New to B2B PR? Top Tips on What You Need to Know
By Nathalie Mensah | On January 30, 2019
As a new hire in a business-to-business (B2B) public relations (PR) agency, I assumed working with B2B technology clients would be similar to my prior experience in the consumer technology space. Core PR principles are fundamentally the same, however the way B2B tech is talked about in the media is very different. Many fundamental principles of PR apply regardless of whether you are trying to reach a consumer or a business audience. Every buyer is influenced by their perception of a brand. People respond to stories and make emotional decisions at work and at home. After all, business buyers are consumers too.
There are many things to learn in the B2B tech PR landscape, including key reporters, media outlets, and trending topics that apply to the industry as a whole and for each client account.
Here are a few goals to set as an entry level PR professional in the B2B tech PR scene:
- Understand the Similarities and Differences Between Consumer and B2B Technology PR – While consumer tech is geared towards a wider audience, B2B PR is niche to a specific industry. This can include logistics and supply chain, healthcare, blockchain, and cybersecurity. However, there are similarities between B2B and B2C technology PR such as the overlap in outlets that cover both B2B and B2C companies.
- Audit the Media For the Industries you Represent – It is important to familiarize yourself with reporters and outlets covering the PR industry and your client’s industries as well. This is because outlets and reporters have very specific topic beats, so it’s imperative to only send relevant pitches and story ideas to said media as irrelevant content can sour potential relationships.
- Know Your Client’s Key Audiences – Understanding where your client’s target audience goes for industry news is certainly challenging. There is an unlimited amount of news but a limited amount of reporters to cover it, and an even smaller amount that can potentially cover your client. You have to constantly analyze what is trending in the media to see where your client can fit in for thought leadership, story hijacking, and trend intervention opportunities.
- Administrative Tasks are Account Building Blocks – Administrative tasks – such as note taking in meetings, compiling and updating media coverage trackers, and media list development – may not be the most glamorous part of the job, but it’s the work that team members rely on for account success. A good foundation for media relations starts with a well-researched media list. Yes it takes time to vet each reporter, but when it’s right, it’s the most valuable tool for media relations. Additionally, having a good reporting system for metrics and media placements will allow the team to communicate progress clearly to clients and give them a solid measurement on ROI.
Having your first full-time job in PR is the moment all young professionals look forward to. To be successful, understanding the differentiating and common factors across the many different industries you represent will serve you well. In addition, having an adaptable spirit while constantly staying creative and thinking outside of the box will help in any sector of PR. No matter how new or seasoned you are as a PR professional, the most important thing to remember is to always keep your clients goals and interests first.