B2B public relations – Different audiences demand different approaches

In public relations, a firm’s approach depends on its audience.

For example, a product recall typically triggers a public relations crisis. An automobile manufacturer, say, recalls millions of vehicles because the transmission system in certain models can freeze up without warning.

While the recall is a single situation, it will result in two public relations campaigns — one highly visible and focused on the concerns of thB2B Public Relationse consumer; the other less visible, involving the relationship between the transmission supplier and the automobile manufacturer.

The stakes are high in both scenarios.

Business-to-consumer (B2C) public relations focuses on the end-users, a generally broad audience motivated in their buying decisions by status, security, and quality. Brand awareness and integrity are keys to building a strong consumer product or services business.

During the recall scenario, the B2C public relations firm would counsel that the manufacturer take responsibility for the defect, repair the recalled vehicles, and restore consumer confidence in the brand.

Consumers most likely would neither know nor care what company supplied the transmission for the recalled automobiles. The automobile manufacturer, however, would be keenly aware. And that is where the second public relations campaign unfolds.

Business-to-business (B2B) public relations is more relationship-driven, focusing on ways two or more businesses can help each other become more profitable, competitive, and successful. Establishing and maintaining trust is more important than brand awareness.

The supplier’s public relations strategy would focus on repairing its business relationship with the automobile manufacturer and shoring up any damage to its reputation among other customers. Being transparent, taking concrete steps to address any shortcomings and recommitting to adding value to products and services are the basics.

Crises, by definition, are unusual events. On a day-to-day basis, a B2B public relations firm like Ripley PR can help companies establish and solidify relationships with other businesses up and down the supply chain and raise awareness of their clients’ capabilities throughout their specific industry.

A B2B public relations strategy includes issuing news releases, especially to trade publications, developing case studies and white papers, the use of appropriate social media platforms, and media relations. And a crisis management plan. Just in case.

To find out how your company can benefit from B2B public relations, contact Ripley PR today.


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