It’s hard to believe that we are almost at the midpoint of the year. For those of us working in B2B public relations, now is a good time to review the accomplishments of the past few months. (Otherwise known as the onerous task of gathering data and compiling those quarterly or half-year PR reports—but that’s for another blog post.) It’s also a good time to review your PR operations to keep your tactics fresh and ready to continue moving your clients’ publicity forward for the rest of the year.
In B2B marketing, press releases are still a useful way to reach your target audience by placing your news in trade publications that speak directly to your customer demographic. Whether you’re working for an agency or in-house, reach out to your client contacts to learn if there are any new products, service upgrades, personnel or partnerships on the horizon. If not, discuss which existing products haven’t recently been featured in publications. Then, create press releases that highlight capabilities that are of interest to individual publication’s readers. Also, review your boilerplates and update any information that might have changed recently like sales figures, years in business, number of employees, etc.
It’s important to research the editorial calendar topic needs of your target publications. That way, the editors know that you are doing more than promoting your products or services. Sending news or offering an expert shows that you actually care about providing helpful news and content. So, if you don’t make it a habit of charting out editorial opportunities at the beginning of each new year, it’s a good idea to revisit those editorial calendars to make sure you aren’t missing a good fit for your client and the publication.
Media Contact List
You likely have several one-on-one relationships with editors of your key publications, and you send them your news directly. They know you and appreciate that you share relevant information with them and don’t waste their time with news that falls outside of their scope. You probably also have master email lists categorized by publication focus for wider distribution of your news. Whether you maintain these lists through your own system or use a platform like Cision, every so often you need to check the names on your list against the information on the publications’ websites. Things change – editors, publishers, email addresses – which means your news likely will fall into a spam folder if you don’t periodically update your lists.
If you’re coming off of a busy spring trade show season, you probably need a little break from booths and presentations. But the fall season will be here before you know it—and pre-show media coverage even sooner. That means confirming with your clients the shows they will attend, products they’ll feature and talks they will give. On the media side, check the shows’ websites to see which publications are participating and check for publicity opportunities like press releases or product pages for exhibitors.
It’s easy to get into a rut with B2B social media. Make sure you aren’t scheduling posts and forgetting about them. Your social posts should connect your marketing messaging and content offerings and share them with an audience of interested followers. For your social media tune-up, review the social media channels your customers are using to make sure nothing has changed. Check what the competition is up to lately and be sure to respond to new followers, retweet, mentions, likes, replies and messages. And think about upping your content game by using video, graphics, contests, live video or eBooks to get followers’ attention.
When PR and inbound marketing work together, they provide a wealth of content ideas that can be used for both purposes in order to provide your client’s industry with solutions to nagging problems. For example, that eBook that’s getting a lot of downloads would make a great article to pitch to a publication. Or that white paper that you spent hours researching and writing can become the source of a video script. If you haven’t done so in a while, bring your content creators together to compare notes and get more mileage out of your work.
All marketing tactics should be thought of as part of a larger whole, rather than separate pieces. By strategically integrating all marketing tactics, the marketing programs become more effective and cost efficient. As a B2B agency, we use integrated digital marketing to meet this improved performance need. To learn more about how it will benefit your business, download our free eBook: A Better Path for B2B Technology Marketers.
Lisa Goetz is a public relations executive at Schubert b2b, where she primarily writes content and manages media relations. She brings 20 years of editorial and communications experience to Schubert b2b and holds a PhD in English literature from Duquesne University. When not in the office, Lisa likes to take excursions with her husband and hang out with her cat and a good book.