In this episode of SaaS Half Full mixed by BLASTmedia, host Lindsey Groepper chats with partner and BLASTmedia CEO, Mendy Werne, about common SaaS PR misconceptions. Public relations is a long-standing discipline created to build brand awareness and generates many polarizing opinions. Tune in as BLASTmedia’s two leaders use their experience to debunk or support common statements about PR.
SaaS PR Best Practices
BLASTmedia believes the value of PR lies in keeping the conversation going in between those bigger moments, like a product launch or funding announcement, by using a variety of different tools in the PR toolbox.
“Press releases can be supportive documents. Ask your clients what are your key messages, what are you trying to get across to your potential buyers, why do people buy your service or your product”, said Mendy. “Those are the reasons why people are going to come to you. It’s not what you’re buying, it’s why.”
Mendy encourages SaaS companies to not rely solely on press releases to secure coverage. Reactive pitching to tapping customers helps tell your story. There are many tactics to secure coverage that do not involve news. “It’s leveraging internal data, story mining with your spokespeople to figure out their perspective and passion, pitching long-form thought leadership topics, podcast interviews or media Q&As,” said Mendy.
As Mendy and Lindsey discuss, when it comes to choosing a PR firm, relationships with the media are not the only thing that matter. Maintaining good relationships with the press is important, but those relationships mattered more in the past than they do now. What trumps relationships? Knowing how to tell a story. Even your best editor relationships won’t come through if you don’t bring something interesting to their audience.
The age-old debate between ROI and PR continues today and, oftentimes, PR initiatives can’t be tied to direct ROI. BLASTmedia has evolved as an agency, using its client’s marketing objectives to create key PR results to support those objectives, rather than being a standalone vendor with its own goals and agenda. PR should be part of the rising tide that lifts all ships as marketers pull various levers to meet their quarterly goals.
“We’ve been knocking [at our clients’ doors] for a long time,” said Mendy. “It’s just taken a while for people to let us in…if you get press coverage and you do nothing with it, it’s like jazz hands and then it just goes away. So you have to also do something with your press coverage.”
Going Head-to-Head with Big Name SaaS Competitors
If B2B SaaS companies cannot compete on customer logos, revenue and company size, PR becomes the perception equalizer to level the playing field.
“PR is not a light switch we turn on, and all of the sudden, there it is. It takes time to formulate that consistent narrative and voice,” said Mendy. “But if you invest in it, it does work. You can change the public perception and narrative around the company.”
Mendy says that while a SaaS CEO’s passionate desire to land coverage in The Wall Street Journal is inspiring, thoughtful PR means looking at the client’s needs and guiding them toward the right publications to meet business goals.
“It’s peeling that onion and figuring out how we can tell the right story to the right audience,” she said.
For more of Mendy’s insights, listen to Episode 307 of SaaS Half Full.