The value of successful B2B PR campaigns are often underestimated. They can be a very effective means of improving an organisation’s credibility and standing in its industry, retaining and attracting the best talent, and ultimately winning business.
The key is getting the formula right from the outset, so here we take a look at five of the most important components of successful B2B PR plans.
- Setting clear goals and establishing key messages
This is an essential part of any successful B2B PR campaign plan. PRs should understand and agree on explicit goals and lay down a series of key messages that will be used time and time again in the media coverage. Those messages should convey the client’s points of difference and identify them as innovative, unique or market leading in some way. In the mass of content surrounding any industry, your contribution should stand out rather than blend in. So what do you do differently and why? We can create a story around those details.
Establishing goals will, of course, also allow you to measure the success of your campaign and ensure your are achieving key objectives. KPIs could vary from campaign to campaign, but examples could be an increase in leads, sales, share of voice etc. Or simply an increase in traffic to your site, growth in audience etc.
- Becoming a thought leader in the sector, with spokespeople responsible for different areas
One of the most effective tactics in B2B PR is establishing your client as a respected commentator on relevant issues. If there are three key subjects you as a business want to be seen as experts on, for example, you can elect one senior representative to own each and develop a bank of branded content behind them. That content should be in different forms, from video interviews to extended written columns, to optimise the effect on your company’s SEO score, and cover a range of industry media online and offline. Thought leadership content is something we have developed successfully for a range of clients from industries as diverse as property and freight brokerage, and plenty in between, so it really doesn’t matter where your expertise lies, there will always be media and public interest in well crafted, intelligent commentary.
- Establishing currency by working with the news agenda
Proactive content creation is imperative but B2B PR plans should not overlook opportunities for businesses to hi-jack the news agenda for their own benefit. The advantage of working with a PR agency which stays very close to the news is that, as soon a story appears that may have a bearing on your business or industry, they can position you right at the centre of the story. This builds currency and relevance around your business and demonstrates that you are at the cutting edge of the industry, ready to comment on and react to breaking news stories.
- Building relationships with key journalists in the industry
Alongside proactive and reactive content creation and commentary, it is imperative that B2B PR plans include an element of relationship building with influential writers in the key industry titles. This is an important investment and will help to secure positive, detailed coverage in the future. Some journalists prefer one on one meetings, and others will be happy to join a round table of a dozen colleagues but whatever the context, it is imperative to go to every meeting with some new, unseen information that will make a good story for journalists. Without that, journalists are unlikely to spare time in their busy schedules and if they do, they will leave disappointed they didn’t get a scoop.
- Winning recognition through industry awards and speaking appearances
Many clients don’t expect a PR campaign to incorporate writing award entries and organising speaking appearances but in truth they are both important elements of a B2B PR campaign. We have successfully put clients forward for industry awards, overseeing the entry process from start to finish and recently one of our clients, the online estate agency Purplebricks.com, was named the number one start-up company in the UK this year in the Startups 100 list, on the back of our entry. Likewise, speaking appearances provide a boost in credibility and should be seen as an effective means of improving a company’s reputation and standing.