How to Select the Right Tech PR Agency in Japan

How to Select the Right Tech PR Agency in Japan

If you work for a technology company, you know how important it is to capture the attention of potential customers in a crowded marketplace. Tech PR involves building relationships with relevant media and industry influencers to effectively communicate a company’s message and product features to its target audience. These activities aim to increase brand awareness among potential customers while simultaneously establishing credibility with existing customers.

There are many companies offering tech PR services in Japan, but what should you pay attention to choose the right PR agency for your company?

1. Media Relations

As a basic requirement, a tech PR agency should have the skills to build and maintain long-term, friendly relationships with tech journalists. When looking for an agency in Japan, it is a good idea to check specifically which tech media they have established deep relationship values with. In addition to tech media, check if the agency has relationships with key industry media in your target industries (retail, cosmetics, apparel, logistics, finance, infrastructure, energy, government, etc.). This is a very important factor in situations where you are using customer case studies to promote your PR or industry-specific functions. Checking this upfront will help you determine the agency’s area of expertise (industry).

Please refer to our previous article on major Japanese tech media if you are interested.

2. Localization experience and ability for content creation

Your agency should be able to turn somewhat dry, advanced, technical topics into interesting and engaging content such as blogs and thought leadership content, as well as execute press releases that maximize media opportunities.

Be sure to check to see if the agency has a staff internally that is skilled in translation and writing. While a PR agency can hire a translation agency or outside writers, having a dedicated internal staff that can handle everything from review to implementation is critical to ensuring that your tech PR is fast, accurate, and reaches your potential clients. Having a dedicated internal staff can also help cut costs to a certain extent.

3. Overall marketing knowledge

In addition to working with the PR and creative teams at headquarters, your PR agency in Japan needs to work closely with the Japanese marketing department as needed. This is because the team needs to work closely together to align with the private events, seminars, and content produced by the marketing department. To do this, your PR agency should be knowledgeable about the BtoB industry’s unique lead generation process and specialized departments such as Inside Sales and Customer Success.

It is also important to have a staff that can work with and earn the trust of the sales department as well as the marketing department. It is very important that you trust your agency and introduce the team to other departments for case studies, customer interviews, press releases, and other PR initiatives that utilize local customers.

4.  Fees

So far, we have outlined some specific factors to consider when choosing the best tech PR agency in Japan. This will probably narrow it down to about 5 or 6 agencies. The final factor to consider is price. There are many PR agencies in Japan, especially in Tokyo, but many of the best agencies are large corporate PR firms. They can offer relatively well-balanced PR teams, strong media relations, and comprehensive communications services, but they are often expensive and charge high hourly rates, even for assistant-level personnel. 

These large PR firms are suitable for companies that already have a global presence and are looking for a stable PR activity at the same time, but not for companies that are new to the Japanese market, start-ups, or companies looking for a customized PR strategy to fit their industry and needs. For these companies, a small to mid-size agency with a small footprint and the ability to work for as little as 2/3 of the amount of money would be more suitable. It is important to note that most small to mid-size agencies cannot employ bilingual staff with English or other foreign language skills.

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