Beyond the elevator speech: Five questions you need to answer for your business

We’ve all heard the importance of having an “elevator speech” that tells your audience what you do and how important your product or service is to them.

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We at Wellons Communications agree with the idea of a short, punchy message. However, we also believe that you need to work on and perfect a more robust message than a 15-second elevator speech to truly explain the value you bring to your clientele.

With that in mind, at Wellons Communications, we ask our clients five important questions that help define the messages they want to project … and the impressions they want to create.

The Big Five are:

  • What do you do?
  • How does your product or service help your client?
  • What do your competitors say about themselves?
  • What distinguishes your product or service from your competitors?
  • Who and where are your potential customers?

Build from the basics

Surprisingly, many business leaders have a difficult time answering these five questions.

They have successfully grown their businesses to the point where they need to expand their marketing program — including public relations — to continue growth. However, when it comes to more precisely defining themselves and what they do for the audiences they serve, they run into challenges.

They know they need to continue reaching out, but struggle to find the ways and means to reach new and different audiences in order to continue expanding sales and growth.

PR is part of your overall marketing package

We view public relations as one of the four primary components of our client’s marketing programs: paid advertising, public relations, sales and research.

Our job centers around publicity management — attracting attention or, in some cases, clarifying and shaping the attention that is defining our clients. That requires us to interact, for the most part, with editorial media, whose independence means their viewpoints and opinions cannot be purchased but can certainly be shaped and influenced with proper messaging.

That means we have to know about you, your business category, your audience, your competitors and what you want to accomplish.

And that means that we need to know the answers to The Big Five questions listed above.

Sometimes, less is better

When we first meet with potential clients, we always ask the Big Five questions.

Often, these potential clients struggle to concisely and clearly answer the Big Five. And, while we listen closely to what we are told, we often learn that the longer a potential client takes to answer these questions, the more difficult it is to concisely and clearly answer the question.

Our first priority is to clearly understand what you do and what you want to do. That means asking tough questions and boiling the answers down to strategic approaches that will result in messaging that your audience can understand and act upon.

The end result may appear to be a very simple solution. But reaching a simple solution requires some complex planning and hard work to achieve.

We think like marketers. We act like PR professionals

If a client were to ask us The Big Five, our answers are:

What do you do?

We provide publicity and related communications services that augment our clients’ overall marketing.

How does your product or service help your client?

We help our clients increase sales by reaching their target audiences with clear, concise messaging that amplifies their reach beyond advertising.

What do your competitors say about themselves?

Our competitors most often claim they are bigger, more experienced, have a larger client base and have greater depth in resources.

What distinguishes your product or service from your competitors?

We are smaller and, because we are smaller, we provide more personalized, hands-on services that are more creative, more nimble and more effective than our larger competitors.

Who and where are your potential customers?

The vast majority of our potential customers are based, or have significant operations, in the Central Florida region. Some of them are in tourism, hospitality and food and beverage and others are in real estate, development, legal and related business categories.

How would you answer The Big Five?

Ask yourself how you would answer the five questions listed above. If you find you have difficulty clearly and concisely answering them, it may be a signal that you have grown to the point that you need some help to augment your marketing program, particularly in the public relations area.

If you’d like to share your answers with us, we’d be eager to hear them. And we would be eager to learn if your business — and ours — would be a good fit.

Want to learn more?

Call or email me (407-339-0879 or and let’s talk.

Or, better yet, you talk… and I’ll listen.