10 PR and Marketing Tips for BtoB Tech Companies

Earlier this month, Arketi and a number of our clients were honored to receive 10 Public Relations Society of America awards at the 2010 PRSA|GA Phoenix Awards Celebration. Given annually, The Phoenix Awards recognize excellence in Georgia’s PR community.

Sweeping all the awards in the business-to-business media relations and business-to-business marketing categories was very gratifying.

But aside from tooting our own horn just a little, we have spent some time reflecting on the awards and have uncovered some learnings which may be of interest to our fellow BtoB marketers. Here they are…

The award for Media Relations – Business to Business Technology went to Arketi’s campaign to position The Network, a provider of ethics and compliance solutions to nearly half of the Fortune 500, as a GRC thought leader among target media. The campaign secured 33 feature articles – exceeding the objective by 1,100 percent – including placements in Investor’s Business Daily, Forbes, Mashable and Compliance Week.

What we learned: Mining a company’s data for newsworthy information can often result in rich thought leadership content that can feed an aggressive media relations effort.

For Media Relations – Business to Business Product, Arketi won for media relations initiatives to promote GMT Corporation as a thought leader in workforce management and performance optimization solutions. Arketi secured 130 placements, generating more than 8 million impressions, including features in 1to1 Magazine, Call Centre Helper, Credit Union Journal and Contact Professional.

What we learned: The news release is not dead! News flow is important and news releases are key sources of content, especially for the trade media. Augment this with a few great bylined articles and a handful of case studies and you’re on your way to securing some great coverage.

In the category Media Relations – Business to Business Professional Service, Arketi was honored for an aggressive media relations campaign highlighting Ryla, a provider of customer contact services for Fortune 500 companies and government agencies, its positive economic impact and positioning its CEO as a thought leader. Through outreach and events, Arketi secured 74 stories, reaching nearly 16 million people through outlets including USA Today, MSN Money, and

What we learned: If you can talk jobs and job-creation with credibility, do it and do it often. Take it a step further and also talk about what you are doing to retain employees, especially if you’re in an industry known for high employee turn-over.

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Arketi took home the Marketing - Business to Business award for our campaign to position The Network as a GRC thought leader. With 71 positive stories totaling more than 3 million impressions, the campaign generated 12 qualified leads resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue.

What we learned: Don’t let media hits sit on your shelf. Inserting them into the sales cycle through your website, in sales presentations, via social media and even in reprints, can help generate and close deals.

In Social Media – Webinar, the winner was Arketi’s webinar “Is Your Online Presence Winning Customers?” for Cbeyond, a small business communications and IT services provider. Created as a thought leadership online program, the webinar attracted 583 registrants and 259 attendees. In addition to furthering Cbeyond’s positioning, the webcast drove nearly 40 add-on sales.

What we learned: Focus webinars on topics of interest to your market, such as how they can increase their sales and grow their business. Webinars about your company, your products, or the problems your solutions solve – while often popular with the sales force – are less likely to appeal to prospects.

The Technical Writing award went to Arketi’s business article “Holistic CIO Lessons on Enterprise Reinvention” for management consulting firm Brand Velocity. Arketi secured both a review of the CEO’s new book and a bylined article in CIO Magazine, which reaches 140,000 CIOs, IT directors and board members. In addition, the publication has tapped Brand Velocity for an ongoing article series to run in 2011, and the byline has generated webinars and speaking opportunities.

What we learned: Just because the byline is published does not mean its shelf-life is over. Seek every possible opportunity to repurpose and extend the use of that killer content.

For Integrated Communications – Business to Business, Arketi took home the award for an integrated communications program for Ryla, aimed at promoting the company’s growth and corporate culture to prospective investors and job candidates. To supplement its aggressive media relations outreach, Arketi successfully executed an event to showcase Ryla before targeted industry analysts.

What we learned: Partnering with analysts at their own events to reach potential customers can be a powerful marketing tactic for BtoB technology companies. But don’t feel like you’re tied to their sponsorship options: get creative, approach them with new ideas and make every effort to separate yourself from other sponsors.

Feature Writing was where Arketi won with a bylined article on behalf of Cbeyond designed to guide small businesses through the current rocky economic conditions. The byline ran in Corp!, Michigan’s largest business magazine, as well as the “Entrepreneurs” section of Corp!’s website and Corp!’s home page. Following the article’s success, Corp! offered a quarterly online column to Cbeyond.

What we learned: Look to consumer magazines like Cosmo and Glamour for byline article inspiration. Take that “Five Tips for Landing a New Year’s Kiss” article and turn it into “Five Tips to Accelerate Business Growth in the New Year.” Inspiration is everywhere!

The Internal Video category was where Arketi won for our contribution to Cbeyond’s roll-out of new product packaging strategy to its employees. Arketi worked with Cbeyond’s communications team to script, shoot and produce a six-minute video, which has led to a notable increase in positive customer referrals.

What we learned: Scripting always pays off. Very rarely are folks able to “wing it” in front of the camera. Scripted videos actually result in a more natural look – and make post-production faster and easier.

Winner in the category Event Lasting Seven or Fewer Days was the event Arketi created with Ryla to elevate awareness for Ryla’s work on the 2010 Census and subsequent personnel needs. Aided by media coverage in key outlets including USA Today, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, WXIA-TV, WAGA-TV, WGCL-TV and The Associated Press, Ryla successfully filled its positions from a pool of nearly 2,000 event attendees.

What we learned: There is no such thing as too much planning for an event. And briefing the media early in the process on their access to the event and its players will only help to ensure stellar media coverage.

To read more about the PRSA|GA awards earned by Arketi and our clients view our social media news release at:

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