Not all PR campaigns are the same, especially when it comes to the different approaches needed to run a successful B2B program versus a consumer initiative. Typically, consumer campaigns appear to be bolder in their approaches and take more risks. Business to business (B2B) PR initiatives on the other hand are often more conservative. However, what is not apparent in a B2B campaign is the complex strategy that goes into creating successful PR outcomes.
Yes, consumers can be fickle. But as this blog post from CISION, 5 Best Practices for B2B Public Relations overviews, the business space requires very detailed planning and strategy. What I also always add to the mix when working with our B2B clients is that the PR strategy must tie back to the overall business goals. Without considering the overall goals for the business, be it increasing the sales of a new product or growing awareness in a new sector, the PR strategy won’t work if it sits in isolation from these objectives.
On the other side of the spectrum, consumer campaigns also need to have goals and need to tie back to the business objective. However, depending on the subject matter, they can generally be a bit more flexible with how they execute the PR. How does this translate into laymen’s terms? Most successful consumer campaigns center around one target objective. For example – to grow the users of an app by 10% over a 6 month period. Often, each campaign can run as its own initiative. This isn’t to say that consumer PR doesn’t consist of numerous campaigns that run simultaneously. They are just generally more able to stand alone.
With a B2B PR program, oftentimes there are numerous business goals that need to be considered at the same time, with initiatives that all layer or intersect with each other. Therefore, strategic B2B PR must consider all of the organization’s business goals and tie the communications tactics back to these goals. Like numerous B2B PR blogs detail, it’s not just about media relations and media coverage.
I’ll leave you with a few tactics that my team and I have found to be very successful when executing a B2B PR program to help you get started:
- Use and leverage industry research and statistics to help promote your mandate
- Write white papers and opinion articles that go beyond trying to ‘sell’ your product and service
- Build a strong database of sector-relevant contacts and create interesting content-driven e-newsletters
- Work with sector-specific, niche, and B2B media outlets on stories relevant to your audience
- When building your social media audience and presence, leverage your company’s blog as a way to generate and push out your own proprietary content
Remember, a strong B2B PR campaign is about building a rapport with your selected target audience and hopefully driving them to action. It’s not always about getting the most eyeballs to your website, or about getting 1,000s of likes to your Facebook page. Instead it is about driving your target audience, which is often quite small and niche, to action – be that to sign-up for your newsletter or product trial, or to download and share your industry specific white paper.