Selling a piece of heavy machinery is not like selling a pair of shoes, where you can just tap twice, get back to Kansas, and anticipate sales. B2B sales require a different approach. The same applies to public relations campaigns. It’s not about pomp and frills—it’s about delivering the message in the right way, demonstrating the product’s prowess and relevancy without all the fireworks that shroud its mystery－or worse, confusion. Professional journalists are veterans, so don’t try to mislead them. They’ll see right through it. Below are three critical elements to crafting that message and getting the desired results. The best tech PR firms know how to do this.
What’s the big picture of the story?
At the end of the day, PR is really a means to an end. It’s not just for vanity, but for credibility and validation. If the media is writing about you, you’re serious and you’re on the upswing. Although they say that B2B messaging is less about frills and more about substance and details, a la “what can your product do for me and my business,” the message still has to be about the bigger picture of what the company is achieving.
If one company is partnering with another company, the focal point of the story is often not about just the partnership itself it’s about what the partnership accomplishes. For example, if a diabetes tech solution provider is partnering with an international glucose meter provider, the story will likely be that the diabetes tech solution provider is now helping improve diabetes care for millions more－not just that there is a partnership with a larger company.
Who is the audience?
The nature of the story changes based on the audience. You can’t tell one type of joke to another person who will be far less receptive to it. With B2B stories, there can be several different angles, depending on who is on the other side listening. Typically, the targets for many B2B stories are niche business publications whose interest might be piqued. Some larger publications that cover stories in a way that appeals to a broader audience might want to see a different angle. So knowing how to adjust the story angle accordingly is critical, too.
In one case, a publication like DigitalCommerce360 will be interested in a story that provides deep insights to business owners, while a publication like Forbes might be more interested in the story and its wider socio-economic, business community effects. Understanding the difference will help increase exposure through a variety of publications. A proficient B2B tech PR agency will understand this.
When is timeliness relevant?
They say timing and relevance is everything in public relations. For B2B, it largely depends on what the story is and who is being pitched. The more niche the publication, the more timing is relevant to the editor that’s receiving the pitch. Larger publications want to remain more relevant to cater to their wider audience, in contrast with most niche publications, which are more interested in reaching a readership that’s following them for specific types of content.
During the Black Lives Matter protests regarding George Floyd’s death and the COVID-19 pandemic, unless the story can fit within these headlines, it’s unlikely the biggest publications will pay significant attention to it. Niche publications are often less interested in the timing of a story and more in its value to the reader. This doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in timeliness, but it’s less valuable to their business objectives. An effective B2B tech PR agency knows when and where to pitch a company’s story in a timely fashion.