4 Ways to Benefit from the Competition’s PR Wins
When you work in PR, no two days are alike. We’re kept on our toes as we handle launches, strategy, interview requests, social media engagement, and more – often all before lunch. At Caster, our days start and end with reading the news, checking for opportunities, and industry newsletters. When we find competitor coverage, we spring into action to make it an opportunity for our clients. Here’s how:
- Opportunity to Over-Analyze
Tracking competitors’ product news, reviews, interviews, and thought leadership is an important aspect to crafting messages, building strategies, and pitching stories. Following competitor news can help with analysis: A classic SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) can track and identify client messaging, product features and pricing, their differentiators, etc. This information can be used to identify how your client stands out from the competition, and PR pros like us use these points to refine messaging, social media, pitches, etc. It can also help us prepare for future interview questions on the subject, so we’re not caught off guard.
The competition hasn’t snagged the only chance to tell a story. Their coverage can become inspiration for fresh ideas or another take on the angle. One new topic can be used to create several story angles, blog posts, bylined pieces, and more. Or, if your client doesn’t have a story to tell on that subject, it can call out the need to proactively develop a message or response.
- Media Relations
One PR pro’s win is another’s woe. But a competitor’s top story can become a useful tool for counter-media relations and launch planning. Anyone who covered competitor news is a new pitch target, and competitor stories are also an instant media list of viable targets who can be pitched in an attempt to news-jack—or to save for future launches. We are constantly updating our lists and adding new media contacts to have the right person for every story.
- Audience Engagement
It’s likely if a PR pro catches a competitor’s announcement that the client’s customers have, too. The earlier brainstorming and analysis can be used for proactive customer outreach, where differentiators, new use cases, data, and supportive points can be highlighted on social media, email marketing, blogs, or other customer engagement campaigns. It’s best to be proactive and fast to position the client as strong against the competition and keep them top-of-mind for their customers.
Competitor news can have short- or long-term benefits in the hands of an experienced PR pro, whether providing an opportunity for preparation that will pay off in a crisis, inciting a news-jacking pitch session that day or benefitting a product launch strategy in two months.