Ever since the World Wide Web emerged in the mid 1990s, the pace of change in the way B2B companies do marketing and public relations has been accelerating. Today, those changes have reached warp speed. While virtually all B2B companies have embraced the changing communications environment, it may be instructive to review just how far we’ve come. And, if your company is still doing things the old way, maybe you’ll pick up a new marketing communications trick along the way.
Before we go any further — a definition: Marketing PR is a marketing communications strategy that uses the news and information value inherent in your company’s products and services to raise awareness, educate and build credibility among customers and prospects. Tactics include news releases, case studies, technical white papers and media relations with editors. Both print and online editors publish this content as news at no charge, thus expanding the reach and frequency of your marketing messages at very low cost. This strategy has not changed in the Internet age — except to become more effective than ever.
But while the strategy remains the same, here are some of the ways in which electronic forms of communication have changed the execution of marketing PR:
- Bye-bye snail mail – Gone are the days of stuffing news releases into envelopes; today virtually all distribution of text, photos and video is done electronically. While it can still take weeks or months for content to get published in a printed publication, items can appear online within minutes of being distributed.
- Writing right – No longer is it okay to have “just the facts,” today’s marketing PR materials need to be written for search engine optimization using key words and phrases that might be used in a Google search by a prospective customer.
- Hot stuff– Because so much material ends up on the Internet, it is important to insert hot links in news releases, case studies and white papers that can immediately take a reader to a company-sponsored site.
- Action! – In the past, the call to action in a news release was to suggest the reader write or call for more information. Now the goal is to get readers to immediately click through to your Web site or special landing page.
- Get social – B2B marketers have found that social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube can be important tools for connecting with customers and prospects. These are effective sites for videos, demonstrations, product announcements, plus getting immediate feedback from your customers as you build “friends” and “followers.”
- Track it – Gone are the days of paying an outside firm to gather paper clippings from magazines to verify coverage. Now, a simple Google search can turn up all online appearances of your news with just a click.
If you’d like help using the latest tactics to make your marketing PR effective in the electronic age, contact your account manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org.