Amp Up Your Public Relations

By Jenny Kosek for our 15 Ways to Build Your B2B Brand in 2015 Blog Series

Public relations, marketing, and advertising are terms that get tossed about interchangeably, which is unfortunate because public relations is a decidedly unique animal compared to the other two. And when done well, it can make a positive impact on your business.

Public relations is simply “using the news or business press to carry positive stories about your company or products.” PR is all about the relationships you’re building with the trade press, media, and potential clients, and leveraging those connections to convince those people to talk about you – at no cost to you. That’s the real beauty of PR: while it takes time, it does not take additional money in the way that publishing an ad campaign or printing new sales brochures does.

How do you begin connecting to the media and letting them know that your business is interesting and worth talking about? This is where an agency can really help you make a splash. Marketing and PR agencies familiar with your industry already have these connections established, allowing you to essentially skip Step 1: Find the press and jump directly to Step 2: Get the press to notice you.

Editorial calendars are a great place to start when getting your foot in the door with a trade publication. Is there an article you can prepare that will display your thought leadership or expertise in a particular topic trending in your industry? Publications are always seeking good content, so reviewing an editorial calendar and pitching a story idea that relates to the scheduled themes or topics is a great PR option. Just remember, an editorial is not the place to sell your product or business (buy an ad to do that!).

If your knowledge doesn’t seem like a good fit for any upcoming editorials, you can still put PR to work for you. Create content – blogs, white papers, videos – that informs, but doesn’t sell. Show that you understand the industry and the challenges your customers face. Then put it out on the web or share it at meetings or tradeshows free of charge. These goodwill marketing pieces help make connections with your brand that can develop into genuine sales leads.

Finally, consider sponsorships and charitable donations as a way to build coveted “good PR.” We’ve all heard marketers on TV say that of seemingly touchy-feely, profitless endeavors, and absolutely it’s true. Showing that you’re connected to your community and the greater good makes customers and employees more sympathetic towards and willing to support your brand. Do some good, send out a press release, and strengthen your business in the process.

Ultimately, your PR strategy should be a distinct but equally strong branch of your overall marketing strategy. Don’t neglect this important channel, which, when done properly, may shape public opinion of your brand more than any other.

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Write for Trade Publication

By Steve Staedler for our 15 Ways to Build Your B2B Brand in 2015 blog series

So you have a story idea that you’d like to pitch to a few trade publication editors. While it may sound like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be, if you ask the right questions and do your homework upfront.

Here are a few tips to help make your pitch successful, while also writing copy that is up to the standards the editor is looking for: (more…)

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Identify Your Target Audience

By Jenny Kosek for our 15 Ways to Build Your B2B Brand in 2015 blog series

Who is your audience today?

Who is your audience tomorrow?

You probably have an answer to the first question, but what about the second? Understanding your audience – the collective group that is buying or would buy your product – is a two pronged process. To remain viable, you not only need to understand your audience as it exists today, but you must also anticipate how your audience will change so you can serve them in the future. Industries change rapidly, and of course, technology and the Internet of Things will continue to impact the products and services B2Bs develop. Aside from industry developments, American demographics are endlessly shifting and anticipating the impact on your audience will be crucial to your longevity. (more…)

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The real world is rapidly approaching as I edge closer to my May 2014 graduation from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Although I can say I am extremely scared for what is to come, I could not be more excited to start my professional career in the communications field. In my case, the communications field ranges anywhere from advertising to public relations. So, what excites me about the world of PR? (more…)

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  • Monday, January 27th, 2014

  • Are you ready for the deep end?

    My little guy – a breath away from age 4 next month – had his first-ever swimming lesson earlier this month. As many parents, the height of anticipation and expectation was overwhelming for me – I wanted him to have the perfect swim stroke and a great flutter kick right from the first minute. My own miniature Michael Phelps.

    And, he did well – not perfect, but listened to his teacher and paid attention. When it came to the free time of class, he was insistent on swimming off to the deep end. The worrier mom that I am, I kept saying no, but he kept taking his kickboard and heading towards the unknown. It was a hard lesson to explain to my strong-willed toddler that he needed to work his way up and learn more before he was ready to swim to the deep end. (more…)

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    The real world is rapidly approaching as I edge closer to my May 2014 graduation from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Although I can say I am extremely scared for what is to come, I could not be more excited to start my professional career in the communications field. In my case, the communications field ranges anywhere from advertising to public relations. So, what excites me about the world of PR? (more…)

      | Comments Off on A student’s perspective on Public Relations


    spdpix

    As the fall trade show season is in full swing, exhibitors need to be engaging the B2B press covering these events as a way to further their public relations.

    The best way to do this is to invite the media to your booth. Scheduling booth visits is perfect for not only showcasing new products, but also putting yourself and the company on the editor’s radar for future editorial opportunities. This is the real value of getting to know the trade press that covers your industry. Six months down the road when an editor is writing an article that pertains to your product, and they’re looking for companies to contribute, who are they going to call? Editors are more inclined to contact people they know as opposed to companies that they don’t have a professional relationship with. (more…)

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  • Monday, August 12th, 2013

  • Press releases 101

    I’ve been writing press releases for as long as I can remember. However, it’s always good to remind yourself of the fundamentals to make sure you’re creating news worth reading. This infographic from Skadeedle gives a terrific reminder of the dos and don’ts of press releases.



  • Saturday, April 6th, 2013

  • PR-led content marketing

    CM

    We’ve been saying this for years. PR professionals are uniquely positioned to lead content marketing strategies; especially those involving social media. Others seem to agree. Let’s face it; public relations firms know how to work with and get results through publishers.

    Call it repurposed material or non-promotional copy, we have found that the most natural extension to traditional public relations activities is the ongoing development of believable and information-packed messaging for social media. Several of our clients have already enlisted our content management services, with good results. (more…)



    Chances are you didn’t see Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke on Piers Morgan Tonight last night, as virtually nobody watches Piers Morgan these days. But if by chance you did, you saw Clarke follow his media training perfectly, specifically by maintaining his composure and not taking the bait laid out by Morgan.

    Throughout the interview Morgan kept prodding Clarke, trying to put words in his mouth and constantly talking over him. To his credit, Clarke stayed on message and tried to explain his position calmly with back-and-forth dialogue, but doing that with Morgan these days is a challenge in itself. To me, Morgan comes off as arrogant as he really had no intention of debating the issue of what Clarke actually said in the public service announcement. Rather, he accused Clarke of sensationalizing the ad by using a Hollywood voice to scare people, interrupting him and pushing his anti-gun agenda.

    From a performance standpoint, how do you think Clarke did dealing with this hostile interviewer? What do you think about Morgan’s performance and his style of questioning?

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