Use Public Relations in B2B Marketing-for-Leads Programs

The best PR (Public Relations) events are the ones which yield warm leads. PR includes a wide range of things, from communications to a champagne toast. Some public relations are directed at reaping warm prospects and can take on big importance in a marketing-for-leads program. Publications outreach is the most widely-used lead generating public relations method, and the goal is to receive a mention of your business, services, or staff members in spots published in a magazine – or have something written by one of your managers published.

This type of press placement can have an important influence on the amount and type of leads generated. However true that this coverage is inexpensive compared to paid ads, still editorial coverage takes committed time and effort in order to develop rapport with influential press people in your field. A complete press campaign is preferable to divided and disparate efforts to attain publication. A public relations campaign is best when utilizing the following:

– release with email and other advisory activity

– kit with background, biographies, photos of products, press release and reprinted article content

– relationships with editorial staff

– features ghost-written for or by management staff

– media coverage of management staff as expert industry insiders

– success testimonials from customers

Research and compile publications and read them. Remember the readership when making this list – is this your audience? If the answer is ‘no,’ the magazine may not be the right one to concentrate on. Think about the info that the magazine is publishing; does it hone in on industry product news? If so, your one sheet to introduce the new Chief Executive Officer may not really be appropriate.

Converse with editorial staff after reading the magazine and visiting the website. Next, decide who is the right person to speak with. Phone the editor to inquire about their guidelines and what they prefer to publish. Look for an editorial calendar which shows the articles and stories which are running each month – this is often located in the ad section at the back page or at the company website. Once checking out the calender, it’s time to determine just what story you will offer, and which months to enter expert-written articles for publication.

With persistence you can develop a rapport and begin to speak with editorial staff on the telephone or face-to-face. By mentioning relevant development to the publication’s editors, you may be supplying just the sort of info that staff remembers upon receiving an assignment. Do you have an idea to pitch? Call your editor. Tell them how your story is relevant to the editorial calendar, and offer to supply an outline and synopsis immediately upon request, remembering that editorial deadlines are most often separate from the ad deadlines. Often, it is preferable to have your article written by a pro ghost writer. These writers are familiar with working with magazine and are able to sculpt the article so that it doesn’t appear overtly promotional. By hiring a third-party writer who takes responsibility to complete the article on time, the time of your tech or management staff is freed, allowing them to work within their specialties.

Press Release

Be certain that your press releases actually announce news. An editor seeks info that the readership would like to know, often about products and services which solve business problems in an innovative or efficient new way. Address the topic from the reader’s viewpoint when announcing your news-worthy info.

A good release answers some key questions:

– what’s the unsolved problem?

– what does it accomplish?

– what’s the benefit?

– is the solution a product or a service, and how does it work?

– how is it able to do this?

– what will cause the readership to take interest in your service?

– what’s the cost?

– what are the top features?

– what capabilities are provided?

– when is the product available?

– what are the most important features?

Avoid praising oneself or one’s company. Remove over-used words such as ‘revolutionary,’ ‘the best,’ and ‘unique.’ Editorial staff people prefer customer testimonials rather than self-praise from an employee. Don’t use lingo that a layperson would not understand. Is it accessible to the readership? Keep in mind that even the editorial staff don’t really have a deep understanding of your products and services. Write in a clear and simple style. Remember to put contact info at the top or bottom of your submission, including company name, the titles of relevant employees, telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail addresses. Include photos if the magazine prints them, and inquire about the file format preferred. Digital photos are preferred by most – use literal descriptions in the file names so editorial staff can easily identify and find them. It is best to send your release to a list of individual editors; however some mass distribution press services are found on the ‘net. These services distribute your releases to editors for you, for a fee. You may consider prnewswire.com, prweb.com, and send2press.com, among others.

Public relations can also be used for better SEO (Search Engine Optimization) campaigns. Wire services are excellent ways to attain better SEO results. Once sent, the release will be findable by search engine news wire services such as Googlenews, news syndicates and traditional publications, all of which will have the ability to visit your website via a link. The link network is key for Search Engine Optimization as the number of links directing to your website improves your rank and puts your company nearer to the top of the list in search results for certain words. By sending your release in to wire services you may help writers locate info about you and your services. A recent Middleburg/Ross survey indicated that almost all journalists access the web on a daily basis – almost three quarters of them search for press releases. For a free news wire about your field, visit: google.com/alerts and subscribe for free. For more about marketing for lead generation, see: ‘Business-to-Business Lead Generation Tactics : A Recipe for Success.’