Most of the PR agency world is divided into business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B). But it would be a mistake to assume that the consumer doesn’t play a central role in a quality B2B public relations program.

While my colleagues and I spend most of our time in the B2B sphere, working with businesses that need to communicate with other businesses (or healthcare organizations, or government agencies) that might want to take advantage of our clients’ innovations, we do spend a fair amount of time messaging those innovations consumer wants and needs, too.

Let’s face it – it’s a consumer-driven economy. So whether your enterprise is marketing electronic health records to hospitals, communications technologies to law enforcement, or private cloud solutions to online retailers, it is most likely that your buyers are trying to win the hearts and minds of consumers themselves.

By messaging not just to the buyer, but all the way to the buyer’s buyer (the consumer), you demonstrate a powerful affinity with their mission. We refer to it as the “halo effect.”

For example, we work with a company that outfits many of the nation’s public transit systems with fully networked video surveillance technologies. We don’t expect a bus rider to purchase this technology, or ever care about whose brand produces a better solution. But we do work overtime to explain the rider safety benefits of our client’s solution. Likewise, another client produces web-based software that enables physicians to refer patients to unaffiliated specialists and receive results back, enabling the primary care physicians to retain full control over their patients’ treatment. Again, no patient will ever purchase this software, much less even hear about it, but we make a point to highlight the value to the patient of well-coordinated care.

The consumer reigns supreme, even in B2B. So borrowing the consumer’s halo and applying it to your own messaging can have far-reaching effects, not the least of which is attracting the attention of the mass media, where a single feature article can rocket your brand into an orbit well beyond reach of the competition.

As a public relations and marketing agency with offices in Seattle and Washington, D.C., we help our clients benefit from the full range of services that keep them top of mind with current and potential clients, and help their business grow. If you’d like to see your business benefit from a little halo effect, get in touch.