Can B2B Use Consumer PR Strategies to Break Through the Noise?

Traditionally, B2B PR pros have shuddered at the thought of the strategies and tactics consumer PR pros use to exceed client expectations. But what makes the two so different? Why can’t our B2B clients benefit from the same consumer PR strategies as Procter & Gamble or Coca-Cola?

The reality is that as individuals, we are bombarded with so many messages across different mediums that marketers need to be creative, or the message won’t resonate. So whether you are marketing risk management software for banks or the new Advil, there are some creative consumer PR best practices that can be easily adapted to achieve your goals.

  • Video News Release (VNR) – A favorite among consumer PR pros, it is an impactful way to deliver your message to a wider audience using a controlled media vehicle. VNRs are not only for broadcast outlets, but for online outreach, too. As video takes on even greater importance in helping to deliver messages, B2B can utilize VNRs to capture a journalist’s attention, and help deliver a meaningful message to a large business audience.
  • Audio News Release (ANR) – Radio continues to be an under-utilized medium, especially among B2B marketing teams. There is a rising trend towards podcasts on most media websites. So not only could an ANR help you speak to a captive radio audience, it can help engage new online channels your client hasn’t been able to touch.
  • Celebrity Spokespeople – Star power works.  Consumer PR pros know that if they want their clients featured on the Today Show or Ellen, having a celebrity helps the cause. In fact, healthcare PR pros have been using celebrities to help drive awareness for disease and drug therapies for years.  We are not saying go out and hire the Kardashians, but think out of the box when it comes to your B2 B clients. Is there a “celebrity” in your industry that could help deliver the brand’s message by speaking on your behalf at an industry event?  Or is there a book or movie that talks about the issues your clients face, and can you use the author or actor to engage your audience and create more buzz? Perhaps they could guest blog on your website or feature in your VNR!
  • Seasonal tie-ins – Many consumer campaigns are driven by holidays such as Father’s Day and Christmas. And B2B companies can be driven by a similar calendar, with some tweaks. For example, supply chain trade media are going to do stories on holiday and back to school shopping. So they will be open to hearing about how new technology will ensure no shelves are left empty this semester. We’ve used this tactic by tapping into the increased desire for good books to read as people head off on summer vacations. We developed a CSO (Chief Security Officer) reading list ‘Brought to you by…’ a B2B Security client that was picked up by CSO, Network World and Computerworld.

The key thing to remember is that marketers are some of the smartest, most creative people you will work with. So we should not hesitate to borrow and adapt best practices from other PR disciplines. Sharing can only make us better at what we do.