Why I traded product for purpose
Five key differences between B2B and B2C PR
By Irina Meier
For some industry pros, B2B public relations might sounds serious (dare I even say boring), but I feel at home doing ‘serious’ PR. Having started my PR career in B2C in early 2020, I was craving the opportunity to produce thought leadership content that truly educates the audience; to do something with more purpose. This encouraged me to make the shift to B2B PR earlier in 2022.
The combination of B2B and tech is what attracted me to Eleven Hundred. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a nerd to specialise in this type of PR, though a general interest in tech certainly helps.
If you’re a recent grad, or don’t know where to go next, here are my five observations about where B2B PR differs from its B2C sibling, which might help you decide your next career move.
#1 Business value is key
The goal of B2B PR is different to B2C PR where the narrative is around how an amazing new product or service will change your life. With B2B, the focus is more on education, brand awareness and establishing credibility.
B2B PR is not about appealing to emotions using buzzy terms, though an occasional good analogy can’t hurt. It’s about facts and figures, and how a product or service will add value to a business, boosting its bottom line.
#2 Humans still matter
Let me assure you that emotions do matter to businesses though. The pandemic not only gave us more videocalls than many of us could bear, it also blurred the lines between emotions and B2B storytelling.
Nowadays it is OK for business stories to be softened up to appeal to humans who just happen be employees, managers and CEOs.
#3 Strategy beats quantity
In my B2C days I was pitching every single day for hours at time. And while it’s a great skill to have, and one which requires considerable stamina, this is very different in the world of B2B.
While the number of articles still matters, it’s more about where these stories get published. The process is much more strategic. Personally, I find it more satisfying to hone a pitch over sending hundreds of emails daily.
#4 Time ticks rather differently
B2B pitching doesn’t always generate instant results. Sometimes our suggestions will sit in journalists’ inboxes for ages before you get a response.
Don’t be discouraged. Much like it can take a business a long time to make a purchasing decision, so too can it take a publication to confirm they want to publish your story. That said, it’s always a nice surprise to find a positive response in your inbox on a Monday morning.
#5 Your audience knows its stuff
I saved the most daunting point to last – the audience. More often than not, the content you’ll be producing will be consumed by true experts, who know their industry inside out. That means they’ll know if you go off track.
Compared to B2C, where you’re the one who knows everything and tells the audience how awesome the product is, in B2B it’s vital to learn the subject area inside out, checking and re-checking your facts and arguments. How else are you going to convince a CEO that the product or service they’re reading about is worth the investment? You need to be resourceful – take your time researching the topic, be a savage critic of your own work and write, proof, re-write and proof again.
Now, a few months into my new role, I’m still as excited as on the first day. Did I find that purpose I was looking for? I found that when you’re working at an agency that values your skills, the purpose finds you.
If you’re interested in a career in B2B tech PR, drop you CV to email@example.com and you never know what will happen!