Being totally bodacious: How to score a BHAG in tech PR – Part 1

Tristan By Tristan

The world of B2B technology PR is no stranger to unusual acronyms. On your first few weeks in the job, you’d be forgiven for feeling lost amidst the forest of SD-WAN, AIOps, RPA and UC&C, or confusing your PaaS for your SaaS or your IaaS. However, there’s none so strange as that most audacious of acronyms, the BHAG.

If you’ve not come across it before, it’s not the new-fangled enterprise technology that you might expect, but a target to strive for – a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (if you’re reading this and wondering if I’m for real – yes, this really is a thing).

What the heck is a BHAG?

The idea of a BHAG is that you set yourself (or in our clients’ case, your PR agency) a big, audacious (and hairy for some reason) goal to strive for – something that’s really going to stretch the realms of possibility to achieve a truly outstanding result. It’s not something you undertake lightly, and it’s not something you expect to be able to succeed in right away, but if you can pull it off, the idea is it’ll knock everyone’s socks off, and give you bragging rights for a while.

So what’s in a BHAG, and how do you go about scoring one?

Step 1: Set up your goalposts

Before you can show off what you can do, you need to identify what you’re going to achieve, and it has to be something hairy and audacious. It’s a BHAG remember.

Securing a piece of coverage in the FT or on the BBC is great of course, but our clients can generally expect that we’ll do that as par for the course; we’ve got a good track record getting into the nationals. To make it that little bit more audacious (not to mention hairy), we tend to set our BHAGs in line with securing a particular type of coverage or a particular outcome.

For example, we might strive to achieve a piece of dream coverage for a particular client in a place you might not expect it, or one that’s so glowingly positive that it almost reads like it was paid for. Or how about a piece of coverage that directly results in inbound sales leads from prospects who read the story and were wowed?

How about securing a feature in the BBC on how APIs are revolutionising a particular industry (not a subject you’d expect to see covered by the Beeb that often…), or a story by a highly respected reporter that likens one of our clients solutions to ‘a superpower forcefield’ like one of the characters in Disney Pixar’s The Incredibles?

You get the idea – it’s thinking about how you can achieve a real ‘wow’ with something that just doesn’t happen that often, and it doesn’t happen unless you really work hard at it.

Of course, setting the goal posts is one thing, but actually getting everything lined up to pull it off successfully is something else entirely. In my next post, I’ll offer a little more insight into how you go about achieving something so audacious and becoming totally bodacious.