PR Trends & Tools: The Complete Guide

pr trends

Who needs PR?

Every business, big or small, can benefit from PR. The ability to generate positive news about your products and services is only going to help build brand awareness and credibility. B2B PR goes beyond just protecting, enhancing and building a company’s reputation through the media. It can also generate leads, shorten sales cycles and grow revenue.

As an example, there is nothing more important than being “top of mind” with your prospects, especially when they are about to make a purchasing decision. Most companies send out 3-5 requests for quotes (RFQ). Either you make this short list or you don’t even know the RFQ went out.

B2B PR puts you in front of those decision makers on a regular basis. It explains your value proposition, your differentiators and why they should contact you.

Why do you need a B2B PR agency?

You need a public relations agency to evaluate your organization and its current programs from an outside point of view. This will allow them to uncover the best stories for your target audience and turn those into positive media stories. A good PR agency has the connections and the bandwidth that it will require to generate enough press to hit critical mass.

Over the last decade PR distribution has relied on mass email blasts and wire distribution. Today, that is evolving into personal one-on-one outreach with the media. Editors get hundreds of email pitches per day and research shows that most unsolicited emails go unread.

Personally reaching out to those established connections that veteran PR practitioners have, has proven to generate more placements in high-impact, high-authority trade publications.

Why is a B2B PR campaign important?

Just like in sales, the key to good PR is in the follow up. That is why a sustained PR campaign that is ongoing is the most beneficial. It allows you to create a continuous cycle of distributing your messaging.

An effective B2B public relations campaign should include generating around 60 published articles per year in high-authority trade publications. 92% of the decision makers in your target markets report still reading trade publications to help stay in front of the curve and guide purchasing decisions. Therefore, taking this approach, you are much more likely to be seen, remembered and included in the sales process.

What's the point of a press release?

In order to generate the much-needed mentions of a company in the media, PR teams have traditionally relied on press releases; a simple one- or two-page write up on an event, new product/service, new hire or company award. However, this traditional way to generate press is often falling short of impacting, or even being read by, your target audience.

What is good B2B PR?

Good PR was traditionally looked at as anything that was positive about a company.

However, today with the ever-increasing amount of content and news we are bombarded with every day, it is much more important and impactful to consider what is “good PR” in the mind of your prospects, aka: ‘What’s in it for Them.’ Where does the value in the information you’re sharing lie?

What PR tools work best?

This is where PR articles have become such an effective tool. PR articles require developing relevant, creative and informative content in the form of feature articles. Unlike traditional press releases, PR articles are about providing relevance to your potential customers.

        PR Articles:

  •     Educate your prospects
  •     Benefit your potential customers
  •     Help them reach an informed buying decision
  •     Most importantly, PR articles drive people to take action

Additionally, these articles should include 3rd-party testimonials from your customers whenever possible. What problems were they facing? How did your solution solve those problems? How does this differentiate you from other competitors?

Why is word of mouth so important?

When a company talks about itself, that’s marketing. When someone else talks great about you, that’s word-of-mouth, and it is one of the most powerful forms of communication.

Just think about it; when other people are talking positively about you, it is not only more believable but creates much more of an impact. In fact, people report trusting ‘word of mouth’ recommendations about a company and its products more than marketing materials (like advertisements) or the branded content (like a company website).

In fact, 64% of marketing executives reported believing in word of mouth as the most effective form of marketing. 70% of those that responded to the survey say they are planning to increase their word of mouth marketing spend.

Additionally, hearing from a friend or business colleague about a product or brand made them much more likely to buy. You can’t buy that type of promotion; you have to earn it.

Why is earned media important?

Earned media is getting the media to cover a story about a company, and/or its products and services because of the impact it will have on their audience. Traditionally, editors, writers and producers created this content, but PR agencies can also deliver these stories, fully packaged and ready for print.

When done right, this approach to creating content is a much more compelling way to promote a company, its products/services and capabilities, and at a significantly lower overall cost than many other forms of marketing.

In addition, these articles have amazing residual value and become excellent sales and marketing collateral. They can be re-used in email promotions, on social media and websites, within brochures, at trade shows, etc.

Want to learn more about our B2B PR services? Check out this page