I witnessed this first-hand among my colleagues for the four years I spent selling PeopleSoft consultancy. In this blog I want to provide an alternative view to such naysayers, history and the way we consume information has served to increase the importance of PR.
In fact PR is the most powerful of tools in any organisation’s marketing arsenal. It’s a deliberate use of the word “powerful”. Carefully planned PR and the control of information has secured the election of governments, changed the opinion of nations, started wars and reshaped countries.
Global politics aside I have over the last fifteen years witnessed the power of PR in business-to-business organisations. Case studies have driven inbound sales enquiries, articles have increased awareness about start-ups, more established organisations have transformed their image with consistent messaging, and, of course, what third parties say about my clients is far more compelling than their own sales pitch.
Recently the momentum of PR has increased with the advent of the internet. CEB and Google asked 1900 B2B decision makers about their buying process and found that 60% of the sales process was over before meeting a sales-rep. These decision makers did what we all do before making a purchase, they researched on the internet.
The trouble is the internet is crowded and you need exceptional content to make sure you are at the front of the queue when your prospects start searching. PR, as part of an integrated content strategy, is great at achieving this. However you have to feature in quality publications to register in the internet consciousness of your prospects. The kind of trade publications that publish the exceptional and focused articles that search engines rank favourably.
So moving beyond my clear message that you ‘do‘ PR, make sure that what you produce is highly focused so that you can steam past your competitors and feature on the websites that matter. The publications your prospects can locate, care about, and share across social media.
If you have found this of interest you may also be interested in our seven deadly PR sins to avoid article (with some handy tips).