February 11, 2015. Marketing Author: Sally Barton

PR is the business for the channel

Thanks to the likes of TV shows like Absolutely Fabulous, 2012 and W1A, PR has achieved a certain notoriety that bears little resemblance to the reality of today’s business environment. Far from the Bollinger-swigging and ‘crisis management’ portrayed on the box by some of our national treasures, some 80 percent of business decision-makers say they prefer to get company information from press articles rather than advertisements. Even as consumers, we recognise the value of the press with 70 percent of us preferring to get to know a company via articles than ads. With the Internet constantly driving our working and personal lives, according to Ofcom, online news moved ahead of print for the first time last year as the way we prefer to find out about what’s happening in Britain today.

So with this in mind, we sent out a short survey to our reseller base to ask them how they communicate with their key target audiences and where PR fits in. The results made for an interesting read. The survey revealed that while PR was seen as a worthwhile tool by all respondents, less than a third of the resellers surveyed use it for thought leadership, to create awareness of their company or to support the launch of a new product or service. While case studies and press releases were widely used by the channel to create awareness, less than half of those surveyed distributed this information via the press. Only 21 per cent used relationships with journalists to get their messages out, while almost 65 per cent relied on posting content on social media. With so many business decision makers using the press to support their research and buying process, it was clear that the channel needed some help to close the gap.

 

This is where Arrow comes in.

In response to the need to use the trade and business press to raise awareness of core offerings and win new business, we’ve developed a new service for resellers. PR-as-a-Service is the latest marketing service developed by Arrow for its resellers and vendors to help them include PR in their marketing plans without having to invest in core PR skills and media contacts, or spend time sourcing the right supplier. It forms part of Arrow’s Intelligent Marketing Services, which includes everything from Marketing Planning & Advice, Social & Digital Marketing and Demand Generation through to Video Production, Strategy & Brand, Profiling and Event Management.

The new service was launched in January at a webinar ‘The Power of PR’ which demonstrated that PR can be a powerful and cost-effective tool within the marketing mix and can shape a target audience’s attitudes and perceptions. PR-as-a-Service makes PR accessible and easy to use by any reseller or vendor, helping them to be seen as thought leaders in their chosen markets.

PR-as-a-Service has been designed to help businesses maintain an on-going dialogue with key journalists and editors who are known to influence buying decisions through their impartial reporting and analysis of the latest developments in IT.

 

It consists of a range of packaged services – Platinum, Gold and Silver – that include:

• PR planning and message development aligned with business goals
• Access to expert advice and strategic guidance
• Long-term connections with target press
• Creation and dissemination of though-provoking news, commentary and articles

 

Alongside PR, Arrow has also created Content-as-a-Service as a way for resellers and vendors to create valuable content quickly and cost-effectively.

It includes a range of individual offerings that include:

• White paper creation
• Technical and business articles
• Case studies
• Press releases
• Blogs

 

So if you were wondering how you can get your company’s name in front of your target audience in a way that positions you as a thought leader, experienced practitioner or innovator in your particular field, perhaps it’s time to consider PR?

Watch out for news of the next webinar, download the data sheet at http://www.arrowecs.co.uk/Partner-Tools/Marketing-Services-Overview or download a recording of the webinar here: http://vimeo.com/113497360

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