Brand Awareness


What Public Relations can do for you and your company

What Public Relations can do for you and your company

What Public Relations can do for you and your company

Public Relations (PR) is a key component of the full marketing mix, and as part of your overall communications strategy, it’s instrumental in driving brand awareness, recognition, and consideration – ultimately guiding more leads and conversions, whilst contributing to the overall growth of your business.

This article will help you to understand how PR can benefit your company and why you should pay for expert PR advice.

How does PR benefit your company?

PR builds a compelling relationship between your brand and your target audience before your audience even enters the buying cycle. This relationship is developed over time, built on trust, and delivered through endorsement from independent, authoritative, sector experts.

PR is the proactive management of everything you say and everything you do, in order to positively impact the way you’re perceived by your target audience. This ‘Third party, high value coverage’ provides awareness, recognition, and accolades in those media channels which you don’t own. These third-party endorsements are from highly respected and influential sources and provide credibility and authority for your brand.

Media endorsement in b2b is the equivalent of celebrity endorsement in b2c 

Filling your sales funnel

As a marketeer, it’s your job to attract and nurture potential customers, meaning you need to generate brand awareness amongst your target audience, and nurture them until they are ready to consider purchasing your goods and services. The key principles of any good PR strategy are to make you visible, valued and understood; delivered as part of a comprehensive communication strategy to drive consistency and impact. The outcome of that activity should provide you with a densely populated top of funnel. This is how PR benefits your business and increases the impact of your marketing.

public relations helps fils your sale funnel
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A brand with authority and influence

An effective PR programme should be designed to ensure that you are regularly interviewed by respected editors, achieving recognition in influential third-party media, and being invited to contribute insight to authoritative industry reports.  By becoming an integral and respected part of the fabric of your industry, you influence the shape and direction of discussions, while acquiring authority and influence – which will ultimately attract better-quality prospects into your funnel. This structure, discipline and proactivity is what you pay for when you outsource your PR to experts.

 

public relations is shines a light on your brand

A visible and dynamic force in your industry

Being visible means you are findable and accessible, and that you have a high media profile in the right industry titles, so that your target audience is exposed to you, whether that’s actively or passively. High visibility means regular and diverse formats, i.e. a given story or opinion is ‘sweated’ so that every ounce of potential opportunity is squeezed from it.  ‘Sweating’ your stories means that once it’s appeared in the press, it can then be re-formatted and presented in multiple forms and pushed out through paid and owned channels – ensuring your asset has been fully optimised.  The impact of this is that you command a greater and more influential share of voice – pushing your competitors into the shadows.

 

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Articulating a clear competitive advantage

Being valued means putting your customer at the heart of everything you say and do, in order to engage with them in a way that is both relevant and persuasive.  It’s not possible to be valued if you’re irrelevant to a person’s wants or needs.  To engage and achieve desirability, you need to develop a compelling messaging strategy as part of your communication plan and weave that into everything you create. If you approach your PR in this way, you will have a golden thread of narrative that ensures you are both clearly differentiated from, and superior to, any of your competitors claims.

Many clients operate in unique and complex markets, especially industries such as engineering, science, and technology.   The PR expertise required in these industries is in translating their complex solutions and achievements into interesting and engaging articles and news, so that their target audiences can understand your proposition, align with your brand and applaud your achievements.

Engineers, scientists, and technologists deliver our quality of life, keep us safe and will one day save the world – there is a real pleasure in translating their achievements to ensure they are fully understood.

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 essential guide: Your 8-step Communication Strategy

READ this Tech PR case study: How 2i found its voice – 18 Benefits from a communication strategy

watch our video: how to identify your target audience”

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How to become a thought leader

Thought Leadership in STEM industries is essential as a way of driving innovation, producing exciting solutions and sharing new ideas...

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10 Business Benefits of PR

10 Business Benefits of PR

10 Business Benefits of PR

One of the key questions we often hear is along the lines of “Why do I need to do PR?” or “What will PR do for my business?” and the reality is that there are so many benefits of PR, the list is endless, but we want to focus on the main PR benefits and so we’ve highlighted the top 10 reasons your brand should have a PR strategy.

Depending on what stage of maturity your company has reached, you’ll have different business challenges, priorities, and drivers.  PR can be used to help you address a wide range of specific business  and marketing objectives.

Always aligned to your company’s vision, mission and goals, PR is ever present and supremely agile.

Here are our 10 key reasons why your company should do PR as part of your comms plan.

10 reasons your needs PR infographic

How your business will benefit from PR

Enhanced lead generation:

PR complements your marketing initiatives by showcasing your successes in editorial case studies. It keeps you visible as prospects move through the buying cycle and into the sales funnel. And, PR provides the added benefit of providing independent third-party endorsement.

Improved stakeholder insight:

The process of developing your communication strategy and PR outreach brings you closer to your customers.  Engaging with customers to understand their buying methodology and rationale to develop articles provides valuable, actionable insight into customer behaviour.

Compelling messaging:

Effective PR requires relevant messaging at each stage of the buying cycle.  The strength of the messaging is evaluated against the quality of the supporting evidence and relevance to your target audience.

Re-energised staff:

Targeted PR which is integrated with change programmes can mobilise workforces by giving them a sense of purpose, community, and boost in morale.

"We are clearly differentiated, more engaged and showing the best version of ourselves to the world"

Clarity of purpose:

In order to be effective, PR needs clearly defined SMART goals.  The process of developing and executing these goals results in clarity of vision, purpose, and communications.

Invigorated sales team:

B2B PR will help build the morale of sales teams.  Seeing your brand receiving recognition in the media through press coverage for new business wins etc., instils pride and purpose.

Crisis mitigation:

A strong brand promotes loyalty which can help a brand survive a challenging trading environment. Crisis planning conducted during ‘business as usual’, will help you to identify potential areas of weakness which you can redress before any crisis hits. 

pr benefits working at home
Thought Leadership:

Every business has something unique about it or it would never have been brought into existence.  Someone somewhere thought there was a gap in the market your company could fill. PR will help you harness your thought leadership with insight that informs, inspires, challenges, and engages your target audience.

Brand Awareness:

PR builds a compelling relationship between your brand and your target audience – before your audience even enters the buying cycle. The key principles of any good PR strategy are to make you visible, valued and understood; delivered as part of a comprehensive communication strategy to drive consistency and impact. The outcome of which will provide you with a densely populated top of funnel.

Increased Impact:

By integrating your PR across all your marketing communications, you leverage your investment and increase impact. Every message delivered becomes a building block, creating layer upon layer of customer engagement, making the whole worth much more than the sum of its parts, in one cohesive, compelling brand.

So, we can see that there are many powerful and persuasive reasons to do PR –  especially when you consider that whether you choose to act or not, your reputation still exists out there in the market. Your job is to decide if you want to manage and cultivate your reputation, or leave it to chance.

So, when you ask yourself: ‘why do I need PR’ or ‘Is PR important’ follow it up with the question: ‘Does my company reputation matter?’. Your answer will tell you all you need to know.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

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

Download our guide Your 8-Step Communication Strategy

READ this awesome Tech PR case study: 2i Testing

read our guide How we guarantee your PR results

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. Get in touch.
10 reasons your brand needs PR
the ultimate guideto writing a press release front cover

The ultimate guide to writing a B2B press release

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

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How much does PR cost?

Our transparent guide to B2B PR pricing for tech brands.

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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

How to justify the business cost of PR

How to justify the business cost of PR

How to justify the business cost of PR

Building a pipeline of potential and future customers (opportunities).

How do prospects get to know, like and trust you – it’s through brand building and brand awareness. This is the job of public relations. Getting people into your funnel and keeping them warm, until they are ready to purchase from you. Fill your funnel and proactively manage your reputation, then when they are ready to purchase, they will be more likely to buy from you.

If you’ve ever been asked to justify the business cost of public relations, how it impacts the bottom line of your business, or whether PR helps drive company sales, then this blog should help you respond.

PR contributes to your entire sales funnel

Because PR is concerned with building relationships and creating trust, a comprehensive PR strategy not only creates new leads for your business, but also moves potential customers through your entire sales funnel; engaging and nurturing until they eventually become paying customers.

Your PR will be informed by your communication strategy which will detail the key messages for each stage of your customer’s buying cycle. Your public relations partner will deliver narrative that aligns with, and promotes these key messages in the media, while delivering the added benefit of independent third-party endorsement. This helps your audience to travel through each stage of the buying cycle, gradually moving down your funnel and generating a solid pipeline of future customers for your business.

 

“Proactively managing your top of funnel brand awareness and your middle-funnel engagement, means that you’re directly and positively influencing the number of sales and conversions for your business.”

Investing in PR grows brand awareness

PR generates brand awareness

PR is well-known for creating awareness for a business and is often simply viewed as a ‘top-of-funnel’ tool, but PR, especially B2B PR, is much more valuable than that. PR builds your brand and shapes the perception of your brand within your industry. A well written and well-placed piece of content, such as some editorial or thought leadership, helps increase awareness of your business amongst your target audience – but there’s a lot of PR work to do before a potential customer is anywhere close to making a purchase from you.

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PR engages and persuades

No-one would buy your products or services if they didn’t like you, have trust in you or believe what you say. Research suggests that a typical conversion requires at least 7 – 10 prior interactions with a brand, meaning your leads need to be nurtured in order to become familiar with you. Engaging, nurturing and persuading requires a strategic and holistic (not a scatter gun) public relations approach, allowing you to inform, educate and persuade them. All of which encourages and nudges them down your funnel, leading them closer to a purchase.

pr grows your sales funnel business high rise

 

“PR provides you with independent validation; you cannot put a value on third party endorsement in terms of credibility.”

 

PR converts leads into customers

Nothing beats the credibility of a third-party endorsement for your business, and reliable, third party coverage is critical in the decision-making process of your potential customers. Authoritative and insightful PR content, delivered by credible experts, helps build trust and moves your leads further down your funnel, providing a higher likelihood of them converting into a customer.

By implementing a solid PR comms strategy, you’re actively taking responsibility for increasing those business leads and encouraging them through the various stages of consideration and purchase.  The conversion of more leads into customers ultimately impacts the bottom line of your business, proving that PR does indeed increase sales in a definite, if indirect, way.

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DOWNLOAD: How much does PR cost (Tech PR Packages)

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 ultimate guide: How to write a B2B press release

READ this Tech PR case study: How 2i found its voice – 18 Benefits from a communication strategy

watch our video: how to identify your target audience”

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.

the ultimate guideto writing a press release front cover

The ultimate guide to writing a B2B press release

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

Download

How to build compelling B2B brand messaging (part two of two)

How to build compelling B2B brand messaging (part two of two)

How to build compelling B2B brand messaging (part two of two)

In Part One, I talked about the first two stages of the messaging roadmap, ‘awareness’ and ‘interest’ and proposed tools for delivering tailored messages, as part of a communication strategy. In this article, I complete the loop by addressing the remaining two phases, ‘preference’ and ‘action’ explaining how you use them and what tools you might consider.

Once you’ve built brand familiarity and trust with your prospect through the first two stages, the next stage is to start guiding their attention to your remarkable credentials – which, if you’ve done phase one and two correctly, will perfectly match what they are now looking for.

The Messaging Cycle of awareness, interest, preference and decision / action

Preference

Let’s talk about you baby!  At long last, it’s ok to talk about you and put your brand on a pedestal.  The next stage of communication is all about defining, in the mind of your target audience, how your offering is the most desirable for addressing their specific needs.  If you have spent time nurturing them through phases one and two, this will be a logical progression of the conversation. 

Tools to deliver your Reinforcement messaging

The preference messaging will be delivered through your website, specification sheets, tailored presentations, and tender documentation.  Most businesses will have this material in abundance – the problem is, you’ve probably been using it at the wrong stage of the relationship and in terms of content, it’s been developed with you and your interests at its heart, rather than those of your prospects.

Remember, this is about how you measure up, as a perfect match to your customer’s needs, to be at the top of any tender list.

Action

This is the close, the finesse. So, at this stage, the prospect is considering two options – you and one other. Relentless telephone calls and emails are not going to nudge you over the line.  This phase is about communicating the value you can add, the successes you’ve delivered to other businesses and shining a light on the advantage of working with you over anyone else – in specific regard to the problems they’re addressing.

Tools to deliver your Value messaging

This is reasonably straight forward: case studies (both editorial & sales), LinkedIn references, Social Video, co-authorship focussing on success stories and success metrics – while bringing your company’s personality and values to life.

Buying Cycle & Messaging Phases - Preference Action

Note that every company’s messaging will differ. Once you have clear messaging, you can apply it methodically – creating a coherent customer journey.  This provides a logical and realistic purpose to your marketing activities with the bonus of your leadership team being engaged and immersed in the process because they were engaged from the start.  The outcome, therefore, is more engaging communication that delivers greater impact, longevity and effect.

Click here to see part one of two

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

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

Download How we guarantee your PR Results 

Read Read this B2B PR Brand Messaging case study: Concirrus

Watch Watch: Why your business needs a communication strategy

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.

Your Ultimate Guide to Crisis PR Management

The Ultimate Guide to Crisis PR

Unforeseen circumstances have hit us all in 2020. Our guide shows you how to manage your PR in a crisis.

Download

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How we guarantee your PR results

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

Download

Our insights

How to build compelling B2B brand messaging (part one of two)

How to build compelling B2B brand messaging (part one of two)

How to build compelling B2B brand messaging (part one of two)

The buying cycle and your messaging

As part of a communication strategy, there are four stages through which a connection must move to successfully form an enduring commercial relationship.  These phases are awareness, interest, preference, and action.  And, your messaging at each stage of the relationship must evolve to reflect the needs and desires of your target audience to keep your brand relevant and compelling.

The Messaging Cycle of awareness, interest, preference and decision / action

Awareness

At this stage, your target audience is becoming aware they have an issue and your objective is to get them to see you as someone who has an in depth understanding of their sector challenges, through your engagement message. This is not about flogging a solution or your brand but positioning yourself as an expert they can trust.

To achieve this, your brand, senior executives, and subject matter experts, need to be visible and proactive.  They can do this by expressing opinion within LinkedIn posts, sharing relevant insights, authoring thought leadership in the media, presenting at key events, and addressing the issues that matter to the target audience with whom they seek to work.  Remember, people buy from people.

How to deliver your engagement messaging

The key B2B PR tools you can use include: your website, Insights/white papers, event sponsorship, speaking opportunities, LinkedIn engagement and news management. Your brand needs to be active and relevant.  ‘Everywhere’ your target persona ‘goes’ – your brand needs to be visible.

Interest

During this phase, your target audience is starting to formulate possible solutions to their issue. This is where you help your target audience to better understand the specific nature of their challenges and begin to formulate the ideal solution – still curbing your desire to reveal your self-interest.  Your challenge is to build trust by advising and guiding them a myriad of possible options and highlighting the pros and cons of each, maintaining an independent stance, while steering them towards your solution as the ideal fit.

How to deliver your solution messaging

This is where thought leadership articles can be invaluable, as well as independent round tables, white papers, issue-led podcasts and social videos, and objective explainers with strong visual prompts.

Your need to use your B2B PR to make your target audience feel that by listening to you, they are better equipped to deal with their challenges. They trust you and value your counsel.

Throughout both the awareness and interest phases, your focus is entirely on building familiarity, trust and influence before starting the next phase, although it’s fair to say that in the words of Simon Sinek, it’s an ‘infinite game’ and each phase will be in play as long as the business is seeking to grow.

Buying Cycle & Messaging Phases - Awareness Interest

Click here to see part two, where we suggest how to leverage the next stages of the comms journey; preference and action.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

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

Download How to Become a Thought Leader 

Read Read this awesome B2B PR case study: Lloyds Maritime Academy

Watch Learn: Why your business needs a communication strategy

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.

Your Ultimate Guide to Crisis PR Management

The Ultimate Guide to Crisis PR

Unforeseen circumstances have hit us all in 2020. Our guide shows you how to manage your PR in a crisis.

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

Our insights

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.

Download

Our insights