When Do You Respond to Competitors in the Press?
Timeliness is a key factor in building a strong media presence. Knowing when and how to respond to news is a critical part of PR. But when is responding to a competitor an opportunity, and when is it just shining a light in the wrong direction? Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts on how to decide when responding to media benefits you and when it benefits your competitors:
Study/Data/Trends: When someone in your space releases a report with interesting insight or market information, this is a perfect time to jump in-- provided you add your own specific perspective to the media conversation. Highlighting relevant data serves as a timely jumping off point and gives you the opportunity to add your company’s position into the discussion.
Multiple players are in action: When you look around and start to see industry peers moving in a similar direction, it’s a smart move to call out this trend and position yourself in the conversation. Chances are, you aren’t telling the media anything they aren’t already writing about. Differentiation is the key as you convey why are uniquely positioned to take the market in a different direction.
The Best/The Only/The First: To the extent that your competitors allow you to convey your positioning as the ‘best, only or first’ company in your space, drawing a distinction from your peer is helpful. It gives you the jumping off point needed to powerfully communicate why the media should take specific notice of you and your company.
One Product Launch By One Competitor: We’ve heard it before. You pick up the news and see a headline about a competitor. What should you do? While it may be tempting to make a move, it’s just not worth it. By taking action around this sample size of one, you are doing exactly what your competition wants -- doing their work by bringing them to the attention of reporters. There are lots of opportunities for you to be in the media based on your own merit. Don’t go running to the press in a panic. Instead focus on making the right move at the right time.
Keeping your finger on the pulse of your industry will be the lifeline of your PR strategy. The specifics of your response will help move that strategy to generate the positioning and results in the press you desire. Know when to make the move, how to firmly plant yourself in the space, and how to keep the spotlight where it will make the most difference.