When Your Customer is a Business…

When you have a phenomenal B2B product or service, you may wonder why business owners or managers aren’t beating down your door. You’ve done some great things, but it didn’t prompt the explosive growth you expected.

The truth is — having a fantastic product is necessary, but not sufficient. If no one knows about all of the wonderful things you do or have accomplished for other clients, you can only go so far. Some businesses realize the power of testimonials and put quotes from satisfied clients on their website. Again, this is necessary, but not sufficient. While many decisionmakers in business will go online to research potential partner companies, this requires that they first know about your brand, have a positive impression, and are willing to invest the time to inquire further. Then they’ll need to have enough trust in your brand to patronize your product or services.

This is where B2B public relations comes into play.

Hand pushing B2B button

Different Messages

The basic premise for B2B and B2C public relations is the same. You are building a relationship with a potential customer based on their needs and goals. The contrast is in the audience and the strategy for reaching them. You still have to market to a customer— it’s just that your customer is another business.

Successful B2B public relations requires understanding your audience and what drives the decisionmakers in your industry. Owners or managers tend to be motivated by desires to improve productivity or increase profits. However, they are still human beings driven by their perceptions of a brand.

How We Can Help

A public relations firm with B2B expertise can help draft a strategy for crafting a compelling message about your brand and then getting that message in front of decision makers in your target sectors or industries. They can help determine the best way to position your brand in the marketplace.

There are a number of ways an agency like Ripley PR can help you do this:

  • Create concise and consistent messaging to promote your business.
  • Celebrate your successes publicly through news releases and media coverage. This includes successful partnerships with satisfied clients, as well as other achievements like awards, growth milestones, or sweeping improvements.
  • Position company leaders or executives as experts in their fields through bylines and interviews
  • Finding the best way to reach the right people in your target audience whether through trade publications or social media.

For more information on growing your brand with B2B public relations, contact Ripley PR today.

This post was written by on June 21, 2018


Ripley PR can make your franchise social media shine, from corporate to storefront

A common complaint from franchisees is a perceived lack of marketing support from the corporate office.

Coordinating marketing messages among hundreds of franchisees can indeed be a challenge. Ripley PR, a franchise public relations agency, can help franchisors with that daunting task. One area of our expertise is coordinating social media messaging across multiple platforms for multiple franchisees.

One of our clients, a leading automotive tinting and aftermarket accessories franchise, offers an example of how we can leverage our expertise to support your franchisees. We use proprietary software that allows us to share the same message – tailored to location – to hundreds of independent franchisee social media platforms. This means we can manage social media from one location for a nationwide network of locations. At the same time, we manage its corporate social platforms.

Some franchisees prefer to manage their own social media, but some have limited expertise with the many nuances of digital marketing and promotion. Ripley experts understand the importance of keywords, hash tags and the proper timing of posts. Do you know the best time to post on Facebook? What about Twitter? LinkedIn? We understand the nuances of social media marketing and messaging, and can apply those skills across an entire franchise, from corporate to storefront. In addition to daily social media posts – they are largely automated, but we also offer live support and updates – we craft messaging around monthly companywide promotions.

We help franchisors offer strong marketing support to their franchisees. Consistent social media messaging is time-consuming and can be complicated. Your best option to improve its efficacy, efficiency and impact is to have your content professionally curated. Our expertise in digital media means your franchisees can focus on building their business, thereby growing your franchise brand.

Contact Ripley today for more examples of how our franchise PR expertise can make your brand shine, online and elsewhere.

 

 

Thomas Fraser, Senior Content Specialist

This post was written by on June 19, 2018


Public Relations Differentiates Your Franchise from the Rest

Why do customers choose to patronize a franchise business? Is it because that business is featured on the local TV news frequently? Or because the business has the most positive reviews on Google? Or maybe the franchise’s social media posts show up first in Google searches and on influencer news feeds? All of these things can help franchise businesses attract customers and impact buying decisions.

If your franchise business isn’t getting any of that kind of attention, maybe it’s time to hire a franchise public relations expert. A reputable and experienced franchise PR firm will:

1-Supercharge your social media presence
Chances are, you do not have a franchise social media expert on your staff. Hiring the right agency can take your social media from meh to marvelous! A PR agency understands the social media landscape and leverages that to help your business stand out from the competition.

2-Obtain media coverage on TV and other news channels
An experienced PR professional knows your industry movers and shakers, already has media contacts and knows the secrets to getting your story in the news. Positive news stories are more believable than advertisements.

3-Enhance and solidify your reputation
A good PR plan includes an overall reputation management campaign to strengthen and improve your franchise brand’s reputation across all channels with targeted and proven methods. Look for a firm that can offer case studies and verified client recommendations.

4-Write press releases that have a unique angle
Some say “anyone can write a press release.” But the truth is, only a talented few can write a press release that gets reporters to take notice and seek your business out for a story.

Promoting your franchise brand’s unique qualities the right way can make all the difference in a crowded field, so do not leave it to an inexperienced staffer or newbie PR firm.

Heather Ripley, Founder/CEO

This post was written by on June 18, 2018


PR can help automotive businesses break from the pack

The average age of a car on American roads is approaching 12 years old – higher than ever.

For automotive businesses, this presents a golden opportunity — more parts and accessories to be sold to motorists with aging vehicles. Many need parts to keep their rides running; others want accessories like back-up cameras to keep up with technological advances without buying a new car, van or truck.

There is a lot competition out there, however, and automotive business owners need an edge to stay ahead of their competitors. Automotive public relations firms can provide that edge.

A public relations firm such as Ripely PR can help raise the profile of automotive companies large and small. We can help spread the latest automotive news to the public and to trade publications. We can promote a business on a variety of social media platforms, where consumers are turning more and more for information about products across virtually every sector of the economy.

Public relations professionals should demonstrate a knowledge of their clients’ industries, as well as an intimate knowledge of the appropriate trade and consumer publications. We know what items work better on social media than in a press release, and our content specialists are adept at telling a company’s story for the audience they need to reach.

The benefits of public relations to retail businesses are self-evident, but B2B automotive suppliers can benefit as well. The importance of earning and maintaining a reputation among industry leaders for quality work delivered on time cannot be understated.

When crises arise – as they do from time to time – an automotive public relations firm can help guide a business to a safe harbor. Vehicle recalls and parts failures can subvert consumer confidence or ruin a company’s reputation among business customers. A public relations firm can help craft a plan to address crisis situations.

Ripley PR is a public relations agency specializing in franchise, manufacturing, construction and automotive industries. Call us at 865.977.1973 if you want your automotive company to pull away from the field.

Scott Barker

This post was written by on June 15, 2018


Three things every healthcare IT startup needs to do to get in front of investors

Healthcare IT Public Relations

Wherever you are on your fundraising journey, one this is for certain: If you want to get to the latter stages of VC funding, and eventually cash out, you have to get maximum exposure to the right investors. As startup and healthcare IT public relations experts, we know a thing or two about the process—especially when it comes to your communication efforts.

If you’re a healthcare IT company looking for series A through C+ investments, here are the three things you must be doing to get in front of investors:

  1. Content creation – The three things covered in this article could have almost been content, content and content, because it’s just that important. Quality content—blogs, videos, social media posts, etc.—is the best way to continue to stay relevant and boost your presence in your space. Since web 3.0, your company has effectively become its own publisher, which means it’s now up to you to not only determine how and what you want to connect with your audience, but at what frequency and on what platform.
  2. News and partnership awareness – IP and sensitive information aside, any chance you get to showcase hard news or official partnerships is a chance to show you’re moving forward and not staying stagnant or falling behind the competition. The more you’re able to share this information, especially with reputable news outlets, the more your name will show up when specific keywords are searched for by investors.
  3. Thought leadership engagement – Any moment you have to discuss your expertise, not only in your field but also in the startup world, is a chance to impress an investor. Startup funding is more than just revenue, expansion, product/market fit, and if you’ve been in it long enough, you know there’s a plethora of jargon used exclusively in the space. The same can probably be said about your specific industry or the space you’re competing in. So the question then becomes: What can you talk about that pertains to both? Finding that sweet spot will allow you to get in front of the right people to share your experience.

Interested in putting together a plan to start getting in front of more investors? Give Ripley PR a call at 865-977-1973.

JD Sizemore, Account Supervisor

This post was written by on June 13, 2018


Standing Out From the Crowd: Using PR to Boost Your Health IT Brand

Big data is one of the most significant opportunities available in the health-care industry. Digital records and test results, wearable technology, sensors, robotics, and artificial intelligence generate billions of bits of information that can be analyzed. That information can then be used to create in-depth individual patient profiles, assist diagnoses, or identify large-scale health and treatment trends. It might even help health-care providers predict illness before it happens.

The Power of PR

Health-care IT companies that can manage all this data will have a distinct advantage in the marketplace. But that won’t necessarily be enough. An experienced health IT public relations agency like Ripley PR can help health-care technology companies differentiate themselves from their competitors by creating a consistent message, generating positive media coverage, and managing any crisis situations that may arise.

As health care and technology become more and more complex, the communications challenges health IT companies face will increase. Here’s what a PR agency can provide.

  • Message: Ripley PR’s communications professionals work with you to create a message consistent with your company’s values and strengths. Whether it’s aimed at clients, customers, vendors, or the media, a strong, steady core message can be an invaluable asset in differentiating your company from its competition.
  • Media coverage: Ripley PR’s experienced media specialists will deliver your message to the media outlets that mean the most to you, whether that’s local TV, industry trades, or national magazines.
  • Crisis management: The opportunity presented by big data also comes with enormous risk. Hacks and stolen data can bring negative public attention and potential financial and legal liability. A crisis-management plan created in advance with Ripley PR establishes protocol and procedures for all stages of managing a crisis and allows you to put the situation in the hands of experienced professionals.

If your health-care IT company needs help moving into the era of big data, contact Ripley PR.

 

Matthew Everett

This post was written by on June 11, 2018


Cyber Security Firms Need PR to Stand Out from the Rest

The proliferation of cyber security businesses in the last few years is good news and bad news for businesses like yours! The good news is that other businesses are more aware of the risks their organizations are under when it comes to securing their proprietary business information, financial records and sensitive employee data. The bad news is that your competition in the information protection sphere is growing every day.

How do you stand out from your competition? It’s not a simple process, and based on the area of your expertise, it could be something you can try yourself, or you may need the expertise of a PR agency that can take your brand from doing OK to being a business that’s sought after.

But beware of PR agencies that don’t have experience and a track record of client successes. A good PR firm should help your business stand out from the crowd in several ways:

  • Create media connections to get your business name in the news

This is easier said than done, and a reputable PR firm knows how to influence and target the right media. Because media hold the keys to news stories, understanding how to work with key media is incredibly important in getting your business message heard.

  • Write press releases in a journalistic way

Sure, anyone can write a press release. But very few can write a great press release that brings major hits to your website, gets inquiries from media and makes Google Alerts catch fire.

  • Find and secure opportunities to promote your business as subject matter experts

A certain way to increase awareness of your business is through speaking engagements, offering seminars or webinars and becoming known as a reliable, trusted source of information.

Ripley PR is familiar with cyber security firms, and we know the right media coverage can make a huge difference in bringing attention and more business to your company. Contact us to learn more today.

 

 

 

Heather Ripley, Founder/CEO

This post was written by on June 7, 2018


Eyes on the Prize: Earning Media Coverage for Your B2B Company

Is your B2B company getting ignored while your competitors keep showing up in newspapers, trade magazine, and television interviews?

It can be discouraging, feeling like your expertise and accomplishments are invisible.  Your business can run circles around your competitors. Why are they getting all that coverage? There’s a solution. Partnering with an experienced B2B public relations agency can even the playing field and help spread the good news about your company and its accomplishments.

Earning Coverage

An experienced agency like Ripley PR has well-developed relationships with the writers and editors of the publications who provide the coverage you need. Our experts can pitch stories about your B2B company and its products and services to carefully selected national, regional, and local media outlets. To be effective, a PR agency has to know the publications and news programs that will best reach the kind of clients and customers you’re seeking.

This kind of earned media coverage will pay off for your company in ways that paying for advertisements never will. Through strategic public relations, media coverage can be used to establish your business as an expert in its industry. This makes gaining more coverage easier through ever-growing visibility.

The Right Stories

Ripley PR’s team of experts can find just the right angle or hook to tie your business into the stories that are gaining the most coverage at any moment. We know what kind of stories that trade publications are most interested in at any given time and can advise your company on what topics will gain you coverage by local and regional media.

Who to Call

At Ripley PR, we specialize in getting coverage in the media and trade publications to create visibility for your B2B company and enhance its reputation as an expert in your industry. Contact us today.

Joel Davis, Content Supervisor

This post was written by on June 5, 2018


Five Myths About B2B Public Relations

Owning a B2B company comes with a variety of challenges, from planning to figuring out the best practices. There are details that have to be worked out across the board. When it comes to marketing and potential growth, though, that’s where a B2B public relations agency, like those at Ripley PR, come in.

There are plenty of misconceptions about public relations, the biggest being there isn’t any value in hiring an agency. But firms like Ripley PR can not only help you grow your business, but also give you the time you need to focus on running it.

Some common myths include:

  • It’s too expensive. Plenty of folks believe hiring a PR agency must cost a fortune. Ripley PR works with each and every one of our clients to help them focus on what really matters, all within a budget they can afford.
  • It’s a waste of time. Many believe public relations and marketing can and should be done in-house. But, the potential audience of a placed advertisement is much smaller than the scope of Ripley’s media relations reach. Our carefully crafted media lists allow us to spread our clients’ messages far and wide, garnering both local and national attention. We help our B2B clients consistently find new avenues and connections, and we can help you reach your target audience.Hand pushing B2B button
  • PR is just for big businesse It’s true that we work with some pretty big clients, who have their eyes on national prizes. We also work with family-owned businesses that have been around for decades. For them, community matters most. We value each and every client we have, and Ripley PR is dedicated to giving 110 percent to each and every client.
  • PR is only for crisis or disasters. You may have heard the phrase, “That’s a PR nightmare.” While we’re on hand to help when something bad happens, we’re more focused on sharing your stories and good news. PR helps clients build a positive image and credibility in your community and industry.
  • There’s no point. Everyone has a story to tell. We want to share the stories of your businesses, your employees, your achievements and more. PR isn’t about sharing fake news or spinning facts. It’s about telling the true stories of the hardworking men and women out there making a difference in their communities and industries.

Ripley PR is a global B2B public relations agency with the skills and team to help clients achieve their goals. Contact us today and let us tell your stories, too.

Amanda Greever

This post was written by on June 4, 2018


Take Franchise Development to the Next Level

You have a great business. It’s so great, in fact, that you franchised it. What’s next? Successful franchise development requires a different strategy than the one that grew your business in the first place. Yes, you need to spread the message of your brand and what you provide to consumers, but you also have to tell the story of what you can offer franchise owners: Why should someone invest their time, money and heart in building a business with you?

It can’t just be a sales pitch. Most of us avoid those like poison ivy (but sales pitches are easier to spot). However, genuine stories of real owners relayed by a credible source like a news outlet or magazine, can make an impact on those considering becoming entrepreneurs.

Your company may have an amazing business model and incredible support for franchisees, but if no one ever hears about it, it may not happen for long.

I’ve dabbled in art for years. Sometimes I see a simple piece that strikes me and I tell myself, “I could do that.” The thing is…I never do. I deny myself the purchase on a false premise.

Some franchisors similarly deceive themselves. They think their own marketing team can handle PR. Perhaps they can, but will they? Should they? How much time will they actually devote to generating creative ideas, pitching stories, and nurturing media relationships? How would that effort compare to the work of a professional PR team experienced in franchise public relations?

Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you will or that it makes sense to devote your time and efforts toward it.

Here are some things a qualified public relations team like Ripley PR can do for you:

  • Identify opportunities for news announcements –help create and discover opportunities for compelling content about your brand.
  • Generate media coverage – reach out to media contacts and tell your story in unique and interesting ways
  • Crisis management – help anticipate potential crises and craft a proactive plan, also strategically respond to a crisis as it unfolds
  • Blogs and web content – A PR team can help with strategies, web content and blogs
  • Social Media – help draft a strategy, create social media posts, ,and help manage your image on social media
  • Franchisee promotion – a great PR team can highlight different franchise locations and owners to help drive publicity and encourage new ownership

If you’d like to take your franchise to the next level with an experienced team, contact Ripley PR today.

This post was written by on June 1, 2018


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