Quick question: What are considered to be the positive results of a
B2B PR initiative?
Nine times out of 10, a company seeking PR will equate
results with being quoted in the news, and rate the outcome by the prestige of
the publication. A CEO, for instance, will want to see his/her name quoted in The
New York Times or The Wall Street Journal or in the number one trade publication in
the firm’s category. And perhaps the CEO will mention wanting to get a little
bit of that social media glamour.
Nothing wrong with any of that, except that it’s an
incomplete understanding of B2B PR. Getting a company’s executive quoted in the Times or talked up in a trade publication doesn’t mean as a PR
professional that you can rest on your laurels. It also of course may be all
wet for a particular type of business.
Let me explain.
There’s a common misperception that B2B PR is all about media
The fact is that media hits are but part of the B2B PR equation
and if you stop at that you’ve ignored all the bounty that follows, as well as
everything else you can do. There’s content marketing, social media, video,
contests, surveys, blogs, and on and on. There is also the fact that top-tier
media may not be the ticket to fame for a particular company. If your business operates
in only a few states and has no intent to expand, for example, regional media may be more
effective. The fact is you need to focus on where your audience is.
Which brings me to an often overlooked part of B2B PR. For
PR results to be effective, they need to be merchandised.
What does that mean?
It means marketing the heck out of any press you garner. You
can’t rely on someone to have seen any of your media articles. Nor should you.
A key part of a successful media campaign is boosting the reach and frequency
of your media. That means that you you need to put on your marketing hat and
personally get your press in front of you audience. Here are 10 ways to do just
Publish your own press.
Post links and a brief summary of any articles you’ve gotten on your website,
including your home page. This is the very simplest thing you can do. Yet,
it never fails to amaze me when B2B companies forget to do that. And, if
you’re not fortunate enough to get any articles published, don’t worry. Self-publish the articles on your
website.Promote your press in your
blog. Riff on the subject you were quoted on in a blog post and include a
link to your press.Cite your press in a newsletter
to clients and prospects. Don’t have a newsletter? No problem. Craft an
email note keeping your clients and prospects up to date on what you’re
doing and as part of that reference your press coverage.Include a link to the
press as part of your signature line.Talk it up in social media
with links to key articles posted on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and
Google+.Start a discussion on your
blog and/or a LinkedIn group about the topic you were quoted on and
include a link to your article.Add the fact that you’ve
been quoted in the press to your bio and/or company about statement.Get reprints of articles
and include them with a press kit. Yes, those old fashioned entities
still serve a place—whether electronic or in print.Repurpose an article as an
abstract for a speaking proposal.Include screenshots of
articles in a video about your company or in any sales presentations.
Your turn. I’d love to hear your ideas on how to merchandise
PR. Wendy Marx is a B2B PR and executive branding specialist at Marx Communications.[Image: Flickr user Danny Perez Photography]