Positioning Statements

Tell me, what do you actually do?

As a PR firm, we’re always conducting research. It can take many forms: finding the right reporter to pitch with a new storyline, discovering trends in your clients’ industries so we can speak about them intelligently or researching new business opportunities to elicit that, “Wow, they really did their homework” reaction when submitting an RFP or jumping on an introductory call.

Research is one of my favorite aspects of public relations (Weird? Maybe. Crucial? Absolutely.). I love to dig for that piece of obscure information in a two-year-old press release that makes the difference between a so-so meeting and a great one.

That’s why it really bugs me when I type in a URL, travel on over to a company’s website and have to read through every tab to piece together what they actually do as if I were deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics before the Rosetta Stone was a thing.

I’m no Steve Wozniak—and it’s a pretty good bet that very few of your potential customers are either—but I’ll understand something if it can be explained clearly, and we can dive into further details from there. I don’t need tech jargon or circuitous language that makes no sense to the average reader. I want to know what you do, how you do it and what need your product fills.

When it comes to first impressions, vis-à-vis a potential customer or partner visiting your website for the first time, simpler is definitely better. Slap your positioning statement—that core message you want to communicate—in nice big letters on the homepage so it’s impossible for the reader to miss. Draw readers in with a quick and snappy sentence or two reminiscent of a good newspaper headline. Get them eager to learn more about what your company offers.

Save the hyper-detailed product suite information, in-depth service offerings and brand narrative for a different page. That will prevent readers from feeling overwhelmed too early into the research and discovery phase, and will allow you to more easily engage them so they understand how your company and products can help them achieve their business goals.

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