Alona Stein – partner and VP at Convoy PR Network member ReBlonde – introduces the Israeli media landscape and explains why community building is crucial for b2b tech brands operating in the country.
Despite its relatively modest population of just 9.2 million, Israel is home to over 7,000 active start-ups, 80% of which are in the b2b space. The country has become an unexpected global tech hub, thanks to its impressive entrepreneurial track-record, combined with the fact that it produces the highest concentration of engineers anywhere in the world. In fact, one in four students in Israel is studying for a degree in a technological field.
It’s no wonder then, that many international b2b tech companies are looking to make waves in Israel. Is yours one of them? If so, here’s what you need to know.
The Israeli media landscape
Despite its high concentration of both established global tech brands and dynamic tech start-ups, Israel’s media landscape is relatively small, with just a handful of business and tech publications.
Unsurprisingly, this means competition for coverage is extremely fierce. News about product developments and funding rounds – even multi-million-dollar announcements – is likely to be ignored by the media. Instead, journalists tend to prefer more ‘human’ stories, which focus on topics like DE&I, employee empowerment and leadership. And it’s not just about hearing from a company’s CEO. It’s equally important to showcase colourful people and stories from all parts of a business.
Rather than contributed content, Israeli journalists will typically ask for comments. Guest-authored articles aren’t particularly common.
A silver lining of Israel’s compact media landscape is that everyone knows everyone. You should expect a local PR partner to have solid relationships with a wide range of journalists, who are just a call or WhatsApp message away. And yes, it’s extremely common to use WhatsApp for business communications in Israel – the line between Israelis’ personal and professional lives is very blurred!
The importance of community building
Though there’s undoubtedly a place for traditional PR and marketing in Israel, many tech companies focus on online community building to both boost brand awareness and attract prospective employees.
Since Israeli audiences are constantly bombarded by the world of b2b tech, it can be difficult for brands to cut through the noise. As such, community engagement via Facebook and WhatsApp groups – which encourage real-time, free-flowing conversation – is much more effective than relying on traditional social media outreach. It’s very common for tech executives to use such groups to boost their own profile, build awareness of their company and engage with potential new hires.
There are dozens of active b2b tech groups in Israel, covering everything from general to highly specific topics (AI, ML, cyber-security etc.). These groups are typically run by publications, influencers, and even tech companies themselves. Unlike in Europe and North America, Facebook and WhatsApp are the leading social media platforms for the b2b tech community. Interestingly, Israelis view LinkedIn as insufficiently ‘real-time’, whilst Twitter is also not as popular.
Overall, the quirks of PR and marketing in Israel can be difficult for international b2b brands to grasp, but navigating them is essential to building brand awareness in the country.
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