2020 was a tough year for most businesses, not to mention for PR agencies. The pandemic has presented the industry with a number of new challenges – from events being cancelled, to working from home – no one could have foreseen what was to come.
With many organisations having to cut marketing budgets around events, content has remained king, however B2B tech PR agencies are having to prove their value more than ever before as clients’ expectations of them grow.
Due to COVID, many clients are now needing their PR and marketing to work harder for them in the absence of physical trade conferences and networking events. This has posed an exciting new challenge for PR agencies to think of innovative ways to make content work that bit harder for clients.
Innovate new B2B PR tactics and strategies
Most PR agencies in 2020 had to change how they work. From servicing our clients, liaising with the media, and building new business pipelines, to reinforcing brand presence, everything shifted once employees moved to a remote setup. During the pandemic, the demand for standout content in order to fuel social and digital activity became more apparent than ever.
As B2B tech PR agencies we must pay attention to these changes and adapt to the ‘new normal’ if we are to continue to deliver on our clients’ needs. Now is an opportune moment to stop telling clients what they can’t do due to the pandemic and focus on the available PR strategies and tactics that can be used and which they can benefit from. For example, webinars, podcasts, Livestreams, LinkedIn Lives, and Twitter Chats are great ways to engage customers, tell clients’ stories and celebrate their successes.
Looking forward, while the vaccine roll-out offers hope of a return to physical events and meetings, many virtual experiences will remain for the foreseeable future. Clients have grown to value the flexibility online experiences offer – allowing them to tap-in into expertise from anywhere and often on-demand. How PR agencies embed the human experience into that will be key, and how this can be accomplished in a meaningful, blended way alongside physical experiences will be critical in the year ahead.
Become a B2B storyteller
In 2021 storytelling will be key to B2B PR agencies. There are many companies out there that need PR agencies to be creative and engaging storytellers to get their messages out to market. Whether it be to the media, potential customers, industry analysts, stakeholders, investors, influencers or to a wider audience, companies are looking for PR agencies that can capture their audience’s attention and produce content that garners engagement, growth, and interest. Producing engaging content which tells a captivating story will enable PR agencies to still deliver on clients’ expectations in the absence of physical trade conferences and networking events.
B2B PR agencies should take a deep dive into learning more about how their current clients are tackling the pain points of their customers’ businesses and, on a wider level, how they are tackling some of the important society-wide themes such as employee well-being, adaptability, and business continuity. Today agencies have to do more journalistic legwork than ever before to ensure their clients’ latest news, thought leadership piece, or product announcement cuts through the noise and garners top tier coverage.
This will also enable agencies to have a more in-depth understanding of their client and in turn, allow them to constantly and consistently generate new story angles that are topical, relevant, and engaging for their clients’ target audiences. The most successful stories will be the ones that have a profound understanding of wider society, human and business impacts, and how their clients’ products or services are addressing these.
There is no doubt that this year will present further challenges for the PR industry. Going forward into 2021, B2B tech agencies should continuously be looking for ways to innovate their PR strategies and tactics in order to tackle these and adapt to the ‘new normal’. Likewise, agencies need to become master storytellers in order to continue delivering exceptional results for their clients and continue to engage their audience both during and post-pandemic.
For more information about how C8 Consulting can help to create compelling campaigns and kick-start conversations for your business, or to understand more about the social and digital activities that we are undertaking for our clients please feel free to contact us.