Public relations is the art of securing trust at scale. And one of the best tactics for B2B brands to achieve this is the customer press release.
A customer press release helps a brand in a number of ways:
- It provides third-party verification that your product claims are valid;
- It articulates your product’s use case in a compelling, relatable format; and
- It borrows your customer’s brand authority to enhance your own.
These benefits are especially valuable at a time when customer validation is becoming increasingly important. In a media environment where journalists are outnumbered by PR people six to one, many reporters and editors today simply won’t look at your pitch if you can’t offer up a customer to interview.
Meanwhile, the use of B2B review sites has exploded over the past three years, with many potential buyers refusing to make a purchase before seeing what your customers have to say. Surveys show that buyers trust customer references far more than virtually any other form of brand marketing.
Easier Said Than Done
So, why don’t more brands make customer press releases a key part of their PR programs? Because it takes two to tango. Many brands have a difficult time finding customers willing to be part of a press release.
Look at it from the customer’s perspective. What’s the benefit to them?
The traditional release makes the brand, rather than the customer, the hero. It goes like this:
- The headline announces, “Customer Chooses Brand to Solve Some Otherwise Unsolvable Problem;”
- The body of the release takes a case study format of problem-solution-result to show how the brand saved the day; and
- The cherry on top is a customer quote praising the brand.
You can see why a customer might be less than excited about appearing in your release. Many companies have a blanket policy not to participate in this kind of release as a result.
Making Your Release a Win-Win
So how does a B2B brand overcome their customer’s lack of enthusiasm? By repositioning the release to put the customer’s goals, not yours, first.