(Updated: December 21, 2016)
What do you want from your B2B PR campaign? The answer to this basic question is at the root of your PR success.
Nine out of ten times, a business considers successful PR to equate to quotes in the press, and a level of this success is even judged by the prestige of the publication. For example, the head of a company may expect to see himself or herself quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, or the #1 trade publication in the corporation’s field. The executive might also like to receive a little bit of social media spotlight as well. Yet are these always beneficial in terms of PR?
Although there’s certainly no problem with any of the above, it’s simply an incomplete understanding of B2B PR. Arranging for the CEO to be mentioned in the Times or praised in a trade publication does not mean that you, as a PR professional, can hang your hat. It could even be totally wrong for a particular type of business and its goals.
B2B PR is commonly thought of as being all about news placements.
Let's look at the big picture for a moment. In truth, media coverage is a relatively small part of the PR formula. If media mentions is your singular goal, you're turning a blind-eye to all the extras that come afterwards -- not to mention everything else you could have done.
In reality, media coverage on its own doesn't take you very far -- it may last a few days. In terms of PR, that's just not enough. On the other hand, there are simple but essential ways to refuel your PR and drive it a lot further.
What am I talking about?
There’s social media (an entire field in itself), videos, content marketing, contests/sweepstakes, polls, blogs, and much, much more.
Then let us not forget the fact that big name news sources may not even be optimal for a company. To illustrate, if a business seeks clients in only one or two states (with no intention of expanding), regional media coverage could be far more effective – and easier to land.
Recommended Reading: How to Land Media Coverage for Your B2B
Where is your audience? Focus there.
This brings me to the next point. In order for PR results to truly be powerful, they should be merchandised.
What does this mean exactly?
It means publicizing any and all press you obtain. A crucial element of a successful PR campaign is expanding the reach and frequency of your media coverage. Media coverage can have as long a life as you choose for it. That’s right. Put on your marketing hat and personally get your media in front of your readers’/viewers’ eyes.
Your potential audience isn't your only concern with boosting your PR efforts. Let's not forget the writer who published your piece. As I've mentioned before, it is vital to the future of your PR to cultivate good relationships with the press. So as you extend the reach of your press coverage, don't forget to share the limelight with the writer who gave you that coverage. Their career often depends in large part on the engagement of their articles. When you include them in your press promotion, it paves the way for a friendly collaboration in the future.
With that in mind, let's look at some leading PR tactics that will extend the life of your media coverage.
10 Methods to Boost Your B2B PR Campaign
1. Display your own press. Simply link to your press coverage on your site's news or media section. For extra emphasis, splash a headline on your home page and link it to any amazing, recent coverage. You can even include a small yet impressive blurb from the article that will make people want to read the entire thing.
This example from Quid shows how your media coverage can be integrated into your website. The site use a simple "In the News" section at the bottom of its homepage, which gives a brief foretaste of what each news outlet is about, and links to each article. Notice too how it includes the logos for each news outlet. This alone can boost credibility.
This PR tactic is one of the most basic things you can do, yet it never ceases to amaze me when B2B companies neglect to do this. Never forget to incorporate this basic tactic into your PR tool kit!
On the other hand, if you weren’t able to get any articles published, don't sweat it! You can always write and post articles on your website and promote those. Which leads me to the next point…
2. Promote your press in your blog. What were you interviewed about? Create a blog post where you can touch on the topic (lending even more of your industry expertise to it), and then be sure to include a link to your coverage.
While your blog should not be merely self-serving, including little media tid bits in between other great content can add a nice touch.
Recommended Reading: 10 Reasons Why No One Is Reading Your B2B Blog
3. Mention your press in a newsletter to clients and prospects. Newsletter subscribers want to know your industry news. Don't forget to leverage this tool with quotes and media coverage that will build your credibility in this circle, and could springboard more B2B leads your way.
Then, forward a copy of the newsletter to the writer and publication who published the piece, which allows them to see your effort and solidifies your relationship with them.
Don’t have a newsletter? No worries. You can always write an email to keep your clients (and prospects) updated on what you’ve been doing. Just reference your press coverage among your other recent company news.
Recommended Reading: How to Nurture B2B Leads with Low-Pressure Emails
4. Include links to the press in your signature line. This is a beautifully simple yet effective way to showcase your recent coverage. It promotes brand awareness and builds credibility with B2B leads.
It could be something as simple as:
Check out my recent contribution to [name of publication.]
Want to know what leading industry advice I recently gave to [name of publication]? Check it out here.
Or if you don't yet have any recent, awesome press, link to some owned media. This could be an article or a blog post that will still gain you credibility. Either way, it helps to land you on a person's radar.
5. Spread the word via social media with links to your articles placed on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. Don't be afraid to share this coverage several times throughout the coming weeks, to ensure that as many eyes as possible have the chance to see it.
Your headline is a good place to start in terms of social media promotion. Editors work hard to get as clickable a headline as possible, so take advantage of that. For more information on how to create an irresistable headline, click here.
Remember, social media works best as an engagement tool. Don't just release your article like a buoy into the vast ocean of social media. Tag and thank relevant people -- including the writer and the publication. This extends the piece to their audience as well, and gives credit where credit is due. Keep track of the post and respond to people's comments. Use hashtags to extend your reach further. This way, you will establish yourself as an authority, but also as an engaging and interactive company.
6. Begin discussions on your blog and LinkedIn groups. These outlets are all about starting conversations -- so why should your media coverage be any different? Ignite the conversation around the topic you were quoted on, and then eventually you can slip in a link to your article.
Don't have your own group on LinkedIn? Then it's an excellent opportunity to seek out a relevant group that already exists. Conduct a search of groups using a keyword relevant to your industry. Choose a group with a large audience and a high engagement rate.
Once you've chosen a group, don't jump in with both feet just yet. Observe the group dynamics and participate with your point of view. Once you've established yourself as a participant, you can start to post to the group. Don't only post self-serving articles -- make it a well-seasoned mix. Over time, this can develop into a welcoming forum where you can share your company news (including press coverage) with prospects, and build a community around your brand.
This is also a great tactic to utilize in other groups, such as Quora. Are you registered to answer questions on Quora? This site gets many visitors that may not yet be part of your audience. Find relevant questions where you can participate and eventually include a link to your press mention in your answer.
7. Add press mentions to your company and personal bio, as well as your LinkedIn profile. Be sure to mention your press coverage in your About Us page and personal bio. People go to these places to look for reasons to trust you and your company. Showcase how far-reaching your industry influence extends with your press mentions.
As people learn more about your company (and you), it builds confidence without sounding salesy.
Check out this About Us page from Moz, a leading brand in the field of SEO. They go with a timeline-graphic of their company's history, and are able to show off mentions in major magazines, such as Inc., and Seattle Met -- both national and regional publications. It's a discreet and powerful PR tactic that works.
This LinkedIn profile from Mark Schaefer is another fine demonstration of my point. Among his other accomplishes, this renowned marketing guru does not fail to mention his appearances on national television shows, as well as his press coverage in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and CNN. Notice how these serve to bolster his credibility and influence. You could also display the visual logos of the news outlets to catch the eye of your readers.
8. Obtain copies of the article you’ve been quoted in and add this to your press kit. Don't underestimate the power of print in someone's hands. Old fashioned hard copies can still be a powerful tool. Electronic versions, placed strategically in press kits, also work well, especially PDFs.
9. Rework an article to function as an abstract for a speaking proposal. Speaking engagements are an ideal place to expand your audience. It's even better because the basic work is already done for you! With a little nip here and tuck there, you have an outline that will fit perfectly into an industry event -- and give added life to your article.
10. Use screenshots of articles in a video about your company or for sales presentations. This is a tasteful way to show the best side of your company. Highlight your quotes from the article. This is a great way to feed the flames of interest in the minds of your prospects.
Want more great tips to succeed in your B2B campaign? Check out 10 More Awesome Strategies to Boost Your B2B PR Campaign.
Recommended Reading: 5 Rules to Landing Local Media Coverage for Your B2B Company
A Few Key Points to Remember:
- Use your company's webpage, About Us page, and bio to highlight your media coverage
- Start conversations on your blog and social media outlets, and include links to your article
- Include in press kits
- Make into an outline for speaking proposals
Don't allow your press coverage to die off -- continue to breathe life into it, and reap the rewards of your hard-earned media mentions for years to come.
Now it’s your turn! Please feel free to share your ideas on expanding a PR campaign.