Our PR approach

At ec-pr we realised some time ago that generating great publicity comes from understanding people. Good publicists have mastered the art of communication and are able to work in tight collaboration with smart, engaging business people. The best PR agencies find out who their clients’ audiences are, what they talk about and how to reach them.

Our whole business is built around this idea of engaging, accountable and thought-provoking PR.

At ec-pr we work closely with our clients, often business with highly technical products and services, and we help them navigate obstacles, problems and crises. We have worked hard to make our PR activities measurable and guarantee the success of our efforts.

We excel at translating technical complexity into great press releases and top-notch editorial that people want to read. We find the human story within the facts and make it interesting and readily usable by journalists.

Read on to find out more about our approach to PR. And then, if you are trying to find a PR agency that is refreshingly different, and who is bought into your success, you need to speak to Lorraine at ec-pr today.


How do I know if my PR agency is doing a good job?

How do I know if my PR agency is doing a good job?

How do I know if my PR agency is doing a good job?

Are you thinking about recruiting a PR agency or perhaps you feel your current agency could be adding a little more magic? This article is about how to assess whether your agency is actually doing a good job and what a great PR agency should be delivering.

As with any effective external agency, be it an advertising, content marketing or PR agency, your chosen agency should be organised, disciplined and transparent. Has your PR agency provided a clear Scope of Work with deliverables that are continuously monitored in the weekly/bi-weekly status report?

Is my PR Agency doing a good job checklist
Seamless, fully-integrated or bolt-on PR

Our experience shows that it is important to be flexible and align with a client’s approach to processes and project management (provided the approach is efficient). Is your agency happy to use your collaboration tools, say Trello or Basecamp? Are agency teams updating them in real-time and saving relevant documents into your shared folders? Such things may seem trivial or overly process-focused, but they do indicate that your agency is mindful of your business processes and is committed to helping you with your daily job.

Love hearts in bowl. PR Agency immersed in your business.Immersed in your business

I believe one of the key indicators distinguishing great PR agencies from average ones is the willingness and ability to immerse themselves in your business. Investing the time and resource to truly understand your products/services and market proposition will enable your agency to ‘sell’ your company to the media and other key stakeholders successfully.

Is your agency asking you about your competitors and your specific market segment? Has the agency team read your annual report or reviewed your marketing strategy? Are they asking for access to relevant internal documents (say customer personas or messaging)? If the answer to all of the above is ‘yes’, this is a good sign that the agency is really trying to scratch under the surface and understand the gist of your business.

Stone hand holding up tree. PR Agency offers strategic supportProactive and one step ahead

Most PR agencies tend to be proactive right after appointment, suggesting programmes of activities, new media targets or new angles to pitch your business to the press. But increasing your brand awareness and strengthening your competitive position is a long-term game, and truly outstanding PR agencies will keep the momentum and maintain proactivity after the initial ‘honeymoon period’ of about six months.

If your agency is occasionally bringing in additional sets of eyes from across its business, or is keeping you on your toes with new ideas and proposals that might take you out of your comfort zone, you can be sure they are trying to keep things fresh and take your communication function to the next level.

Great things happen when, usually as a result of a long-term partnership, your agency can predict your next move and comes prepared with answers and plans.

Are you envisaging an online pre-Xmas gathering for partners and customers (how very post-COVID) but are not sure how to sell the idea internally? Has your agency already prepared a plan and a mini business case for your boss? They seem to be one step ahead of you!

Escalator. PR Agency KPIs and growthTangible business impact with KPIs

Ultimately, every agency needs to deliver (or ideally over deliver) against an agreed plan and KPIs. Transparency rules when it comes to contracts, as I explain here. We normally recommend a mix of quantitative and qualitative targets, such as a percentage of Share of Voice against competitors, coverage impact score, or coverage sentiment.

The effectiveness of PR however should also be assessed in terms of the strategic value it brings to the business. Is your PR agency helping you identify and demonstrate your unique differences? Has it provided strategic counsel on which target audiences you need to prioritise to keep your communication focused?

These are the strategic inputs that will empower your business to use its time and resources efficiently, engage with your target audiences more effectively, and ultimately drive business growth.

Establish whether your PR agency is doing a good job with our 9-point check list

1Deliverables contract: Provides a clearly defined Scope of Work with deliverables that are continuously monitored

2Cultural alignment: Seamlessly aligns with your internal processes

3Collaboration tools: Uses collaboration tools and platforms to increase efficiencies

4Invests in you: Commits time and resource to truly understand your products/services and market proposition

5Communication strategy: Asks pertinent questions about your comms strategy and messaging, such as personas, positioning statements…

6Exceeds expectations: Proactively suggests activities to elevate your comms activity

7Forward thinking: Predicts your next question and comes prepared with answers

8Performance assured: Delivers against KPIs

9Outcome focused: Provides strategic counsel that generates tangible business outcomes

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our guide: How much does PR cost?

READ this outstanding Tech PR case study: Concirrus – Quest for Success

look at this Infographic: Your Questions About Communications Strategy Answered

How to choose the right PR agency for your brand
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Our transparent guide to B2B PR pricing for tech brands.

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B2B Content and B2B PR…and why you need a strategy for both

B2B Content and B2B PR…and why you need a strategy for both

B2B Content and B2B PR…and why you need a strategy for both

You might be thinking that you don’t need Public Relations (PR) because you’ve got it all sewn up with your content plans.  You could even be forgiven for thinking that PR and content are essentially two sides of the same coin and you’d be right; they are – and both sides are essential marketing currency.

The practice of content marketing is rooted in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) while Public Relations (PR) is rooted in reputation management. The two are intertwined and both are critical for your business and your brand’s success. Without PR, however, you may be surprisingly vulnerable.

What is content and what do you use it for?

Content is concerned with creating brand assets, over which you have absolute control, in order to grow your business online. Content is what you say about yourself.  It is brand.  You produce an article, video or podcast and you place it on your website, embed a link in an email, publish it on your LinkedIn profile and share it via your social channels.

Your content can be both objective and subjective, but you control it and you can control what it says and where it appears. Content is of significant and important value to your brand. B2B content marketing strategies are data driven; they are designed to amplify industry authority, boost search rankings, increase web traffic, drive social shares and generate sales leads.

Consider: A brand with no media relationships and no profile suffers a cyber attack which results in all its customers (and some competitors who happen to be on their database) to have their details published on the internet. How well placed is the content team to defend the business?

What will customers say/think/do?
What will valuable leads say/think/do?
What will your competitors say/think/do?

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READ: 10 Reasons your brand needs PR

What do you use PR for?

If content is what you say about yourself, PR is concerned with shaping what others say about you. It is about managing and nurturing your reputation. PR is concerned with contributing to the debate and influencing the things over which you have limited, or no direct control, to protect and nurture your reputation. You may craft a news release, but once dispatched to the press, you have no say over whether the story is used or how much of your story is published or, in what context.

  You cannot put a value on third party endorsement in terms of credibility.

This apparent lack of control is what sometimes makes PR seem scary, but the value of positive third-party endorsement cannot be underestimated – this is why you pay PR experts to manage and develop this relationship for you. Your PR agent is well practiced in drafting your news releases, and longer articles, in a way that is relevant, appropriate, and compelling. They will distribute it to interested parties and develop relationships on your behalf to secure opportunities for you to provide thought leadership. Your PR will be responsible for crafting ideas for your articles and angles to debate with journalists who have an interest in your areas of expertise. You measure your PR by impact, share of voice and authority.

B2B PR strategies are value driven; they are designed to educate, influence, and persuade your target audience to engage with your brand in a positive way using third party endorsement and engagement. The Barcelona Principles are a sound place to start planning your PR – providing you with guidelines to measure the efficacy of your communications campaigns.

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Integration is best to get better ROI

The two sets of expertise are tightly interwoven, and most PR firms will deliver both content and media relations programmes for you. The more you integrate the two sets of activities, the greater your impact and effect will be on your target audience. Your PR will amplify your achievements, your insight, and your brand by developing and leveraging relationships with the press on your behalf. As a result, PR will deliver favourable press coverage which promotes your reputation as a valuable business partner, a credible authority, and an industry expert. 

A business can survive without content. It may not achieve its full potential, but lack of content will not make it fail. A business that acquires a bad reputation, fairly or not, will fail (or dramatically stumble). If you protect and nurture your brand’s reputation, you fend off the competitive weeds that prevent it from blossoming.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is.

Download The Definitive Guide to Analyst Relations and how to ensure its success

READ this post: No Industry Is Too Complex For PR

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The Definitive Guide To Analyst Relations cover

The Definitive Guide to Analyst Relations

and how to ensure its success

The Dos and Don'ts of Analyst Relations to help build credibility with industry influencers.

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Our transparent guide to B2B PR pricing for tech brands.

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No industry is too complex for PR

No industry is too complex for PR

No industry is too complex for PR

If you’re a marketer working in an industry such as engineering, science or technology – you not only have to deal with all the resourcing challenges that face marketers universally, but you have the added issue of having to create intelligible, interesting and engaging content from what some might call ‘complex’ specialties.

Finding a PR agency to assist you in these industries can be tough – some tech PR agencies have the skills but not the understanding, others have the understanding but not the creativity and others, still, have the creativity but lack structure and discipline. It can be an unrewarding and laborious search to find a PR partner that really understands you.

So, let’s consider what’s important when searching for your perfect B2B PR Partner in those complex industries:

 

Skills to look for in a tech B2B PR partner

Engaging writers:

The skills that you need from your PR team are universal. You need them to be effective communicators – persuasive, passionate, and inquisitive. You need them to know the right questions to ask and, most importantly, you need them to be able to write solid, grammatically correct, and engaging copy.

Clear and concise communicators:

Technical copy should be clear and concise. Complex copy can grow legs and get mired in mud – becoming impenetrable and unattractive to the audience. This is the exact opposite of what you’re trying to achieve with your PR. You need your technical copy, news, and articles to be presented with clarity and purpose; simple sentences express complex concepts far better than long-winded, flowery bluster.

Tech PR Agency Skills Wordcloud
Expert authors:

Technical copy should be as aligned with your communication strategy  as your thought leadership. Just because something is complex is not an excuse for it not being strategically aligned. Expert technical authorship is a vital skill, this is the ability to turn complex information and turn it into interesting, engaging, and compelling insight and editorial.  Ask to see examples of their work – both the raw copy and the published material.

Is your tech PR team creative?

You should expect your PR agency to come to you with new ideas regularly. Every month, your tech PR firm should present you with new ideas designed to promote your messaging, extend your reach, and propel your brand awareness forward. You don’t want every idea to be safe or necessarily realistic, you want some flights of fantasy so long as they’re aligned to your business requirements – some of the best ideas can evolve from something less conventional.

Creativity is highly subjective. At the pitch stage you should get some insights as to the way they craft and present ideas for bringing your complex business to life. As you work together, this process for generating new and exciting ideas will become more fine-tuned.

PR structure and discipline are important in complex markets

Think about your internal audience – are they engineers, scientists or technical experts? How do you think they would respond to chaotic creativity, or pointless procedure? This is why structure and discipline are particularly important when working with complex businesses. It’s there to inspire confidence amongst the people you will be relying on to provide insight and expertise – your subject matter experts.

Your agency needs to provide a clear process between objective, output, and outcome so that everyone involved within your company can understand why you’re doing something and what the business outcome is expected to be. This will give you, and your internal audience, focus and purpose.

Internal credibility and authority

Often, these complex businesses are helmed by a founder CEO with a background in engineering, science, or technology. They rarely have a detailed understanding of marketing, its benefits, and limitations. So, a PR plan, showing how you’re using PR to deliver your business strategy, should lend you further credibility and authority.

Considering all the above factors in your B2B PR approach should provide you with the best formula for PR success, whatever industry you’re in. Your business may be complex, but the PR solution doesn’t need to be; you need to secure Tech PR skills, an inquisitive team, proven creativity and a proven delivery model; ideally with a team of PR experts you respect and whose values you share.

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our guide: How much does PR cost?

READ this outstanding Tech PR case study: Concirrus – Quest for Success

look at this Infographic: Your Questions About Communications Strategy Answered

EC-PR Packages - B2B PR Pricing Guide - front cover

How much does PR cost?

Our transparent guide to B2B PR pricing for tech brands.

Download

Subscribe to our updates

Stay up to date with the latest insights, case studies, and PR guides.

EC-PR How We Guarantee Your PR Results Brochure Cover

How we guarantee your PR results

Turbo boost your PR today and expand your ability to reach business goals.

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7 Benefits of outsourcing your PR

7 Benefits of outsourcing your PR

7 Benefits of outsourcing your PR

If you are considering outsourcing your public relations (PR), then you’ll be looking at the pros and cons of commissioning a PR consultancy over managing your reputation in house.  Here are 7 reasons why you should consider outsourcing your PR:

1. Focus:

The benefit of appointing a PR agency to manage and protect your reputation is that you can focus on your core business, secure in the knowledge that you have a team of professionals dedicated to driving your brand awareness.

2. Scale:

An external agency can commit a team of PR experts to apply their combined knowledge and creativity to further the interests of your brand in line with your business strategy. Working with an agency gives you access to a wealth of talent.

3. Creativity:

An agency is experienced in bringing your strategy to life in creative executions and campaigns that evolve and develop over time. Creative thinking and execution are what they do, what they thrive on and what they excel at.

4. Perspective:

A PR consultancy not only brings an external perspective but a perspective through multiple lenses of expertise. They can and should challenge, inspire and guide based on their informed opinion. As an external, their perspective is not influenced by internal dogma.

5. Cost & liability:

There is no cost associated with appointing an agency. This allows you to avoid bringing an employee into the company, which saves you money on everything from benefits to training. Engaging with an agency’s services is straightforward.

6. Influential network:

Every individual within your agency comes with a proven network of media contacts, database subscriptions and business network to leverage your stories and brand awareness.

7. Speed to excellence:

A PR agency will start delivering at pace as soon as you appoint them. Their focus is entirely on your brand and while there will be a short period of getting to know your culture, there will be no lengthy induction period holding up the process.

There are always pros and cons to outsourcing any business activity. However, recruiting an internal resource to handle PR is not the equivalent of appointing a PR agency. It is not a like for like comparison. Appointing a PR manager demonstrates intent but appointing a PR agency is decisive action.

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our guide on how to make your PR work harder: How to Optimise your News Release

READ this awesome PR case study: Lloyds Maritime Academy

look at this Infographic: “How PR differs from advertising

to receive regular insights on how to make your PR work harder.

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is.

EC-PR Packages - B2B PR Pricing Guide - front cover

How much does PR cost?

Our transparent guide to B2B PR pricing for tech brands.

Download

Subscribe to our updates

Stay up to date with the latest insights, case studies, and PR guides.

EC-PR How We Guarantee Your PR Results Brochure Cover

How we guarantee your PR results

Turbo boost your PR today and expand your ability to reach business goals.

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Our insights

7 ways PR differs from advertising

7 ways PR differs from advertising

7 ways PR differs from advertising

The key difference between PR and advertising is that advertising space is paid for while editorial space is not – the impact on how and why you use one over the other is rooted in this fundamental difference. There are 7 principle ways that PR is different to advertising. We take a closer look at these here:

1. Credibility:

Paying for space either in the form of advertising or advertorials has a direct impact on your credibility in the mind of the target audience. If your marketing message has clearly been paid for, it will command less trust than an article published independently in the media.

2. Stories:

PR’s expertise is in developing ideas that are aligned to your business strategy, whilst appealing to your target media. Your media want stories that attract and appeal to their audiences. Achieving this fine balance is a skill that PR practitioners have finessed.

3. Purpose:

Advertising is single minded in its delivery in order to be effective and is predominantly a visual medium used to sell a product. PR on the other hand, takes multiple shapes and harnesses media channels to manage reputation and build relationships, often commercial, with your target audiences based on trust.

4. Independence:

The editorial team is, or should be, independent from the commercial arm of the business to ensure editorial independence and integrity. It is this independence which is so precious to you because it endows credibility on your brand by association.

5. No guarantees:

While you pay for the PR agency’s time, there’s no guarantee that coverage will appear – it is down to the editor to decide whether the material is likely to add value to the media channel or not. For this reason, communication with the editorial contacts should be transparent and focused while managing your expectation accordingly.

6. Engagement:

Journalists are looking to get ahead of their competitors, to get a scoop, so a story offered as an exclusive is more likely to appeal. A specific magazine or TV programme can be the first to ‘break your story’ but it can then be sent to multiple journalists thereafter, in order to maximize your press coverage. Your ad, on the other hand, will appear in multiple competitive outlets at the same time, single mindedly communicating its one key message.

7. Cost:

Traditionally, the cost of advertising has far exceeded the cost of PR both in terms of the development and implementation. Digital media and technology are starting to change this, but there is still a very long way to go. The primary skill that your PR company needs is to be able to present your message in a way that will engage and inspire the audience of your target media, through the lense of the editor.

Forbes takes a slightly different perspective but provides a useful comparison table highlighting the difference between advertising and public relations; if you study this table it may help you to decide whether advertising or PR are more suitable to your requirements:

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.
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

As featured in PR Moment

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…