In B2B (business-to-business) marketing, building strong relationships with the media is crucial to a successful public relations (PR) strategy. Effective media relationships can help to establish your company as a thought leader in your industry, increase brand awareness, and ultimately drive sales.
Media Relations involves working with media to inform the public of an organization's mission, policies, and practices in a positive, consistent, and credible manner. It can also entail developing symbiotic relationships with media outlets, journalists, bloggers, and influencers to garner publicity for an organization.
PR and media relations are closely knit since PR brings media relations into any business strategy.
But how can you ensure that your PR efforts are practical?
Here are some best practices for building media relationships that every PR agency employs
1.Identify your target media outlets
Before you start reaching out to the media, it's essential to identify which outlets are most relevant to your industry and target audience. Look for publications, websites, and social media accounts that regularly cover topics related to your business, and make a list of the critical journalists and editors who work for these outlets. This will help you to tailor your outreach efforts and increase your chances of success.
2. Develop compelling story ideas
Once you know which media outlets to target, it's time to start developing story ideas that will grab their attention. First, consider what makes your company unique and how to position yourself as a thought leader. Next, look for trends or developments in your field that you can comment on or provide expert analysis of, and find angles that will interest the journalists and their readers.
3. Build relationships with journalists
Building relationships with journalists takes time and effort but is essential to any successful PR strategy. Start by following the journalists you want to work with on social media, and engage with their content by sharing and commenting on their posts. Once you've established a rapport, you can reach out to them directly with your story ideas, but tailor your approach to each Journalist's preferences and interests.
For more on how to build relationships with journalists, read our blog.
4. Use data to support your claims
When pitching stories to the media, you must back up your claims with data and evidence. This makes your story more credible and helps establish your company as a trusted authority in your industry. Look for data that supports your key messages, and be prepared to share it with journalists when they ask for more information.
5. Follow up and stay in touch
Even if your initial pitch is unsuccessful, staying in touch with the journalists you've contacted is essential. Follow up with them after a few days to see if they're interested in your story, and be prepared to answer any questions they may have. In addition, keep them informed of any developments in your company or industry that may interest them, and continue to build your relationship over time. Read our blog for more details.
Now that you have a brief understanding of the best practices in B2B PR to build media relations, let's look at some more aspects that play a role in B2B PR media relations.
6. Partnering with PR Agencies and Press Agencies
One of the most effective ways to build media relationships in the B2B space is to partner with PR and press agencies. These agencies have established relationships with various media outlets and can help your company get exposure to relevant publications. When looking for a PR or press agency to partner with, choose one with experience working with businesses in your industry and who understands your specific challenges.
For more details, please read our blog
7. Advertising Companies
Advertising companies can also be valuable partners in building media relationships. While advertising and PR are distinct disciplines, the two often overlap, particularly regarding media relations. Advertising companies can help you identify the right media outlets to target and craft pitches and press releases that resonate with them. They may also have relationships with relevant journalists and can help you get exposure in the right places.
So what's the difference between PR and an advertising agency?
Advertising is more geared towards pushing sales of a new product.
PR focuses on maintaining the excellent reputation of the company in the media. In other words, advertising is more sales oriented, while PR focuses on building relationships.
8. Corporate Communications and PR Firms
Corporate communications and PR firms are other valuable resources for building media relationships in the B2B space. These firms specialize in helping businesses communicate effectively with stakeholders, including the media. They may have established relationships with relevant journalists and can help you get coverage in essential publications in your industry.
9. In-House PR Team
If your business has an in-house PR team, ensuring they are equipped to build relationships with the media is essential. This may involve providing training on effective pitching techniques, helping them understand the nuances of your industry, and providing guidance on navigating complex topics. By investing in your internal PR team, you can ensure that you can build relationships with the media over the long-term effects.
10. PR Supply
In addition to partnering with external partners, having a steady supply of new and compelling stories to share with the media is essential. This may involve developing case studies, conducting original research, or highlighting unique aspects of your business that will resonate with journalists. You can build strong relationships that will pay off over time by consistently providing the media with valuable and exciting content.
11. Marketing in Professional Services
Understanding the unique challenges and opportunities of marketing in the professional services space is essential. This may involve developing strategies tailored to your specific industry, building relationships with key influencers, and using data and analytics to track the effectiveness of your PR efforts. By staying up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices in professional services marketing, you can position your business for long-term success.
12. Communications PR
Effective communication is key to building successful media relationships in the B2B space. This may involve developing clear and concise messaging that resonates with your target audience, crafting pitches and press releases tailored to specific media outlets, and responding promptly to media inquiries. By prioritizing communication and making it a core component of your PR strategy, you can establish a brand reputation as a reliable and trustworthy source of information for journalists.
13. Partnering with Marketing Agencies
One of the most effective ways to build media relationships in the B2B space is to partner with marketing agencies. These agencies have established relationships with various media outlets and can help your company get exposure to relevant publications. When looking for a marketing agency to partner with, choose one with experience working with businesses in your industry and who understands your specific challenges.
14. Strategist Planners, Content Strategists, and Brand Agents
Another critical aspect of building media relationships is having a strategist planner on your team. This person can help you develop a comprehensive PR strategy that considers your target audience, messaging, and overall business goals. They can also help you identify the right media outlets and journalists to reach out to and provide guidance on crafting pitches and press releases that will resonate with them. Every PR agency will have experienced strategist planners who chart the strategy suited to your business needs.
Content strategists and brand agents can be valuable partners in building media relationships. They can help you develop compelling content that will resonate with your target audience and provide guidance on promoting it effectively. They may also have established relationships with media outlets and can help you get exposure in the right places.
15. Partners Limited
In addition to partnering with marketing agencies and strategist planners, building relationships with other businesses in your industry is essential. These can include other companies in your supply chain, partners you work with on joint projects, and competitors. By building these relationships, you can tap into their networks and gain access to media outlets you may have yet to be able to reach alone.
Building solid media relationships is essential to the success of any B2B PR strategy. Whether you choose to partner with external agencies or build an in-house PR team, it's crucial to prioritize communication, provide a steady supply of compelling content, and stay up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices in your industry. Following these best practices and consistently engaging with the media can establish your company as a thought leader and increase brand awareness.
Finally, it's essential to understand the unique challenges and opportunities of marketing in the professional services space. This may involve developing strategies tailored to your specific industry, building relationships with key influencers, and using data and analytics to track the effectiveness of your PR efforts. By staying up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices in professional services marketing, you can position your business for long-term success.
"Businesses aren't B2B or B2C; they're Human To Human (H2H)."
– Dominic Cummins, Founder of Right Mind, Inc.