Great communicators are not born; they’re developed through practice and a commitment to learning. In the technology industry, the skill of assessing and embracing change is learned early and practiced often.

With the global economy, the consumerization of technology and the growth potential in many industries tied to technical innovation, the need for skilled public relations strategists is greater than ever.  In fact, people who know how to examine new or complex concepts, break them down and communicate their importance to the marketplace will always be in demand.

As the 2011 chair of the Technology Professional Interest Section of PRSA, I have the privilege of discussing the issues of the day with some of the leading PR practitioners in the technology industry. I’ve always found learning from my peers a valuable and reliable experience and am looking forward to sharing observations and ideas on the topics impacting businesses today at our upcoming conference, T3PR: Theory, Tactics and Technology for High Tech Public Relations, Sept. 16th in New York City.  In my experience, the programming at T3 offers a depth not found in other venues and benefits the new and experienced professional alike  

T3 will feature a number of timely topics relevant to tech communicators and anyone else tasked with positioning and communicating the merits of something new and innovative, including:

  • “Of Patents, Publicity and Intellectual Property” – Every client’s patent application and issued patent creates an opportunity to enhance the client’s brand and better differentiate its product line. Learn how promoting “patent pending” differs from promoting issued patents, and how patents relate to trademarks, trade secrets and copyrights.
  • “Managing Channel Communications through Times of Change” – The software industry is undergoing a major shift with the widespread acceptance and consumption of cloud computing. Hear from Microsoft experts about best practices for creating and maintaining influence with critical channel partners through periods of great change.
  • “Technology Frontiers” – Technology is the differentiating element for car buyers today and therefore a critical element for the successful automotive brands of the future. Learn best practices from the head of public relations for the recent launch of the Nissan LEAF, an all-electric car — an initiative that sold all available cars without ever putting one in a showroom. With a background in technology, managing public relations for brands such as IBM and Motorola, Scott Stevens, APR was recruited by the carmaker to develop its technology brand and positioning for its latest innovation.
  • “Strategy in the Security Dimension” – Consumers and businesses experience and think about computer security in different ways.  In this session, AVG Technologies, a global leader in security software, will explore how it has positioned itself for success in a ever-changing and crowded space.
  • “Technology Crisis.  Digital Age.”– Crisis communicators have developed a highly specialized set of skills, but for science and technology companies with complex products or services, the challenge of managing communications can be even greater.  Hear perspectives from a panel of experts from DuPont, Ogilvy Public Relations and other industry experts on how crisis communications can differ in these sectors for both B2B and B2C organizations and how emerging digital and social channels are best leveraged to meet your objectives.
  • “Multinational Considerations for Technology Communications–  Technology has done a lot to connect people and markets worldwide. However, how we actually communicate — whether launching a product, engaging with employees, talking to the media or working with social media — can be challenging.  Matt Kucharski, APR, from Padilla Speer Beardsley will discuss best practices for developing and implementing multinational communications programs.

Membership to the Technology Professional Interest Section is included in registration. I hope you'll plan to join me for this great professional development experience.

If you have any questions about the conference or the section, just send me an email and you’ll receive a prompt response! I look forward to seeing you there.

— Kevin Sangsland is an account director at Airfoil Public Relations, a high tech PR agency with offices in Detroit and Silicon Valley and 2011 chair of PRSA’s technology section.