As a brand marketing PR veteran, I never thought that one of my finest moments would be leadership of a business-to-business engagement for a financial services client.
McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union markets directly to businesses for which membership is an employee benefit. Yet corporate decision-makers are consumers, too, and the success we’ve had raising awareness for the credit union has shown that even B2B programs can benefit from a little creative PR flair.
Here are some tips we’ve gleaned from our experience with this and other B2B clients that can enliven and enrich any business-focused PR effort.
Don’t ignore seasonal news hooks.
Business journalists take advantage of the calendar, too. This year we surveyed consumers to determine how much “love” they felt for their financial institutions, then packaged it creatively to appeal to multiple media segments, just prior to—you guessed it—Valentine’s Day. CNBC and other business/financial outlets responded particularly well to the pitch.
Give your bylined articles some juice.
Although the subject matter may appeal strictly to trades, why not jazz up your writing with some pop culture references, clever allusions and alliteration, or colorful quotes? With so much content competing for our attention, business writing should never be dry. If all else fails, substitute generic words with more descriptive ones. Money market returns aren’t just small, they’re “scrawny.” Bank charges are, high, yes, but what about “rapacious”?
Mix your messengers.
For a B2B monthly speaker series, we recommended shaking up the talks by securing bloggers and other journalists with social media chops as nontraditional speakers. These additions have wowed our audience and provided something extra in increased media coverage of the series as well as digital extensions—Twitter chats and other social media outreach.
Get your client out of his comfort zone.
When securing speaking opportunities for a CEO or another leader, look beyond typical industry gatherings and category conferences. Strategize about decision-makers in ancillary fields who can benefit from learning about your client’s business, and look to book a gig addressing one of these audiences. Our financial services CEO will be keynoting a conference for HR directors—not an obvious choice? The attendees want to hear how HR can interact better with the C-suite, and our client wants to offer credit union membership as an employee benefit, making for a very good, if not obvious, fit.
[RELATED: Learn how to create content that sticks for the long haul at our December NYC summit.]
For your next B2B assignment, make it your business to get a little creative.
Marijane Funess is media relations director at Crenshaw Communications. A version of this story first appeared on on the agency's PR Fish Bowl blog.