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.


Three questions every CMO should ask before hiring a PR agency

Three questions every CMO should ask before hiring a PR agency

Three questions every CMO should ask before hiring a PR agency

Appointing a PR agency can be daunting and time consuming, but by asking the right questions you can make your process efficient and rewarding and your outcome a success. By securing the right blend of expertise, you can unlock new channels of influence and persuasion you might not have had access to before.

So, how do you find a PR agency that will maximise benefits and achieve results that you would likely not be able to generate yourself? First things first, ask these questions, and you’ll be able to nail the criteria that are most important to you and your business.

As a CMO, there might be some questions you have already answered, such as ‘why now?’ Perhaps you have an important launch coming up, or you want to improve your brand awareness in an upcoming business quarter. If you’re wondering what to ask next, we’ve put together this list.

1 What do you need to know about my business?

Even the greatest PR experts, with years in the industry and a portfolio of impressive clients, are not telepathic. They need to know about your business aspirations, ambitions, and challenges. They will need to understand your business functions, meet your team, and find out what it is you want to achieve. Ask them what they need from you, whether that’s a customer roster, press releases on new products or services, changes of senior management, or upcoming mergers. All of this, of course, will be covered by an NDA, so you can be at ease sharing this valuable information.

Good things take time, and a great PR agency will leave no stone unturned, so be prepared to answer a lot of questions and offer up time for face-to-face meetings or calls that can inform decision making.

The investment you make in PR is not just financial, it requires time and careful consideration to brief the PR agency and engage in planning and strategy sessions. It’s a relationship that requires nurturing so that they can hit the ground running, create incredible campaigns, and deliver successful outcomes.

hiring a PR agency

2 Who will be on our PR team?

‘Who will be on our PR team’ may not always be the same as ‘who will be on the sales pitch’. Be wary of who a PR agency features on the ‘team’ slide of any presentation deck. Large PR agencies might feature the most impressive Account Directors, and perhaps even their CEO, depending on the size of your account. With the promise of director-level expertise for your campaigns, you might be surprised to see it’s a very different story when you start working together. Those people are suddenly nowhere to be seen, and instead, your day-to-day contact is a junior account manager.

Always ask this question before you proceed so you can understand who will be managing your account. Take this opportunity to get to know them as well and find out how you’ll be working with them on the day-to-day basis. Ask each team member to describe their role, their strengths and why they think they’d be great at representing your brand. Get them to outline the following too:

Experience and areas of industry expertise

Previous clients

Prior successes

Reviews and testimonials

‘Sweet spot’: What aspect of their job they really love – the answer can be telling

When it comes to PR agency teams, size isn’t everything. With a smaller, tight-knit, account team you’ll be able to develop a much closer relationship with mutual understanding. Together you can get to know each other’s work styles, and communicate in the right way, and ensure that the work you do together is successful and rewarding.

How does your agency measure outcomes?

Understanding what success looks like is critical as you need to demonstrate the return on your investment – how your agency measures outcomes is key. Clear objectives and goals should be set for every campaign, and you should be clear on how you’re going to measure success, but also what goals you have. Let’s say for example you want press coverage, all coverage is not equal, so be clear on whether you want opinion pieces, editorial or just company mentions in leading publications.

Ask about the tools they use for tracking results and analytics, and find out how they used them for previous clients. This is a way to find out what metrics they will be delivering, and how often they can pull reports that will feed into your weekly, monthly, and quarterly business meetings.

When hiring a PR agency you should also choose someone who looks beyond those initial measurements to factors that will help your business grow, such as tracking how much your prospective client email list and traffic to your website have grown because of a specific PR campaign.

Ultimately, the PR agency you choose can be a great complement to your marketing efforts, drive more traffic to your site, and facilitate brand awareness that gets you in front of the right customers. So don’t be afraid to meet with lots of agencies, and ask them plenty of questions, before you decide on one to proceed with.

If you want to know more about B2B communication and the work EC-PR does for its clients, get in touch, or browse some of our tech PR case studies. Download our guide on how much PR costs and read our helpful post on how to write the perfect brief for your PR agency.

Hiring a PR agency - what to ask

Subscribe to our updates

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

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

Our insights

9 Questions Every Marketing Manager Should Ask Before Hiring A PR Agency

9 Questions Every Marketing Manager Should Ask Before Hiring A PR Agency

9 Questions Every Marketing Manager Should Ask Before Hiring A PR Agency

Hiring a PR agency? Questions to ask before you sign up

Before you sign a contract with any PR agency we highly recommend that you ask these questions first.  Ask up front during the sales pitch and you are more likely to hire the right PR agency for your business, your relationship will last longer, and it will be a lot more rewarding. Asking these questions can also help you evaluate whether you’re a good fit for each other.  If they can answer them to your satisfaction, snap them up!

1. How are we going to measure success?

Your PR agency should be keen to know what success looks like and be interested in your business – therefore, they should be asking lots of questions.  Understanding what success looks like is critical as you need to demonstrate the return on your investment.

Clear objectives and goals should be set for every campaign and you should be clear on how you’re going to measure success, but also what stretch goals you have.  Let’s say, for example, you want coverage, all coverage is not equal, so be clear on whether you want opinion pieces, editorial or just simply, company mentions, and in which publications.

2. Who is going to manage our account?

Often when you meet large PR agencies, they’ll wheel out their most impressive Account Directors, and perhaps even their CEO, depending on the size of your account.  You’ll receive a fancy pitch and feel like a million dollars.  But then…when you actually start working together, those people are nowhere to be seen, you get a junior managing the day to day business, and every call with your Account Director costs.  You may then regret your decision.

So, always ask these types of questions to understand who will be managing your account, and make sure you meet them all before you decide.

  • How many people will be working on my account?
  • What is the experience of the account team?
  • When will they be available to me?
  • Who will I be spending the most time with?
  • Who will be executing the work?
Now, size isn’t everything, in fact with a smaller account team you’ll be able to develop a much closer relationship with mutual understanding. The agency will get to know how you like to work best, and vice versa. That’s why the people who turn up when we pitch are the people you will be spending most of your time with! Find out more about our people here.

3. What is your speciality?

The purpose of this question is to establish the relevant experience of the PR agency to your specific industry or requirements.

How connected are they? You want to be certain that when you hire the agency they already have established relationships with the key journalists and editors in your specific sector. If they do, it means they clearly have experience of working with them, and know what specific content publications will and won’t accept. They will have intimate knowledge of the journalists likes and dislikes, and will be able to successfully pitch story ideas first time, every time.

Ultimately, the more specialised and experienced the agency is in your sector, the more successful they will be in delivering phenomenal results for your brand.

4. What do you need to know about my business before you can get started?

Here’s the thing. Your PR agency aren’t telepathic. Yes, you can choose an agency with specialised knowledge in your industry, for example tech PR, but remember they need to get to know you, your business and your people. So, ask them what they need to know to get started.

Firstly, you’ll need to sign a non-disclosure agreement so that you can confidently share your company secrets – perhaps new product releases, changes of senior management or a merger/acquisition. If you want your PR agency to be proactive, you need to give them as much information as you would any new employee. This will take time. So, be prepared to answer lots of questions, and be prepared to be challenged. Great PR agencies challenge the status quo.

The investment you make in PR is not just financial, it requires your time to brief the PR agency and engage in planning and strategy sessions so that they can hit the ground running and the relationship is successful from the outset. This is why we have a three pronged approach to marketing, starting with research and planning.

5. Where do we fall in your client roster?

Knowing where you stand in terms of agency spend and production requirements compared to other clients is critical.

Do you want to be the top dog and be their most important client? Perhaps you do, perhaps you don’t.

What’s critical to understand is how important you are to the agency.  If you’re their smallest client, the reality is that you’ll probably get the most junior account team.  Remember, you want to ensure that the PR agency has time for your business. So, think carefully about the type of agency you want to work with, and where your business will fall into their priority list.

Hopefully, before you’ve even started the agency selection process, you’ve checked out their website for their client roster, and you’ve researched what’s happening in the news with their clients so you have a good understanding of their capability already. We’ve made it super easy for you to find our client roster, check out our PR case studies here.

6. Who are your references?

The hiring process is like hiring an employee. You wouldn’t hire anyone without asking for references. So, ask for them and make the time to call or email those references.  Also, ask for a reference of a client that no longer works with the PR agency.  You need to find out why they don’t work together anymore. Remember, you want to choose an agency with a proven track record of success and many other satisfied past clients. Also ask the questions that are important to you.

7. How often will I hear from you?

This may sound like a daft question. It’s not. You need to understand how the PR agency manages client communication and collaboration.

The reason is you want 90% of your budget being spent on real work, not project management or administration.  Not only that, as editorial placements can take months, you want to know what exactly your agency is working on.

What should you expect?

It’s normal to hear from your agency at least once a week, with a monthly report on placements secured and plans for the following month.  Not only that, do expect to hear from your agency when they’ve secured a new opportunity, or they’ve developed an innovative idea to move your brand forward. Not only that, you need to ensure that you’re still on track for success.

8. How much budget do I need to allocate to achieve my goals?

If you’ve never added PR to your marketing mix, we highly recommend starting with a six-month pilot project. This will ensure that your new PR agency can gain momentum and measure ROI effectively. Our experience is that a PR campaign needs to run for at least six months to gain any traction.

If you already have an existing PR budget, but you’re not happy with the results, then it’s a different conversation.  Let’s be honest, if you were happy with your PR results, you wouldn’t be reading this!  In this scenario we recommend full disclosure, be clear during the agency recruitment process your budget and more importantly, your expectations of what success looks like. Then, expect the PR agency to deliver a pitch and proposal based on your budget. If you want us to pitch our services, click here.

9. What if it all goes wrong?

Negative news happens. Everyone makes mistakes. A crisis is usually rooted in an act of god (rare, but COVID-19 has shown that it does still happen!); deliberate criminal act (uncommon); or human error (most usual) and has resulted in danger or financial damage to third parties and your brand.

How the crisis is handled will directly impact your customers, staff and bottom line.  You want an agency to be confident in crisis management so, ask for examples of what they’ve done and for whom.  They should be telling you how they can set up an emergency reactive press office and the strategies they would deploy to prevent, mitigate and manage negative news, should it occur.

If you’re facing a crisis, you need your PR agency to support you. Ask us how we’ve helped clients in these situations and what we could do for you.

Conclusion:

We hope the tips above help you as you decide which B2B PR agency to work with. Ultimately, you must:

  • feel comfortable that you’re in safe hands
  • like the team that’ll be representing you
  • feel confident that they’ll work with you to achieve the positive coverage you deserve

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.

How to choose the right PR agency for your brand

Subscribe to our updates

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

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

Our insights

Tips For Delivering An Effective PR Campaign

Tips For Delivering An Effective PR Campaign

Tips For Delivering An Effective PR Campaign

Within your PR campaign, there are several areas we consider crucial if you want to ensure your campaign is effective and always driving you closer to your goals.

At EC-PR, we emphasise the development of a powerful communication strategy and a considered campaign plan. These stages are the core of your campaign planning process and the work we put in is what makes our client campaigns so effective.

Here are our top tips for delivering an effective PR campaign.

T

READ: 8 things to consider when choosing a PR Agency

Define Goals & Objectives 

Before you start your PR journey, you need to pin down what your goals are. What do you want to achieve? There are no right or wrong answers – your objective could be short or long term, and could be to launch a new product, or to change perceptions around your brand.

Which of these goals do you want your PR campaign to support? Having strong objectives is the only way you will ever be able to tell how effective a campaign is.

goalkeeper in a football net

Develop A Communication Strategy 

Every effective PR campaign is underpinned by a great communication strategy. Your communication strategy will define what you’re going to say, to whom and when you’re going to say it. Most importantly, it needs to be supported by robust evidence.

Skipping these vital steps will result in a poorly targeted campaign. A strong communication strategy needs to include your value proposition – why you exist and why anyone should care, in-depth persona development exploring pain points, aspirations etc, strong messaging for each stage of the buying cycle, and customer validation or research to ensure your strategy hasn’t missed anything and is aligned with reality.

Sounds like a lot of work? It is, but you will be thankful later! You can read more about developing an effective B2B communication strategy here.

Pull Together Your Campaign Plan 

The hard work isn’t over yet, but we are on the home stretch. Your campaign plan will establish what you should be talking about and where you should be talking about it. Start with a marketing asset audit to establish what resources you already have, if they are serving up the messages identified in your communication strategy, and what you’re missing. We suggest using a media lens model at this stage to identify your sphere of maximum potential influence.

Next, you will need to develop your editorial calendar – who is planning to write on what topics? Come up with topics, synopses, ideas for thought leadership pieces, and blogs that perfectly align with your communication strategy. Do you see why we place so much emphasis on developing a strong comms strategy? If you are stuck on ideas, simply refer to your strategy and think about how you can solve a problem, who has that problem, and how you communicate your solution. What you need to talk about should be very clear.

Here at EC-PR, we work with clients to develop what we call a Brilliant Ideas Bank – a suite of strategically aligned ideas to form the basis of editorial articles and help showcase your company’s knowledge and insights.  

chess board in play

Choose Tactics & Tools Carefully 

Choosing the right activities and channels to deliver your campaign is the key to success. Your communications should be based on everything you discovered during your research period. Don’t feel tempted to veer off course and try anything you can’t reasonably justify. If you’ve identified your target audience and hold industry insights, use them to your advantage and choose tactics and tools that have a strong chance of being successful. We use the PESO model to assist with tactical selection and prioritisation of the right PR tools.

Measure Your Success 

Finally, and it’s an obvious one…you need to measure your success. This is also why it’s so crucial to set clear goals right from the start. By measuring your successes, you can see how far you’ve come and how close you are to reaching your objectives.

pink measuring tape

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 Your Definitive Media Lens Guide to achieve your maximum sphere of influence

READ Should you choose a Specialist PR Agency? Find out here

look Check out the B2B Tech PR Sectors we operate in

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

The Definitive Media Lens Guide 2021 pdf

Your definitive media lens guide

This PR guide provides a framework for B2B businesses to identify their sphere of maximum potential influence.

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.

Download

What to do with difficult PR clients

What to do with difficult PR clients

What to do with difficult PR clients

Client relationships, like any type of business or personal relationships, require nurturing, regular communication, time and effort. Every relationship will have the occasional bump in the road, but most issues can be ironed out with a phone call or a friendly (virtual) coffee/beer.

Yet, despite you and your team investing similar amounts of effort across all your accounts, you may find the odd client being persistently difficult, causing stress and demanding significant amounts of time to keep the relationship afloat.

What are the root causes for this issue and how do you best address them? Let’s look at some of the most common examples.

Avoid the original sin

Some client relationships suffer from the ‘original sin’ syndrome. I know you know about it. You take your CEO to the pitch, they promise the client the front page of the FT, and then you and the team need to deliver. Or rather, you are destined to under-deliver and disappoint.

This may be a rather extreme case, but shiny slide decks, spectacular presentations, account teams that clients will never see again etc. often portray an image that isn’t rooted in reality or presents a campaign which can’t be delivered with certainty.

Make sure your PR campaign pitch is polished and convincing, but don’t promise something you can’t guarantee to deliver, and do make sure the client buys into the people that will become their main point of contact. It will make everyone’s lives so much easier in the long term.

avoid the original sin of over promising to your pr clients

avoid the original sin of over promising to your pr clientsAvoid the original sin

Some client relationships suffer from the ‘original sin’ syndrome. I know you know about it. You take your CEO to the pitch, they promise the client the front page of the FT, and then you and the team need to deliver. Or rather, you are destined to under-deliver and disappoint.

This may be a rather extreme case, but shiny slide decks, spectacular presentations, account teams that clients will never see again etc. often portray an image that isn’t rooted in reality or presents a campaign which can’t be delivered with certainty.

Make sure your PR campaign pitch is polished and convincing, but don’t promise something you can’t guarantee to deliver, and do make sure the client buys into the people that will become their main point of contact. It will make everyone’s lives so much easier in the long term.

T

READ: 8 things to consider when choosing a PR Agency

Manage expectations

In my experience, the majority of difficult situations stem from poor expectation management. A client may send across a request that isn’t clear, doesn’t specify a deadline, or is outside the current scope of work. If the account lead doesn’t ask for further clarification or fails to manage expectations, a simple request can develop into a major issue that undermines trust and causes tension.

Some difficult clients will tend to test the boundaries often and see how far they can push the account teams. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but the onus is on PR agency leads and managers to immediately clarify any vague requests, request missing information, agree on deadlines, and flag any activities that need to be costed out separately.

why clients are difficult

Get under their skin

Let’s be fair, difficult clients aren’t difficult because they want to make your life miserable, but because they want their business to do well and achieve their objectives. As PR practitioners, we’re often guilty of not asking that simple yet very important question: “What does success look like?

The definition of PR success may mean very different things to different clients. Some just want new and fresh ideas, others are looking for a select number of articles in tier one publications. Some are looking for PR with a direct impact on sales. And yes, there are clients, who just want a friend! While we can’t be everything to all people, it’s important to listen and understand what good looks like from their perspective, and adjust our approach accordingly. By doing this, we’ll avoid many frustrating meetings or passive-aggressive emails.

Make them look good

If you feel that you’re being put under a lot of pressure despite delivering great results, or that your client just isn’t being ‘fair’, chances are rather high that this isn’t about you at all, but about your client being caught up in a difficult situation internally.

Take time to understand the internal dynamics of their business, the organisational structure and decision-making processes. Such insights will enable you to help your client navigate their internal corridors and strengthen their personal reputation. They will be forever grateful.

make your PR clients look good

Sack them

Sometimes (and very rarely) things may get out of hand, with clients causing persistent and unnecessary stress, acting like bullies and even causing your colleagues to resign. No client is worth risking the stability and cohesion of your team. Apart from the emotional cost, such clients also have a negative impact on efficiency and profitability that can damage the business.

I tend to agree with Chris Merrington that occasionally, it may be necessary to fire a client that’s not a good fit and is preventing you from growing as a business. In such a highly competitive industry, this may feel like an unnatural move, but it may open up capacity for developing a more profitable client relationship that’s built on solid foundations of trust and mutual respect.

when it's time to sack the PR client

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 Your Definitive Media Lens Guide to achieve your maximum sphere of influence

READ Should you choose a Specialist PR Agency? Find out here

look Check out the B2B Tech PR Sectors we operate in

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

The Definitive Media Lens Guide 2021 pdf

Your definitive media lens guide

This PR guide provides a framework for B2B businesses to identify their sphere of maximum potential influence.

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.

Download

How Can PR Support My SEO?

How Can PR Support My SEO?

How Can PR Support My SEO?

SEO and PR are important functions for businesses, and both fall under the broad umbrella of marketing. For some, that may be where the association ends but for businesses looking for maximum success when it comes to reaching audiences and boosting their reputation, PR and SEO work together quite nicely.

Let’s look at the difference between PR and SEO, and how you can use PR to support your SEO strategy.

The Difference Between PR and SEO

You may think this question is a little bit like asking the difference between night and day. PR and SEO are obviously quite different, right?

PR is used to promote your brand in a good light and communicate messages to your target audience whilst the primary goal of any SEO (search engine optimisation) strategy is to help boost your online authority and help get your website to the top of Google’s search engine rankings.

They seem to be two hugely different disciplines, but once you take a closer look, PR and SEO have a few things in common.

Microphones on table for press interview

What Do PR And SEO Have In Common?

Mention SEO to someone not in the know and they may think it’s all keywords, optimising your website with technical backend stuff, and link building…whilst a good SEO strategy does include those areas, producing authoritative content to convince your audience (and Google) that you are an expert at what you do plays a key role in SEO.

Expertly produced content that serves a purpose – to educate, inform or inspire, is one of the best ways to get both search engines and your target audience to recognise your authority in your area of expertise and trust you.

Doesn’t that sound an awful lot like PR? Components of PR, such as a thought leadership strategy and earned media are very similar to SEO. You will never truly succeed at SEO if you can’t first convince your audience that you are worth their time. Recognition and authority online must be earned and built up. The same goes for PR – the aim is to speak to your target audience and convince them of your authority.

Expertly produced content that serves a purpose – to educate, inform or inspire, is one of the best ways to get both search engines and your target audience to recognise your authority in your area of expertise and trust you.

T

READ: How to select the marketing tools for your integrated PR campaign (PESO)

How Can PR Support SEO?

In addition to having similar aims, there are several ways PR can support SEO.

One of the biggest crossover areas where PR and SEO can work harmoniously is link building. Link building (gaining links to your website from other websites) can be one of the most time-consuming tasks in SEO but the effort is often worth it to ensure your website gains authority.

If part of your PR strategy involves reaching out to the press and journalists to achieve online coverage, those online articles will often contain links back to your website. Even without these links, online coverage can assist SEO, but multiple links leading back to your website are much better and help boost the authority of your site.

However, it is important to note that not all links are equal. In SEO, the objective is to obtain high-quality backlinks. That means links from sites that are already ranking and have good domain authority. PR can help in this area as the websites approached for article placement or mentions will often meet both those criteria – national media and established industry websites, for example.

Microphones on table for press interview
Another way PR can support SEO is with messaging and targeting. Your PR strategy will usually include a communication plan, part of this may be persona or audience research and clarity on the message which needs to be delivered. This groundwork can provide a great basis for SEO when it comes to creating messages and targeting audiences.

If your PR strategy includes a content calendar, there is also an opportunity to take this even further and ensure planned PR content supports SEO, with keywords, for example.

With all this in mind, it makes sense that PR and SEO should be considerate of each other and more integrated even though they are different sections of your overall marketing activities.

Integrated PR

An integrated PR approach means aligning your PR activity with other marketing activities to drive maximum impact and effect. This includes SEO.

In-house, an integrated approach to PR may mean getting different teams working together, drawing on individual knowledge and skills.

If you outsource your PR to an agency and want to ensure SEO isn’t forgotten about, then look for an agency that champions this integrated approach.

Whichever option you choose an integrated approach will ensure your brand is regularly in front of your target audience with a relevant and compelling message and that you engage with your (potential) customers and drive new leads. It also ensures your resources and efforts are optimised for a maximum Return on Investment (ROI).

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

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

Download our complete guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning

READ this Tech PR case study: How 2i found its voice: The 18 benefits of a communication strategy

watch our video: how to identify your target audience”

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.

PR Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning

Your complete Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning

Including example PR campaigns, content calendar templates, and audit checklists.

Download

Subscribe to our updates

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

The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Press Release 2021 pdf

The ultimate guide to writing a B2B press release

Revised for 2021

Our expert B2B PR guide with 9 steps to creating a press release that editors want to publish.

Download

What’s The Difference Between B2B PR & B2C PR?

What’s The Difference Between B2B PR & B2C PR?

What’s The Difference Between B2B PR & B2C PR?

You will no doubt be familiar with the terms business to consumer (B2C) and business to business (B2B) PR. You may even understand that these two styles of PR are different, but can you put your finger on the differences?

Most understand B2C is consumer-based and automatically think of fast-moving goods – the type of goods we all consume every day, such as food and drink, clothing, or gadgets. 

It’s easier to understand as almost all of us will have encountered B2C PR in action – we’re all consumers of goods.

B2B PR is PR all the same, except it involves businesses selling to other business and not to consumers.

In B2B PR we even use many of the same methods, tools, and techniques as B2C. PR is one discipline and the way we go about generating buzz, creating opportunities, and building reputation and brand awareness are similar, no matter the target market or client.

B2B personas infographic

Why Is B2B PR Different?

Although B2B and B2C PR have much in common, there is one key difference – B2B PR exists in a vastly different commercial environment.

Firstly, the sales cycle can be years in B2B. Because the products and services being sold to other businesses are often a large investment or involve contracts that can last multiple years, the buying process is nothing like consumer sales. For example, a business selling global IT services will often have to contend with the fact that buyers are going to act slowly. This can be because of tender processes, contracts, or simply because the product or service in questions is not something one would buy every week.

This means B2B businesses need to ensure their PR campaigns have a strong strategic component so that they don’t get lost or diluted over time. 

T

READ: 10 Reasons your brand needs PR

For example, a customer wouldn’t buy a global IT system on a whim – they may be tied into a contract for a few years or have multiple people involved in research at their end. From a PR perspective, you need to keep the conversation and engagement, interesting and vibrant for 3, 5,10 years possibly.

Speaking of multiple people, a further layer of complexity is often added in the B2B world as decision-making processes nearly always involve more than one person. The decision-making process may not be easy either with multiple experts and factors impacting the selection and commitment process.

Multiple actors with different, possibly conflicting, motivations and values need to be considered, prioritised, and addressed. This is why persona profiles are an important element of your B2B PR strategy. Creating persona profiles isn’t unique to B2B PR – as consumers, we’re all heavily profiled but multiple, and complex players are something to be mindful of when creating your PR strategy.

Decision-makers also take their time within the buying cycle as the implications of a mis-purchase can be much higher than in a consumer market.

B2B personas infographic

For example, if you decide to buy some chocolate and your chosen treat turns out to be a disappointment, the implications are relatively low for both you and the chocolate seller. You just wouldn’t buy that chocolate again. The wrong product or service in the B2B world could have enormous implications for a business, hence the need for a protracted buying cycle and multiple decision-makers and experts.

An excellent way to coax decision-makers along the way and alleviate fears around bad choices is for businesses to position themselves as thought leaders within their industry, helping guide and educate potential clients. Possessing a perceived high degree of trust and knowledge can be invaluable to a B2B business.  

Finally, and conversely – although B2B purchases tend to be much more expensive than consumer products and services, the size of the budget behind B2B PR campaigns tends to be much smaller!

That means that to be effective in your PR you must be collaborative, expert and, perhaps surprisingly, passionate – in an enduring sort of way. Hence why many B2B businesses look to PR agencies for their expertise. Although an agency may seem a costly affair, having dedicated B2B PR expertise on hand can make budgets stretch much further by achieving the results you want, the first time around.

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

look at this Infographic: 9 Points To Improve Your PR Brief

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.

Download

Subscribe to our updates

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

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