What to do about Japanese BtoB Public Relations?

Some of the most common questions coming from those in charge of BtoB PR are:

Are BtoC measures completely different from BtoB measures?

Because we are a BtoC company, is PR right for us?

For BtoB companies, is conducting BtoC activities not effective?

The simple answer to all these questions is NO!

Certainly, BtoC and BtoB PR methodologies are not exactly the same, but it is necessary to devise various methods and approaches regarding the two. BtoB in a word can either be something very niche or not. There are many types of industries, yet everyone says the same thing in that they have the number one ranking regarding their product/service. If that were the case, there would be no story material for PR.

It seems there are a lot of people who are most worried about this. The reason for this is that there are not so many new products/services and campaign information as in BtoC PR. In addition, the target media is limited as well, so there is little PR material to work with. Therefore, even if you were to actively conduct PR activities, they tend to not be very effective.

However, even if there is limited PR material to work with, one could always make it themselves. The basic elements of PR are:

people, things, and places

and this is the same for both BtoC and BtoB.

So, what kind of BtoB PR measures should companies consider?

1. The Press Conference

First, directly give out all product/service related information. It is particularly important to approach media outlets related to the industry of the product/service. Press releases are a common way to do this, but physical press conference events are just as important. When thinking about press conferences, it is easy to imagine some kind of luxurious hotel one would see on TV. However, it is also possible to conduct smaller scaled events within a meeting room as well. Recently, webinars are also quite useful.

2. People PR

Have someone like the company representative or employees with unique backgrounds appeal to target media that match them.

Representative; CEO, Development Team, Product Manager – Someone who has a business/market philosophy, business operation secrets and hardships to share

Target media – Economics, business media outlets

Including this kind of person within a profile sheet may increase the chances of acquiring interviews.

3. In-house efforts

Provide information regarding your company’s system, benefits, and employment conditions to show the uniqueness of your company. If there are currently no materials to share as press, you can also consider to create them specifically for that occasion as well.

4. Survey PR

Periodically send out data that your company researches. The Japanese media is always looking for numerical figures regarding information for evidence. If your company has those figures, and if your company periodically creates content to release those figures, naturally your company may be known as a valid source of information for the Japanese media sphere, which may also lead to higher coverage all throughout. Even if you do not have data currently, you can always conduct surveys through the internet and use those results as a press release. This is often done by Japanese BtoB companies when there is no new information.

5. Public and Social Media Events/Campaigns/Contests

Social media and public campaigns are a great way to get the public involved in your company. Although this can often become a  mid to long term endeavor, it is possible that such public activities could lead to something unique for your company. There are many types of public activities, one example among others is holding a contest relative to your company.

Ex: Contest format: Poem contest

Applicant process

Application → Follow company official social media accounts → Submit poem via post → Get a chance to win prize

Conducting such a contest allows the public to recognize your company name, and your company will be able to obtain a following in doing so. 

In addition, it is in that time where you can consider the various special characteristics of your company for future content and measures. The important thing to consider is that establishing connections with the media should not take an excessive number of steps. Try to think about what measures worked and did not work for improvement.

Also, it is important to place value on specialized media. In Japan, there are specialized media outlets for various industries. Of course, general internet searching is fundamental for research, but these specialized media outlets contain information for specialized research. Furthermore, to increase your company’s reputation in that industry, it is important for those media outlets to recognize your company.

We at Kartz Media Works do PR for a diverse range of industries including IT, food, beauty/cosmetics, real estate, tourism, educational/governmental institutions, start up businesses, stock exchange listed companies, etc.

Within these industries we not only worked with BtoC companies, we also worked with BtoB companies as well. From product PR to corporate PR, we have an established track record, so if you are looking to begin your PR activities in Japan, please feel free to contact us for a consultation!