When it comes to B2B public relations, most people associate earned media with sending out news releases and meeting with editors at trade shows. Sure, those tactics can be part of an overall strategy, but PR activity encompasses much more; it’s about developing relationships with your target audience, journalists, trade associations and customers. It means deepening your company’s engagement across multiple channels to expand your storytelling to a wider audience.
Public Relations and Content Strategy Should Work Together
To accomplish this, you need a solid content strategy. Sure, a news release about your product launch, industry award or new hire might get a mention in a trade publication’s product showcase or Who’s Who section, but you cannot expect that an editor is going to be interested in publishing a full-length story that’s solely about your product. They want editorial that covers an industry pain point, regulation or trend; those topics are relatable to their readers. Thus, if you want to get earned coverage, you need to invest in creating useful content.
- Create a content calendar. Pull together a team to brainstorm types of topics to cover during the year. Establish when the articles will be developed to appear in your various paid, shared, earned and owned content channels. If you need help getting started on your content calendar, Content Marketing Institute can provide insights on how to organize your content strategy and create a schedule.
- Match that content to industry editorial calendars. Once you have established topics and know when the content will be ready, you can pitch the stories to specific trade publications to fit a topic within their editorial calendars.
- Share via social. You should already be creating a consistent social media presence. Make sure you are sharing links to your published content on your social media platforms to increase traffic to that content.
- Repost earned content on your company blog. Having a company blog is a no-brainer, but for it to be effective you must consistently share new content there. If your article appears in an industry publication, ask for permission to repost it on your blog. If you don’t hear back from the author, you can also consider writing a short synopsis and directing readers to the original article posting.
- Speak to industry trends. Are you an expert on a particular topic? Share your thoughts about that subject at an industry event or trade show or conduct a webinar. Prior to the event, promote it in your PR, blog and social media efforts. For the event, turn the topic into a piece of content that you can highlight in your presentation. After the event, turn the knowledge that was shared into a blog or an article that you can pitch.
- Measure your efforts. Use industry tools to evaluate and measure what is yielding positive results and what isn’t. Adjust your plan accordingly. (glean.info)
Your PR tactics shouldn’t stop with a one-off webinar, news release or well-placed industry article. It’s important to continue creating useful content that you can promote. A sustained effort will not only help you educate your customers but will also build credibility and establish your company as an industry thought leader. So keep that B2B content and PR machine working in tandem!