A guide to B2B PR for entrepreneurs
I know from experience that entrepreneurship is tough. Sometimes it requires you to fight even your basic human instincts, and force yourself to continue to work at something that feels as though it’s offering no rewards at all. That’s because, as entrepreneurs we inevitably get caught up in the small day to day details of staff management, lead generation, client servicing and financial planning. And when you’re standing in amongst the trees all day it’s easy to forget that the wood even exists.
It is perhaps because entrepreneurship is so difficult that the media love to celebrate it. In fact, most of the UK’s top media outlets have sections (sometimes even whole journalists) dedicated to celebrating entrepreneurs or offering them a platform to share their stories, tips and lessons learned with those who would like to follow in their footsteps.
Why bother with national entrepreneur profiles?
Because they’re good for business. First, they are well-followed. That’s because everyone wants tips on how to make shed loads of money and everyone knows that to make shed loads of money you need to be an heiress, a banker or an entrepreneur. Most people still haven’t cracked the secret of being re-born to rich parents and banking has lost its sheen in recent years, so we’re all pinning our hopes on entrepreneurs. The benefit for you is that an entrepreneur profile will indirectly get you in front of your target audience.
Secondly, if you’re running a start-up (good on you) you need some sort of credibility from a third party endorser that shows that you are probably among the 56% of start-ups that will succeed. People love to read the national newspapers (15 million people a day to be more precise) almost as much as they love Kate Middleton, so if you can’t get the DoC to endorse you, your favourite paper is a good second option. It impresses people and gets them talking about you and your business - our clients report a surge in tweets, emails, calls, visits to their websites, branded searches, recognition when they call that prospect they’ve been chasing for ayyyges, Facebook fans and general good will when they’re featured in the nationals.
Third, it reminds your staff that they work for a company that’s going places and provides that sense of pride that is needed to keep start-up employees motivated and engaged.
Finally, it makes you feel good. Now, we don’t recommend hiring a B2B PR agency to make yourself feel good – it’s much more expensive than a day at the Sanctuary, and much more hard work than a puppy. Plus, your shareholders will eventually start to ask why you are spending company money on boosting your own ego. But, it’s a nice added extra.
Which nationals do entrepreneur features?
They all do – at least the ones we recommend targeting with your B2B PR efforts do. Here are some examples:
The Sunday Times runs the ‘How I Made It’ section, where entrepreneurs, such as David Spencer-Percival tell readers, well, how they made it.
The Independent runs a regular ‘Small Business Man / Woman of the Week’ feature. See TopLine client Brynne of MOVE Guides featured here recently.
The Guardian Small Business Network has loads of opportunities for entrepreneurs. Check out Sonovate and TopLine, both taking advantage of the bonus followed link (did I mention we're a London SEO Agency too?) that accompanies such an article.
Then there’s the Evening Standard Business Connections. Not a national I know, but still pretty awesome if you ask me (I love its PageRank of 7). TopLine client David was featured there just this month.
The Telegraph’s Business Club is a good bet as well. While the editor is pretty hard to get hold of, the entrepreneur section features interesting stories about interesting people behind interesting businesses.
What stories work?
I can tell you what stories don’t work:
- We’re great
- We have a new website
- We just launched and we’re sure we’re going to be great
- Buy our product
- We won an award
The ones that do work tend to be about the trials and tribulations of entrepreneurship, interesting solutions to problems faced on the job and the personal stories driving British business.