There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to media relations campaigns—and a business-to-business (B2B) approach comes with its own set of challenges that vary by industry, audience and the product or service offered.
Coupled with consumers’ shortened attention spans, shrinking newsrooms and online purchasing, B2B companies need to develop focused PR strategies to pique the interest of potential customers and strengthen their brand authority.
Media relations remains one of the most powerful and trusted channels for companies of all sizes to reach their stakeholders. The challenge for B2B companies is to discover the best ways to reach potential buyers via targeted media relations.
Here’s how to put together a strategic B2B media relations campaign to achieve your brand’s business goals.
1. Define your decision-makers.
When diving into a B2B PR campaign, it’s important to clearly define the specific corporate decision-makers you want to target, which vary across C-suite levels, sales and marketing roles. What do they all have in common? They’re actively looking for business solutions to address company pain points, often in the form of new products or services that help promote efficiencies and improve their bottom line.
2. Start with research & engaging media your audience trusts.
When making the decision to purchase a B2B product or service, often an extensive amount of research and due diligence is involved, as the decision usually results in a high-ticket solution and long-term partnership. In other words, this is not an impulse buy at the front of a store.
Therefore, B2B executives are looking for specific information beyond word-of-mouth testimonials about a product or service. They’re often seeking a business partner who is at the forefront of innovation and has their finger on the pulse of the industry, providing unique research and insights that help guide the market.
Gaining an understanding of how and where decision-makers find business solutions, including what tools they’re using to research their options, is a key second step. What media are they consuming? How are they doing competitive research?
Much of the buyer’s journey for B2B decision-making is conducted online as executives gather information about products and services through first-hand research. With this in mind, it’s crucial for PR professionals to map out media relations strategies that educate decision-makers at the right time and in places they’re going to for trusted information.
This is where can help your company become a part of the decision-maker’s world. A strategic B2B media relations campaign will generate media exposure to show your organization is not only living and breathing the same industry but also identifying gaps and innovating for the future.
For PR practitioners, it’s important to tell these research-based stories through effective media relations and thought leadership efforts.
3. Leverage thought leaders to showcase industry expertise.
In addition to a proactive media relations strategy to drive your message and reach B2B decision-makers in their buyer’s journey, B2B companies should consider a thought leadership effort. Interestingly, research revealed that 82% of C-Suite executives stated thought leadership increased their trust in an organization.
Through thought leadership and spokesperson profiles, brands can leverage their internal subject matter experts to provide insights and trends. Whether it’s pursuing a speaking engagement, writing a blog post for the company website or bylining a guest post about recent research for a news outlet, thought leadership is an effective way for your organization to add valuable insights about industry trends and ultimately earn trust with key audiences.
It’s also important to align B2B PR tactics with your company’s larger messaging and brand awareness strategy to maximize the efforts’ impact and help your overall organization become a recognizable pillar in the industry with a strong public image. An agency partner can help spearhead effective thought leadership efforts that can be shared with extensive media relations networks.
At the end of the day, establishing credibility and building trust among B2B decision-makers is no easy feat—especially with an ever-evolving B2B landscape and competitive marketplace. That said, brands can put their stake in the ground and stand out among competitors with timely, fact-based research, insights and messaging, as well as thoughtful execution of PR campaign efforts targeted to address customers’ business pain points.