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Applying the 4 Pillars of B2B SaaS PR to Press Release Strategies

By April 22, 2019 May 3rd, 2019 Industry Perspective
B2B SaaS press release strategy

Developing strategies for our clients is at the root of our value as a B2B SaaS PR agency. We’re consistently digging into our clients’ businesses, our target media and the SaaS industry at large to uncover trends, best practices and creative ideas that help inform our PR campaigns.

While press releases are not the core of our strategy (contrary to common misconceptions), a sound announcement cadence is an integral part of a healthy overall PR program. At a minimum, we suggest our clients release one piece of news via press release each quarter. News can consist of product releases, executive additions, fundraising, customer wins, original data or the like. This press release frequency shows steady company innovation and growth.

4 Pillars of an Impactful Press Release Strategy

Frequency isn’t the only factor to consider when developing a press release strategy. It’s also important to consider the audience you want to reach.  Understanding that PR can impact the entire SaaS business, we developed a four-pillar approach to media relations and thought leadership, which we also apply to an ideal announcement blueprint. Dependent on our clients’ goals — from a financial exit to customer acquisition to employee engagement — we may recommend differing announcement strategies to reach the four pillars: employees, investors, partners and customers. Below, we dig into the 10 core types of releases we recommend with corresponding core audiences for a growing SaaS business for each.

#1: Funding
The cornerstone of any venture-or-PE-backed startup release strategy: the funding announcement. Not only do funding announcements earn media coverage in top-tier outlets, but announcing your company’s latest round with a release could attract investors for future rounds and employees looking for a high-growth company.

Pillars impacted: Investors, employees

#2: Executive hires
Announcing executive additions allows SaaS businesses to highlight the intellectual capital the brand holds and suggests overall corporate momentum that can attract investors and potential employees. Hires in technical leadership, such as a CIO or VP of Engineering, can help attract developer talent and show investors that the tech is a priority.

Pillars impacted: Investors, employees

#3: Product news
Announcing major feature additions or new product launches indicates consistent product innovation to potential and current customers. Product releases as part of an overall B2B SaaS PR strategy serve as solid sales enablement, giving salespeople a touchpoint with prospects in the pipeline. Product updates can also attract new integration and reseller partners and demonstrate product innovation to current and future investors.

Pillars impacted: Investors, customers, partners

#4: Award nominations and wins
Company awards such as Best in Show at a trade show, category leader from G2Crowd or culture awards like The San Francisco’s Business Times’ Bay Area Best Places to Work or Inc. Magazine’s Best Places to Work. Applying for and winning an award, then announcing the win via press release, shows potential hires that your company will be the right fit for them, as well as investors and customers that you’re recognized in the market.

Pillar impacted: Employees, investors, customers

#5: Partnership announcements
New integrations, reseller relationships and other partnership news show customers that your tools are accessible and easily used in their overall stack. Potential partners also see your promotion of existing relationships as proof that you’d be an invested partner for them, as well.

Pillars impacted: Partners, customers

#6: Original research
Press releases don’t have to be based on company news — owned, original research serves as ideal release fodder. Pulling anonymized trend data from your platform backend, surveying current customers and prospects or partnering with an analyst firm or research company to mine market trends all create meaningful data that can be wrapped into a press release. Original research releases show market thought leadership to not only press but prospects and partners alike.

Pillars impacted: Customers, partners

#7: Event hosting or attendance
Hosting a user conference? Attending a major trade show? Marking major event hosting or attendance shows investors and partners that your marketing dollars are spent on events that matter. Also, announcing a user conference, customer roundtable event or the like shows current and potential customers that you care about their input and experience.

Pillars impacted: Investors, partners, customers

#8: Customer wins
Announcing a new customer on your roster or turning a positive use case into a press release not only builds goodwill with your current customers but also shows prospects other brands like them are seeing your solution’s value. Nothing makes investors happy like customer growth and these release show just that. Pro tip: slide a provision into your client contracts for promotion. You’ll get it approved more times than you think!

Pillars impacted: Investors, customers

#9: Analyst reports
Being named in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant or Forrester’s Wave in your category is a milestone that should be commemorated with a press release. Make sure you follow the guidelines outlined by each firm to make sure you stay in compliance and keep a positive relationship with the analysts.

Pillars impacted: Customers, investors

#10: Momentum announcements
Best executed once or twice per year, momentum announcements wrap up two or more of the above pieces of news, as well as growth metrics like percentage revenue and employee growth, into once release. As part of your overall B2B SaaS PR program, momentum announcements make for milestone markers in a company’s growth.

Pillars impacted: Customers, investors, partners, employees

Interested in seeing how our four-pillar approach works for our B2B SaaS clients? Check out our case studies.

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About Kim Jefferson

As a VP at BLAST, Kim’s decade of media relations experience guides strategic direction for account teams and clients. The intersection of her genuine passion for news media and tech allows her to find the hook in clients’ stories. She’s a mother to one angelic human child and one devilish canine child, and she spends her free time wrangling the two of them and watching TV dramas with her husband once they’ve gone to sleep.

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