The results are in for our survey of B2B PR practices. The key takeaway: Social media is taking a big bite out of traditional PR methods.
The informal survey, which was conducted online in March 2013, showed that social media is far and away the favored news distribution tactic with the press release lagging far behind.
- 94% of those surveyed said they use social media to promote announcements vs. 71% who report using press releases. Seventy five percent said they post a release on a company website while 68% send a release directly to reporters.
- 45% said they would use social media if they could use just one promotional vehicle vs. 24% who said they would issue a press release.
- 49 % report using an online distribution service like PR Web, while 40% report using one of the traditional services like PR Newswire, Business Wire or Marketwire
- 45% said LinkedIn was the most helpful social media tactic; 35% favored Twitter, 13% Facebook and 2% Google+.
While the respondents are not necessarily representative of the PR practice universe, they are typical of a rising generation of social media-savvy PR practitioners and open a door into the future direction of B2B public relations: It is more and more becoming a socially-driven world. This can have large implications for B2B company PR practices. Going direct to customers and prospects via social media can be one of the most effective ways to get the word out. The survey also has potential implications for traditional PR distribution services with lower cost distribution services overtaking the traditional channels.
However, don't assume you should completely abandon established PR practices. What the survey reinforces is that news announcements can be amplified through multiple free channels including social media, free PR distribution sites, company websites and reaching out directly to reporters. It also suggests that the days of simply sending a press release over a wire service are over. In our experience, a traditional wire service such as PR Newswire, Business Wire or Marketwire, can amplify a message particularly if you are a publicly traded company and need to get in front of analysts and investors. The online distribution service PR Web provides its own version of this via its financial service package. However, if you are not a publicly-traded company you may do just fine using free press release distribution services along with social media, your website and your own media outreach. We urge you to test it yourself.
What have you found to be most effective in terms of promoting your company? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. But first, check out our infographic with the survey results!
Click HERE to make larger
2013 B2B PR Practices Survey - An infographic by the team at MarxCommunications