SWOT Before You Start

Have you ever sat down to start a deck and thought to yourself, “I have no idea where to start!”? We understand, we’ve been there too. What we’ve learned throughout the years, is that a back story is really important in establishing your message. Knowing the big picture before deciding what parts of it to tell can hone your messaging into perfect refinement. We think a SWOT analysis is a powerful tool to understand your brand, anticipate questions, and ultimately tell the best story possible.

A SWOT analysis is a 2×2 grid that gives you an opportunity to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to your messaging. The grid could look something like this:


There’s definitely a reason your product/service exists. There’s also a reason your product is different from other options. Identifying those differentiators as strengths and expanding on why they matter will strengthen your SWOT analysis. Think of all the things you do well–no need to be modest! This section is all about being clever, confident, and creative.


Getting ahead of the narrative to control all you can is always the goal for good PR. In a good SWOT analysis, Identifying weaknesses helps a presenter contemplate ways to explain that they aren’t dealbreakers to an audience. Sometimes, weaknesses can be strengths. If a client is looking for something you don’t offer, letting them know exactly what to expect (or not!) upfront results in the most favorable outcome.


After you’ve spent time truly understanding your strengths and weaknesses, it’s time for the opportunities portion of your SWOT analysis. Your weaknesses can reveal opportunities for improvement. Is there something you’re not offering, but could? Is there a process that isn’t as smooth as it should be? Knowing these things helps pinpoint ideal goals for the future.


As they say, “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer”. While it’s important to know who your allies are, it’s imperative that you know the competition you’re up against. Spend some time understanding all of the different narratives that are being thrown at your audience. Once you know the tales they’re hearing, you can leverage your SWOT analysis to tell a different and better story.

A SWOT analysis can be pretty quick and easy, but shouldn’t be rushed, either. Don’t be afraid to take the time you need to dig deep and get concrete data to support your claims. Widening your scope to see the forest through the trees helps you appreciate the beauty of what you have to offer. We wish you happy analyzing!

In fact, we’re always here to offer a third-party perspective if needed. We know that often it takes someone from the outside looking in to let you know additional opportunities or present you with further threats. On the other hand, perhaps there’s a strength you’re overlooking or a weakness you haven’t encountered. Let us know how we can help!

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