Part greater than the whole: Breakout storytelling for materials and components
I just read about spider silk for the 1,000th time, and it’s still as interesting as the first. For decades, and punctuated every time a new Spider-Man movie debuts, we’ve heard about spider silk’s potential to introduce new materials and inspire others. It’s not only the basis for research, it’s also a familiar, understandable, and cool angle for telling a science/technology story.
For every spider silk advance, hundreds of other interesting technologies also have stories to tell. But so many materials science and component manufacturing companies miss the chance to elevate their story and insert themselves into larger conversations that could increase their reach and exposure.
Of course that’s tough to do in a crowded tech media landscape where the majority of media coverage is tied to a handful of brands. In 2010, Pew Research reported that 15 percent of tech media coverage was focused solely on Apple. I’m willing to bet that number hasn’t changed drastically.
But with the right story and an effective media relations strategy, you can reach your target audience despite the obstacles. Storytelling could be the difference in securing financing, increasing your customer base, and catching the eye of a manufacturer. You can build your own platforms to share content, but the media remains the most effective way for most companies to reach a large audience.
So, how do you stand out to the media and position your technology or company for a breakout story? In this two-part series, we’ll look at five ways. Here are the first two:
Tell your best story consistently. Innovation is a central theme for most technology companies, but so few truly develop a narrative that speaks to that. The companies that do it right continually update their market on advances in their materials or components and creatively build buzz to maintain a steady voice.
Client SCHOTT, the international glass and technology company, is one of the best at this. It has reimagined the way it shares information through a blog that consistently tells a story of innovation, new applications for glass, and advances in a centuries-old technology.
Figure out where your best story fits. Getting your story told is not just about product details and key messaging. Relate your technology to media that cover products like yours and topics associated with it. Also, know where to place your story so higher profile media may take it to the next level. Think big, and find a way to tie your story to topics, trends, and news outside your own world.
Battery startup Sakti3 landed a great story in the Wall Street Journal by targeting reporter Christopher Mims’s battery coverage and tying its story to that of a bigger company, Dyson. It didn’t hurt that Sakti3 was announcing funding from Dyson, but it told a much more complete story that elevated its opportunity for coverage.
Start thinking about the big-picture story your technology can tell with these guidelines in mind, and your material or component could be the spider silk still captivating us a decade from now.
Look out for part two in this series, when we’ll talk about better ways to tell your story.
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