In public relations, there are many approaches to building a client base. Some firms choose to focus their efforts on one niche – hospitality, city branding, retail, technology, etc. And they are very good at what they do. Others, like Obsidian, take a different approach by only working with one client from a certain industry or sector of business in a geographic region. We call that category exclusivity.
This may have you thinking, “Doesn’t that limit your ability to do business?” Well, yes and no. At times, we do find ourselves turning away business because we already represent a law firm in Memphis or an animal welfare organization in Dallas. But, the benefit far outweighs this downside (and PR business is abundant across hundreds of industries).
Our main reason for adhering to this philosophy is that as PR professionals, we never want our clients – or account representatives for that matter – to compete against one another for opportunities. If I had to choose between two architects for a Wall Street Journal article that can only feature one source, how would I determine whom to feature? It becomes an ethical dilemma and frankly, hard to keep track of who got the last interview opportunity.
By only representing one client in an industry at each of our locations, we can maximize our efforts more efficiently and provide the best counsel possible without our clients worrying that they’re missing out because we also represent their competitors.
One can be a lonely number, but when it comes to PR, we think it’s the only way to go!