B2B PR is evolving at a rapid pace.
What once was heavily driven by press releases and print media placements has embraced a mix of earned, owned and paid to promote on digital and social platforms. Another major, more recent shift is an outside-in approach to storytelling (i.e. speaking to customer needs rather than internally-focused product features and benefits). These changes can sometimes be overwhelming to implement, but if brands really want PR to have more measurable impacts on their business, then their marketing and PR must evolve.
Here are three quotes to motivate companies to take that next step.
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”
Change can be hard to embrace because it involves risk. But doing the same thing every year will likely yield the same results. The number of press placements and impressions can be important measurement metrics, but the proliferation of digital PR and content opens up opportunities to further gauge a campaign’s effectiveness. For example, using a promotional e-newsletter to share thought leadership stories and customer case studies allows you to track exactly how many people have engaged with your content. Additionally, placing high-value, self-published content like whitepapers behind lead generation forms allows companies to capture potential customers’ contact information. Implementing these into your PR strategy provides tangible evidence of your ROI.
“To start something, you have to start somewhere.”
Evolving your PR program does not mean leaving behind a brand’s foundational work. It isn’t simply just, “out with the old, in with the new.” Instead, it is integrating the old with the new. That could mean reworking or refreshing previously published stories; rewriting a product brochure to highlight the customer needs first; or promoting a story as a sponsored post on LinkedIn to extend its reach.
“Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.”
Keeping up with the changing PR industry requires making investments in your company. Now that doesn’t mean chasing after every new, shiny social media platform, app or web feature. But embracing new ideas or opportunities, whether that’s tactics like voice of customer (VOC) research or competitive audits, should be on every brand’s to-do list. Insights obtained from these practices can help companies better understand impactful opportunities, and make more informed decisions on where to take their PR programs. Even if some aren’t ready to take the leap, they will walk away with valuable insights to enhance their current programs.
Navigating the PR landscape can be a big task, so companies should find a PR partner who is invested in their success and willing to push boundaries. To see how PR can further support their business, brands must embrace change and evolve their programs.