What are some of the differences between B2B and B2C PR?

Last week I was a dragon at an event organised by Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group (a former client) and PRCA Scotland group.

The aim was to collaboratively brainstorm how to effectively communicate sustainability. Sustainability means different things to different people, it’s a varied topic and there is much technical jargon attached. (I’ve previously done work in this area for Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group, mainly B2B comms.)

Scottish ice-cream and confectionery brand, Mackies, was there to outline a live project to base the session on. Karin, the Marketing Director, gave an overview of the brand, its market position in Scotland and what the aims of the group were.

I was asked by PRmoment.com to submit a guest post on the subject of the differences between B2B and B2C PR and at the event it struck me that this was a good way to demonstrate the differences in a fairly simple way.

Plain English

In the case of sustainability, there is a lot of jargon. Consumers don’t understand it or care for it. They just want to know in plain English what you’re saying and why it’s of importance to them.

On the other hand, for B2B, you need to talk their language and show how the brands are aligned- that’s how you engage them. They are more likely to understand industry terms and phrases.

Details

If you’re dealing with the consumer, your content will be geared towards them understanding what the product/service is, how it’s of value to them and how they can find out more information or purchase.

However, if you’re engaging a business, you’ll want a much more detailed approach, as they’ll need to know the commercial benefits to them.

As a result, the B2B content tends to be longer and cover much more.

Audience profiling

The long and the short of it is every audience is different. You need to know where they hang out, what they care about, what they talk about and then develop your strategy from there.

No PR strategy can be one size fits all.

If you’re interested, the event was attended by around 50 people, from PR, comms, marketing and from climate change/sustainability practice. It showed there was a disconnect between what companies sought to achieve and how it could be communicated effectively. Whilst that doesn’t sound hugely positive, it at least gives us an understanding of where practitioners need to improve. As I was a dragon at the event, I wasn’t allowed to participate in the working groups, but I did tell one group about the animation I created for a thermal energy plant I worked on some years ago. The groups were fairly drawn to the physical packaging of the products, obviously geared towards the consumer, but failed to integrate other forms of communication, in terms of advertising campaigns (online, print, broadcast, social etc), plus only one of the groups mentioned using influencers.

I’ll be having further thoughts on communicating sustainability effectively and will be sure to post to the blog. Meanwhile, if your business or organisation needs PR and comms support with clearly defining the audience, message and channel to engagement, please do get in touch.

The original version of this blog post appeared on PRmoment.com on Friday, 22 September.