As technology develops every day, moment by moment, it changes the way we all do things. This is no different in business-to-business public relations, and as a result, practitioners must continually improve, tweak, enhance and adjust their best practices in order to make sure they are providing cutting edge service to their clients.
Fine-Tune and Define Your Market
This has been an age-old practice of public relations. Companies must be able to accurately define their target market, whether that be customers, investors, suppliers or other business partners, and then show that their products meet those audiences’ specific needs.
As technology and business analytics allow us to drill down to very minute levels of detail, public relations professionals must figure out ways to harness those market details and then deliver their customers’ messages, products and services to fill those needs and desires.
Today, this includes much more than basic information like location, annual sales and major product lines. Instead, public relations practitioners may be able to tap into things like the values and interests of key decision makers and influencers.
Accurately Measuring Results
In the information age, numbers are easy to come by. The challenge for business-to-business public relations is to find meaningful numbers that truly measure how a public relations program is impacting the bottom line of client companies.
Best practices in this case may mean being able to correlate a public relations campaign directly with phases of the sales process. For instance, if a public relations campaign generates traffic to a web site and that traffic converts to actual sales, that is a useful measurement.
In some cases, measurement needs to be shown in terms of changing of opinion, which would need to be gauged before and after a campaign. This can be more challenging to link directly to sales but will be an area of improvement for public relations best practices moving forward.
Publish Valuable Content
It is easier than ever to publish information that will reach hundreds of thousands of people online. As a result, everyone is drowning in mediocre information. PR firms who can help their clients produce valuable, thoughtful, attuned content will successfully capture market share for their clients.
Although it is important to put the basic product, service and company information online, it is more critical to position the client’s executives and professionals as problem-solvers and uniquely knowledgeable to address their own customers’ concerns and issues.
Synchronize Marketing Efforts
Public relations strategies and tactics must be seamlessly integrated with the client company’s overall sales and marketing program. With the multiple channels and social media available today, this can be a significant challenge.
Best practices must work to ensure that key messages and overall characterization of a client company is as consistent as possible across all media channels, which may include communicating as much as possible with business partners who may be including client companies in their own marketing programs.
Develop Long-Term Relationships
Like anything else in the business world, a simple of exchange of goods for money is extremely limited. Public relations professionals should strive, instead, to develop long-term relationships with their clients in order to provide the best service in the long run.
Not only does this allow a more in-depth understanding of each client’s products and services, but it generates a sense of loyalty, responsibility and desire for everyone to participate in a win-win relationship.