Learning from your Competitors can help your Pitches


When branding our products or ourselves we often try to distance ourselves as much as possible from our competitors.  There are times, however, when we can actually learn a lot from them about what works for our pitching and outreach portions of our pr campaigns.

When you are launching your campaign you know your unique selling points, you know who the demographic is you're reaching out to, and you most likely have already created a pitch and a media list of the outlets to which you will be reaching out.  As you continue to pitch I encourage you to look at brands who create products similar to yours, or experts who work in similar areas to yours.  Look at where they have been placed editorially, and what television programs covered them.  This will let you know where there is bound to be interest in the categories and topic in which you work.  If you are a product-based brand it will let you know what outlets work well with your price point and aesthetic.  It can also show you which areas of the magazine or television show might be best to pitch - even which editors or producers work in your beat.

When you see products similar to yours in a blog or even in a newsletter like Shefinds or Daily Candy, check out their website to see other places they have been covered, as it could lead you to other placements for your own brand.  For example, I recently was reading People.com's Style Section while checking out Michele Baratta jewelry, a popular picture frame jewelry brand we work with who was being profiled there.  While reading through the placement to review it, I looked at the other brands that were featured in the story.  I already knew they had to be fairly similar in price point and style and most likely shared similar customer demographics since they were in the same trend story.  Next I visited the websites of these brands to see what I thought of them and if they seemed like they could be put in similar product categories as Michele's jewelry, and I confirmed the could.  So the last step was checking out the press they've received in the past.  This led me to discovering a few great blogs that would be right up her alley, as well as discover that a popular magazine I never would have pitched her to in the past was now working on a new column her story would be a perfect fit for! 

Part of getting great placements in the press for your brand is a) pitching the right editors and outlets, and b) always learning about new places to pitch and reach out to.  With so many television shows, websites, magazines, and even taxi cab news programs emerging, there are hundreds of places to share your story and your brand.  In order to be sure you aren't ever barking up the wrong tree, and to help guarantee you aren't missing any great possibilities out there in the world of media, be sure you keep up -to-speed on where your competition is telling their story, and if you could be telling yours there too!

Now get out there and do some research!