Six Tips to Skyrocket Results Through Storytelling
“Quality is much better than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.” – Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs’ words ring true when it comes to accessing the success of B2B public relations campaigns. As PR professionals, it’s often our first instinct to reach for the stars when securing coverage, but getting your client quoted in five different articles isn’t a success if they don’t reach the appropriate audience.
Think about it. If you’re trying to promote emerging technology capabilities to thought leaders in a niche audience, is a placement in a national news outlet really going to help achieve your client’s end-goal?
Many times, effective business-to-business PR isn’t achieved through “big time” placements, but rather in accomplishing smaller “wins” that will move the dial with your client’s target audience. The first step to ensuring that your campaign will reach the right people is taking the time to understand the landscape of your client’s industry. A great way to get the ball rolling is by asking yourself and your team simple questions like, “What are the most read publications within this industry?” or “Does a certain type of trade publication carry more weight than others?” Sometimes exploring options outside of traditional PR is a good place to start like, “What impact can social media have on reaching the target audience?”
However in an ever-changing, high-tech world, PR isn’t just about reaching the right media outlets. Here are five ways to get optimal value out of your next B2B PR campaign:
1. BUILD THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
After all, isn’t PR all about making your client a trusted, reliable source within the industry? Messaging sessions and product marketing resources can help you identify the key areas of focus when it comes to thought leadership. Take a telecommunications company for example. Focusing on areas around service reliability and digital transformation can help target publications and generate worthwhile coverage. Taking steps ahead of time to identify the right medium for your message can help improve the way it’s received.
2. TELL CUSTOMER STORIES
When it comes to B2B PR, companies are often singing the same song. One way PR pros can differentiate our clients from the rest of the noise is by offering unique perspectives into a trend or issue. If your client works with a wide range of customers, you can reach a larger audience with this approach. While coverage may primarily focus on what the customer is doing, it will also help provide insight on the client’s position in the bigger picture of industry.
3. MAKE EVERY ANNOUNCEMENT COUNT
Many B2B companies regularly have new products and services to introduce. These types of announcements can lead to great coverage, if communicated properly. Say your client has a new product that is supposed to revolutionize home security. This announcement is much larger than the product itself. In addition to a cutting-edge solution, this announcement gives your client an opportunity to discuss the growing need for continued technological innovation. By tying client news to larger trends, it helps readers and writers better understand where your client’s piece fits into the puzzle.
4. RIDING THE WAVE OF COVERAGE
Regardless of your industry, there is always applicable news circulating. Newsjacking can be a great way to insert your client into the ongoing, “hot-topic” discussion. Did the White House just issue a new RFI? Did an industry giant make a big announcement (positive or negative)? Any related topics that are trending are opportunities for your client to provide their commentary. But remember to tread carefully when it comes to news. A good policy is to steer clear of controversial topics and stay within the comfort zone of your spokesperson.
5. FOR EVENTS, GO BIG OR GO HOME
Is your client attending a trade show or presenting at a conference? Identify media that will be in attendance and might be interested in an interview with your client. The success of this type of outreach ultimately depends on the event, but offering on-site conversations provides a timely setting for an interview that can be tied into a larger conversation.
6. REMEMBER TO GET SOCIAL
It’s 2017 and social media is the popular kid in school. Social media must be a strategic part of your B2B PR campaigns. Social media can be used to cross-promote coverage, blog posts and other announcements. During events, it’s important to live-tweet and use event hashtags, as these are the places the conversations are happening! Social media is also a good resource for pitch opportunities. By engaging with industry influencers and journalists, you can be one of the first to know of trending topics and story ideas.
These are some of the things we keep in mind when crafting our client campaigns. When we go to execute the campaign there are a few more things to think about. All materials originating from you should look familiar and have a similar tone of voice. Do not stretch a journalist’s story to fit your client’s talking points. Overselling what your client can provide can prevent relationship building and ruin your chances of getting your client placed with a publication. It’s also important to be consistent in your pitching efforts. It’s fine to follow up—don’t be afraid to send a second email.
Whether your client is large or small, innovative or conservative, it’s up to you as a PR professional to sell their story and make an impact in their industry.
Tommy Morgan and Dave Dykes are in the PR Group at Sage Communications.
This piece originally appeared on Bulldog Reporter. View it here.