Eve Worthington looks at the importance of building successful relationships in effective PR.
We live in more of an inter-connected, fast paced world than ever before. This brings with it lots of advantages with regards to how we choose to communicate with people and when. However, it is so important, especially when working in PR, not to lose sight of the need for these connections to develop into worthwhile relationships.
Quality PR relies on an established network of people who you can rely on and who in turn can rely on you. You won’t get far in this industry without them. I’ve been working in PR for 15 years now and building a certain level trust with clients, journalists and stakeholder organisations, to name just a few, is essential. You just have to go back to basics to do it.
As part of everyday life you have to invest your time in the people around you and adopting that same philosophy to how you manage your professional relationships as well will set you on the right track.
I find a friendly, approachable yet professional style works for me. I like to get to know the different personalities involved, find out what makes them tick and also spend time becoming knowledgeable about their field or industry so you can build some common ground. Keeping in regular contact helps, the odd email or catch up phone call or a quick cup of coffee when you’re nearby goes a long way.
But as always, actions speak louder than words. Journalists will come to you if they know you’re open and honest with the facts and deal with their enquiry in a timely manner. Clients want more than a chat – they want to see tangible results and you can help achieve that by listening and responding with a PR strategy that meets their needs. Partners in a project, for example, want to feel that you are accessible and have contributed to the workload.
Life never stands still, it evolves. People move jobs, start up new businesses or a client that started as a one-man-band can grow into a large company. If you have invested in those day-to-day relationships and made a positive impact on them with your communication style and ability to get the job done, then your efforts could well be repaid later down the line.