How can software companies get the attention of HR?

Marketing managers in HR tech companies can sometimes feel like they are hitting a brick wall with their normal approach.

It’s a common problem, however a small change in your marketing and PR strategy can turn things around.

Here are PRinHR’s top ten pointers:

1.     Focus on engaging your HR audience, not selling your product – talking tech or jargon will send your audience to sleep.  Use simple, clear language and keep your content relevant to HR, not the IT Department.


2.     Be a knight in shining armour. In every interesting story, there’s a problem – or a dragon. Find the dragons (customer pains) in your working world, so your people and software can be the knights. Discuss these so you’re known for understanding their issues. Absence problems? Discuss absence, and only afterwards your solution. Employee engagement or performance issues? Discuss those, and only then your solution.


3.     Educate and educate more. There is a lot of noise out there, so tease out things to say that help you to be seen and heard. If customers and the media are talking about regulatory changes that your software supports, for example, understand the circumstances well and join the conversation. Bring a new twist and challenge thinking. It’s ok to jump off the fence, just don’t hurt your brand.


4.     Find your voice. Should it be your voice? Ask yourself honestly, would others in the business be a better fit? The right person will know about customer issues and your services, be confident, wise and empathetic when talking publicly. Let them give advice and opinions about issues and pains customers are feeling. They’ll enhance their reputations and become trusted and well-known, reflecting highly on the business. Media training can be a good shout.


5.     What analysis and research insights can your data offer? While individual data is confidential, overall statistical analysis from your solution may offer unique industry insight. Are companies in a certain region or industries having more issues with recruitment than others? Are there differences with age groups? What about the gender pay gap? Or staff shortages? Share broad data trends with the HR world – but keep it general and don’t breach GDPR.


6.     Offer data, research and new twists on current thinking to HR journalists. They’re a good bunch of people, always looking for new ideas, but they get an enormous number of pitches daily. Make your angle different. Create ways to open up conversation with key journalists – Twitter is a good start.


7.     Advertising in the HR press is not cheap. Using PR to reach your audience can be more cost effective so cultivating relationships with HR journalists works well. It means educating and guiding your audience, which in turn builds recognition and trust. Getting attention from the HR press without the need for big budgets is a value-driven way ahead.


8.     Network, network and network some more – HR is a sociable job, so join your local HR networks and become part of the community you want to serve. Don’t treat contacts as ‘someone to sell to’, think of them as valuable allies who will trust and recommend you. Pay it forward, helping others. Network online too – don’t treat social media as an afterthought. Channels like Linked In and Twitter are perfect – use hashtags like #HRtech


9.     Get onto Twitter and find #JournoRequest. This is worth watching frequently. Journalists tweet about the articles they need help with – they can cover all sorts of topics, weird and wonderful and important, but every once in awhile you’ll get a gem that will be something you can help with.


10.  Ever wondered how your competitors get more editorial coverage in the HR Press than you?  Here's a key way - many HR publications keep a forward features list. If they’re doing a feature on software, you’ll want to be prepared in advance and pitch your ideas. Your competitors are doing this already!


When it comes to getting noticed by HR, working smart, not hard is the way forward.

We’re experts at understanding the media and helping our clients get journalist attention, so if you’d like actionable advice specifically tailored to your situation, give PRinHR a call.


Kay Phelps