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Online Buzz: Get ready for the recovery with a B2B PR program

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Companies that have continued PR and marketing activity during the economic downturn are in a much better position to take advantage of the improved economy than those that went to sleep. But it's not too late if you act quickly.

The reason you can't easily turn the tap off and back on when communicating to other businesses is because B2B is all about relationships - sell the company first then the product or service second. The first step for every business is to develop trust, and this is doubly important in B2B, where the average transaction is higher and the sales cycle usually much longer.

In B2B environments, PR builds trusted relationships, educates and wins credibility. B2B PR campaigns are often more targeted than consumer ones because you are aiming your messages at a more defined audience. Plus, the messages are often more sophisticated and complex.

A well thought out B2B PR program emphasises business value and benefits over price. A strategy that focuses only on price is doomed to be very short-term.

Online PR is emerging as a powerful tactic for B2B campaigns. Most celebrated examples of online PR are in the consumer sphere but many of the same principles can also be utilised in the business world. This is because B2B is all about establishing and maintaining relationships.

The business networking site LinkedIn is a great way to reach business audiences. A site like LinkedIn complements face-to-face contact rather than replace it.

It's simple to use and allows you to keep in touch with like-minded business people around the globe. After every networking event or business meeting I search for the people I've met on LinkedIn and add them to my network. I can then send interesting information to my whole network or just a select number of people. It can also add to business development activities as I can also get referrals and recommendations from within my network.

LinkedIn is also a great way to track down former colleagues or business associates and keep in touch on a regular basis.

Other key business-to-business online PR tactics include forums and blogs, and of course your own website.

The overall goal of nearly all B2B campaigns is to positively impact a business' bottom line and offer a true return on investment so don't delay. Be ready for the economic uplift.

For more information about B2B PR contact us.

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