B2B PR and the Importance of Knowing “Who Cares?”

May 06, 2019 - John Paff

When I teach public relations courses at a regional university, especially when we discuss PR for B2B companies, I remind students that outputs aren’t outcomes. The sheer volume of PR work is no guarantee of PR success. If B2B PR work lacks focus and quality, you can’t compensate with quantity. I tell my students, “Your boss might be dazzled by your productivity for a while, but sooner or later, they’ll want results.”

Real PR results and measurable B2B outcomes depend on beginning with the right question: “Who cares?

For B2B Companies, Strong B2B PR Means Better News Coverage

If your short-term goal is brand awareness through news coverage, first ask “who cares?” in the news media. Begin by identifying journalists who have written on related, relevant topics. Read their past articles to research their interest in your industry and what values influence their reporting.

Asking “who cares?” works on a local and global scale. Whether you’re promoting a charity event or launching an international product line, knowing “who cares” will help you earn media coverage. At Nichols Brand Stories, we leverage a database of hundreds of thousands of journalists and bloggers to connect our clients with reporters and influencers who already consider them newsworthy. Before the first email or phone call, we confidently know who cares about our clients’ stories.

Influencing B2B Buyers with PR

If your long-term goal is changing attitudes or buying behaviors, ask “who cares, and why do they care?” Seek to understand what motivates your current customers and their purchasing decisions. What do they value most? Why do they care about you … or your competitor?

This is especially important in the B2B sector. Focus groups, surveys, sales data, and other research tools can provide keen insights into what builds trust and drives B2B purchase decisions.

Once you understand what matters most to your customers, plan your B2B PR accordingly. Maybe it’s your brand’s reputation for lowering costs through innovation. Maybe it’s your company’s commitment to a sustainable environment. In all your public-relations efforts, highlight the values and commitments that engage your B2B customers and their end-product consumers.

And of course, understanding “who cares” helps get your stories published in the media outlets that your customers read. Targeted B2B PR is essential for earning coverage in B2B industry and trade publications.