What to Expect from a B2B PR Services Provider
In the world of B2B marketing, PR forms just one part of a wide array of marketing services that can be utilised to get your brand in front of your audiences. However, there’s no arguing that PR is a very specific specialism within itself.
For B2B businesses looking for marketing support, you might end up with PR services as part of a wider marketing plan, or as a specialist service or campaign within itself. Either way, if public relations and media relations is new to you and your business, here’s what you need to know.
The art of storytelling is key
A big part of most PR campaigns is media relations. This usually involves creating a story, writing a press release and sending this to journalists for publication. In the case of B2B marketing, we’re usually liaising with journalists looking for stories that are relevant to their audience made up of B2B resellers, purchasers or decision-makers.
It’s important to remember that in this case, everyone’s objectives and desired outcomes are slightly different. The B2B businesses want to bring awareness to their service or products, whereas the journalist doesn’t want to run a free advert!
It’s important to remember that in this case, everyone’s objectives and desired outcomes are slightly different. The B2B businesses want to bring awareness to their service or products, whereas the journalist doesn’t want to run a free advert! They just want to publish stories that are of genuine interest to their readers, and so want newsworthy pieces. This is where your PR agency finds that perfect balance. It’s where the art of storytelling comes in!
Make sure you choose an agency or partner that can balance all of these key points to get maximum impact for your PR activity!
The difference between paid and earned media
When engaging with the PR experts, it’s really important to go in with an understanding of the difference between paid and earned media.
What works as an advert doesn’t work as a PR story most of the time. In line with what we’ve already covered within the art of storytelling, earned media has to be carefully tailored to be a genuine story of interest for audiences. Adverts, on the other hand, can be a cold hard sell. A journalist won’t publish your advert for free.
Editorial arguably has more credibility than an advert. It’s published by a trusted source because they have decided it’s of interest, not because money has exchanged hands. If you have a solid understanding of this, working with your PR team and understanding what they need to do is much easier.
Research is key
All communications activities should be of interest to your stakeholders, so research is needed to get this right. In B2B marketing specifically, relevant topics can be very niche and complex, therefore a deep understanding is needed.
Knowing what your audiences want and need to hear is key, so expect your PR strategists to do some data mining early on.
Press releases vs feature contributions
Press releases are the stories a company decides to proactively push, whereas feature or editorial contributions tend to be guided more by journalists and editors.
In an eclectic PR campaign, expect to see a mix of both proactive and guided content. The latter is a great way to provide information that you know journalists are looking for. For example, your PR agency might get in touch to see what editorial features your industry publications are working on. If a feature is being written that references an area of your expertise, answering a list of questions or providing a statement about this is a great way to get you in front of audiences and position your company as an expert or thought-leader.