In communications, one of the first questions I ask when meeting with prospective clients is, “Who is your target audience?” The second is, “Who is your competition?” The reason that these two questions are asked in tandem is that not all of their competitors are serving the same client base.

This month USA Today has a series for entrepreneurs. A recent article by Brenda Abrams discusses how to get started on researching your business. At the end, she does a great job outlining the different types of competitors. Here is the link,

There are many independently owned strategic communication firms in St. Louis who are our competitors. We don’t view other communication professionals and firms as our competitors. What we want to know are what are their areas of expertise so in our networking if we meet someone who has a communications need we don’t handle we have several other firms we can refer. For us, we work with financial institutions, professional firms and manufacturing. It’s pretty specific.

In building our relationships with other communication firms, these are steps we take to maintain our relationships:
  • Get to know your competitors: Offer to meet another business owner for coffee or breakfast to discuss your areas of expertise.
  • Join your professional association: Take advantage of your professional association. Get to know what the most current trends are, network with other professionals and take advantage of the professional development opportunities.
  • NEVER, NEVER, NEVER say anything negative about the competition: This is self-explanatory.
  • Study what others are doing: Learn from your competitors. Study what they do, say and read. If you see them everywhere, they must be doing something right.
You never know when your perceived competitor could become your biggest ally. It’s best to take a pro-active step and start building those relationships now.

Best regards,


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Founded in 2008, St. Louis-based AMM Communications LLC is an integrated public relations and marketing firm that provides public relations, marketing, crisis communication, social media and sales management training for small- and mid-cap financial institutions, professional service firms and manufacturing companies. For more information, please navigate to or call 314.485.4390.