PR is greater than the sum of its parts.
Aristotle famously made this claim in defining what is known in modern terms as synergy. Well, maybe not exactly in these terms, but conceptually, the point still holds true.
For the sake of the argument, Aristotle's message states that two individuals or groups can accomplish a lot separately. But when they combine forces, unimaginable productivity is bound to cultivate; more so than the sum of its parts.
I'm going to tell you about a new approach to PR that is a game changer with awesome results. It worked for us and could work for you as well.
Terminus & LinkedIn Collaboration: Initial Problems
The new way, in which Terminus now thinks about PR was born a little over 6 months ago following the conception of the partnership with LinkedIn. In doing so, the two companies agreed to mutually leverage and advertise on each others' platforms to boost engagement and sales.
However, in the same way that almost all innovative ideas are inspired by a pressing issue, the new approach was inspired by the other hundreds of other partners LinkedIn has.
I feared that we would get lost in the noise.
In reflecting on the huge move Terminus had landed and this initial challenge it posed, I realized that it's no longer about doing press releases.
In other words, in order for you and your company to truly influence the market's perspective about who you are is largely determined by how you get out in front of the marketplace.
Accordingly, Terminus suggested that they select a date and hold an event at the LinkedIn Headquarters to announce the progress. LinkedIn was all for the idea, as none of the other partners had ever suggested anything like it.
It's worth mentioning that Terminus did, in fact, hold a press release. The problem is that most companies stop there.
The PR 180-degree Turn
The problem B2B marketers are facing these days is that even if you move fast enough, but don't make enough noise, you can easily got lost in the "ether".
It could even be said that PR has made a 180-degree flip since the days when press releases were all a company needed to do in order to catch the public's attention.
But, not only has the market evolved beyond what one may traditionally think of as public relations, customers now expect something more ... something 'greater'.
At this point you may frustratingly be saying to yourself, 'alright, that's great and all', but the question still begs, "what were some of the things that we did to share our story, instead of relying on the press"?
Although your company's investors may expect press releases, the problem is they don't reach the customers where they are, much less change their perception of the company.
Instead, the goal should be to evoke viral conversation. You want your company to be the talk of the town.
In the case of Terminus and LinkedIn, a strategy was crafted with the press release as the starting point along a continuum with constant value being given away at specific points all along the way.
What it boiled down to is value. You just keep giving and giving and giving.
Here were some of the actions taken:
We held a webinar several weeks prior to the actual event, telling LinkedIn about how it was going to work.
The event was video taped.
Afterwards, there was a follow up event and a webinar planned.
What could be the most amazing part, if not the most effective, is that the event was hosted and cast on Linkedin.com. To say that this granted them a ton of publicity, would be an understatement.
Of course, how the event was positioned to secure the maximum number of attendees made the difference, too.
Contrary to what may be believed, We didn't use a certain hook to the content to was produced in order to promote the event.
In fact, it was all about #IHeartABM". Seeing how the event was planned during the week of Valentine's Day, the message and corresponding hashtag made sense.
However, the point was made that one of the biggest reasons people came was due to leverage; yet another case for the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.
In other words, people were curious about attending the event because it was hosted by Linkedin. They do not host a ton of events...but when they do, there's a certain level of quality you expect, there's a certain level of caliber that you expect of the people who are presenting, and obviously, there's a certain level of networking you expect.
Whatever the reason, each of the 500 people who attended the event came for something that was greater than just Terminus.
I was more than happy with the results, even if the spotlight wasn't completely on us the whole time.
Why? Because in the modern approach to PR, B2B companies work together to collectively reap the benefits that far outweigh what would be cultivated alone.
In Closing: Food for Thought
When it comes to PR, there's an extremely important to be made for entrepreneurs and B2B marketers.
In crafting your new, modern approach to PR, ask yourself, "What do my customers want?"
Think about it. Customers and potential customers in the Business-to-Business realm want to be associated with the most innovative companies. They want to exclaim to their team, "look what this company is doing ... and we are using their product!".
To put it bluntly, your customers want and deserve to a hero within their organization.
From a different perspective, customers don't want PR that's comprised entirely of content about the company itself. Rather, they want to know what's in it for them.
But when they discover exactly what it is your innovative company has to offer, by starting with a press release, keeping the message simple and relatable, and leveraging partnerships with other companies, they will actively go out and spread their feedback to others.
In doing so, your PR will most assuredly be greater than the sum of its parts.