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How B2B PR Will Succeed in 2011

Elizabeth Sosnow recently penned a thoughtful post with the title: “How B2B PR will Fail in 2011.” While the title is provocative, a more optimistic title might be, “How B2B PR will Succeed in 2011.” Sosnow claims the age-old model of PR is at risk, implying that a focus on social media, press releases, by-lined articles, trade shows, and other traditional PR staples misplaced. In its stead, she recommends content marketing. While I too am a big proponent of content marketing —

Elizabeth Sosnow recently penned a thoughtful post with the title: “How B2B PR will Fail in 2011.”
While the title is provocative, a more optimistic title
might be, “How B2B PR will Succeed in 2011.”
Sosnow claims the age-old model of PR is at risk, implying
that a focus on social media, press releases, by-lined articles, trade shows,
and other traditional PR staples misplaced. In its stead, she recommends
content marketing.
While I too am a big proponent of content marketing —
particularly of producing content that engages — the fact is that B2B PR has
always been to some extent in the content business. Think white papers, case studies,
speeches, by-lined articles.
What has changed today is not so much the ability and need
of B2B PR experts to produce content but the fact that companies now don’t need
to go through gate keepers. Anyone today, as the litany goes, can be a
publisher. Coinciding with that is that
the sphere of content, as Sosnow points out, has widened, thanks to
digitalization. Today articles, newsletters, ebooks, blogs, e-magazines, videos
and podcasts, are all types of content that can fall under the PR umbrella. The
digitalization of information has made content inexpensive both to create and
distribute.
Where the rub is going to be as I see it in 2011 is not so
much creating content. But in developing a strategy around the content that
coheres with your overall marketing strategy and ultimately gets people eager
to learn more. Granted that I am a sample size of one, but I am already buried under
a veritable volcano of content. And, I bet you are too. What I need more than
anything is smart, quick-read content available on demand. SmartBrief is one
company doing a good job at just that. But there is a room for more.
Which brings me to the two buzzwords you’ll hear a lot more
about this year: content curation and one to one marketing. Both are not new terms, but
technology is now making them a reality. And both make content marketers more
effective. Curation refers to collecting (as opposed to creating) content on a
subject or subjects and providing quick digests and links. Companies like
paper.li, storify, pearltrees, and curatedby are making curation as easy as the
click of a button.. One to one marketing, a concept Don Peppers and Martha Rogers
popularized in the 1990s has always been the holy grail of marketing. And here
too technology especially is making it easier especially thanks to software like bit.ly that tells you
who has clicked on a link or applications like Tweet Spinner that tell you who
is talking about your subject and has the most influence.
As I see it, it’s now up to B2B PR to seize the content
marketing mantle, and integrate that with an overall PR and marketing strategy,
that helps expand your thought leadership and reputation.
How do you plan to improve your B2B PR in 2011? I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Follow @FastCoLeaders for all of our leadership news, expert bloggers, and book excerpts.
Wendy Marx, B2B PR and Marketing Specialist, Marx Communications.

About the author

Wendy Marx is President of Marx Communications, an award-winning boutique B2B Public Relations agency known for turning companies and executives, including start-ups, into thought leaders. Follow her on Twitter @wendymarx and on Google+ @ plus.google.com/+wendymarx.

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