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What has better ROI for a B2B PR strategy, a local agency or using an ala-cart platform?
The ROI will depend on your goal. Since the goal wasn't indicated in the question, I will assume your goal is to raise brand awareness and build credibility among your target market.
Securing press coverage in top-tier and relevant trade publications is one important means to achieving this goal.
Publications rely on writers for their content, and their writers receive a overwhelming amount of pitches, proposals, and requests, only a fraction of which are relevant and of interest to their readers. This makes standing out extremely difficult. Using an impersonal or untargeted approach, which is what most platforms accomplish, will only get you blacklisted.
Pre-existing relationships will help you hurdle this barrier, and PR agencies must maintain such relationships or they wouldn't be in business. A large part of their value is arguably their rolodex. When evaluating PR agencies, focus on their reputation, recognition, media relationships and their history of working with clients like yourself. Then, ask to speak with those clients.
Second to this, I would join the HARO (Help A Reporter) network, which you might call a platform. Essentially, reporters post their needs and inquiries a few times a day, and you're able to jump in and offer yourself as an expert for comment where appropriate.
Thanks for the feedback, Vincent.
Your thoughts confirm my basic understanding/impression of the platforms. I have worked with PR firms in the past for B2C clients with different goals than my current B2B company. The success for B2C has been hit or miss, so I have been curious to try something new. However, I can't prove that testing a platform is worth the cost.
Hey Travis! I'm sure that the best strategy would depend up on the stage of the business. At some point - neither of the two options would be ideal - it could even make sense to even bring PR in-house, right?
I actually started a digital outreach service recently - it's a mix of digital PR, (quality) link building, referrals, and more. And my first 4 clients have turned out to all be B2B within the eCommerce niche that I have a lot of existing relationships (Magento).
One interesting thing that I've been finding is that I'm seeing as much, or in some cases more, value in referrals that I'm able to send to B2B clients or introductions to potential partners than in the link placements that we're achieving.
So that may be something to keep in mind when evaluating different services to see how they may best be able to benefit you.
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