In our last article, we discussed that an effective way for an in-house IP team, IP law firm and patent management organization to generate credibility and industry thought leadership is through an effective communications campaign.
So, what is public relations? When you cut through the flowery language it’s pretty simple.
Public relations is the projection of key messages, through earned, third-party media and influencer activities that change the perception of a company, team, individual, product / service or asset.
Public relations activities also change a target audience’s behaviors in a
manner you want.
Bottom line, you are leveraging the credibility of third-parties to communicate value and change perceptions. You are not paying the third-parties, this is not advertising. You are persuading them to communicate about you in their content.
This is a very common practice for companies selling everything from cookies to AI systems and everything in-between. It is commonly used by most service organizations too.
IP-related organizations have been slower to leverage public relations campaigns. However, as markets become more sophisticated and resources become dearer – IP-teams, patent management organizations and IP law firms are adopting “PR” with more frequency.
Isn’t public relations just news?
News is a small part of a public relations campaign. There are bylined articles, executive Q&A’s, industry awards, analyst and academic reports, customer case studies and speaking at industry events and on panels at conferences, among many other program productivities.
How about concrete examples that an IP organization could implement?
Imagine you lead an in-house IP team. You would like to promote the value of the executives of the team, making them industry thought leaders. Why?
The C-Suite will view the value of the IP team more, and more frequently seek their counsel, if they are seen as industry thought leaders that are raising the value of the overall company.
Bylined and executive Q&A articles in IP, business and trade publications about a company’s IP team’s activities provides the C-Suite with concrete examples of delivering value.
Companies should promote the value of their portfolio – calling out key trends without giving away the strategic specifics of your activities. Why the portfolio?
This can be for valuation, licensing and defensive purposes. Articles and reports that publicly highlight a given patent or patent family demonstrate that the company’s product road-map is
strong and innovative, and that it is distancing itself from competitors.
A company can showcase its strategic IP to existing and potential customers in order to elevate the value of the products and services derived from it. Customers feel better when they know their purchases are “future-proof.” This also boosts a technical sales team that likely already highlights the patents their company owns. Giving a new business team articles, from a third- party publication, about the strong IP their products are based on gives technical sales representatives powerful marketing ammunition they can leave with prospects and customers.
From an IP law firm perspective, if the attorneys are perceived as industry thought leaders their counsel is more likely to be sought out. The firm might demonstrate its specializations within an industry or related industries to hinder competitors. Additionally, IP law firms comprised of thought leaders will have clients that seek them out for higher-order services beyond patent
For corporations, IP law firms and patent management organization; the support of positive coverage can aid in the handling of licensing issues, aggressive or defensive patent disputes and the filing of amicus briefs, among others activities.
These are just a few examples public relations campaign elements that IP-related organizations can implement to increase their value.
We will discuss how to implement these IP public relations campaign elements in more granular detail in coming articles. Our next article will be how to develop compelling and distinctive positioning and messaging.
Author: Edward Schauweker