Before joining the world of B2B PR, I’ll admit I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t have as many opportunities to use the right side of my brain. Starting off my career at a predominantly consumer facing agency, I was convinced that B2B wouldn’t be as interesting, dynamic or as fun as I had become accustomed to. I mean, c’mon, where are all the outrageous consumer polls, flash mobs, photo stunts and wacky events in B2B PR?
But I’m glad I had these hesitations before making the switch to B2B PR, as it caused me to contemplate how I view creativity and how that’s reflected in my own PR practice. Caught up in thinking creativity needs to be ‘all-singing and all-dancing’, I was working from a pretty narrow definition of what it means to be creative. But now I can say, hand on heart, that if the goal of creativity is to be inventive and original, then it’s certainly not the sole domain of consumer PR and, dare I say it, B2B PR might actually need more of it.
I’m not saying that photo stunts, quirky research and zany events are completely out the picture, there’s just less of a need for them. What’s most important for a B2B PR practitioner is to employ an agile mind and embody the inventiveness of creativity if you want your clients to stand out.
At SkyParlour, we’re fortunate enough that none of our clients have a dry subject area, so our main role is to use our creativity to get them noticed (for the right reasons) in an increasingly crowded international payments space. We need a thorough understanding of our clients’ business, the complex areas and markets they work within, and then think laterally to effectively bring that to life in the press. To do this requires using imagination to create compelling content ideas that establish thought leaders, as well as coming up with new ways of doing the basics, such as mapping how we communicate with journalists.
Creativity has to be a part of every service we offer to clients – not just at the planning stages and during the execution of thought leadership campaigns. Even for the likes of award entries, investment announcements, financial results and recruitment pushes, the creative thread that helped you set your client apart should be present throughout. And if it isn’t, we run the risk of having a comms strategy that isn’t as effective as it could be.
After almost two years in the B2B space, I’m officially a convert and proud. I’m glad to have had my creative consumer experience at the start of my career, which certainly comes in handy for clients who do want to push outside of the B2B space. However, on a day-to-day basis I get to stretch my creativity for clients more than I ever thought I would when I first ventured into the world of B2B.
For anyone struggling with creative inspiration in B2B PR, here are five top tips to help you on your way:
- Most importantly, become an expert in your client’s market
- Don’t just rely on press releases, think about other content methods
- Don’t be afraid to be bold, steal a competitor’s thunder
- Brainstorm, brainstorm, brainstorm for that stand-out newsworthy hook
- Think outside the box when trying to attract and communicate with journalists