For top PR agencies tackling B2B work, this quote from strategist Valeria Maltoni seems apt: “Your writing doesn’t have to be boring just because it’s for other businesses. Businesses have people who read stuff.”
And, it’s true, B2B doesn’t mean boring to boring! Here are some ways we enliven our B2B brand work.
Look for pop culture tie-ins. Business media often blur the lines between hard and soft business news and become interested in a story with sex appeal as well as stats. To that end, we have linked the data from a navigational app to the top spots to drink beer on St. Patrick’s Day for a tech feature and used a credit union’s expertise to warn businesses about “fiscal frightmares” near Halloween. This “added value” can sometimes be the difference between your business or trade pitch and 50 others.
Add speaker appeal. You’ve secured a keynote for your CEO, and he’s just shown you 50 slides that will put anyone to sleep. There are so many ways to fix “death by Powerpoint” and still convey the necessary substance.Work with your speaker to “downsize” copy. Get rid of half the text. Work to make the slides tell a story and stop any speaker from reading verbatim. Better still, add arresting images, music and video to keep the audience engaged. Here are some good tips.
Perk up your bylines. When appropriate, of course. Not every outlet is looking for you to turn trade trends into Shakespeare. However, there’s always room to make interesting analogies, add color to quotes and find fresh turns of phrase. Why call a new beer successful when you can call it “money in a mug?”
Seek creative “out-of-the-lane” opportunities. Yes, we’re all being told to “stay in our lane” as a way to maintain focus on our own expertise. But sometimes, a CEO has an unusual hobby or an executive had a crazy job in the past (we’re currently working with an exec who’s a former Navy cryptographer.) Smart B2B PR people can transform those experiences into thought leadership opportunities, from speaking opps to bylines to blog posts and videos.
Incorporate outsiders. Add some sparkle to your next panel discussion, blog post or byline by inviting a compelling “special guest” to participate. If the topic of your panel discussion is art and e-commerce, invite an artist. When convening experts to discuss a medical device, don’t overload the discussion with doctors; invite real-life users with emotional human-interest stories. Make it your “business” to be creative with B2B PR.