What is strategic PR and how is it different from tactical PR?
Our Client Service Director, Liz Churchman and Amir Bazrafshan of the the B2B Brand and Demand podcast, discuss strategic PR: how it differs from tactical PR and how, when planned and implemented properly, it can be used to build B2B brand awareness, engage the right business leads and shorten the sales cycle. This is an essential B2B marketing listen – especially for marketers with tight budgets!
Listen to the podcast here or read the transcript below.
How to use PR strategically to build your B2B brand
Podcast transcript quicklinks
- What does a strategic approach to PR look like?
- Third party endorsement and the importance of journalists in niche markets
- Strategic PR isn’t about press releases
- How strategic PR can generate high quality leads
- How strategic PR can help shorten the sales cycle
- Why target personas are so important
- Develop your AIDA messaging – what to say to your target persona
- The difference between strategic PR and tactical PR when devising PR output
- Make sure your strategic approach isn’t eroded by one-off tactics
- How B2B brands can recognize that they need to make a change and take a strategic PR approach
- Inconsistent or dull messaging in the business will betray brand awareness efforts
- Inconsistent messaging weakens business fundamentals, not just its brand awareness
- How to get internal buy-in and validation of a communication strategy
- Next steps to begin a strategic PR journey in B2B – budget, time and resources
- How a PR strategy helps with marketing prioritization
- How your PR strategy can deliver results in the next six months
- Strategic PR opens up ideas and creative content – humour, personality and emotion in your messaging
Amir: Hey, and welcome back to the B2B Brand and Demand podcast with me your host, Amir Bazrafshan. The B2B Brand and Demand podcast is all about the importance of building your brand to generate demand in the world of B2B marketing. And today’s guest is Liz Churchman. She is a B2B PR expert, and we’re going to be covering a ton of useful topics in this episode that’s going to help you to do better PR, build your brand, and generate more demand for your B2B brand. So let’s just jump straight into it. Okay, so Liz, thank you very much for being with us today. Can you tell us who you are and a little bit about what you do?
Liz: I am Liz Churchman. Basically, my role is Client Services Director of Emmett & Churchman Limited, EC-PR for short, and we are a boutique B2B agency. Very much our sweet spot is around tech scaleup, startups, and delivering a strategic approach to PR. A bit more about my role, what does client services director mean? It basically means that across the board, across our client roster, I’m looking after those clients, making sure that they are happy with what we’re delivering, and that’s both from a, I suppose, a strategic perspective but also a tactical perspective.
1. What does a strategic approach to PR look like?
Amir: Okay. That’s really interesting. And something that you said in there sort of stood out to me that you take a strategic approach to PR. Could you talk a little bit about what PR is, some common misconceptions, and then perhaps share a little bit about what a strategic approach to PR might look like?
Liz: Yes. So I think you’re absolutely right. There can be some misconceptions of what PR is. It’s very true to say that PR is very much around, for us, it’s about educating, influencing, and persuading your audience, and it’s really important that when people embark on a PR journey that they understand that that’s not something that you can do in seconds, or minutes, or days. And I think for the most part, the people that or the clients that we deal with, they do understand that. And if they don’t, we’re unlikely to be working with them. It’s ensuring that, reinforcing that point that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Brand awareness in its entirety is not something that happens overnight. And we talk about five truisms when we build that case for PR, and we talk about them being: people can’t buy something they haven’t heard of, people don’t trust something that they are not familiar with, people are ambivalent about what you say about yourself because, “Well, you would say that wouldn’t you?” and your brand is whatever the customer perceives it to be, not what your marketing says it is.
2. Third party endorsement and the importance of journalists in niche markets
Liz: And the final one there is that, for us, we’re true believers in the fact that the most effective sales tactic always has been and forever will be third-party endorsement. And if you think about that third party endorsement, journalists are your ultimate third party.
Amir: Right. Absolutely. That’s fantastic though. There’s a lot of gold in there, and I love how you’ve identified that it’s a journalist. I suppose they’ve already got a platform themselves.
Amir: They’re not random people, they’re people that have got a perspective, maybe even got an audience as well, so being endorsed by those people will have a knock-on effect on how you are perceived as well.
Liz: Absolutely. And particularly, in some of the niche markets, I mean, we love tech and we work in some very niche markets. And when you think about those niche markets, whether that’s InsurTech, electronics, you have journalists who have been in that industry for quite a while, and they’ve built up their own brand, and they are well respected and credible and have an authoritative voice. And if you can plug into that and nurture a relationship with those people, it’s going to do wonders for your brand awareness.
3. Strategic PR isn’t about press releases
Amir: Right, that’s a great point. On the topic of PR, can you dispel a myth that PR is easy because all it is putting out a press release?
Liz: There are a lot of businesses out there, particularly within B2B, who are probably feeling like they’re doing PR and they’re doing it well, but I think that when you talk about a press release or an article or a comment in a magazine, for example, you’re very much talking about the tactics. And from our perspective, we don’t actually do anything different when it comes to tactics. The bit that we do differently is the front end, which is the strategic piece, because it holds far more weight in terms of being able to demonstrate the value of what PR can bring to the entire mix really. It’s very easy just to say, “Oh, we’ll send out a press release every month. We’ll do some commentary,” but if you can tie that back into a strategic imperative, it holds far more weight and it gives you the leverage that you potentially need internally to make sure you get the buy-in from senior leadership team, for example, because they understand that it’s very much tied into the strategic imperatives of the business. And I’m sure I’ll touch upon that in some of the other discussion points that you mentioned.
Amir: Yeah. So that was a really interesting what you said there. You said that you might do similar tactics to other PR firms, I’m sort of paraphrasing I suppose, but where you’re getting most value, where you derive most value is from the strategic work that then informs the execution of those tactics.
Liz: Yeah, absolutely.
4. How strategic PR can generate high quality leads
Amir: Okay. So we mentioned kind of senior buy-in. Could you talk about common pushbacks that you might have kind of experienced and how, if there’s a marketing manager listening to this, if they’re keen on doing that impactful strategic PR work, how might they approach team management? What might their arguments comprise of?
Liz: Yeah, I think that there’s almost three questions that automatically I think of when I think about the common pushbacks, and those three questions tend to be: what will it achieve, how many leads will we get from this, and how are we going to measure success? Those tend to be the kind of questions that not necessarily are coming from the marketing person that we are speaking to and maybe we’re prospecting with, but actually from that senior leadership team who may not truly understand what PR can do and what it can deliver, but those tend to be the questions. It’s very much around that kind of historical, “Well I want to generate more leads,” or “I want to make sure that I get more leads.” And I think it’s really important, if we consider the funnel of how buyers come into that funnel, where PR can play an integral role in influencing that funnel is very much at the top.
It is very much that brand awareness piece. As you go further down the funnel or as that buyer goes further down the funnel, PR may play less of a role because you already have that brand awareness, you’ve built up some of that trust, and actually what the buyer’s looking for is reinforcement. So they’re looking for your case studies of clients that you’re working with or they’re looking for what value you can deliver in kind of tangible terms. One of the things that’s very impactful when we’re talking to prospective clients is that image of that funnel and reminding ourselves where PR can play the biggest and most significant role, and that is, for us, very much around getting those leads into the funnel. And I’d caveat that as well by saying it’s not just any leads, we want to help shorten the sales cycle.
5. How strategic PR can help shorten the sales cycle
Liz: We know the sales cycle can be notoriously long for some industries, particularly defence, which we operate in quite heavily, but what we’re trying to do is be really targeted and focused and help shorten that sales cycle. And I suppose that kind of lends itself nicely into how would we overcome some of those pushbacks. Well, for us, it’s very much about taking that strategic approach. How can you shorten that sales cycle and make sure that the leads are much more qualitative rather than just simply getting loads of leads in and they end up not going anywhere? It’s very much about that qualitative piece. And if you can be strategic then you can demonstrate that actually the leads have improved in terms of quality. They are the right people that we are speaking to, and they are engaging with our message. So what we do at that front end and basically the first phase of how we approach any PR campaign is very much around that communication strategy piece. So who do we want to talk to?
We need to have a very in depth understanding of who it is we’re targeting. If we don’t, how can we communicate with them? We need to really understand those people, and that’s part of that strategic approach that we take. We’ve been with clients before where they’ve said, “Oh yeah, we know who our target buyer or persona,” sometimes they’re called personas, “we know who that persona is,” but when you actually dig deeper into it, it’s a very loose understanding. They haven’t looked at motivations, they haven’t looked at fears, they’ve not looked at pet peeves or pain points. They’ve just done a little bit of a short exercise to say, “Well, this is their job title, and they work in this kind of company,” and it tends to be very loose. And the point here is that you do have to do that deep dive, otherwise there’s no point in doing it.
So I’ll stop there because I know that I’ve kind of fired quite a lot there. And again, as I said, that communication strategy piece, for us, is our single differentiator from our perspective because without it, you are pretty much flying blind. And that’s not just from a PR perspective, but that’s also from a pure marketing perspective as well. Because as far as we are concerned, any business will have a business plan, and the communication strategy should sit directly under that business plan. It’s informing the business plan. And without it you are basically doing a spray and pray approach to any of your marketing PR activity. That’s how integral it is.
6. Why target personas are so important
Amir: Yeah, there’s a lot of wisdom in what you just said there. That was amazing. So again, we come back to the importance of strategy and strategic approach and really making sure that there’s an alignment between business strategy and the communications strategy. And something that comes up again when we speak to customers is going in as a third party, I imagine you bring not just your skills and experience and your contacts, but also perspective and distance from things like a persona where you can poke holes in a healthy way so you can get that depth that you need. Because it sounds like what you’re saying is that persona is really key and having a very tightly defined persona so that the messaging can be again aligned with them, their goals, their struggles, to create that relevance at the top of the funnel, which creates that attention that you need I suppose.
Liz: Yeah, absolutely. It’s critical, and it really does inform, as you said, everything that we would then do. Because as far as we’re concerned, once you understand and you can articulate what that pain point is, what’s that one thing that your persona, what keeps them up at night? And if you keep rallying back to that, you will instill trust and credibility and authority, which then lends itself so nicely into the brand awareness piece. We talk a lot about being visible, but we want to make sure that our clients are visible, valued, and understood. That’s what we talk about. So visible. If they don’t see you, they can’t become familiar with you. Valued. If they don’t trust you, they won’t choose you. And understood. If they don’t understand you, they can’t prefer you. So a lot of what we’re doing is trying to build that empathy and that trust, and you can only do that by talking your customer’s language. I’m kind of touching upon one of your other questions, but, again, I’ll stop there because you can probably tell I get quite passionate about this subject!
Amir: No, no, no, don’t stop yourself. If you’ve got something to say, go ahead and do it because I’m learning a lot. I’m sure the audience is learning a lot as well. I love the “visible, valued, and understood”. It almost sounds like a little mantra to me.
Liz: Yeah, it really is. I mean, again, when we’re out in the industries, and it really doesn’t matter what industry it is, but tech in particular, you see a lot of B2B businesses being very good at talking about themselves and their products and their services. They can drill out any feature of a product any day of the week, but very rarely will you go onto a website where you can genuinely say that they put the customers at the heart of their comms. For me, you should hit a homepage and it should all be about that customer. It shouldn’t be about the business at all, it should be about your customers. And that itself, you cannot do without being strategic, without going through that strategic piece at the very outset. And yes, okay, there’s been times when we’ve had personas, which actually have been quite detailed, but what happens is it almost stops there. They’ve got the persona, but actually they’ve not then gone on to do the messaging.
7. Develop your AIDA messaging – what to say to your target persona
Liz: So, if you think about every the AIDA model, awareness, interest, decision, and action, that’s typically the sales cycle. It doesn’t matter what market or what industry we’re talking about, that is what a buyer will go through. And what you should be doing is identifying your personas and then thinking about the message you want to deliver as that buyer goes through that journey, and I think that’s where B2B businesses sometimes fall down is that messaging piece can be missing because that’s your holy grail. Once you’ve got that messaging and once you understand how your buyer consumes content, bring the two together and you have your marketing and PR plan. You know that, for example, LinkedIn is where they consume a lot of their content. Right, let’s think about LinkedIn as a channel. How can we engage them on LinkedIn?
We know what our message is. Now, let’s do some videos or let’s do some written blogs or… Whatever that tactic ends up being, it becomes a tactic that is strategically targeted and focused on that persona we’ve identified. Incredibly powerful once you pull that all together. It does take time. We run a two-day workshop to deliver or to get a first iteration of that comm strategy, but oh my god, have those hairs on your arms standing up on end once you have that moment of clarity because it just completely makes sense then.
8. The difference between strategic PR and tactical PR when devising PR output
Amir: Right. So again, we’ve touched on tactics, et cetera. And again, it sounds like you’re saying that the difference between, say two different blog posts, which is the same tactic, the difference between one working and not working, i.e, appealing to the audience and generating engagement and the start of a relationship, is the strategy behind that and, like you say, perhaps the segmentation, positioning, and messaging that forms a foundation of all of that.
Liz: Absolutely. For us, there’s a phase in-between which is you might start off with a plan. And as you go through the comm strategy work, you might think, “I need to revisit that plan now. Knowing what I know now, we need to revisit and recalibrate that plan.” And one of the things that’s at the heart of that is what I would call your ideas bank, your brilliant ideas bank. And what it does is it, along the top, and it can be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet, along the top you’ve got each of your four stages of your message or your buyer’s journey. So you’ve got your engagement message, which is you’re ‘A’ bit, which is the awareness, so that’s engaging your customers. But as you go through those four steps, down the left hand side, you have all of the ideas, all of the ideas for content, whether that ends up being a blog, a podcast, a video, whatever it ends up being, but that, to me, is strategically focused.
It’s still a list of tactics, but they’re strategically focused because what you then do is map each of those pieces of content to each of the stages of that messaging journey. In real terms, and in my mind, you should not be veering off that not that north star because if you do veer off, it’s not having an impact on being able to do that visible, valued, and understood piece with your target personas. It’s okay to go off strategy sometimes, of course it is. There might be a real genuine reason for the business to do that, but it’s important that you consciously have that decision made rather than it just being something that you’ve not actually discussed. You’ve made a conscious decision to go off strategy slightly because there’s a very valid reason, but actually what we need to do is get back onto our strategic focus, which is whatever that might be, whether that’s one persona that you’re targeting or two or three.
But that, again, is all dependent on budget size, which sometimes is quite a challenge, particularly within B2B. Marketers might have few resources and a limited budget, so that’s where the strategy can really play a fundamental role in making sure that every penny you’re spending is working as hard as possible.
Amir: Right. That makes sense. I love the concept of the ideas bank. It sounds like it’s a really powerful asset to have, like you say, to keep you on track with that north star that a good strategy can be, and, I suppose, help to prevent the overtactification of any marketing and PR work because we all love our tactics, don’t we.
9. Make sure your strategic approach isn’t eroded by one-off tactics
Liz: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And it’s really kind of being brave with that as well because I think more often than not, it’s being brave and pushing back. We’ve all been there. We might have a CEO who decides that he really wants to speak at an event, for example, and he knows that this event is quite high profile, and he or she needs to be on there, but when you challenge and say, “Okay, well what impact is that going to have on our strategy in terms of engaging and persuading our target personas and getting in front of those target personas?” More often than not, they will come back and say, “Well, it’s not,” and it tends to end up being what you found when you drill down, it’s actually more of a vanity thing.
And that’s okay as well, but, again, it goes back to that point of actually discussing that within the business and saying, “Okay, CEO over here, you’re willing to take the time to do that, that’s great, but let’s just be mindful of the fact that it’s not strategically going to impact what we’re trying to do,” and that is okay. But just as long as everything’s weighted almost that 80/20 or 90/10, everything is more weighted towards that strategic focus rather than just going off on tangents.
10. How B2B brands can recognize that they need to make a change and take a strategic PR approach
Amir: Yeah. Okay. That’s really interesting. Just to push things like forwards a little bit more, and people listening to this maybe can think about the answer to this, but in your experience, what are some of the symptoms that B2B brands experience when they need to do more brand awareness work via PR, et cetera, or another approach? What are some of the ways in which B2B brands are perhaps suffering, even if they’re not fully aware, but they’ll be experiencing some kind of symptoms, I suppose, that there’s a need to take some kind of action in the way that you’re talking about? Can you talk to perhaps the most prominent ones?
Liz: Yeah. I think that if I think about why we start working with some of our clients, it tends to be around that messaging piece. For example, it could be that the sales team have come to marketing saying, “Leads are falling off the cliff,” or “what we’re getting through the funnel is just, it’s just rubbish. We’re not getting any traction. Yeah, we’re just not getting seen or we’re not getting heard,” and that manifests itself because obviously, in our minds, marketing/PR is there to support sales. It is. It’s a support function, isn’t it? And so, if it’s not doing that, then clients will tend to think, “Okay, what’s the root of the problem?” And when we talk, again, going back to that funnel analogy, when we are maybe having an initial conversation with that prospect, we will say, “Okay, what’s the issue that’s driving this conversation?” and it tends to be around that.
11. Inconsistent or dull messaging in the business will betray brand awareness efforts
Liz: It tends to be, “Well, we’re not seeing the leads coming through. We’re not getting that traction. Our brand awareness is really low. We need some help around this.” And when we dig in a bit further, what we find is a couple of things. We tend to find there’s inconsistency. So when we talk about consistent messaging, what you’re finding is that you’ve got, I don’t know, you’ve got a team of 10 people in your sales team and they’re actually saying completely different things. What makes you different? What makes you unique? What’s your differentiation? Everyone within that business is saying something different, and that manifests itself not just from a marketing perspective, but a PR perspective is you have no alignment. And then the other part of that is that you tend to find that, again, that being brave piece is that there’s a lot of corporate jargon, words that are used that can be used in B2B, and it becomes dull, and it becomes very much me too.
No business wants to be a me too. They want to differentiate, they want to have compelling messaging. But again, you mentioned it earlier, is sometimes having an external, like us coming in, seeing it with a fresh set of eyes, asking the right questions, challenging the business, all of a sudden you get that golden nugget of uniqueness or differentiation, which you probably wouldn’t have got if you were continuing to have those discussions internally. So that tends to be the things that are happening within the business that prompts them to be thinking, “We need to do something around our brand awareness piece.”
Amir: Right. And I love that and I love sort of that bringing it back to the mantra. It sounds like if people are experiencing those on a macro level, I suppose or a principle level, the cure is going to be: be more visible, be more valued, and be more understood.
Liz: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.
Amir: And the things like lead quality will no doubt take care of themselves, sales cycles, even perhaps average deal sizes as well, which you’ve sort of built that brand, that familiarity and that relationship at scale with your audience.
12. Inconsistent messaging weakens business fundamentals, not just its brand awareness
Liz: Yeah, it’s absolutely that brand awareness, that brand value as well. If we think about, again, knock-on effects, if you have some of those challenges within your business, what you’ll find is that it’s not just the brand piece, but it’s actually you might have high staff turnover, you might have high customer churn as well, or even a lack of customers. So it’s just taking the bigger picture as well, that inconsistency in how you describe yourself as a business and what you believe makes unique, it’s such a fundamental part and it needs to be led from the top. Which is why when we do our strategy piece, we are engaging with the senior members of the team across the business. That should include product or services, it should include operations, it should include HR, it should include the CEO, finance.
You should have representatives from right across the business who will be involved in pooling together or sharing insight and knowledge in order for that strategy piece to be pulled together because it won’t come to life unless those people are bought into it, engaged with it, and then pushing that out within their departments. Otherwise, there’s no point. It’s a strategy for strategy sake.
13. Internal buy-in and validation of a communication strategy
Amir: Right. It sounds like what you were describing then, it sounds like there almost needs to be an internal alignment before you can put that out to the market externally. Would you say that’s accurate?
Liz: Yeah, there’s an internal and an external. And the internal, absolutely, we encourage our clients to make sure that even if it ends up being some kind of town hall session where you present it back to the business the core components of that strategy, what our value proposition is, the target sectors we’re going after, what our commercial imperatives are over the next six to 12 months. And in order to deliver against those commercial imperatives, who do we need to be speaking to, and then that obviously feeds into the target persona work and then subsequent messaging. But externally, before you start thinking about activating or executing that strategy, it is incredibly important that you validate it. So if you’re spending the time pooling together messaging for personas, you have to go out to the market and test that and validate it because… And obviously, you might have to do that on a small scale, which is fine, but you need to have confidence that what you’re saying and the language that you’re using is going to resonate with those target personas.
And when we’ve gone through that validation exercise with clients, they have said how powerful it has been for them just having that clarity. Because often, they’ll do the messaging and then not validate it. It’s like, “Well, again, you need to make sure that you are speaking to those customers and going to a trusted network to ensure that what you’re saying does reasonate.”
Amir: Yeah, it sounds like a really logical step and a really foundational and fundamental step. But in my experience, I find that it’s not always part… in the vast majority of cases, it’s not part of the plan.
Liz: No. You do often get that light bulb moment when you’re talking about the comm strategy. And in some respects, it’s not that you oversimplify it, but it just seems so simple, a simple thing when you talk about it. It’s like, “Well, of course. Yeah, that completely makes sense,” but what you find is that that knock-on effect as to what that then helps you to do is often missed. And again, it’s that buy-in piece, isn’t it? It’s our job to make sure that people understand the power of that comm strategy and what it can then deliver. Because we’re not then doing our job properly if we can’t articulate that. So yeah, it is incredibly important.
14. Next steps to begin a strategic PR journey in B2B – budget, time and resources
Amir: Okay, so just to round off now, people are listening to this, maybe they’re fired up in wanting to dive into able to see the value and the benefit of it. What might be some decent next steps that somebody could do or some dos and don’ts to help them to enter the world of doing this strategic PR?
Liz: I think it’s just we recognise, and particularly within the B2B world, we’re not talking about big consumer brands here who have got multi-squillion pound budgets. We’re recognizing that few marketers will have that ideal world budget, so budget time or even resource, which means that they have to prioritize. What we also, in our experience, recognise is that businesses who may in some pieces not actually have someone… they have got someone in marketing, but they might not necessarily have the credentials. So what often happens is that people who are maybe started off in an admin type role or are recognized for being very organized, they tend to kind of amalgamate themselves into a type of marketing role. And yes, okay, they might not have the credentials, and the knock-on effect of that is that they end up becoming very, very tactical because they have a perceived idea that, “Okay, marketing is about this, and PR is about that,” so that can have a knock-on impact in terms of what they actually are able to deliver.
15. How a PR strategy helps with marketing prioritization
Liz: But I think the most important thing here is if we have got marketers in that role, they will be limited on budget, time, and resource, and that’s where it’s like, “I have to prioritise because I can’t do everything.” And having that robust strategy in place helps you to prioritise. It means that you don’t get pulled from pillar to post. I mean, we talk to our marketers all the time, and they say, “Oh, I’m being asked to do this. I’m being asked to do that,” and what we do is we challenge, we go, “Well, how does that fit into our strategy and have that conscious decision and that pushback,” and we’re not afraid to do that because we believe in the cause. We believe in helping to deliver more of a strategic approach because we know the value that it can deliver.
16. How your PR strategy can deliver results in the next six months
Liz: So get that robust strategy in place, spend the time to do that, and answer those key questions. So involve the right people that I’ve talked about. I’ve said people from across the business, set that commercial context. That’s incredibly important as well because then it doesn’t become that strategy that’s, “Oh, it’s in five years’ time. I’m not going to worry about it yet.” If you set a commercial context of the next quarter or the next six months, it puts urgency on what you’re doing. You say, “Right, we’ve got to deliver this amount of revenue in the next six months. Okay, well how can marketing and PR support that? Okay, well let’s look at our value proposition. Is it robust enough? Is it differentiating us? How are we going to prioritize our sectors? We can’t go after everything. Let’s think about the budget we’ve got and what we can realistically prioritize.”
And then you get into, “Okay, realistically, how many personas can we actually proactively go after?” And that’s the important bit as well here is that it’s… We’re talking about proactiveness. You might naturally get some reactive buyers coming into your funnel, which is great, but surely that lends itself into the brand awareness piece, doesn’t it? Because if you increase your brand awareness, that might naturally happen anyway. And then again, validate that thinking. So marketing is designed to be the voice of the customer, so marketing is all about understanding the customer’s pain point in terms of whether that’s product, price, place, and promotion. That should be the marketer’s defence against the business when they want to pool activity. This is what we’re doing. This is what marketing is focused on – the customer’s pain point. And if we do that and we create messaging around that pain point and validate thinking, we are going to be on a great road there in terms of being able to increase that brand awareness and have longevity in that message.
17. Strategic PR opens up ideas and creative content – humour, personality and emotion in your messaging
Liz: And I would say, last point, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. I think that there is a creative element that sometimes can be stifled in the B2B world. Think about creative ways of bringing that message into life. Written format isn’t enough anymore. Use humour, use your company’s personality, use emotion. We don’t do enough of that in B2B I feel. We tend to end up going down a bit more of a corporate and professional route. And I think COVID, and can see it on LinkedIn even, those stuffy corporate videos that we used to see are less and less now. People are putting emotion into it, they’re putting personality, and they’re often putting humour into some of those video content pieces, which is great to see because it makes you stand out.
Amir: That’s amazing.
Liz: I’m not quite sure I managed to articulate what those key takeaways were, but hopefully…
Amir: You did. No, there’s a lot of gold there. So basically, if people want to do this, get into PR, really don’t rush the tactics, don’t start creating blog posts and press releases. They need to be clear on the priorities because people tend to be pressed for time and resources and those priorities are informed by the strategy, so perhaps that would be a good place for people to begin. And really understanding that marketing is, like you say, the voice of the customer, so what we need are validated messages to make sure that when we’re publishing content in whatever form it might take, it’s going to resonate and be relevant and therefore get attention. And the last point you made, which I love, is don’t be boring. Create messaging and content that really stands out against the typical landscape of B2B content with promotion and humor. So I think there were some fantastic points in there, Liz. Thank you so much for spending this time with us. I’ve learned a lot, I’m sure the audience has learned a lot, so thank you very much.
Liz: No problem. Thank you for having me.
Amir: And there we go. Thank you for listening to this episode of the B2B Brand and Demand podcast. Be sure to check back next time. We’re going to have another guest that’s going to give lots and lots of useful information about how you can build your B2B brand to generate demand. You can find me on LinkedIn if you search Amir Bazrafshan, and we are also at apricotbox.co for more information there. Thank you.
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