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Ten things your competitors can teach you about PR

By Christie Parhiala

Why you should analyze every aspect of your competition


People on a table, writing and discussing.Knowing what your competitors are doing can put you ahead in your industry. Here are some things you can learn from your competitors:








     1. Media outlets covering your market

What media outlets and reporters are covering your competitors’ content? With this information, you’ll know exactly who to contact and where your clients are getting their industry news and information from.


     2. Events happening in your industry 

With a quick analysis of their websites or social media, you can find information on what events your competitors are attending or sponsoring. Are any of their team members speaking on a panel? Attending events with other professionals in the industry provides networking opportunities. Speaking at these industry events also gives you the edge as a thought leader.


     3. Relevant social media content and engagement

Analyzing your competitors’ social media can provide a lot of information. What material are they covering, and which posts are getting the most engagement? Do they use one specific social media site more than others? Is their image across all platforms the same? If something gets a lot of positive engagement, you may want to implement it into your own social media strategy. 


     4. Content analysis

What are your competitors talking about online? Are they covering topics relevant to events happening locally or nationally? Seeing how another company responds to a situation may inspire your company to speak up on a topic or stay silent. 


     5. Information your competitors fail to teach their audience 

Put yourselves in the shoes of the consumer. Are they posting content online but not answering all of your questions? If so, you can change your content to provide sufficient information on a similar topic. When you consistently provide relevant content, you become a resource to your clients. 


     6. What have your competitors done in the past that wasn’t received well by the audience?

Have your competitors been involved in any scandals? Did they post something on social media that was not received well by their audience? Paying attention to this is important so you can avoid the same mistakes.


     7. Website analysis

You can learn a lot about a company by browsing its website. Is the website easy or difficult to navigate? Is the content on the site organized well, and do the pages load quickly? If you see something that looks visually appealing or works well, try implementing it into your own design. Do they openly tell you the services offered, and do they provide any case studies? If so, it’s a great way to learn more about what your competition does and how they do it. 


     8. Strengths and weaknesses

Do your competitors always receive engagement on social media? Are they well-known in the community? Learn from the things they do, and implement them into your routine. Don’t copy everything they do though. It can be as easy as tagging your location on a post or using a hashtag. 


     9. Resources you can rely on  

Finding out who your competitors often use for everyday resources can save time and money. Do they consistently rely on one company for a specific need, such as printing, catering, or event space? Companies may offer discounts to those that consistently do business with them.


     10. Customer reviews

What have their previous clients said about them? Did they rave about a certain service, or were they displeased with something? Knowing what the customers are saying about your competitors can put you ahead in the industry. It can give you an insight on what services your competitors offer and what their clients like or dislike about them. 


By analyzing your competition, you can implement new strategies into your daily routine that will put your business ahead in the market. Use your competitors as a resource — a guide on what you should and should not be doing.


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Christie Parhiala is a fall intern at Axia Public Relations. She is currently a public relations and marketing student at the University of North Florida. 


Photo by Dylan Gillis from Unsplash  

Topics: public relations, PR tips, online public relations

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