In the world of B2B marketing, PR is just one marketing service in the portfolio that can be utilised to get your brand in front of your audiences. 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 is a new area to 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, but the journalist doesn’t want to run a free advert! They just want to publish stories that are of genuine interest to their readers, so it’s crucial that your PR campaign offers opportunities for truly newsworthy pieces. This is where your PR agency finds that perfect balance through clever storytelling. 


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 always work as a PR story. Earned media has to be carefully tailored to be a genuine story of interest for audiences. Paid media, or adverts, can be more of a sell because you’re paying for your placement. 


Both options have their benefits, however editorial arguably provides 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.


Research is key

All activities within your PR campaign should be of genuine interest to your stakeholders, so research is needed to get your angles right. In B2B marketing specifically, relevant topics can be very niche and complex, so 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 a full PR campaign, you can expect to use 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 key industry-specific 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.


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