B2B public relations, or PR, is just what it sounds like — relating (connecting) to your public (or audience). It’s the process of securing publicity either for you or for your clients. PR bridges the gap between the customers, the media and you/your client.
B2B public relations may seem like its own isolated or separate branch of marketing communications. This is incorrect though because it can mesh with all of the other branches of marketing seamlessly.
For example, advertising and PR work together. Both involve your relations with trade pubs. Heavy amounts of advertising can open up PR opportunities, and constant media relations can open up advertising opportunities.
That’s just one example. The more your marketing tactics can reference each other and interplay, the better.
1. Think About Inbound AND Outbound PR
PR is traditionally thought of as an outbound activity, where it can integrate with your advertising and ad campaigns. This is absolutely a viable use of B2B public relations — but why not use it for a second function?
B2B PR can be used as an inbound marketing tool too! Inbound marketing (as you may remember) is the process of creating content to attract prospects. These prospects then essentially opt into your content and express buying interest when they interact with your content. You can send automated emails to bring them back and introduce them to new pieces of content as well.
So what is inbound PR? Things like newsletters can be considered inbound PR. Another use of inbound PR would be optimizing all of the releases in your newsroom. They rank for SEO too! Think about how they can bolster your SEO strategy and bring people in. Fill your releases with inbound and outbound links. Make sure it’s easy to find your newsroom on your homepage. When media outlets pick up your releases, be sure to get backlinks to draw in more prospects.
2. Get Personal
PR can be as limited or far-reaching as you want. Similarly, it can be as digital or physical as you want. Making personal connections is great PR.
Take your PR to the next level by integrating it with your next trade show. Trade shows are a great place for you to use social media like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and more. Try using QR codes on your booth or content to direct people to pages and videos on your website. Try featuring (or at least talking up) some of your recent article placements.
Use releases to publicize what you’re going to be doing at the trade show. But make sure to save some surprises for the actual show.
3. Think Outside the Box
You may be familiar with the term “PR stunt.” Usually, people use it in reference to celebrities doing things that are…less than intelligent. But think about this in the context of B2B. You don’t need to get on TMZ, but you want to make a splash in B2B media.
Think about your company. Think about your product or service. And don’t forget about your audience. What sort of novel ways are there to reach your audience?
Brands are always doing giveaways. You’ve seen charitable events. You’ve seen brand ambassadors. But what about a slide? Depending on your brand, there are many applicable and “outside the box” ideas.
If you make vacuum cleaners, maybe create a game with them and showcase this game at a trade show. Make it a video and put it on YouTube (you never know what can go viral). Maybe wear unexpected outfits.
Chemical companies can do “mad science” demonstrations.
Software companies can make game apps.
The ideas are endless.
Ultimately, while a PR “stunt” may sound like an odd or trivial thing for a B2B company, people like to work with companies they relate to. If you’re able to humanize your brand, it will draw in many more people.
A word to the wise: make sure it feels relevant and genuine. If you’re the above-mentioned vacuum company, you probably wouldn’t be the one hosting the “mad science” demonstration. The best B2B public relations stunts are those that are relevant to the audience, time and place.
All marketing tactics should be thought of as part of a larger whole, rather than separate pieces. By strategically integrating all tactics, the programs become more effective and cost efficient. An Integrated marketing communication plan helps you meet real business objectives – generate leads, grow revenues, gain market share, and become the leading brand.