PR Diaries | Rising Above Competitors in a Loud, Expanding Space

Best Practices, Marketing

You’ve done your competitive analysis, you’ve read up on your audience, found the fittest contact for your outreach, but you’re still not rising above and getting responses. So what’s the problem? While you’re a PR professional, it’s still possible for you to get caught up on the wrong side of messaging.

Take a look at your last few product pitches. Are there mentions of cool features? What about your story angle?

Learn how to rise above your competitors with these actionable #PR tips: Click To Tweet

Remember back to the days of PR 101, your first public relations class- what was the first aspect we focus on when representing a brand? Was it the company’s product features? No.

It’s the story.

Remember in 2013 when advertisers started getting CRAZY sappy and reached in for every viewer’s feels? Budweiser kicked it off with this tear-jerker cowboy/Clydesdale love story:

But you know what? They NAILED IT. Following the release of this commercial, ev.ery.one. Started reaching for our hearts- that’s what traditional PR is all about.

Let’s go back to the PR basics and rise above competitors with these quick tips below.

Tell a Story that Connects with Millions

Product features are neat but think about when someone starts off a conversation with the selling point. You know their motive and it drives you away from the brand immediately. Instead, capture your influencer list with positive messaging.

At Red Branch, we work mostly with B2B marketing around HR Tech. While our reach is niche, we still find ways to capture the attention of each sector within HR.

For example, a client of ours has a product called Karen. Karen is a cognitive recruiting assistant for recruiters and candidates. Since AI is growing in our space, there is a lot of disconnect on what it actually does and how it works.

When Noel Webb explained how Karen works to us, without even knowing it, he created his own touching brand story. He said Karen is like a child learning how to skate. The parents (developers behind Karen) still have to guide the child (Karen) as it learns and takes in thoughts.

This story not only helps clear up confusion for a lot of people mislead by what AI actually is, but gives a relatable angle for anyone who has ever had to learn a process ever… everyone 🙂

It doesn’t have to be cute and sappy, but simply break down the very basics of why your brand is doing what it’s doing and what the helpful angle is, without flashing the features first.

Lasagna Messaging

Like lasagna, your follow up and overall outreach should be layered. After you reach out to someone about your special angle and neat story, you can now follow-up with special features and more reasons how this brand can serve as a problem solver for their audience.

Even if they don’t respond, leave a message at the end noting you’d love to work with them and are open to collaborating on any further relating topics or relating angles they had wished to cover that week or month. It’s a fat chance they’re going to drop their writing assignments to write a promotional feature for you. See what they’re open to and be as simple to work with as possible.

Be Ready to Provide More

Writing a pitch and writing a resume are similar practices when it comes to battling what information is important and what info you think is impressive but nobody actually cares about. So in this step of your process, step lightly.

Recently in my press outreach when I’m offering news to reporters and influencers, I acknowledge they might not want to take the time to write about the story I’m presenting. So instead, I give a few options of what they can do with my news.

For press releases, I give three options. They can share it, with a click-to-tweet I already generated for them for easy sharing in their networks, they can look at the live release themselves for more details, or they can contact our press team for coverage options.

Here’s a visual example from my monthly PR Newsletter:

pr diaries newsletter

Sign up for our PR Newsletter right here!

Giving options to the professionals you want to reach eliminates giving them boundaries. Maybe they don’t have time to write a response or an article on your news, but they’re open to reading it briefly and shooting out a tweet. This exposes you to influencer networking pools which is great brand awareness!

Bring your outreach back to the PR basics to rise up against the competition. In competitive industries, we get stuck thinking we need to have the latest and greatest trick when really we just need to keep it simple. Stick to your brand story, layer your messaging and provide plenty of collaboration options.

Let us know what tactics worked best for you! @NoelleBellLynne

Author