The term "USP" originated in the 1950s and was initially referred to in advertising, namely what the advertising proposition to the customer should be: "When you buy this, you'll receive a specified benefit." The proposition must be unique, something that competitors don't offer or promote, and so intriguing that it encourages individuals to act. But now this word "USP" has been modified and one can find its use in areas other than advertising.
How Do You Find Your USP?
There are three important questions that will help you get the answers:-
1. What benefit is unique to what you offer?
2. Who is the target market that is most interested in this benefit?
3. What USP is already used by major competitors for this target market?
I guess the above questions help one dig more deeper into the study of any project to be undertaken and can help us find more on the issues to be promoted for.E.g. this could be applied to an NGO, a political party or even an invidual who you plan to prepare a media, or non-media plan for.
So for example if your client is an NGO, you will have to find out how your NGO stands out amongst the many NGOs who are crusading for similar issues.The most important part is ofcourse your target publics, this has to be amply clear in your mind before you write a plan or chalk out a budget for the communication plan.
Last but not the least the competitors, one must never forget them, you need to be constantly reading about what other organisations in your field are doing, as you never work in isolation.
Once this is clear you can use the innumerable tools of public relations to create a communication plan which will implement the objectives keeping in mind the USP.Oh yes lets not ever forget the social media tools on our web.