Since starting my career in public relations (PR), I’ve had the opportunity to work with different clients across various industries including technology, consumer, corporate and even healthcare. This also allowed me to learn the tips and tricks to manage clients with very different strategies, target audiences, as well as goals.
Namely, there are two main types of PR strategies: business-to-consumer (B2C) and businesses-to-business (B2B).
While the core principles of PR apply to both B2C and B2B strategies, the two approaches differ in several ways. To give you a better sense, here’s a quick primer:
What is B2C PR?
B2C PR generally targets the masses, or everyday consumers with buying power. The goal of B2C PR is to build brand awareness, which leads to higher brand recall and, ultimately, sales. The approach here is simple: shape a positive image of the brand to appeal to the emotions and values of shoppers. After all, people prefer to shop at brands with values that align with their own.
With B2C PR, we cannot solely rely on traditional PR tactics like distributing a press release or hosting a press conference. There needs to be an integrated campaign with both traditional and digital PR strategies. Some of the digital PR tactics include social media campaigns and influencer partnerships that directly reach customers – both your target and the general public.
For instance, one of our B2C clients, Bumble, worked closely with us to launch their annual Bumble Dating Trends report to show how single Singaporeans prefer to date today. The goal of this report was to showcase the interesting data and insights Bumble has about dating trends to secure media interest, get the word out about Bumble, and attract more users.
To make this happen, we deployed a multi-pronged B2C PR approach that included distributing a press release highlighting local Singapore dating trends, hosting an interactive launch event for the media, and working with key influencers. For the launch event, the team brought in an expert dating coach to discuss the findings and her professional opinion. This generated positive media buzz and resulted in coverage in tier 1 media, ranging from The Straits Times to a Channel 8 video feature.
In a nutshell, B2C PR needs to deploy tactics that engage the brand’s target audience and build a positive association.
Meanwhile, B2B PR is a whole different ball game.
What is B2B PR?
Generally, B2B PR targets other businesses, with the aim of establishing relationships that are mutually beneficial. The key here is to help the brand solidify its position as an industry thought leader. As the target audience is typically more niche and specialised, the messaging and content needs to be tailored to this very specific audience.
B2B PR strategies typically involve trade shows, networking events, and industry publications. The content developed specifically for B2B PR is often more technical, informative, and educational, and aimed at establishing the company as an industry expert. However, it is essential that B2B PR practitioners ensure the content strikes a balance between being informative and easy-to-read — which often means it cannot be bogged down by heavy industry jargon. If it is, it can alienate the reader, even if they are in the same field.
B2B PR is also a great way to spotlight existing customers to help build credibility and trust with potential clients. For instance, one of our clients, Zendesk, has been working closely with their customers, securing joint interview opportunities that showcase how CX can truly enhance business operations.
While the core principles of PR apply to both B2B and B2C strategies, it is important for businesses to understand their specific audience and goals, and then tailor their PR efforts accordingly. Being able to differentiate B2B and B2C PR can help businesses to develop more effective PR strategies that generate real results and build a positive reputation for their brand.
Luckily for you, we’re pros at managing both types of PR! Drop us a note at [email protected].