Stay Ahead of the Competition

Competition is at an all time high. It is likely that your product or service is up against other similar products and services. While competition is the key to innovation, it can also be a source of frustration. With the amount of competition out there right now, it has become harder and harder to attract new customers as well as to retain old ones.

Consumers are constantly being targeted through marketing and advertising by other businesses. As such, they are constantly weighing multiple options. This is where PR can be of service. PR helps build reputation and credibility, so consumers not only buy the product or service, but also the relationship with the brand. Here are six PR tactics that can give you a competitive edge:

Competition Monitoring

The first and most essential step to maintaining a competitive edge is to understand your competition. Know who your competitors are, what they are offering, what sets them apart, what their advantages and disadvantages are, and what type of media coverage they have. Study your competitors by looking through their websites and social media archives.

The best way to monitor competitors is through media and social media. Set up Google Alerts on your competitors or, if you have the finances to do so, employ a media monitoring service to monitor mentions of your competitors across all media channels.

Providing media commentary

Monitor the news and media cycle to see if there is any industry or other related news that you can provide commentary on. This is a great way to get your brand/business name out in the media without using the more obvious marketing and PR channels. Demonstrate your knowledge on relevant topics by responding to an article, or pitching yourself for an interview to a publication.

Publishing expert articles

To give yourself an edge against your competition, write an article to establish yourself as an expert and reliable source in your particular field. Write an article that is interesting, engaging and useful for your target audience and then pitch this article to media outlets.

Taking advantage of speaking opportunities

Find events and conferences that are geared towards your target audience. Speaking at such events will enhance your profile among your target audience, as well as build brand awareness and credibility with people that are most likely to engage with your product or service.

Employing case studies as a PR tool

A case study that covers work that your business has conducted as a project or a client can be a great PR tool. Case studies provide customers and clients with an inside look at how you conduct business and how they can benefit from the product or service that you offer. Using case studies allow for transparency in business and will give your brand an opportunity to set itself apart from its competitors.

Social media engagement

Use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter to engage with consumers. Find the right channels to reach out to your target demographic. In this way, you will have a platform to host constant and engaging dialogue with your audience about your brand. Encouraging dialogue and answering questions in a timely manner will definitely put you a step ahead of competitors who haven’t mastered the social media game.

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.