PR Coverage + B2B Sales Enablement
Public Relations (PR) often finds itself at the center of a debate: whether it directly translates into sales. One side argues that the only purpose of PR coverage is to build brand awareness and manage reputation, questioning its tangible impact on the bottom line. The other knows that PR influences consumer behavior and purchase decisions, and can directly boost sales figures when leveraged strategically.
Let’s navigate through the fog of misunderstanding and uncover the power that effective business-to-business (B2B) PR can wield on profits. Plus, how to amplify PR wins to maximize impact and fill your sales pipeline.
How Does PR Support B2B Sales?
Securing PR coverage does much more than generate buzz for your brand. Whether it is an award win, op-ed, media interview, feature story, event activation, influencer partnership or speaking engagement, PR is vital for demand generation. When working in tandem, PR and sales teams can amplify each other’s needs and support the common goal – to be seen as the best solution to customer problems.
Brand Awareness + Brand Penetration
PR is instrumental in launching new products and making inroads to new markets. Strategic communication through tailored media pitching, experiential activations or events and influencer collaborations can generate mass awareness and excitement around a product, driving sales during launch periods and promotional campaigns.
Earn Market Share + Share of Voice (SOV)
When present in third-party channels more frequently than competitors, your brand elevates its visibility and reputation. Being quoted more often than competitors as a subject matter expert (SME) positions your brand as the go-to solution provider and market leader.
Positive media coverage and award wins serve as powerful endorsements. When a brand is perceived positively in the media and receives third-party validation, consumers are more likely to trust it, making them more receptive to its products or services. Ultimately, third-party validation is your secret weapon in closing a deal.
Create a Positive Brand Image
A positive brand image, carefully crafted through PR efforts, impacts consumer perception. A brand that is seen as trustworthy, reliable and socially responsible is more likely to attract customers. This positive image can increase interest and consideration, ultimately influencing purchasing decisions. PwC research confirms that nine out of 10 customers say they would buy from a company that gained their trust.
Influence Consumer Behavior
PR campaigns can shape consumer behavior by highlighting unique selling points, addressing pain points and emphasizing the benefits of a product or service. PR coverage can guide consumer perceptions and preferences, steering them toward choosing a particular brand over others.
While crisis management might not seem directly related to sales, effectively handling negative situations can prevent reputational damage that could impact consumer trust. Even in challenging times, maintaining a positive brand image helps retain customer loyalty and minimizes potential sales downturns.
How to Amplify your PR Coverage for Sales Enablement
While securing media placements can independently support sales, amplifying PR coverage can do much more. PR strategy shouldn’t begin and end with a media mention or press release. Instead, bake the following tactics into your process to see maximum impact.
- Use PR coverage for prospect nurturing
- Use PR coverage in content marketing
- Promote PR coverage on team member’s social media
- Add PR coverage to your website and sales materials
- Include PR coverage in advertisements
Use PR coverage for prospect nurturing
Strong thought leadership should include timely commentary on current and new trends that are impacting your customers. Showing prospects that you are a trusted source by third parties on how to navigate these market changes can go a long way in establishing trust.
Rather than following up with leads with a link to your website or a product fact sheet, share recent (and relevant) press coverage that helps the prospect understand a broader view of the industry problem your company is solving.
Use PR coverage in content marketing
If a prospect sees your business mentioned in a news article, will they find more about that topic on your website? To solidify your position as an SME and guide prospects further down the sales funnel, consider publishing a blog or landing page that dives deeper into the issue and includes relevant case studies. Marrying content marketing and PR strategies can help ensure all important messaging points you want to get across are communicated.
Additionally, if you have a newsletter, consider highlighting your recent coverage there. Pull out an important quote, add a link or include a summary. If recent PR coverage or an award win is relevant to a promotion, call them out in your next email campaign. Make sure your audience sees these wins so you can get the maximum value from your investment.
Promote PR coverage on team members’ social media accounts
In addition to sharing PR wins on brand social media channels, arm your sales team with copy they can use to post the news on their social media profiles. When sharing new PR coverage with your company, make it easy for employees to share by providing three to five different text options. Be sure to share enough variety so it doesn’t look like everyone copied/pasted the same message.
Keep in mind that people are busy and unlikely to read an entire article. Pull out the best quotes and on-brand messaging to make sure it isn’t missed. Create shareable images with that copy, adding both your logo and the media outlet logo. Make it easy for people to share the coverage wide and far.
Unfortunately, just posting a quick link to PR coverage on LinkedIn won’t do much. Platforms today reward posts that share knowledge outright and those that keep users on the platform. Taking the extra step to provide copy options will help drive more engagement. Also, encourage employees to tag the publication, journalist and interviewed subject matter expert (SME) to increase reach.
Add PR coverage to your website and sales assets
When actively shopping or evaluating service providers, consumers will explore your website for reassurance that you’re the right choice. Put your PR coverage front and center to highlight third-party credibility. It’s popular to have an “As Seen In” section that includes media outlet logos and for award wins to be showcased on your homepage.
Don’t forget to include media outlet logos and award badges in sales decks, board member reports, recruiting materials and marketing assets to increase visibility. As relevant, you can also explore publishing a new blog post that shares the news coverage or adding a link to your “In the News” or “Media” page.
Include PR coverage in advertisements
Use social advertisements and boosted posts to ensure your target audience sees important news mentions, award wins, product launches or announcements. With sophisticated audience targeting on social media you can sponsor content and put it directly into the feed of your ideal customer.
BONUS: Partner with Clients to Secure PR Coverage
Another way to leverage PR and sales is to secure coverage via partnerships. Pursue earned media opportunities alongside your clients. Clients are likely willing to help, as joint visibility in third-party outlets is mutually beneficial and a value-add for clients who may be looking to build thought leadership. Can you share new case studies that hit on current trends or offer up an interview with both teams? These media placements are killer sales enablement tools because they offer extra proof points of your capabilities.
Neglecting to Amplify Media Placements = Lost Sales
To get the maximum benefit from PR wins, establish a repeatable and standardized process for amplifying placements. Showcase your PR coverage through multiple marketing channels and direct sales team collaboration. Doing so will make certain your target audience sees new third-party endorsements and recognizes your thought leadership, ultimately positioning your brand as the best choice when prospects go to market.