In the competitive environment of PR, our job is to not only know everything about our clients and their messaging, but also to know their competitors businesses and PR strategies. Between google searches and constantly scanning headlines, keeping up with the competition isn’t as difficult as it used to be. Recently, members of the Matter team successfully and single-handedly polluted a major PR story a competitor was pitching. Because the team was privy to information the competitor distributed over a wire service (thank you, Google alerts), we quickly took notice and planned “an attack” to pollute the story. After informing the client of the competitors’ news, we drafted a statement letting journalists know that our client was first to market with the service that the competition was touting.
The team rapidly jumped on the phone and emailed applicable media contacts to set the story straight and provided factual context from a competitive standpoint. This aggressive approach was so successful that the team was able to get Matter’s client into eight out of the nine stories that would have otherwise been exclusive to our client’s number one competitor.
Keeping close tabs on news relevant to clients is PR 101 – and thanks to technology, we can capitalize on this age-old tactic at speeds faster than ever before. Whether quickly latching onto a trend or muddying up a competitors news, part of being an effective PR practitioner is to read, read, read and scan, scan, scan.