Pop quiz: What would you say is the desired outcome of a B2B PR campaign?
Nine out of ten times, a business looking for PR considers results to be quotes in the press, and a level of success is judged by the prestige of the publication. The head of a company, for instance, expects to see himself or herself quoted in The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal or the #1 trade publication in the corporation’s field. The executive might also like to get a little bit of social media spotlight as well.
Although there’s certainly no problem with any of the above, it’s simply an incomplete understanding of B2B PR. Arranging for the CEO to be mentioned in the Times or praised in a trade publication does not mean that you, as a PR professional, can hang your hat. It also of course may be all wrong for a particular type of business.
B2B PR is commonly thought of as being all about news placements.
In truth, media coverage is merely a part of the B2B PR formula. If that’s as far as you go, you will be turning a blind-eye to all the extras that come afterwards, plus everything else you could have done. What am I talking about? There’s social media (an entire field in itself), videos, content marketing, contests/sweepstakes, polls, blogs, and much more. Then let us not forget the fact that big name news sources may not even be optimal for a company. To illustrate, if a business seeks clients in only one or a couple states (with no intention of expanding), regional media coverage could be far more effective – and easier to land. Simply put, you must focus on where your audience lies.
This brings me to the next point. In order for PR results to truly be powerful, they should be merchandised.
What does this mean exactly?
It means publicizing any and all press you obtain. A crucial element of a successful PR campaign is expanding the reach and frequency of your media coverage. That’s right, you’ve got to put on your marketing hat and personally get your media in front of your readers’/viewers’ eyes. Here are 10 methods to accomplish that:
- Circulate your own press. Simply display the link along with a brief summary of any articles you’ve gotten on your website, including your home page. This can be anywhere from one sentence to one paragraph. This is the most basic thing you can do. Yet it never ceases to amaze me when B2B companies neglect to do this. However, if you weren’t able to get any articles published, no need to fear. You can always post the articles on your website and promote those. Which leads to the next point…
- Promote your press in your blog. Touch on the topic you were quoted on in a blog post and be sure to include a link to your coverage.
- Mention your press in a newsletter to clients and prospects. Don’t have a newsletter? No worries. You can always write an email to keep your clients (and prospects) updated on what you’ve been doing. You should reference your press coverage there.
- Include links to the press in your signature line. Simple and effective.
- Spread the word via social media with links to your articles placed on social media sites like Twitter,, Facebook, Google+, etc.
- Begin discussions on your blog or LinkedIn group about the topic you were quoted on (and be sure to include a link to your article).
- State that you’ve been quoted in the press in your personal bio and/or company about us section.
- Obtain copies of the article you’ve been quoted in and add this to your press kit. Believe it or not, old fashioned hard copies can still be used (although electronic versions also work).
- Rework an article to function as an abstract for a speaking proposal.
- Use screenshots of articles in a video about your company or for sales presentations. You may want to highlight your quote here.
Now it’s your turn! Please feel free to share your ideas on expanding a PR campaign.