Great PR programs are created to accomplish 3 simple goals: improve your reputation, ensure loyal clients and customers, and increase your bottom line. I’d like to say it’s more complicated than that, but it really isn’t.
Yet, when you break this down, what is the one thing all great PR programs share? They all find a way to stress the differences from their competition or what figure out what makes them unique and then design their PR programs around those differences.
If you’re scratching your head wondering what those differences are – are think you don’t have anything unique to offer – then you should definitely spend some quality time thinking through them. I’ve never met a firm or accountant yet who wasn’t unique in some way.
Here are two primary ways to think about it:
- Most obvious and one that shouldn’t need any explanation: What are you niche services and specialties?
- Next most obvious: What niche industries do you work in? Working in a certain industry (and you probably have more than one) demonstrates your focused knowledge, insight and experience.
Now to the less obvious:
- Capitalize on your advance designations and credentials. You worked hard to get these, so tell your clients and prospects about them. You worked hard to obtain these designations, so talk about them, especially when you’re going head to head against another firm for the same business.
- Become a published author. Not everyone has the ability or inclination to publish; if you’ve done this, promote your writing. There’s an old PR tale that says it’s not the article itself that’s important; it’s what you do with it once it’s published.
- Schedule semi-annual “touch base” discussions with clients. Hopefully, you have open communications with your clients all the time, yet, there’s some great benefits to scheduling time with them to talk about what they like about your firm and what could be improved. Ask for transparency, then find a way to weave their responses into your PR efforts.
Finding a way to differentiate yourself isn’t difficult, but it does take some thinking. Spend some time doing this and you’ll be much further ahead on creating a dynamic PR program.