Is going to market by industry the right PR strategy for B2B professional services firms?

Many professional services firms segment their go-to-market business strategy into industry sectors but do not do the same for their communication and public relations plans. While industry-specific PR strategies can be extremely successful, here are six questions I recommend B2B professional services firms ask themselves when determining if it’s worth the resources and PR dollars:


  1. Do you have dedicated experts with an interest in promoting their industry knowledge and affiliation in the media? People may be industry experts but, if they don’t want to be identified with a sector or client set in the media, don’t bother. It is also helpful to have more than one person available to comment. While industries may be specific, the topics/specialty topic areas within are not.
  2. Can your services be adapted specifically for an industry segment? Many professional services businesses have one service that they replicate across several different industries and then tout “industry expertise.” While this is an okay business strategy,the media will see right through it. Ensure your service offerings can be somewhat specialized for the specific industries you want to speak to.
  3. Can the firm or industry practice leverage PR and media materials in a business development capacity? While inclusion in periodicals, websites and TV programs is excellent, you want to ensure a mechanism is in place to capitalize fully on those opportunities. Newsletters, email blasts, industry specific thought leadership and your website are great places for this content to “live” on.
  4. Are there a large group of reporters covering the industry either nationally or locally? For example – most national and regional business publications have a dedicated real estate reporter, however very few have a dedicated nonprofit reporter.
  5. Is there a wide range of applicable trade publications to target that are read by your client and prospect targets? If not, an industry focused media relations program may not be worth the effort.
  6. Are there “breaking news” angles that can be of interest to both the business community and broader groups of consumers/buyers? While this is not always essential, it can help you get more variety in your PR communications. Reporters, even B2B reporters, like to hear about how a new service, piece of legislation or economic trend will impact the individual user or buyer.

What other questions do you recommend asking before embarking on an industry-specific PR program?

To reach Cortney:

Phone: 212.840.1661
Twitter: @cortneyr
LinkedIn: Cortney Rhoads Stapleton