B2B PR Insights

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B2B PR – What I learnt in my first 12 months

12 months in, what has Alex learnt about B2B communications?

Emma and Alex Meantime Communications B2B PR

I have worked on life-saving charity projects, multi-million-dollar business deals, Covid-19 vaccine distribution, and the world’s largest plane in the last twelve months almost entirely from the discomfort of my studio flat in London – so what have my first twelve months in public relations taught me?

I joined Meantime Communications in February 2020, just before the minor inconvenience of Covid-19 restrictions hit and the last twelve months have been rewarding, challenging, funny, and eye-opening.


It’s bigger than it looks (honestly)

Communication is essential, delicate, and absolutely everywhere. I knew it was important and I knew it was something I am good at (or at least I do well enough to earn a living from it), but I don’t think I truly appreciated just how instrumental it is to our daily lives and the impact it has. To be involved in business-to-business (B2B) communications, particularly for cargo, is akin to when Alice goes through the looking-glass – you suddenly find yourself in a world beneath the surface that you never knew was there. Everything has an order and a system, even though it seems chaotic at first glimpse, and it is something quite remarkable that has drawn me in and grabbed me.


Every day is a new lesson

I have found myself thrown into the worlds of fin-tech, breakbulk, data lakes, freight forwarding, airport operations, and so much more – there is never a dull moment and I find out something new and interesting every single day. It has confirmed that curiosity is a good thing rather than a cat-killer and that the vast majority of people will be happy to talk to you and explain things you have questions about.


Meeting very different people

When was the last time you spoke with a pilot, a CEO, a logistics manager, and a journalist? For me, it was yesterday. One of the best parts of this job is getting to meet and learn from a huge range of people in vastly diverse specialisms. I have been introduced to worlds I never even realised were things until last year and it is wonderful!


Organisation is success

I know this may seem a bit of a cop-out lesson from my first year, but when you are speaking to dozens of people every single day to craft that perfect press release or build that blog, note-taking and lists are lifesavers. Don’t work harder, just be organised! Spotting something slipping between the cracks and catching it in time is one thing but making sure the floor is secure enough that there are no cracks is something else. To be in PR and not be organised rapidly turns into spinning burning plates while riding a unicycle over a levy that’s about the burst – it’s very impressive and a cool story, but something will break.


It’s a team sport

Public relations is like playing a sport: it’s great fun, but it can wear you out. I love squash and play it when I can, but it can feel like flagellation. However, the camaraderie formed in the PR industry is something I haven’t experienced before. There is always someone offering to help, or someone asking if you’re doing okay. No matter what happens, you can always rely on a team member to tag in when you feel you’ve been knocked down for a moment or need a breather. Make sure you are always there for your colleagues and clients, and they will be there for you.


Not knowing becomes your best friend

I quite literally never know what the day ahead will bring, and I love it. Change is a constant in the world of B2B PR and to be involved with it in so many different ways with different businesses is really exciting. Sure, sometimes it’s scary and causes anxiety, but to navigate unexpected hurdles and developments keeps things fresh, entertaining, and are valuable learning curves I know I will appreciate in the future.


Events when working in communications are (apparently) amazing

It has been twelve months of lockdowns and cancelled events, so I haven’t been to an event in my new role yet. I have lost track of the amount of different people that have excitedly asked me if I went to so-and-so event or sending me pictures of when they were partying in Munich, exploring the nightlife of Singapore, or enjoying Tuscany’s finest meats and wines from a big gala, and I am green with envy. The only lesson I have learnt with events is that I’m clearly missing out.


I never planned on going into PR, and I never found myself aiming to work in communications, but I am so glad I took the change and embraced the industry. Even the smallest of events that happen in the B2B world can have drastic outcomes for people so far removed it seems almost impossible, and to be involved –­ even in the smallest way – is something very special.

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About the author

Emma Murray

Emma was born in the year the Beatles broke up. She set up Meantime in 2008 after a 15 year career reporting on the supply chain and logistics industries. She is an NCTJ-trained reporter and an award-winning editor. She studied Middle Eastern Archaeology and Akkadian, although she has to admit her cuneiform is probably a little rusty these days. She was once an archaeologist working in Syria and Jordan, and has been an English language teacher. She has lived at one time or another in Jerusalem and Aleppo, as well as Paris and Brussels, where she went to school and learnt to speak French.