What Competitor Insights Should Comms Pros Look For? 




Laptop screen on a table with a cup of coffee

For PR and Comms professionals, conducting thorough competitor analysis can significantly shape and elevate your strategic efforts. Here, we explore why competitor analysis is important for PR pros and how your comms activity will benefit from deeper competitor insights. We’ll also do a deep dive into the specific insights you should be focusing your attention on.

Why do you need to run competitor analysis? 

First and foremost, running a competitor analysis provides you with vital competitor insights. When you take a closer look at your competitors’, you’ll start to get a better grasp of any challenges they pose. This info helps you anticipate and respond to your competitors’ actions as well as identify new opportunities for yourself.

Moreover, you can use the insights you gain from your analysis as a benchmark to measure the success of your PR and comms efforts. This leads us to competitive benchmarking…

What is competitive benchmarking? 

Competitive benchmarking is a strategic practice that involves evaluating various aspects of your brand against those of your direct competitors. It’s a valuable process that delves into a deeper analysis of their strengths, weaknesses, and overall market position. This goes beyond simply monitoring what your competitors are doing.

At its core, competitive benchmarking involves regularly comparing key performance metrics, processes, products, services, and even customer satisfaction between your company and its rivals. This practice provides a valuable perspective on where you stand in relation to your competition. You’ll uncover areas where you excel and areas that need improvement.

How do competitor insights benefit your comms and PR strategies? 

Now, with an understanding of what competitor benchmarking is, how can we expect to benefit from it? By benchmarking your brand against the relevant competitors with the insights you’ve gained, you’re giving yourself the power to refine and optimize your brand. And this insight-driven approach benefits the three crucial areas of your PR and comms activities listed below.

Informed decision-making 

Competitor insights have a significant impact on PR and comms decision-making by offering a holistic view of the competitive landscape. Quite simply, these insights enable you to make informed and strategic choices based on the info that’s important to you. Enabling you to elevate your brand’s positioning and effectiveness. Here’s a list of just a few areas you may use competitor insights to benchmark against your own for more informed decision-making:

  1. Understanding your competitors’ comms strategies, messaging, and media presence provides a benchmark for assessing your own approach. By identifying successful tactics, you can refine your messaging, tailor your content, and differentiate your brand in a crowded marketplace.
  2. Competitor insights also foster innovation. Observing your rivals’ successes and gaps can spark creative ideas for campaigns, content, and engagement strategies. The info you observe can inspire fresh perspectives into your PR and comms initiatives.
  3. Lastly, is the enablement of more informed decisions around crisis management. Studying how competitors navigate challenges equips you with precedents, enabling you to anticipate potential crises and develop proactive response strategies. You’re able to learn from the mistakes or successes of anothers so you can find best practices and navigate a situation with confidence.

In essence, more informed and data-driven decisions will empower you to stay agile, relevant, and ahead of industry trends.


Strategic comms messaging 

With insights gained from analyzing industry dynamics and competitor strategies, you can also positively influence your PR and comms messaging. By studying how competitors communicate, you can improve your own communication strategy in many ways, such as tone and content.

  1. Find market gaps and opportunities by understanding competitors. Craft unique messaging that resonates with your target audience. This differentiation establishes your brand as a distinctive voice amidst the noise.
  2. Identify what works and what doesn’t in your content creation. Customize your messages to address competitors’ successes or failures, highlighting your brand’s relevance and customer-focused approach.
  3. Stay updated on trends by monitoring competitor messaging. Adjust your strategy to match changing market sentiments and preferences.

Comparing your brand to your competitors helps improve your PR and communication. It also helps you engage audiences and stand out in a competitive market. Additionally, it allows you to align with current industry trends.


Refined strategies  

Lastly, competitor benchmarking can help you refine your PR and comms strategies. By analyzing their strategies, messaging, and engagement tactics, you gain invaluable insights to enhance your approach to:

  1. Differentiation: Understand competitors, find gaps, and customize strategy to showcase your unique value proposition.
  2. Changing market dynamics: Tracking shifts in competitor strategies will keep you agile and responsive to changing market dynamics. Ensure you remain innovative, adaptable, and aligned with industry trends this will ultimately driving your brand’s visibility, credibility, and competitive edge.
  3. Changing market dynamics: Tracking shifts in competitor strategies will keep you agile and responsive to changing market dynamics. Ensure you remain innovative, adaptable, and aligned with industry trends this will ultimately driving your brand’s visibility, credibility, and competitive edge.

10 competitor insights comms professionals should look for and why 

Why is competitor benchmarking important for PR and comms strategies? What insights should we prioritize? With so much data and info existing, how do you choose what’s important and what you could do without?

Here’s a closer look at 10 key competitor insights that you should benchmark against your brand and why they matter. Using a competitor and risk analysis tool, along with these strategies, is the most effective way to benefit from your efforts. We will explain this in the following points.


Messaging and Positioning:

Gaining insight into how competitors convey their brand’s value and distinctive selling points establishes a reference point for your messaging strategy. Evaluating their language, tone, and consistent themes empowers you to fine-tune your messaging to stay relevant. However, you want to ensure you stand out and are providing new and valuable messaging. So, this comprehension will also aid in spotting market gaps that your brand can fill, allowing you to position your brand distinctively and capitalize on unexplored opportunities.


Audience Engagement:

Exploring competitors’ interactions with their audience across all platforms sheds light on winning engagement strategies. Specifically analyzing their social media interactions, content engagement, and community management gives you the info you need to fine-tune your tactics. This ensures you’re leveraging the most effective and impactful engagement strategies that strike a chord with your target demographic.

A competitor and risk analysis tool helps here by giving you the insights you need to understand the key drivers of positive engagement.


Content Strategy:

Competitor analysis reveals the type of content that generates the most engagement and interest. Knowing what topics, formats, and platforms are important to your audience helps you create a content strategy that keeps you competitive. Simultaneously, and similarly to the first two points, this evaluation will also uncover untouched territories and opportunities for standing out. Essentially, you have a chance to ensure you’re producing content that’s timely and relevant while also creating fresh content to carve a distinctive niche in the market.

Crisis Management:

Just as we mentioned when discussing ‘informed decision-making,’ you can use competitor insights to improve your crisis management. Investigating how competitors navigate negative situations equips you with a toolkit of best practices gained from their experiences. This knowledge enables you to build proactive crisis management strategies. These strategies are vitally important, as they form the shield for safeguarding your brand’s reputation.

If there’s something you need to know about, a competitor and risk analysis tool will find it. The analytics can identify new and unknown risks to your reputation, such as fake news. This allows you to concentrate on maintaining a positive brand image.

Media Coverage:

Understanding your competitors’ media activities and coverage provides valuable information about their expertise, industry reputation, target audience, and media connections. Knowing where they get exposure helps you find new ways to promote your brand and increase its visibility.

A tool helps you find media platforms and authors discussing your brand and competitors for competitor and risk analysis.

Digital Presence:

Analyzing the online presence of competitors can provide ideas for enhancing your own digital footprint and user engagement. Take a look at their website design, SEO and PPC strategies, and user experience. Understanding what has been successful in driving traffic to a specific source or webpage is highly valuable. You can boost your online presence by studying their SEO and PPC strategies, finding areas they haven’t explored.

Products and Services:

Quite simply, keeping an eye on your competitors’ new products or services, is vital to understand how your offerings compare to theirs. It also may spark your own innovative ideas so you can keep pushing forward in your market.

Customer Perception:

Analyzing customer sentiment toward competitors through reviews, feedback, and social interactions offers insights into what your audience values. When you check out what people are saying about your competitors, you’re getting a front-row seat to what matters most to them. Tuning into these sentiments is a golden ticket to enhance your own offerings. Make them more aligned with what you discovered your audience cares about.

Competitor analysis tools allow you to examine how the media responds to your competitors. You can also identify their strengths and weaknesses and compare your own performance.

Partnerships and Collaborations:

Examine the partnerships and collaborations your competitors engage in to find potential alliance opportunities of your own. You might find opportunities to join forces with brands or influencers that fit your brand objectives.

On top of this, uncovering who your competitors are collaborating with helps you compare their media presence and audience reach to your own. You can analyze this info to find growth opportunities or maybe even realize some collaborations aren’t advantageous for you anymore. Read more about influencer PR and the rise of de-influencers.

Use a tool to analyze competitors and risks. To analyze competitors and risks, use a tool. This tool helps you find the right people to talk to. It does this by identifying influential individuals and target audiences in mainstream and social media.


Performance Metrics:

Lastly, analyze key performance indicators like engagement rates, website traffic, and media coverage frequency and benchmark them against your own brand’s performance to identify areas for improvement. By comparing audience engagement, website traffic, and media presence, you can determine if you are performing well or need to improve.
Keep an eye on these numbers because your competitors are just as determined as you to build a strong media presence. They will change their plans often, so you need to find ways to make it work for you too.

 As we mentioned earlier, the quantity and sheer complexity of info you can gain from competitive analysis makes it difficult to know where to start. With a competitor and risk analysis tool, you can easily focus on the above 10 areas and optimize the process in a single platform. Learn more about the benefits of a competitor and risk analysis tool for PR and comms here.