limitations of the technology. For example, I noticed very confident falsities in the output, “facts” that were inaccurate or not cited. In addition, most results were fairly general and baseline, even with intentional and detailed inputs.

ChatGPT isn’t good enough (yet) to be a competitor

The technology isn’t good enough yet to be seen as a competitive threat or a viable replacement for human creativity and common sense. Rather, it’s just another new tool in the martech stack. It’s insanely helpful at cranking out a “crappy first draft” when staring at a blank page, writing alternative headlines or email subject lines, and revising content in another tone or voice. 

Think of ChatGPT as adding a new instrument to the band. It enhances the overall sound but doesn’t replace or compete with the other instruments. 

Bot bias is real

One of the key challenges with AI-generated content is the risk of bias, which shows up for a couple of reasons. First, the AI has trained on a biased sample set because the internet inherently is limited with a general lack of representation in its content. Second, humans are biased, so human-created content is biased too. 

Marketers need to be trained and more attentive to bias and take steps to minimize it in their communication. It is not a simple tech fix, but it requires a conscious effort on the part of marketers to ensure their communication is unbiased and inclusive.

Modern marketing teams will adapt ChatGPT; it’s inevitable if you want to survive. But it’s up to us humans to use it effectively and creatively. As with any tool, it’s only as helpful as the person wielding it. So, let’s become highly skilled at our technique and use it when needed and for the proper purpose.