This is an archived blog from when I ran Conscious Public Relations Inc. from 2008-2018. Excuse the potential outdated-ness!
To those who collaborate with their competitors (yes, it’s possible)
I read an article recently on Business Insider entitled “Ways women unknowingly sabotage their success” and I believe it was written by a woman. #5 says Focusing on cooperation rather than competition and CEO Wendy Capland of Vision Quest Consulting says that even though there are thousands of articles that say otherwise, Corporate America is “not set up for collaboration to be effective long-term.”
I gotta disagree with you, Wendy. And I’d like to use my business relationship with Kaare Long at a Cue Creative Consulting as just one example. Kaare and I were both part of a mastermind group in 2013 and we’ve continued that relationship to present day. Though we both do traditional PR and Social Media, her company tilts toward creative Social Media Marketing for clients, while my bread and butter is still traditional Publicity campaigns for large-scale events and socially-minded companies.
This has allowed us to refer each other connections to business that would not fit our own, and we recently helped to produce the #sayhitoastranger social movement this past Valentine’s weekend.
We both helped with G Day last year, and have recently collaborated on moderating a private Facebook group whereby we’ll share PR news, ask and answer questions, and share tactics that worked for us. Don’t know about you, but I think we are a classic example of competitors collaborating! I actually have received a good chunk of client work from other PR professionals too who serve different industries or are no longer working in the industry. My first client EVER was from my former boss who had referred me to a mobile spa who needed help.
Going into March, I will be collaborating with Carla Shore at C-Shore Communications on the Healthy Family Expo and with Ann Gibbon on the eWomenNetwork Summit in April. Are these collaborations bringing me less business? I think not.
Perhaps “Corporate America” is still cutthroat, and companies – whether run by men or women – are just too afraid to reach out and get to know their competitors as people, not other wolves stalking prey. I know for a fact after sharing much time with like-minded companies at LOCO, SVI, and other heart-based communities, that people ARE willing to collaborate, share and contribute to each others’ success.
Perhaps if you’re in a situation where you think your competitors are ruining your business, you need to step up your marketing or USP even more, or else find communities who WILL support you. Collaborators are out there!