3 PR Mistakes B2Bs Are Making in 2023


In today’s hyper-connected world, where information is readily available at our fingertips, the role of PR has become even more crucial for businesses. B2Bs must build and maintain a positive reputation, establish thought leadership, and create a strong brand identity to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

However, despite its importance, many B2Bs are still struggling to get their PR strategy right. They often rely solely on press releases, fail to differentiate themselves from their competition, and forget that their product features alone do not make a compelling story. These mistakes can result in missed opportunities to effectively reach and engage their target audience. 

Related Reading: The Ultimate Guide to B2B PR

3 B2B PR Mistakes to Avoid

Mistake #1: Believing PR = Press Release

One of the most common misconceptions about PR is that it only involves issuing press releases. While press releases can be a useful tool in your PR arsenal, relying solely on them is a mistake. 

In the past, press releases were a key method journalists used to find stories, but today that simply isn’t the case. With the 24/7 news cycle, and consumers weighing in on and even becoming part of the news cycle, journalists are being bombarded with story ideas, and don’t need to rely on press releases. Therefore, to get your B2B noticed, you need to implement a fully-fledged earned media strategy that includes building relationships with journalists and influencers, creating engaging content, and actively seeking out media opportunities.

To get your business consistent press, you need to build meaningful relationships with journalists and influencers in your industry. Write personalized pitches that tie your business to key trends or issues in the industry. Build your CEO’s thought leadership, and have them provide expert insights in contributed articles. 

Whatever method you choose for your B2B PR strategy, make sure you focus on creating compelling content that tells your brand story and engages your target audience.

Related Reading: 6 Common Mistakes B2B Brands Make When Pitching Media

Mistake #2: Believing Your B2B Doesn’t Have Competition

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that your B2B doesn’t have any competition. Maybe your SaaS product is a unique problem-solver, and you think no other company out there can compete with you. But the truth is that even God has competition. 

The competition for your product is not only other SaaS companies but also the status quo. Your target audience is used to the status quo, and they know it doesn’t cost them any more money to do the same thing they’ve always done.

To stand out from the competition, you must differentiate yourself and offer something your competitors don’t. This could be through superior customer service, more advanced technology, or a unique value proposition. However, to do this effectively, you need to know who your competition is and what they are offering. Conduct market research, identify your direct and indirect competitors, and understand their strengths and weaknesses.

Remember, the status quo is a formidable competitor. Your goal should be to offer a solution that is compelling enough to make your target audience want to switch from the status quo to your product. If you’re going to compel them to convert, you need to prove that it’s worth it. 

Related Reading: Build a Successful B2B PR Strategy

Mistake #3: Thinking Your Product = Your Story

Another common mistake B2Bs make when it comes to PR is thinking that their product is their story. While your product features and benefits are important, they are not enough to capture the attention of journalists and readers. Earned media is all about storytelling, and stories require more than just product features.

To create a compelling story, you need to capture your audience’s attention by providing a new idea or concept, providing a narrative, and engaging them through education, inspiration, or entertainment. Your goal should be to provide value to your readers and offer them something they won’t find elsewhere.

When crafting your story, keep in mind that most B2B buyers are concerned about avoiding blame. They want to make the safe or default choice, especially when it comes to big investments that will impact a lot of people. Therefore, you need to balance the desire for a safe choice with an engaging story that captures their attention.

Related reading: The Key Differences Between B2B And B2C – Regret Vs Blame!

If you’re in a technical or complex industry, it can be challenging to simplify your story or message for the media. However, it’s crucial to ensure that your story is easy to understand and that it provides value to your target audience. Use clear and concise language, avoid technical jargon, and focus on the benefits of your product rather than its features.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your product is your story. Instead, focus on creating a compelling narrative that engages your audience through education, inspiration, or entertainment. Balance the desire for a safe choice with an engaging story, and make sure that your message is easy to understand and provides value to your target audience.

Bonus Mistake: Not believing PR is worthwhile 

Just like word-of-mouth B2B marketing, PR’s success isn’t easy to track, and for that reason, some CEOs and business leaders worry that it isn’t worthwhile. 

If you come from a performance marketing background, like advertising, focusing only on easily trackable metrics can be tempting. But it’s also a mistake. Earned media is the single most impactful type of media when it comes to proving your value and building credibility. 

Unlike paid, owned, and shared media, earned media requires for someone else to think your brand is worthwhile, and it’s that third-party credibility that proves to potential buyers that your company or product is the real deal. 

While it may not be easy to measure, B2B PR is integral to proving relevance, increasing reach, and—ultimately—building revenue.

Need help developing or implementing your B2B PR strategy? Let’s chat.


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