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My number one tip for B2B PR: Partnerships, Partnerships, Partnerships!

Kari Brownsberger

As I mentioned in my previous post, I come to Walker Sands with a background in B2B PR and marketing.  While all the clients I’ve worked with had unique strengths, challenges, and opportunities, they all had one thing in common: they benefitted from partnerships with trade publications in their industry.

Think about it – industry trade publications are created for the support and advancement of their industry.  They want companies that have a hand in that industry to succeed, and are often very open to working those companies in mutually beneficial ways.  Of course, these opportunities might include a news item on your company or interview with your company’s spokesperson.  However, in the ever-shrinking traditional media space, sometimes a placement or interview just isn’t possible.

This is where you need to start building a partnership – treat the publication as an industry “bible” that you want to help support, and not as a means to getting PR for your business.  Suggest an alternative to a traditional article, such as a story in an e-newsletter, or a contributed blog post.  Or, review the publication’s editorial calendar to see where you might be able to contribute down the road.  The more willing you are to work with the editor, reporter, or publisher to support the publication, the more willing they are to work with you, and a partnership will grow from there.

Of course, there’s a fine line between contributing newsworthy content and trying to “make it work.”  Again, think of the publication as an industry “bible,” and don’t submit information that doesn’t really have a place.  If you can’t explain to yourself how a topic is newsworthy to a particular audience, don’t even try explaining it to the publication.  The journalist will think you’re wasting their time, and it will be very difficult to salvage a partnership at that point.

Once you start to build relationships with your trade media partners, you will become a source of information for them, and they’ll come to you looking for stories and interviews when they might not have thought of you before.  Even beyond that, they might use you as a source in other ways – covering your special events, including you in their social media outreach, the possibilities are truly endless.

What are your thoughts on B2B PR?  I’d love to hear what special challenges you have, and talk about how partnerships with the trade media can help.