When I worked as an operations manager, I never took sales calls.
When I needed a new vendor, I did my research ahead of time and started negotiating terms during my first real contact with a rep. I always assumed this was a deviant way to manage procurement but I was wrong: nearly 60 percent of businesses choose B2B vendors in the way I described. Although I personally wonder whether this type of buying decision is somewhat lazy impulsive, it doesn’t really matter.
For B2B PR pros, I am the new normal. This makes your job much more complicated.
If you’re a member of the PRSA (Public Relations Society of America), one of the great benefits is free access to a wealth of professional development webinars, and this post is inspired by a great presentation given by the EVP, BurrellesLuce, Johna Burke (you can should listen to it here).
The reason I bring up this talk in the preface rather than as point of reference later is that Burke’s articulation of the issues around B2B PR are qualitatively so much better than most other pieces on the topic that it would be hard for me to write a piece like this without referencing her talk multiple times. You will see her name a lot for the next 1,500 words or so, so get acquainted. 🙂
What I want to do in this piece is to identify and describe five important considerations for B2B public relations practitioners. I’ll dig into some of the details explaining how each is crucial to the unique PR relationship between vendors and businesses.
1. Granular segmentation