What is B2B PR?

What is PR and where does B2B PR fit in?

What should you expect from your Public Relations company?

What should your PR company deliver and how do you know if it’s doing a good job?

How can you tell if your PR partnership is on a road of continuous improvement or on a path of terminal decline?

In this article Lorraine Emmett dissects what B2B PR is, what types of support are available and how to make sure your PR Budget works hard for you.

What is PR?

Let’s start with the purpose of Public Relations. PR Companies manage reputations.  Reputation is determined by everything you say and everything you do, everything that is said or written about you.  It exists whether you chose to manage it or not. (Here’s our blog post about that: There’s No Such Thing As Bad PR. Codswallop.)

Boy dressed as pilot with wings

A good B2B PR agency will deliver commercial outcomes enabling business growth.

Organisations that recognise that their reputation has a currency and that a positive perception will pay dividends  – goodwill, loyal customers, committed workforce and so forth – participate in proactive PR programmes designed to influence and persuade people on the merit of their enterprise.  This is PR.  This is what PR companies do.

The Public Relations trade body, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, can provide you with further insight.

B2B PR is a specialism within PR which helps organisations to sell their products and services to other organistaions not the general public.

Different B2B PR agencies will also specialise according to industry experience, knowledge and their preferred PR approach.

For example, ec-pr specialises in supporting science, technology and engineering companies display the best of their businesses.

More PR Specialisms

There are a number of different specialties within the PR profession including B2B PR (business-to-business); corporate communications, consumer PR, public affairs & lobbying, financial PR, technology PR, social media and internal communications, to name a few.

ec-pr specialises in Technology B2B PR and corporate communications. We are experienced in delivering public affairs projects and internal communications programmes, with a deep market knowledge of the Technology Sectors: Infosecurity, Science, Energy, Maritime, Defence and Transport.

People who work in PR Companies need to be able to understand the prevailing issues, empathise with the impact of those issues and communicate clearly and with commitment with interested parties, both verbally and in writing.

What can B2B PR Contribute?

Our Accountable – Effective – Provocative approach is designed explicitly to enable companies to achieve their short, intermediate and long term goals against defined KPIs.

Depending on what stage of maturity their business plans have reached we may be called upon to deliver any number of outcomes:

  1. improved stakeholder insight
  2. meaningful corporate messaging
  3. re-energised subsidiaries
  4. clearer internal & external communication
  5. invigorated sales teams
  6. improved media visibility for goods and services
  7. thought leadership
  8. integrated communications
  9. enhanced budget utilisation

Our approach is bespoke to each client so for whatever outcome a client requires we will tailor an intelligent, practical and timely solution.  We can also demonstrate our market expertise though a vast array of Tech B2B PR case studies.

How is PR Different from Advertising?

The key difference is that advertising space is paid for while editorial space is not.  While you pay for the PR Agency’s time there is no guarantee that coverage will appear – it is down to the editor decide whether the material is likely to add value to the media channel (magazine, programme or blog) or not. Therefore the primary skill that your PR Company needs to have is the ability to understand how to present your message in a way that will engage and inspire the audience of your target channels.  Without this ability your PR programme will fail.

On the flip side, readers will appreciate that editorial content may have a greater value having been vetted by a professional journalist, rather than a paid-for advertisement.

To work out if your business would benefit from an outsourced PR partner we’ve listed several benefits below, and a useful blog: Seven Questions To Ask A Potential PR Agency

The benefits of appointing a PR Company are many and include:

  1. No recruitment fees – the PR team is already in place
  2. Immediate performance – no interviewing, inducting, learning the ropes
  3. Greater value for money – access to a team of senior PR people that you couldn’t afford to employ on a full time basis
  4. 24/7 availability – no holiday down time
  5. Benefit of distance – PR firms can see the wood from the trees and can provide impartial, objective advice
  6. All the writing expertise plus implementation and delivery skills readily accessible
  7. PR Agencies have an established and powerful network of press contacts which they can open up to you, why start the process from scratch

Defining Integrated PR

Integrated PR can mean different things to different people.  To ec-pr integrated PR is business-to-business PR that you wrap around your marketing activities to create impact and effect. What makes this philosophy different is that it is a multi-channel approach which broadens our clients’ reach and makes their budget work harder because every channel is reinforcing the same key values, ethos and proposition.  This does not necessarily mean repetition but does mean harmony, alignment and clarity as well as the absence of conflict, contradiction and confusion. Read more about why PR needs to fit into an overall communication strategy here.

Turbo-chargE your SEO with Smart B2B PR

If your website is invisible then your potential customers and stakeholders can’t find you.   Websites are invisible if they are not on page one of Google for their preferred keywords.  Your B2B PR company can be tasked with rectifying this situation.  If you’re investing time and energy in populating, updating and responding to the demands of blogs, micro-blogs and social media it makes absolute sense to make sure you’re integrating all your channels AND using every piece of collateral to optimise your site – so it becomes both visible and therefore findable!

In 2019 it will be more important than ever to make sure your website hits the mark in order to maintain your position in search engine results page. Remember, if you are not investing in your SEO and your competitors are, you will lose your ranking bit by bit. We can advise on how you’re doing and how you can improve your performance in the next 12 months.