Jessica Davis – Senior Account Manager at Spreckley

There are countless reasons as to why an organisation will initiate a PR campaign, but one of the ultimate goals behind many campaigns has to be to position oneself favourably against competitors.

This is a huge challenge for organisations – especially for startups, which may be competing against larger, more established companies – but it is something that all aim for. It is every marketer’s goal to be seen by their target audience as the go-to supplier for a particular product or service and PR is one of the ways in which to achieve this authority.

Here are five tactics to help you attain this position:

1. Don’t follow the crowd

This may sound obvious but I see so many campaigns day-in, day-out that are simply using copycat tactics. It is important to look at your competitors and learn from how they approach promotion – but simply copying their tactics will never see you gain influence over them. You should instead look at how you can build on what they’ve already achieved.

It’s essential that you have a USP, know what this is and play on this in your campaigns. Your audience needs to understand why they should choose you over your competitors so you need to make this clear.

2. Initiate a thought leadership programme

A PR campaign is not just about telling the world how amazing your product or service is. It’s vital that you are also seen to be educating and revolutionising the market. You should demonstrate that you understand the problems your customers face and talk broadly about the solutions to these problems, as well as future gazing about solutions to potential problems to come.

This will help customers to see you as authoritative and as an organisation that they can grow with as more changes occur.

3. Hi-jack relevant news stories

News hi-jacking is an extremely powerful tool for organisations to present their comments and opinions on a topical issue. This demonstrates their knowledge and understanding of the key issues that impact their industry and builds on the thought leadership development previously mentioned.

However, if you’re going to issue a rapid response, you need to act fast and get your comments out ASAP!

4. Have a multi-channel presence

In today’s market, everyone has their preferred channel for interacting with an organisation. You therefore need to be present across all platforms that your potential customers might want to interact with you on. This means having a strong digital and social presence, as well as a physical presence at key events for your industry and a voice within relevant media.

5. Know your influencers… and target them

Influencer marketing is not a new tactic but surprisingly, is still something that many organisations overlook. It’s essential that you know who your target audiences are looking to for advice and ensure that you build campaigns that specifically target these individuals. This could be anything from key journalists and analysts to vloggers and Instagram influencers.

Crucially, you need to invest time into understanding what these individuals are interested in and how you can personalise your outreach to them, informing them about your product or service in a way that engages them. If they connect with your organisation, this could prove to be invaluable to your campaign.

Take a look at how we helped the Cloud Industry Forum build its authority in the UK: View case study