Public Relations is, at least in part, about standing out. You want your customers – your fans – to like you more and feel better about you than they do your competition. Doesn’t matter what line of work you’re in, this holds true. You want their attention, their affirmation, and their understanding. And, when you mess up, or it appears as if you may have made a mistake, you want the empathy that brings you the benefit of the doubt.
If you want all those things, there is one thing you cannot afford to be: ordinary. It’s simple math. If you don’t stand out, you won’t be chosen for any good reason. Sure, someone may pick you for this or that from time to time, but not because they chose you over someone else. You can never count on that kind of random customer because they’re just as likely to select someone else next time.
So, how do you stand out? Part of the answer to that question can be borrowed from the world of high pressure, high-performance sales.
You need to know your product. Basically, what are you offering, and why is it better for your target consumer or fan? You need to know the answer to this question backwards and forwards, and you need to be able to apply it in any context and communicate it, clearly and precisely, in any media.
Deliver well and be memorable. No matter what you do, you need to get people talking. Word of mouth will always be your strongest and surest sales avenue. So, get people talking. Give people specific reasons to remember you and easy descriptions that other people can remember and share. And, most importantly, create a passionate response. You want to leave an emotional impression, not just an intellectual one. Feelings transfer much easier than bullet points.
Make every interaction count. When people walk away, you want them smiling. Whenever they interact with you or with your product or brand, you want them to feel better about themselves or that decision. This works, even if you’re selling “pain” or “controversy.” Sure, people say they don’t like that stuff, but they sure appreciate solutions and deliver less pain to them or allow them to appreciate less controversy in their own lives.
Get out of bed every day with purpose. If you have to drag yourself out of bed in the morning, something is very wrong. You can’t manufacture real enthusiasm for you or your brand when you’re doing your best just to convince yourself you’re worth it. Focus the majority of your time and energy on what you love and making what you do even better than it already is. When you approach every day with a fresh vision and a specific mission, you will be surprised at how contagious that can be.
Pay attention. Learn how to be aware of limits, both real and imposed. Understand the importance of time, especially as it relates to relationships and money. Keep your focus and avoid distractions. Be the best you can at what you are doing. Don’t waste a moment peeking over at what you might be doing. If your grass isn’t green enough, water it where you are. Just keep your focus, and you will already have a distinct advantage in a world populated by the distraction-addicted.
There you have it. Five ways to turn ordinary into outstanding. Don’t wait. Start today!
Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5WPR and one of the most well-respected Public Relations professionals in the United States.