Can you run a B2B PR campaign on just news?
We often get asked by prospective clients how we run successful PR campaigns for our clients in the B2B technology industry if they don’t have any news to share. The answer? Thought leadership! A winning B2B PR campaign, especially in the technology space, is fuelled by something more than news and something that is extremely effective at communicating messages to a target market.
But, first things first.
How do you choose a B2B technology PR agency with the right approach?
There are certain things that need to be taken into account when deciding which PR agency will be right for your business. There are lots of PR agencies out there to choose from – but how do you decide which one will deliver what you’re looking for?
Experience: How much experience does the agency – and the team – have in the sector you’re operating in? What ideas can they bring to the table, and how do they suggest bringing your business proposition to life in the press? Is their pitch generic, or is it tailored to show how their approach will work specifically with your organisation?
More than just talk: Can the agency back up what they’re pitching to you with practical examples of their work? Will their current clients vouch for them?
Matching values: Take a look at the company itself. Can it demonstrate a commitment to growth and a strong company culture that matches your own? Who would you be working with on a day-to-day basis – do they seem committed and creative?
Once you’ve decided, you can then work alongside your chosen PR agency to build your PR strategy.
Say hello to thought leadership
One of the common issues we face with our clients is when their customers can’t partake in PR activity, leaving us unable to use them within the campaign. For any organisation in this position that doesn’t have a lot of news to share, they can often be left thinking that there isn’t any point in adding PR to their marketing mix at all.
But, they couldn’t be more wrong! This is where thought leadership comes in, which is an integral part of any B2B PR campaign. For any organisation that can’t rely on news, thought leadership is a brilliant way of speaking to the market about the market; tapping into a challenge or pain point faced and telling the industry what needs to be done about it. And, at the bottom of the articulate and punchy article, it will read Spokesperson, Job Title, Organisation – usually with a nice little link back to your company website, too. (PR and SEO is another story, but yes, they really do go hand in hand!) At Neo PR, we like to drink our own champagne, so we also run our own quarterly PR campaigns that generates press coverage just like this.
Even for those companies that do have lots of new product announcements to share or customers to shout about, thought leadership is still an excellent way of gaining coverage in the media. Unfortunately, the launch of a new technology solution isn’t likely to get a huge amount of media attention (the truth hurts) – but back this up with a bold yet concise opinion article that unpicks a key issue in your market, and you’re on to a winner. Not only is it something that publications love to receive, but it also resonates extremely well with the people reading their publications – aka, your target audience. Win-win, right?
Does news still have a place in a B2B PR Strategy?
Yes, of course it does. We champion thought leadership at Neo PR because we know how well it works for our clients, but when a news story comes along or one of our clients does have a customer story to share, we jump at the chance. In tandem, thought leadership and market leadership paint a perfect picture of a growing, market-leading organisation with strong sector expertise, which is our aim, after all.
News certainly still has a place in B2B PR; if we can get our hands on any customer success story or win announcement, it’s the perfect addition to the quarterly PR campaign. A well-timed customer case study that shouts about the results your customer has seen since working with you, sent to a top-tier publication and followed by an interview with the editor, will certainly work very well.
But, for those organisations that simply don’t have the news to share – we don’t bat an eyelid. Thought leadership is there to make the PR campaign work. We even have the annual coverage books to prove it.