LONDON — Technology companies must “break out of the tech bubble” and show how their business solves real-world problems, according to a new research report on the opportunities and challenges for technology PR and communications professionals for the year ahead.

We are so back? Tech comms in turbulent times was produced by Headland after 30 in-depth interviews with leading global communications professionals working in businesses from VC investors to scale-ups and global tech platforms, as well as UK technology and business journalists.

The report analyses the impact of the last 18 months, while providing recommendations for 2024. It covers areas including: maintaining relevance globally and locally, and striking the right tone; communicating difficult news such as layoffs, while protecting brand reputation; and building long-term trust with customers and stakeholders after a period of uncertainty.

In addition, the report looks at the importance of educating the media as key influencers – especially for B2B tech companies with complex business models – and managing the AI hype cycle.

Headland partner Tom Bage said: “It’s been a bumpy period for tech companies, with their employees, investors and customers all exposed to an uncertain macroeconomic backdrop, while an explosion of AI innovation has sent stock prices, private valuations and industry confidence on a rollercoaster ride.

“As one of the main ways businesses can reach and engage their stakeholders, tech comms is in the spotlight more than ever – and managing comms during this time has required deeper collaboration across the board. Those practitioners who can do this in the upturn will reap outsized benefits. While challenges remain, with comms increasingly connected across an organisation, there are opportunities to help shape the future of a business.”

Headland works for listed and private companies, not-for-profits and charities including TikTok, Accenture, Darktrace, Just Eat, Dojo, Northzone, TrueLayer, Turo, Thunes and Dice.