How do you win business? We know how we do; by being good at what we do. And being able to prove it.
Every business needs a USP. We’re in the business of public relations – at its simplest, editorial publicity. Of course, there’s much more too it than that… but that’s perhaps for another blog.
Our USP? We’re news specialists. That means as former journalists, we can spot a story and we know how to tell it (sometimes to a wide range of differing audiences).
Almost every week we meet new businesses, some of which have done PR previously, some nothing at all. When we walk through that head office door, we find the stories which will raise awareness of what they do and how they do it, and relate that to their customers and potential customers. The result? Increased profile, sales and business growth. It’s a recipe that works time and again.
For us, it’s not rocket science. It is though, an art. But years of being in the newsroom means we know what journalists want, we know reporters and editors throughout the country, we know what will work best for their readers and viewers and we can deliver.
Of course, PR for PR’s sake means nothing. It has to have a strategy behind it. We know what the strategy is because we get under the skin of our clients’ businesses, thoroughly understand their target market, know where they want to be seen and where they want to win work.
What we don’t do is knock the competition. That’s probably one of the quickest ways to lose business. That goes for our clients’ PR too. We’ve never put out a news story, pitched a journalist or drafted a release based on how much better our client is compared to anyone else.
Knocking the competition shows a complete lack of understanding of how people think in business. It usually backfires, shows an insecurity in your own product or service and reveals a weakness which stands out like a sore thumb. It’s also very undignified.
Don’t be negative to compete
All businesses have weaknesses, but it is those which play on their strengths and those strong enough to avoid attacking the competition which will win out in the end. Don’t think for a second that we’re saying “don’t compete”; we’re saying do it with grace and confidence, because the alternative is plain ugly.
We’re incredibly lucky in the region in which we work to have amazing relationships with other PR companies. Many of them are our friends, some are acquaintances and we respect them for what they do and how they do it, and at least three of our ‘competitors’ are also those with whom we share brilliant and creative collaborative relationships.
But all of them are like us – building a business, creating sustainable jobs, promoting brands and companies across media platforms, whether on a regional, national or international basis.
How do you win business? Play to your strengths. Tell your story – not someone else’s.