How to Be a Trade Show Star

Great B2B Public Relations Puts Your Brand in the Spotlight

There’s an art to promoting a B2B product or service. Advertising and marketing channels that work for B2C and retail companies don’t necessarily apply, and many B2B decision-makers aren’t easily swayed by traditional ads. They’re more likely to gather copious information, consider it carefully and reach out to colleagues and peers for recommendations before your sales staff even knows they’re looking for a solution.

B2B public relations helps a brand maximize trade show time.

But trade shows are a great way establish rapport these decision-makers in a casual setting, generate leads and eventually convert them to loyal clients. Some B2B businesses might sink large sums into booth design, giveaways and prizes. Those are great, but don’t forget that solid B2B public relations can help your brand maximize trade show time and get you better return.

Here are some of the services Ripley PR offers to clients heading to trade shows.

Media Relations

If you have big announcements to make, like a new or upgraded products, a trade show is an excellent venue. Not only are your potential clients there, but members of the media will be, too. We can arrange a media event at your booth or a private room for your announcement. We’ll promote the event ahead of time and even coach you and your staff for potential media appearances.

Speaking Engagements

Establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry with trade show speaking engagements. You’ll have the ears of your target audience and grow your prestige with them. We can promote you or a member of your staff as potential trade show speakers and help you craft presentations that will get you the right kind of attention.

Booth Support

Don’t chain yourself to your booth for the whole trade show. To be effective, you need to get out and work the floor. We can provide support staff to run your booth and represent your brand professionally when you can’t be there.

Help for Trade Show Hosts

We offer support to those hosting trade shows, too. The professionals at Ripley PR can promote your event, grabbing media attention and boosting attendance and exhibitors. We can also help you staff the event, providing essential on-site support like media relations, speaker coordination and more. There are many more ways that a B2B public relations agency like Ripley PR can make your next trade show a resounding success. If you would like more information about how we can help you stand out, call us at (865) 977-1973 or Ripley PR online.

Shannon Bryant

This post was written by on June 13, 2019


Prepare for the Crisis You Haven’t Had …Yet

Manufacturing PR can help

Cast your industry aside — we all hate the c-word. A crisis is something we just don’t want to think about, and some of us may honestly believe that one will never happen. The problem with crises is that they can develop even when you’ve done everything right for months on end, or you’re celebrating hundreds of days without an accident. They can happen to the best of us, and that’s ok. It’s how you react and respond that matters.

The best way to handle any crisis is to plan for it before it ever happens, and an agency skilled in manufacturing public relations can help.

Who’s got your back?

There is nothing worse than facing a public crisis without a plan, and having a public relations agency experienced in the manufacturing space shepherd you through the situation can keep the chaos under control and keep your brand and reputation protected.

Such an agency can help you:

  • Outline a strategy for handling a crisis: Commonly referred to as a crisis communications plan, having a roadmap in place for your company is the best place to start. A solid, comprehensive plan will outline clear, actionable steps for your team to take and help you understand the role your public relations team will take throughout the crisis.
  • Understand your unique sources for potential crises: In manufacturing, physical injury and resulting lawsuits are always a risk. However, inappropriate comments from a company executive, allegations of unwanted advances within the business, fraudulent financial activity and environmental mishaps are also all potential risks that should be considered and included in your preparation.
  • Identify and prepare your spokespersons: Only specific leaders within your organization should address the media during a crisis. Partnering with a team experienced in manufacturing public relations can help you identify and prep the right speakers through dynamic media training and developing prepared statements. Your entire workforce should know who these individuals are and also understand how to appropriately deflect and direct media inquiries back to the approved spokespersons.

To find out how an agency experienced in manufacturing public relations can help you prepare for a crisis and protect your brand, contact Ripley PR today at (865) 977-1973.

Grayson Shockley

This post was written by on June 11, 2019


Are you marketing to the right audience?

Quick, what’s the first image that pops in your head when you hear the word millennial? If you adhere to society’s stereotypical definition, you’re picturing a young kid who doesn’t want to work and is glued to technology all day.

You’d be wrong.

Group of millennials in meeting with computer

Despite the image mainstream hype has tried to build, millennials — who now range in age from about 23 to 38 — actually make up the largest percentage of the U.S. workforce, and that number is only going to grow. They aren’t the cashier asking if you’d like fries with that, they’re the manager. They’re raising families, starting businesses and their buying power is increasing.

Marketing moves

A recent survey found that 66% of millennials want to start their own business. As a franchisor, what are you doing to market to this generation of budding entrepreneurs? As a franchise public relations firm, we understand how to connect to audiences, including a millennial one.

While the tale about millennials not working hard might be false, the bit about technology is much more accurate. Millennials are incredibly tech-savvy, which means you must innovate to connect with them. There are a few ways to do this, including:

  • Make sure your social media game is strong: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube are all ways to pull in millennials. Videos, short posts and actually interacting with your audience all build your brand, especially with this generation.
  • Create content worth reading: Technically, this could also apply to your social media, but blogs are a great way to grab a millennial’s attention if the information is relevant to them.
  • Get your brand in the right publications: All media outlets are not created equal. A story in one magazine could reach a completely different audience than a story in another, so you need to make sure you’re targeting the most beneficial publications.

We’ve got you covered

At Ripley PR, we have a talented team that is skilled in social media, content creation and public relations. We can help you reach the right audience and find owners who will help your franchise grow. Call us today at (865) 977-1973 and let us get started.

Amanda Greever

This post was written by on June 7, 2019


Three Ways to Get the Most Out of B2B Public Relations

Conventional wisdom says any publicity is good publicity. There are plenty of exceptions to that rule, but it tends to be more relevant for B2C companies than B2B ones. Reaching the widest possible audience pays off more when your top goals are increasing brand awareness and reaching new markets.

Photo credit: Cicilia Arcurs

For B2B companies, though, effective public relations requires focus. General consumers are never going to buy the product or service a B2B company offers, so the kind of wide-ranging PR effort that works for fast food and washing machines won’t make sense. It might generate some sales, but there can also be a lot of wasted time and energy.

Efficiency and Expertise

Here are three ways that a good B2B public relations agency like Ripley PR can deliver the most effective PR to B2B clients.

  1. Expertise. You have to understand a client’s business in order to be an effective advocate for them. Great B2B PR teams stay up to date with news and trends, know who their clients’ competitors are, understand the specific needs and expectations of their clients’ customers and have long-term relationships with editors and reporters in the trade media. 
  2. Personal relationships. Great B2B PR professionals connect with clients on social media and share interesting articles or blog posts. They don’t wait for regularly scheduled meetings, either. They check in with clients after trade shows and ask for their reactions to industry news and trends. Trust and confidence are two of the most important PR tools.
  3. Efficiency. Efficiency is the key to B2B public relations. B2B companies want to reach the decision-makers in their industries. Scattershot media pitches and content-free press releases don’t work, but they still take time and energy. For your clients, that equals money. An experienced and effective B2B PR agency will deliver the right message to the right audience and produce measurable benefits.

If you’re ready to get the most out of your B2B PR efforts, email Ripley PR or call us at (865) 977-1973.

Matthew Everett

This post was written by on June 5, 2019


Invasion of the Pod(cast) People: New Opportunities for B2B PR

So, what’s the best new opportunity to reach the audience of decision-makers and business leaders that your B2B company is seeking? The simple answer: Podcasting.

Writing in Forbes, Moira van den Akker reports that podcasts, a digital alternative to radio-based programming, provide the perfect opportunity for B2B marketing:

Podcasts are making a comeback in a big way. In fact, 2018 data shows that there are 73 million podcast listeners in the U.S., and that number is expected to rise in the coming years.

The on-demand and digestible format make podcasts much easier to consume in comparison to other media. A well-done podcast can position your company as an industry expert and help you to build trust and credibility in your domain.

Interview Coaching

Appearing on a podcast program does require you to be comfortable with being interviewed, and not every business leader will relish the thought of being in the hot seat.  An experienced B2B PR agency can offer training to help master the interview format for podcasts and other media like radio and television. The advantages of media training include:

  • Keeping your message on track. B2B public relations experts can help you develop the right kind of message for any kind of interview.
  • Perfect delivery. PR media training can help business executives master the techniques needed to deliver the best sound bites.
  • Keeping control of the interview. It’s important to keep control of the narrative during an interview. Media training can provide tips, tricks, and techniques for making sure your interviews don’t go off the rails.

Earning Podcast Opportunities

It does take time and effort to find opportunities to appear on just the right podcast. An experienced B2B public relations agency like Ripley PR can help. We have developed extensive relationships with the producers of podcasts that can benefit your B2B company. It doesn’t stop at podcasts, though. Our experts know the media outlets that will be the best fit for your company, allowing it to reach the clients and customers it needs. Contact us today at (865) 977-1973 or visit us online.

Joel Davis, Content Supervisor

This post was written by on June 3, 2019


Shaking Hands and Catching Eyes

Boost Your B2B Brand at Trade Shows

Trade shows might seem old-fashioned in today’s world, where digital interaction and social media seem to be the dominant way to engage with audiences, but they still pay off as part of a B2B public relations strategy.

Digital interaction has its advantages, but attending trade shows can offer a significant return on investment for your B2B company. According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, the power of face-to-face interactions with potential buyers is still going strong:

Despite … concerns over the rise of digital offerings that could potentially replace face-to-face interaction between buyers and sellers, the exhibitions industry continues to grow and prove that face-to-face communication is essential to building trust in the marketplace.

Increasing Visibility

Just showing up at a trade show isn’t a strategy, though. To maximum the value of industry events, the first step is getting the word out, increasing your visibility with your target audience. By boosting awareness through a steady stream of news releases, pre-show interviews and media coverage and e-blasts, you engage potential trade show visitors before they even find your booth.

A great B2B PR strategy doesn’t end once you walk through the doors at the event location. Use the opportunity to sell your brand’s story through visits with local and trade media outlets during the event.

Finding a PR Partner

Does developing and implementing a B2B public relations strategy for trade shows sound like a lot of work? Partnering with an experienced PR agency, like Ripley PR, can help. Our experts can do the hard work of promoting your trade show appearances and coordinate media coverage during the event itself. Meanwhile, your company can concentrate on what it does best, educating potential customers and closing sales. To learn more, contact us today at (865) 977-1973 or visit us online.

Joel Davis, Content Supervisor

This post was written by on June 3, 2019


Three Reasons Ripley PR is the Best Choice for Your Franchise

Look for experience in franchise public relations

Nobody knows the franchise industry like Ripley PR. From home service to home care, from the skilled trades to kitchen and bath refinishing, we know how to unlock the power of your brand.

We’re not just a public relations agency. We’re a franchise public relations agency. Our executive team has years of hands-on experience in the franchise industry itself, helping grow corporate brands and coaching individual owners to succeed.

This insight translates into concrete results for our clients. We can help your franchise brand grow in visibility and name recognition throughout its lifecycle — from startup to national growth to acquisition and beyond.

Specializing in the Skilled Trades

Our specialty is the skilled trades. A public relations agency with plenty of experience in providing blue-collar PR services and working with the skilled trades can help on a number of levels. We take the job of promoting your business off your shoulders, and the proven techniques we use can grow your client list and show significant return on investment.

Choosing Franchise PR Experts

What can Ripley PR provide that other public relations agencies can’t? We’re conversion franchise experts. Our insight into the industry helps us develop and implement PR strategies that directly address the needs of your franchise brand:

  1. The right guidance. We know the pain points and struggles facing the franchise industry and skilled trades. We know how to leverage the strengths of the franchise model to create effective messaging that works. 
  2. The right audience. Ripley PR’s team of experts knows that franchise brands must speak to two audiences: potential franchise owners as well as franchise customers. We can tailor your messaging to increase both leads and consumer awareness.
  3. The right culture.  If your public relations agency doesn’t understand or appreciate the franchise industry or skilled trades, it will not be able to adequately represent the interests of your brand. At Ripley PR, we understand the central role that franchising and the skilled trades play in job creation and economic development around the world.

Ready for Help?

If you’re ready to learn how Ripley PR can help your franchise succeed through franchise public relations, contact us today. Our team of experts are ready to assist your business reach the next level. Call us at (865) 977-1973 or visit us online.

Heather Ripley, Founder/CEO

This post was written by on May 30, 2019


Fighting the tight labor market with PR

three construction workers

Two ways public relations can immediately help your construction company as backlogs fill

Summer construction season is heating up, but do you have the necessary workers to make sure your jobs are on target?

According to a 2019 survey of 1,300 construction firms by The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC): 79 percent report that they are planning to add staff to keep pace with growing demands, however 78 percent report they are having a hard time filling salaried and hourly trade positions.

This presents an obvious conundrum, and if you’re a construction company, you’re all too aware of the labor shortage and the adverse effects it has on your business. It impacts not only construction costs and project schedules, but also your reputation and bottom line.

How PR can help you fill in the skills gap

Higher salaries, bonuses and extended benefits can certainly help reel in talent, but there is only so much to go around before your margins shrink to unsustainable levels. And unless you have a company culture working in your favor, tradespeople are more than happy to hop from job to job looking for the next bump in the “What’s in it for me?” landscape they’re currently navigating.

The demand for your services isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and if you want to fill in skill gaps and continue to earn and deliver on profitable projects, construction public relations might be the missing piece. Here are two reasons why:

  1. Public relations can position your company as an attractive employer: And not just for a job, but for a career. Utilizing the right tactics, you can showcase what makes your company different compared to competitors, promote your company culture and show potential employees the real impact of career perks you may offer, like training and development programs and career growth support.
  2. Public relations can showcase your ability to deliver in a tight labor market: While other firms are struggling to meet deadlines, you’re hiring more, which means you can also use public relations tactics to communicate to prospects your ability to manage project schedules and deliver projects on time (and, hopefully, on or under budget).

If you’re looking to stay ahead of the competition in a tight labor market, give Ripley PR a call at (865) 977-1973 today.

JD Sizemore, Account Director, Client Services

This post was written by on May 28, 2019


B2B Public Relations to Beat Out the Competition

When you make purchasing decisions for your home and family, many of them can be made in response to an advertisement or by crowdsourcing social media. You can make the wrong choice, then choose something else without too much impact.

Set yourself ahead of the competition and win the bid.

Now think about a whole company. B2B relationships are strategic, and decisions are often made after many board meetings weighing cost, quality and, most importantly, reputation. The wrong vendor choice can mean loss of jobs or a big hit in profit.

How can you win the bid when up against other companies who offer similar products and services?

The answer is a great B2B PR strategy

“Public relations are a key component of any operation in this day of instant communications and rightly inquisitive citizens.” American businessman Alvin Adams was way ahead of his time when he said this.

Your audience wants to get to know you before you ever meet in person. They have a right to know who they are considering and you have the opportunity to gain their trust through great B2B public relations.

What can you do?

Get your message out far and wide to communicate your company’s values and results on multiple platforms. You can set yourself ahead of the competition by some useful public relations strategies including:

Case Studies: How has your business provided a solution to another business in the past that helped them succeed? Oftentimes this highlights your role in high profile projects and the results you provided. Case studies help you gain the trust of prospective clients because they are non-promotional and based on solely on implementation and end result.

Expand your audience: You may have a larger audience than you realize. Our public relations team can garner media in your dream publication, and we can also identify untapped territory to reach the clients you are seeking.

Share your story: Your clients want to get to know you and understand your approach to business. Sharing your values and expertise in targeted media can convey the type of experience your prospective clients can expect. A public relations team can help you share this story through garnering interviews, securing bylines, and showcasing milestones in press releases.

An experienced B2B public relations agency that knows the ins and outs of B2B can help your business grow and tell the stories that matter. If your B2B needs some help getting a leg up on the competition, call us at 865-977-1973.

Kaitlyn Clark

This post was written by on May 24, 2019


Behind the Scenes at The Washington Post

IPREX Visit Shows Newsroom Growing — Not Shrinking

How does The Washington Post remain relevant in a world of struggling newsrooms? A recent behind-the-scenes tour of the news giant showed me that it’s equal parts innovation and insight. Bill Mattern and I visited the newsroom with dozens of our PR agency partners from around the world as part of the annual IPREX Global Management Conference, and the experience was truly staggering.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought The Post in 2013, and since he took the reins the organization has grown exponentially while other newsrooms shrink. Leveraging the power of online analytics to target their readership, The Post is duking it out in an extremely competitive media market.

The key? Innovation. The Washington Post’s staff isn’t afraid to take risks to reach their audience. They are always on the lookout for the next big social media platform, engaging users in case it turns out to be the next Twitter. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes not, but it’s better to take the risk than miss out.

The Best Weatherman Ever

One success they shared is the unlikely tale of an Alabama TV meteorologist and the online discussion forum Reddit. While the forum has the possibly undeserved reputation as a harbor for internet trolls, users showed their softer side when praising meteorologist Alan Sealls of WKRG in Mobile, Alabama, for his calm and collected hurricane coverage.

Redditers dubbed Sealls the Bob Ross or Mr. Rogers of weather and launched a YouTube video of Sealls to Reddit’s front page, showing that even in a fast-paced online news world people want what they’ve always wanted in the face of danger — a comforting voice.

The Washington Post took notice. Through its official Reddit presence, the news giant reached out to Sealls, whose station had recently given him a “Best Weatherman Ever” trophy, and arranged an Ask Me Anything, a special Reddit Q&A session, for him. The event was a huge success, with some sites ranking it among the top Ask Me Anythings of Reddit history. And while Sealls was in the spotlight, the Washington Post got kudos, too.

Paying Attention

This story may not have the earth-shattering impact of hard news, but it did serve to increase The Washington Post’s collateral in the eyes of its readers, showing them that The Post is paying attention to their preferences, no matter what those are.

My visit to The Washington Post showed me an organization turning empathy and insight into action, finding innovative ways to deliver news and reaping the rewards. This is just one reason why Ripley PR is proud to be an IPREX partner. The organization gives us access to top professionals and thought leaders, allowing us insight into the communications industry to better serve our clients.

At Ripley PR, we put our knowledge and expertise to work for our clients in innovative ways every day. If you would like to learn more about partnering with our innovative agency, contact Ripley PR online or call (865) 977-1973.

Heather Ripley, Founder/CEO

This post was written by on May 22, 2019


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