Why B2B PR is important – in good and bad times
One of the most recognizable phenomena in our economy is the alternation of good and bad times. After so many years of economic prosperity, there comes a period of a number of years of adversity. The juglar cycle is the most well-known and accepted cyclical cycle, which lasts on average from seven to eleven years and is caused by delays and accelerations in investments.
These waves are something that every discipline has to deal with. Similarly PR. in economically bad times, good PR is essential to stand out between your competitors. However, the budgets are often under pressure. On the other hand, in economically good times, the budgets are more adequate and there are opportunities to set up flaming campaigns. But the pressure to defeat your competition is usually a little less. Often a reason for companies to shift PR on the long track.
Working at the Africa Influencer agency, we ‘ll find, in addition to the above argument, people come up with several reasons why a company would not need a PR strategy and campaign. Below we will tackle the five most common ones.
- We don’t need it, because it goes well with the company
When the leads come to you and you as a company cannot make any requests, it is a fairly logical consequence that PR is not in the first place. Customers know you to find and by all the crowds there is little time for PR campaigns, interviews and customer stories. A delightful position to be in as a company. However, when we look at the Juglarcycle it is clear: After rain comes sunshine, but this also goes the other way around!
Building a good name in the market takes time. When you start as a company with PR at the first signs of a recession, you generally notice the results only after a few months. So it is wise to start seeding in the heyday, so that in heavier years you can immediately reap the fruits of the name you have accumulated.
- We have nothing to report
Every company has a story. It sometimes only requires a search for what that story is exactly. It happens often that organizations underestimate their knowledge and expertise. And thus the suitability of this knowledge to communicate externally.
Many organizations do not yet know exactly what their message, story, or key message is at the time of turning on the PR agency . That happens very often! When formulating this, engage the consultants of a PR agency, so that their trained eye can determine whether it is going in the right direction. They keep an eye on whether it is really interesting and makes sense to the audience and is relevant to the target group. Every company has something to report, even if you are a real niche player, you only have 5 employees or you have no idea what you should be talking about.
- We’re already doing a lot of paid campaigns
This argument is also common. This is found in companies that have not yet heard of the phenomenon ‘social proof’. This means that it works better when someone else tells something positive about your organization or service than you do through an advertisement or paid campaign. The proverb “be good and tell it” is quite true, but even better is: “be good and let others tell it”. PR is an indispensable complement to the use of paid campaigns. It provides a piece of evidence of what you claim in your ads.
- We target our marketing activity to direct sales leads
There are some experiences and known wisdoms in communication. Like it is no use to draw somebody’s attention by blinking in the dark. So turn on the light (create budget and resources) for that other person you want to reach with communication. And how logical it is to meet somebody in the bar and ask do you want to marry me? As to the latter, everyone would argue that you first have to get to know each other before you would be able to take any further next steps. The experience with brands is not different, your potential clients first have to know you before they can determine that they love or trust you. After that stage your potential client may contemplate to enter into a relationship with you by entering a transaction. Especially, in the B2B context where transaction values are higher and services and products are usually more complex, the customer journey should be supported in the right subtle and trustworthy way.
That is why PR and communication with content that draws the interest from a potential client exploring a certain subject, is important as a start. It is essential to get known in relation with a special topics and to build trust and authority as a reliable and knowledgeable partner.
- I don’t believe in traditional press anymore
Yes, the traditional press is still a part of PR. But despite the stories about decreasing readers ‘ numbers, advertising revenues and shrinking Newscuts, the written press has been working very well in recent years. People are willing to pay for quality. And due to the increase in digital subscriptions, savings are saved on distribution and printing costs and money is left to realise this quality.
So indeed, the print media no longer fulfills the role it once fulfilled: the most important news source of the day. It is now a complement to the fast, short news supply online.
Mix of channels
Having said that, the argument “I do not believe in traditional press” is a sign that someone does not well know what PR entails anno 2019. Because yes, it is part of the medium mix that is used within a PR campaign, but in addition there are many other things that make the success of the campaign. Think of Social Media, Influencer PR, bloggers and for example voice assistant.
The profession is constantly on the move and offers B2B companies the opportunity to (be) establish their name, claim authority on a particular topic or, for example, bring in leads. So we never want to hear these five arguments again!