B2B PR Blog

Make the most our of your B2B PR activity.

Our ec-pr blog holds a wide variety of articles covering Communication, writing Press Releases and Editorial, preparing and making the most of Trade Events and Networking, and much, much more.

Do tell us if you’d like to have our insight on a particular subject, and don’t forget that you can pick up our free guides about event publicity or becoming an Influencer here. Please contact us if you’d like to talk about adding ec-pr to your Marketing team.


The brand awareness formula – B2B PR

The brand awareness formula – B2B PR

The brand awareness formula – B2B PR

BA = (M+C2) x (R+I)

Brand awareness is the result of presenting your message consistently, in a way that is relevant, interesting and engaging to your target audience. Sounds easy right? What could possibly go wrong? Let’s break it down and have a closer look.

 

MESSAGE

what is it? It’s right there on the tip of your tongue – or it should be. You won’t be convincing if you, and your team, aren’t singing from the same hymn sheet. Top to bottom, you shouldn’t be able to put a cigarette paper between you. If you know where you’re going, you’re more likely to get there. Truism after truism because…it’s true. Effective messaging starts with clarity of vision throughout the business and communicating with target personas appropriately at each stage of the buying cycle. Your message must start and end with how you will make the lives of your target persona better – anything else is hyperbole. Brand awareness starts with the CEO.

Lack of message = weak brand

CONSISTENCY

inside and out. If you’re not being consistent internally, you have no hope externally. Even if you are clear about your message, the further down the chain of command you get, the more diluted your message becomes; unless you take steps to ensure it isn’t. For example, if you say: ‘it’s all about the vibrancy of colour’, a month or two later someone else will be saying: ‘it’s all about how bright the red is’ and, by the summer a new member of staff will be saying: ‘It’s all about hot pink!’ Internal consistency ensures alignment between departments and concentration of effort.

Internal inconsistency = anchor not accelerator

CONSISTENCY

in the look, feel and tone of how you communicate to your external audiences gives your gravitas and instant credibility. You need to walk the walk, and present yourself as a authoritative, passionate and authentic business partner that will enhance the lives of your prospects. This is where I feel soulless content and click bait fails so meteorically because it lacks integrity. Present your message with conviction and flare, in your channel(s) of choice and then perform the ‘terrier protocol’ (i.e. don’t let go!)

External inconsistency = prospect confusion

RELEVANCY

If you have put your customer at the heart of everything you say and do and focused on solving their problems, your prospect traction is likely to be high. Admittedly, the relevancy of a message can evolve and change but probably not as fast as your boredom threshold might suggest! If you’ve spent a couple of months or more gathering customer insight and developing your messaging, by the time you’ve immersed the business and planned your go-to-market campaigns the danger is you’re already a bit over it. Patience! Messaging rooted in business insight and prospect empathy will endure, inspire and be effective. Invest your intellect and energy in finding new ways of interpreting your key messages in your marketing channels.

Irrelevancy = prospect indifference

INTEREST

what most people find interesting is themselves and their problems. Make sure you put your customers and prospects front and centre and use a range of creative treatments that inspire and embrace different media formats and channels to speak with your community. Lead and inspire – be an advocate. Believe you can make a difference to your target community and you will create curiosity and followership.

Uninteresting = no engagement ☹

BA = (M+C2) x (R+I)

Don’t leave marketing to the marketers.

Brand awareness is everyone’s responsibility and should be led from the top. Insight 2020 revealed that less than 1/6 of b2b businesses had a clear vision. That means that more than 80% of b2b businesses don’t think having clarity of vision is important – which means that their marketing communications are being done while wearing a blind fold. Why would anyone think that’s a good idea?

Why your business needs thought leaders

Why your business needs thought leaders

Why your business needs thought leaders

Thought leadership is not a buzzword. Developing a campaign using your STEM experts can elevate your visibility and value beyond your competitors.

Thought leaders attract business

Thought leaders are those with a unique perspective and passion about how something can be achieved. They speak with clarity about industry problems, ideas and potential solutions. Their opinion is rooted in knowledge and knowhow so that their ideas can be realised, and their successes replicated.

Thought leaders are engaging, inspirational and motivating.

Typically these experts have a media profile and they attract followers because, within their community, they are visible, valued and understood. Consequently, they become trusted sources of information for the wider media and their audiences.

Take for example, Simon Sinek, the leadership and branding expert – his presentations are highly visual, accessible and offer clear, articulate, replicable steps. His message is simple, easy to remember, reference and repeat. As a result, his ideas spread, his profile increases, and he sells more books and his consultancy grows.

Bathe in reflected glory

A business can employ any number of thought leaders – each an expert in their own field, with different communication styles and preferred platforms. Whether you grow your own or employ existing thought leaders, the important thing is that you encourage and support them to capture, structure and articulate their best ideas. Doing so will add further value to your business’s vision and mission.

It’s worth noting that the process of sharing thought leadership enables you to harness and harvest the intellectual property (deliberate small ‘i’ small ‘p’) which resides in the heads of your most valuable employees – employees who one day may be employed by your greatest competitor.  Encourage them to share their brilliance while employed by you, so your business can bathe in its reflected glory.

Passion is persuasive

Don’t talk about things you don’t care about because it will show – it will be dull, and everyone will ignore you. Talking and writing for the sake of it does not make you a thought leader. Don’t write about the same stuff as everyone else, this makes you a copycat and possibly a plagiarist.

Being an expert takes time and commitment as does having an expert opinion. Developing an opinion usually means that you have investigated, considered and formulated different perspectives around an issue.

Few people will invest time and energy if they don’t care about a subject. When people commit some effort, it’s because they give a damn and when you give a damn, your passion shines through and it becomes so much more compelling. Therefore your expert does not need to be a sales-person or automatically comfortable in the limelight. Confidence in front of the media comes with skills to be learned, and it’s why we run services like our Media Training.

Your business needs thought leaders because they help your business to grow, which reflects well on your reputation and showcases your brilliance.

Next steps

1. Download our free guide on how you can become a thought leader.

2. See our case study showing how EC-PR developed an impressive PR Outreach Programme for SELIS, including story placements, media reviews and a compelling narrative about the SELIS project.

This article first appeared on LinkedIn. and was revised in Feb 2020.

B2B PR – On being a thought leader

B2B PR – On being a thought leader

B2B PR – On being a thought leader

Insight 2020 identified that thought leadership is a key priority for marketers, it also appears to be a bit of a sweetheart subject in the marketing press right now so I thought it would be useful to provide some insight into the ‘how’ and ‘who’ of great thought leadership.

 

Over the years, we have written hundreds of pieces of ‘thought leadership’ on behalf of clients. Every article we craft is written from interview with a subject matter expert and we follow a process to ensure it’s interesting, relevant and strategically aligned.

The angle for each article is developed with one eye on the communication strategy, with a target persona in mind. If you speak clearly and concisely to a single persona, you are infinitely more interesting than if you speak more generically in the hope of catching the attention of everyone.The angle will often be refined and promised to an editor on an exclusive basis before the full article is written. Our client’s time is valuable and, we don’t want to be producing a piece of thought leadership which only appears on our client’s website or LinkedIn feed.

A focussed, recorded interview with the subject matter expert provides us with the source material which we then craft into an article which meets the requirements of the business, the editor and the reader. [Occasionally, the editor chooses to take the source material and draft the article themselves].

The success of the article will depend on the subject matter expert; the best articles will invariably be from engaged leaders – business leaders or field leaders – who display the following attributes:
  1. They don’t care about being a thought leader, but they care deeply about their subject, vision or mission.
  2. Their knowledge is profound. They take every opportunity to learn about every evolution or development which may impact their passion. Their capacity for assimilating new information is enormous. They are great thinkers.
  3. They can clearly articulate why any aspect of their topic is important – building out its commercial, social, political or environmental relevance where appropriate. Never boring or boorish, they are always interesting and engaging when talking about their subject.
  4. Great thought leaders are willing and able to pitch their communication at the right level for their audience. They are passionate and persuasive to the point of evangelism. They are constantly engaged in their topic.
  5. As with all successful story tellers, great thought leaders have logical, yet creative minds and they enjoy sharing their opinion and ideas. As a result, they are prolific writers, speakers and communicators.

EC-PR How To Become A Thought Leader

Next step

To find out more download our White Paper ‘How to be a thought Leader’.

#leadership #b2bpr #CommunicationStrategy #B2Bmarketing #MarketingCommunication #Insight2020 #thoughtleadership

 

Insights 2020: A Spotlight on B2B Communication for CMOs

Insights 2020: A Spotlight on B2B Communication for CMOs

Insights 2020: A Spotlight on B2B Communication for CMOs

The turn of the decade marks a pivotal moment for Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs). According to Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2019-2020, marketing budgets are in decline, but the ongoing mandate to drive growth and innovation is putting pressure on marketers to place their strategic bets wisely.

Insights 2020, a report by ec-pr, is now available. Download your full copy of the free report and see for yourself what the challenges are that marketers must overcome.

Essential intelligence for marketers

Shining a light on B2B communication for CMO’s, the Insight 2020 survey researched their priorities and challenges for 2020, and explored their strategic approach to communications, as well as the extent to which communication strategies are implemented to drive business outcomes.

Report highlights

Insight 2020:
B2B Communications at the turn of the decade – The results

A spotlight on the report’s findings.

Insight 2020:
B2B Communications at the turn of the decade – The results

A spotlight on the report’s findings.

What is a communication strategy? how does it help marketers reach business objectives?

Watch our video below to learn more.

What is a communication strategy? how does it help marketers reach business objectives?

Watch our video below to learn more.

The Insight 2020 Infographic

What keeps marketers awake at night and other challenges…

Three steps to improve your presentation (communication without purpose is just noise)

Three steps to improve your presentation (communication without purpose is just noise)

Three steps to improve your presentation (communication without purpose is just noise)

How do you become an excellent communicator?

Nearly everyone is familiar with feelings of nerves or even dread when it comes to making a presentation (Indeed fear of public speaking is the most common social fear). And how many of us have sat through a dreary or incomprehensible presentation that is dull or difficult to follow? Therefore, it’s a normal and perhaps well-founded fear that our own presentation or talk might not be as engaging as it ought. So what steps can you take to make an ordinary presentation into a clear, compelling and thought-provoking one? The key is to start by being clear about your purpose…

How to make your presentation great

Great presentations flow because they have a structured argument designed to take you from your current perspective to a new one. The entire talk is tailored to carry your thoughts, opinions and judgements to a different place or point of reflection. Every phrase has a purpose.

This change in perspective is only possible with a clearly defined outcome or intention where each point or section leads logically to another, without hesitation. There is a subtle but vital difference between the task of giving a talk and the communication objective that underpins it.

Present with focus and a clear intent

Clarity of outcome is key to achieving new perspectives in the minds of the audience – assuming that the content is pitched appropriately (imagine the difference between the content of a talk about ‘the value of space travel to the human race’ delivered to a) pre-school kids and b) NASA astronauts. Confusion, distraction or boredom will only occur if an audience is unable to follow the logic of the presenter either because it is poorly pitched or because it lacks focus and intent.

Provoke a response from your audience

A communication objective should provoke a response in thought, word or deed. Effective communication will provoke the response you intend. Never forget that communication without purpose is just noise.

Do this one thing: next time you do a talk, set yourself a measurable objective and ask your audience for feedback. It will make you a better communicator, I promise.

***

Next Steps

Take a look at our INSIGHTS 2020 report for CMOs, shining a light on B2B communication in the next decade. The survey researched priorities and challenges for CMOs, and explored their strategic approach to communications, as well as the extent to which communication strategies are implemented to drive business outcomes.

EC-PR is a B2B PR Agency that helps forward-thinking tech businesses to be more effective communicators. We help businesses tackle critical issues such as lead generation, tender invitations and improving conversion rates by raising awareness, driving leads and developing targeted effective messaging.

Article first published 14th Oct 2016 and revised 1st Feb 2020.

Festive Brain Teaser

Festive Brain Teaser

Festive Brain Teaser

Seven riddles to keep the little grey cells active over the holiday. If you need some help some clues are included at the base of this post in the form of icons, including a couple of red-herrings.

  1. I speak with no mouth, and hear with no ears, I have no body but come alive in the wind. What am I?
  2. You measure my life in hours and I serve you by expiring. I’m quick when I’m thin and slow when I’m fat. The wind is my enemy. What am I?
  3. I have cities, but no houses. I have mountains, but no trees. I have water, but no fish. What am I?
  4. What is seen in the middle of March and April that can’t be seen at the beginning or end of either month?
  5. You see a boat filled with people. It has not sunk, but when you look again you don’t see a single person on the boat. Why?
  6. What word in the English language does the following: the first two letters signify a male, the first three letters signify a female, the first four letters signify a great man, while the entire world signifies a great woman. What is the word?
  7. I come from a mine and get surrounded by wood always. Everyone uses me. What am I?

Email me your answers and we’ll publish the answers and winner in January 🙂

In no particular order, images to help with our riddles!

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