5 PR Tips for B2B Media Relations

[To comment: larry at larrylitwin dot com]

From PR News and Brian Green on June 4, 2015

B2B PR is a specialized field that perhaps lacks the level of advice and attention that B2C PR gets. The distinctive characteristic of B2B media is that it’s niche. B2B publications aren’t mass-market broadsheets or daily papers but instead include monthly peer-reviewed journals, trade publications and quarterly digests.

One question often asked is: “If these publications aren’t very well-known, do we want to submit content to them?” The reality is that just because these publications are unknown to people external to the industry doesn’t mean they aren’t read and respected within the industry.

Whether you’re in an agency or in-house B2B PR role, these steps from Keerti Baker of SRCL Group should help you gain valuable coverage in the specialized world of trade press:

1. Source publications: Speak to the client to understand what trade publications people within the business read. Get copies of those magazines and think laterally. Don’t limit your search to their industry’s publication—also look at the sectors where they supply products or services.

2. Read, research and speak to the experts: Read the publications, research and read more. It’s absolutely vital to understand terminology, acronyms, industry issues and the political landscape shaping the future of the industry.

3. Research competitors: Research companies within the competition to find out which publications run their editorial submissions.

4. Make your editorial pitch: Making inroads within sectors that you haven’t worked in is tough, but not impossible. Researching, reading and having a good understanding of the subject matter will help start those initial conversations with the media. Conversations can then materialize into strong story pitches to features writers, editors and reporters.

Working in B2B PR doesn’t require you to become a subject-matter expert in a matter of weeks. If you do, that’s great. If not, you need to know enough to hold conversations with editorial teams but be confident enough to say, if it comes to it, “I don’t have an in-depth view/I’m not an expert in that area, but I know the best person who can answer this for you.” There is nothing wrong with admitting you aren’t the expert, especially if you have good links with experts within the company or at your client’s company.

5. Remember, editors and journalists are busy people: Editorial teams working in the B2B sector are particularly busy, as they tend to manage more than one publication and have fewer editorial assets when compared to B2C publications.

To save time, contributions need to follow some basic, often-forgotten principles. Keep it relevant to the readership, make it interesting, meet stringent print deadlines and don’t hard sell the company. Let the quality of the editorial submission speak for itself.

[To comment: larry at larrylitwin dot com]