4 common misconceptions about B2B press releases

Press releases can be an important way of sharing your B2B business news and building visibility, but there are some common misconceptions about how journalists treat press releases.

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Understanding how journalists work is important for writing and targeting your press releases and building a relationship with trade journalists.

From the questions I’ve been asked about press releases over the years, these are the four most common misunderstandings:

1. The press release will get used as written

Nope. Most likely, you’ll have sent your B2B press release to a press list.

Publications and websites are competing for stories and readers. If the story is interesting to the journalist, they will be looking to create a point of difference to make it stand out.

Unless of course they are very busy but then if it is used as written then it most likely means they don’t believe it is worth spending the extra time on. (Sorry.)

2. It’s your story

It isn’t your story. You may have written the press release, but once it’s in a journalists hands, they will do with it what they want to make it engaging for their readers.

Think of the competition and how they want to differentiate.

They may take a different angle to what you’ve presented. They may want to interview someone from your business to get extra information or comment.

And they may talk to other people to get different views – including your competitors.

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Why B2B thought leadership content is worth the effort

Whether you call it thought leadership, opinion, comment or insight, if you are a B2B business, there is huge value in taking the time to write and publish articles.

First and foremost, it’s a great way to demonstrate your knowledge, expertise, understanding of the market and wider issues.

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It can demonstrate your understanding of your clients’ needs, what challenges they face and the pain points.

And thought-leader articles could help to reinforce your company’s brand values and help develop trust and authority.

As part of a content marketing strategy – and regular publishing – writing thought leader content can help build an audience and relationships with new clients, particularly if you allow comments.

Getting a bit more technical, it’s good for SEO. Google checks your website regularly for fresh content, and it is also looking for dwell – time spent on site. Alongside a good keyword strategy, it can help to drive traffic to your website.

Extra value

The time spent writing B2B thought leadership content carries extra dividends.

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How to moderate a webinar like a pro (part 3)

During a conversation about moderating over on LinkedIn, I was asked how you avoid’ a sluggish’ webinar or online event.

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And it’s a good question. It is really easy for people to log off a webinar if it isn’t holding their attention – not like tip-toeing out of a busy conference hall.

The best webinars and panel events are when there is a lively discussion and an engaged audience.

Obviously, having a cracking topic and panellists is a key component, but that doesn’t guarantee your webinar or online event will go with a bang.

So what can you do to try and inject energy into your online event?

An engaged panel

I’ve noticed over the years that the more relaxed the panellists, the better the discussion flows. If they are really nervous, they may talk quickly or clam up.

There is always an element of nervousness to start with, so the quicker you can get the panellists ‘warmed up’ and into the flow the better.

I mentioned in How to moderate a webinar like a pro (part 2) some techniques for helping moderators combat nerves – and the same can work for panellists.

Make sure your panellists are prepared, understand the format and who the audience is.

As a moderator, that ideally means a pre-webinar conversation so the panels can get to know you and each other and feel part of the planning process.

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How to moderate a webinar like a pro (part 2)

In How to moderate a webinar like a pro (part 1), I talked about pre-event preparation; in this post, I’m going to give some tips for what to do once you are live and in front of an audience.

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Lights, camera, action

If you are joining the webinar from home, make sure you have sufficient lighting so that people can see you properly. Sitting with your back towards a bright light or window will throw a shadow over your face.

Position your camera so you can look directly at it; it looks more professional and is more engaging for the audience if you are looking directly at them from the screen.

If you have a standing desk, then moderate standing up as this will give your voice a bit more energy.

Dealing with nerves

It can be nerve-wracking speaking in public – even if it’s a webinar and you can’t see your audience.

Your heart starts racing, your hands might shake and, if you are like me, you talk faster.

Remember to breathe and consciously slow down your speech a little. It not only has a calming effect, but it gives you a bit more thinking time. It can help you feel more in control.

And if you appear calm and in control, it will help the panellists feel calm.

Set the scene

As a moderator, you run the ship; you are guiding the panellists and audience through the discussion.

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