Good public relations management practices: Comparison Charts

 

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No product is an island. Every product has competition, and the press needs to see the differences between your product and those of your competitors. You can make reporters’ jobs easier by creating a chart that demonstrates these differences. The chart is a simple grid: your product and those of several competitors are listed across the top of the chart and features are listed down the side. Place a “Yes” or “No” in the appropriate spaces to indicate which of the products offer the features you’ve noted. The XTreePro Gold example that follows shows one way this type of chart can be presented.

The beauty of comparison charts is that you control the game. You decide which features to compare, and the order they’re presented in. You can enhance your product’s image when you structure a well-crafted comparison chart.

For example, when Atari introduced its Atari ST computer, they positioned it against Commodore’s Amiga, widely regarded at the time as a breakthrough machine for graphics and sound. Atari created a comparison chart for their press kits and advertisements. The grid noted that the Atari could produce 1024 colors. In the Amiga column, the chart merely said “yes.” What the chart failed to say was that the Amiga could actually produce more than 10 times as many colors as the Atari. Clever, wouldn’t you say?

Moral: Whoever writes the rules owns the game.

We urge you to play fair. The press will prove you a liar if you falsify information or mislead readers.