Like many of the stories go, I ‘fell’ into tech back at the beginning of 2015 when I got allocated as the day-to-day lead on the PR account for Manchester Digital – a brilliant trade organisation that represents tech businesses across Greater Manchester.

Little did I know at the time that it was going to be the start of a career representing tech businesses, building their brand awareness and reputations.

In my career in PR, I’ve always been passionate about people, writing and storytelling – not necessarily three things you’d associate with tech. But that’s why I’m now so passionate about spreading the word that not all careers in tech are ‘technical’. Although I work with tech businesses large and small, my role relies much more on ‘soft skills’, personal relationship building and good communication.

For those not fully up to speed with what a PR is, the overall function of PR is to manage relationships between organisations and their stakeholders, enhance reputation and how people feel about brands and businesses. In its most basic form, you could see it as securing positive media coverage for clients, but it’s evolved massively over the year and now encompasses social media, influencer partnerships, getting clients in front of their key customers via in-person events and activations, and so much more.

A job in PR is exciting, dynamic and varied – definitely a career for people that like and can manage change. I lead the PR for a specialist cyber security distributor, a green tech company, and a tech recycling business, as well as running projects for a number of fast-growing scale-ups. Our agency, Refresh, does a mix of work for these clients, including market research, content creation and influencer partnerships – while b2c influencers have been commonplace for a long time now, b2b influencers are on the rise and can be very influential in niche sectors like tech. We choose who we work with carefully as they must be authentic and knowledgeable about the sector.

A week in my life varies massively – I could be doing anything from meeting up with a client to discuss campaign strategies and plans, analysing web data and traffic to evaluate a digital PR campaign or coming up with a creative campaign for a new business pitch. I’m also lucky to lead the development of our team here at Refresh, creating a working culture that is supportive, empowering and conducive to everyone doing their best work. As I’m on the road a lot, a work with a tight-knit team of client handlers that work with me to ensure the job is getting done on the ground and clients are happy with the work we’re delivering.

The great thing about working in PR specifically in the tech sector is the community and availability of meet-ups out there to immerse yourself in. I can’t really comment on London and the South but here in Manchester and the wider North there’s so many great events to go to and everyone is so supportive.

Working in any form of PR tends to be interesting, but for me, working with fast-paced tech businesses heightens that. I particularly love working with a tech business from the early stage of their business and working with them on their scaling journey – it gives us the opportunity to really get to know the business and help steer their direction in terms of messaging and comms.

If I had to give any advice to people wanting to get into tech PR it would be:

  • Don’t assume you have to be ‘techy’ – as per my earlier comments in the article, it’s not the case at all. Yes, you need to be able to wrap your head around technical subjects and topics, but the skill for PRs is turning that into something that resonates with the general public
  • Get work experience wherever and whenever you can – while a decade ago unpaid placements were the norm, luckily things have moved on and there are lots more options for paid placements these days. In fact, we’re about to start a week-long tech PR placement for a local college student.
  • Don’t think you necessarily need to have a PR/comms degree – I’ve worked with many people in my career that have switched from other sectors. Many journalists or marketers end up in PR, as do people who have come from a psychology or English background. There are also lots of great apprenticeships opening up in PR and comms, so if uni isn’t a viable option or you simply don’t fancy it, there’s lots of different routes into the sector these days

As we near the end of Summer, many people who graduated recently will be searching for their perfect role. Those who like what they read in this article, might be perfect for a position in tech PR. You can find out more about what goes on day to day in a tech PR agency by following @RefreshPublicRelations on LinkedIn.

Lucy Moore is Associate Director at Manchester based PR and communications agency, Refresh. She has 12+ years’ experience working in PR agencies and works with clients predominantly across the tech and construction sectors.