Communicating with stakeholders in the channel

Posted on: 2012-06-26 in How To   |   Tagged: b2b pr channel channel pr var

By Heather Baker, @TopLineFounder

A key thing that I've learned from running a technology PR company is that when you are managing a channel communications programme, your strategy needs to take into account the needs of different stakeholders.

The vendor wants distributors and VARs to know about their technology and understand the benefits it offers businesses. Their communications goal is to sign more quality channel partners as this will help them increase sales, and they need to focus their communications efforts on the channel and end user media (reaching end users really helps them to make their case to VARs).

The distributor wants to highlight its excellent relationships with resellers to vendors, and to demonstrate to resellers its ability to choose the best technologies on the market. The communications goal here is to build trust as the distributor needs VARs to understand that it doesn’t just work with any vendor (at least in the case of vendor-agnostic distis) – it actively selects the best technologies on the market and signs with those vendors. The disti also wants the reseller to know that it holds heaps of stock, so can offer quick delivery, and excellent technical expertise to support the VAR in delivering great services to end users.

The VAR is mainly interested in highlighting the great technologies and consultancy services it offers to end users. They usually enlist the help of the comms teams at the vendor and the disti in securing media coverage (case studies are great here) in the end user media.

The end user needs to know about the technologies available to them, believe in them (i.e. they need brand clout!) but also ideally understand that they can be delivered locally by a small MSP (managed service provider) who they can build a trusting relationship with (I think it’s safe to say that most British businesses have had the awful misfortune of having to deal with BT, and are therefore very open to the idea of smaller, more local, technology suppliers).

Browse our other posts on channel communications.

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About this blog

The B2B PR Blog is a resource for both PR professionals and people working in B2B industries on how to devise and implement successful B2B PR campaigns. The blog was founded by B2B PR specialist Heather Baker, who runs video production and corporate animation agency TopLine Film and digital PR and SEO agency  TopLine Comms. The B2B PR Blog takes contributions from sensible industry folk with something interesting to say.


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