Copywriter or PR specialist? That is the question. We have this discussion quite frequently with our B2B clients when we talk about how Red Javelin’s content coverts at 3x the industry average. Why is that?
Writing for Consumers versus B2B
Writing for a consumer audience is very different from writing for a B2B audience. Each is two highly stylized and different forms of writing. B2C focuses on creating an emotional connection with consumers because the buying cycle is usually short, and consumers typically make quick, one-person decisions.
B2B buying cycles are longer, and there are several decision-makers involved in the decision. B2B writing is less concerned about emotion, focuses on facts and validation, and concentrates on educating a group of buyers on the ultimate benefit of the product or service to the bottom line of the potential buyer.
Successful copywriters have excellent writing skills and have strong expertise in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. They typically have a college degree in English or journalism but generally have limited business experience.
Copywriters are generalists or specialize in a specific type of writing, such as promotional copy or a particular market such as fashion or health and wellness. They understand the language and the nuances in that industry.
Public relations specialists have similar skill sets as copywriters, but they also specialize in understanding which topics are relevant in the market today. Here are eight reasons why.
- PR specialists can categorize each topic or creative idea by newsworthiness, relevance, and promotional viability. They can spin a mediocre idea into a winning idea.
- PR pros can extract something from a project or from data that would have otherwise been overlooked. For example, many years ago, we were talking to engineers at Teledyne who casually mentioned that Teledyne cameras were the “eyes” on the Mars Rover. From a PR perspective, this was a goldmine, but to the engineers, it felt like another possibly risky project because they weren’t sure it would work. The PR team connected with NASA to coordinate efforts, and after hundreds of media placements, it went on to be an award-winning campaign.
- PR specialists are responsible for interacting and building relationships with the media, so they understand which topics resonate with media and which ones do not. You may make the argument that the media is not your target audience with your content, and you are right. However, the media is setting the agenda for industry coverage, and they are very in tune with your audience from an industry perspective.
- PR specialists look at the industry from a macro level. It is their job to figure out how to spin a topic for different types of press, whether it is vertical press, business press, or local press. This skill translates into the positioning of your content to a specific audience. For example, if your content targets the C-Suite, the content should focus on industry trends and business drivers that are impacting the industry today.
- PR specialists help drive the media’s agenda with thought leadership topics. PR spends a significant amount of time with company executives to understand their vision of the market, and then they “sell” that vision to the media.
- PR specialists are regularly reading industry reports and following trends, including business trends, technology trends, and demographic trends. Your PR team is your external eyes and ears in the market.
- Experienced PR pros understand how to drink from the fire hose of information and sort out the relevant facts and issues. They know how to ramp quickly without taking up too much of their client’s time.
- PR specialists know what data and examples validate a point. Producing content without validation is a waste of time and resources.
Best Choice for B2B Content?
Unless you find a copywriter that is an expert in your specific industry and has business experience, using your PR team is a better choice for content creation. You will get a better ROI from any content that is created because there is no ramp time, and it will be multi-purpose. It can be used to promote products and services to your target customers, and it can be reworked into a thought leadership piece for the press.