I recently attended a refresher training course on being a brilliant PR consultant. Whilst I had benefited from this training last year, attending for a second time enabled me to extract more valuable learnings that PR consultants should apply when looking after their clients on a daily basis.
It goes without saying, but as a PR consultant our mission is to tell our client’s story in a meaningful way that resonates, and build its reputation by securing coverage in target media. Therefore, understanding and being aware of the multiple elements impacting its business is crucial to success. In order to define a strategy that will deliver results, it’s imperative to know your client’s market.
Five Top Tips to be aware of:
1 – The Competition
Know your client’s competitors – Who are they? What are their products and services? What territories to they operate in? Who is their spokesperson and what topics do they talk about in the media? How are they different from your client?
Get curious – Note who their customers are, identify which verticals they target, and do some research into reports and matrixes from analysts’ firms. There’s a host of free reports to access, however others require a membership or payment. In addition, I would read through articles covering competitor news and announcements to instil broader market knowledge and identify journalists interested in covering relevant topics.
Read about the key issues impacting the market. This will not only help you to have a better understanding of your client’s business but will also provide in-depth context when creating content aimed to engage potential buyers. The best source of information will be publications covering the market’s news; save them as favourites in your browser to read on a daily basis and set up Google Alerts on competitors and specific topics.
3 – Historical Context
About 2,500 years ago, Confucius said “Study the past if you would define the future”, meaning that understanding how something has evolved over time is essential if we want to predict where it’s headed, and this is still true. Not knowing the historical context of the market means that it’s challenging to fully comprehend the development and growth of a business. Why? Because in times of uncertainty having a historical perspective will help put the current market conditions in context. When you have knowledge about what came before, it makes it easier to imagine what may come next.
4 – Maturity of the Market
It is equally important to find out about the maturity of the market. For example, it’s considered as mature when a state of equilibrium has been reached. This means that there’s either an absence of significant growth or a lack of innovation. With this information in hand, you are able to have more meaningful discussions with your client, identify what potential opportunities within the market are, and how to seize them.
5 – Future of the Market
What does the future hold for the market in which your client operates? Without being a medium, you already have an idea of the current trends having read about experts’ predictions by consulting specialist publications.
As a PR consultant our aim is to master the media space, therefore it is quasi-impossible not to be aware of what’s buzzing. This space is full of experts – journalists, vendors, and specialists – analysing and providing insights on the market’s progress, so use it to your clients’ advantage.
Moreover, follow your favourite sources of information on social media and set aside some time to read a couple of key publications in your daily routine. This will help you not only have a better understanding of the market but also to discuss it with your client and demonstrate your expertise.